YVCC Nursing Program Mission and Philosophy

 
The mission and philosophy of the Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) nursing program are authored by the YVCC nursing faculty and are congruent with the basic commitments of the college. Yakima Valley Community College is a student-centered institution whose primary mission is to enrich and enhance individuals and communities by delivering accessible, student-centered education. In addition, the mission states that YVCC addresses the needs of our diverse communities by providing learning opportunities in basic literacy, academic, professional, and technical education; and lifelong learning. Furthermore, YVCC subscribes to three core themes: community, access, and success.
 
The Nursing Department is structurally located within the Workforce Education Division (WED). This division has its own mission statement to provide access for students, preparation for professional-technical careers, and promotion of lifelong learning in the emerging workplace.
 
The mission of the nursing program is to provide a quality nursing education that reflects the college's commitment to teaching and service to the community. The Nursing Department has stated philosophical beliefs about both the nature of learning and nursing education that are used to guide the development of the nursing curriculum and the manner in which content is presented.
 

LEARNING

 
Learning is a process whereby an individual acquires knowledge and the abilities to apply that knowledge in selected settings. Learning is an interactive process in which the educator and the learner share responsibility in obtaining successful student outcomes. Students enter the learning environment with varying backgrounds, skills, goals, and learning styles. Students are characterized by their cultural diversity, differences in age and life experiences, varying support systems, economic and educational resources. Educators must consider each student's unique qualities in order to support the student's success in the educational process. Students must incorporate knowledge from the biological, behavioral, and physical sciences into their acquisition of the unique body of nursing knowledge and apply this nursing knowledge through use of the nursing process in a variety of clinical settings. Practical application of nursing knowledge reinforces learning. Learning is successful when knowledge is presented in a systematic fashion wherein concepts are presented in a progressive manner ranging from simple to complex. The complexity of a concept can be described in both increasing depth and breadth.
 
Learning takes place in three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. The cognitive domain involves the ability to obtain and demonstrate knowledge. The affective domain involves internally valuing the unique multidimensional individual, respecting the individual's right to self-determination, as well as valuing the core beliefs of the nursing profession. The psychomotor domain involves performing coordinated fine motor, manual, and gross motor skills that are guided by intellectual reasoning.
 

NURSING EDUCATION

 
Nursing education provides the foundation for various roles within the nursing profession (Nursing Assistant, Practical Nurse, and Registered Nurse). Nursing education involves the student, instructor, and learning environment in a dynamic and interactive process. Programs of nursing education can be designed to facilitate concurrent preparation for Practical and Registered (associate degree) nursing. Professional roles within nursing practice are differentiated primarily in terms of knowledge acquisition, legal scope of practice, and degree of independence with which the graduate implements the nursing process. A central emphasis in nursing education is to prepare graduates to become lifelong learners.
 
Nursing education is responsive to the changing health needs of individuals, groups, and communities. Faculty function as educators, facilitators, resource persons, and role models to promote an environment that provides students with opportunities to experience interactive, theoretical, and hands-on learning. Successful teaching strategies accommodate students' learning styles, create interest that enhances students' critical thinking abilities, and reinforce knowledge needed for competent nursing practice. Effective associate degree nursing education assists students in successfully meeting their educational goals and prepares them for entry-level, competent nursing practice in a variety of settings. Faculty responsibilities include structuring the learning environment so that it promotes mutual respect, acceptance, and support. In addition, evaluation of learning outcomes is a faculty responsibility. Multiple methods of evaluation are used in nursing education to measure student success. Program outcomes are also evaluated. These evaluation data provide the basis for ongoing program evaluation and planning.
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YVCC Nursing Program Curricular Threads

 
The Nursing Department utilizes ten core concepts/curricular threads to organize content presentation and evaluation of learning. The ten curricular threads include:
 

NURSING PROCESS

 
The nursing process is a problem solving approach to the identification and treatment of patient problems. Effective use of the nursing process requires nursing judgment, which is based on clinical judgment, critical thinking, and integration of best evidence into nursing practice. The nursing process includes assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation of real or potential patient problems.
 

COMMUNICATION

 
Communication is an interpersonal process that involves the sending and receiving of information and the generation and transmission of meaning. Communication may be verbal or non-verbal, and has many attributes. Effective communication skills include awareness of and attendance to cultural and developmental qualities of the individual with whom one is communicating, respect for others, honesty, and genuineness in interactions. Nurses use communication for collecting assessment data, providing therapeutic interventions and patient teaching, and documenting care.
 

ETHICAL/LEGAL ISSUES

 
Ethical/legal concepts involve the ideas of right and wrong behavior. In the practice of nursing, nurses need to understand how the profession, society, and the patient define these concepts and to be able to define them for themselves. Nurses practice in an ethical manner by demonstrating responsibility for their own learning, and for professional and personal actions taken. In addition, nurses demonstrate honesty and maintain confidentiality in interactions with patients, their families, and other health care professionals. Additionally, it is critical that all nursing care occur within the boundaries of the nurse's legal scope of practice.
 

PHARMACOLOGY

 
Pharmacology includes the study of actions of chemicals on human beings. Nurses have the responsibility to safely administer medications prescribed by the physician or other health care provider licensed to prescribe medication. Nurses are also responsible for patient teaching regarding the medications and their actions and for assessment of therapeutic outcomes and adverse effects.
 

NUTRITION

 
Nutritional needs of patients vary individually and have a direct bearing on health status. In providing nutritional care to patients, nurses must take environmental, developmental, and cultural variables into consideration.
 

LIFESPAN

 
Lifespan incorporates both the age and stages of the individual's growth and development. The concept of lifespan addresses the changes that occur from the beginning to the end of life. The patient's health, environment, and unique individuality determine their response to developmental changes. Nursing care is most effective when the patient's developmental status is considered in the plan of care.
 

LEADERSHIP

 
Nursing leadership may be viewed as the process of guiding, teaching, motivating and directing the activities of others toward attaining mutually agreed upon goals. The nurse uses leadership skills to facilitate the nursing care of individuals and groups in the setting in which nursing care is being delivered.
 

SAFETY

 
Safety is defined as the protection of patients and others from actual or potential harm. An unsafe environment may be anything that places an individual in physical or psychological jeopardy. Safe practice is an essential component of nursing care.
 

HEALTH TEACHING

 
Health teaching involves communication that is focused on helping individuals, groups, or communities develop abilities that will enable them to achieve their highest level of functioning and quality of life or to realize death with dignity. The ability of the individual, group, or community to learn and understand is influenced by the teaching environment and by the individual's health status, developmental level, and unique attributes.
 

CULTURE

 
Culture is defined as the shared values, beliefs, and behaviors including spirituality, ethnicity, and language of a group of people. Knowledge of the patient's culture is essential in understanding how culture affects the person's health related beliefs and behaviors, and the nursing approaches that might be most successful in their care. Nursing care is culturally competent when based upon mutually agreed upon goals and incorporates interventions that take into consideration the unique culturally-based attributes of the recipient of care.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRACTICAL NURSE GRADUATE

 
The Practical Nurse graduate meets basic needs of the patient and facilitates nursing care under the direction of the Registered Nurse or supervising health care provider. The Practical Nurse graduate assumes responsibility for personal and professional actions within the practice environment while functioning as an effective member of the health care team. Characteristics of the Practical Nurse graduate include:
 
  1. Utilizes the nursing process to safely implement multidimensional care for adult and pediatric patients.

  2. Applies knowledge of the developmental stages of the lifespan in implementing patient care.

  3. Uses effective communication skills to promote quality patient care.

  4. Applies basic principles of leadership and patient advocacy when implementing patient care.

  5. Implements health teaching based on the identified plan of care.

  6. Safely administers medications following the principles of pharmacology.

  7. Utilizes appropriate nutritional interventions in promoting wellness.

  8. Utilizes legal/ethical principles in professional conduct and demonstrates accountability for actions taken within the practical nurse role.

  9. Maintains a safe environment for patient, self, and other members of the health care team.

  10. Applies the multidimensional concepts of health and wellness in implementing care for individuals from various cultures.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSE GRADUATE

 
The Associate Degree Nurse graduate meets basic needs of the patient and facilitates nursing care in collaboration with other members of the health care team. The Associate Degree Nurse graduate assumes responsibility and accountability for practice based on and limited to the scope of his/her education, demonstrated competence, and nursing experience within the practice environment while functioning as an effective member of the health care team. Characteristics of the Associate Degree Nurse graduate include:
 

1. Demonstrates nursing judgment (including clinical judgment, critical thinking, and use of evidence-based practice) when working with the patient to achieve the highest level of functioning through utilization of the nursing process.

2. Utilizes knowledge of the developmental stages of the lifespan in planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care.

3. Utilizes effective communication techniques to promote quality patient care.

4. Applies basic principles of leadership and patient advocacy in planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care.

5. Plans, implements, and evaluates appropriate health teaching based on individualized patient needs.

6. Safely administers medications following the principles of pharmacology.

7. Integrates basic nutritional principles in planning, implementing, and evaluating the care of patients.

8. Utilizes ethical/legal principles in professional conduct and demonstrates accountability for actions taken within the registered nurse role.

9. Maintains a safe environment for patient, self, and other members of the health care team.

10. Applies the multidimensional concepts of health and wellness in planning, implementing, and evaluating care for individuals from various cultures in a variety of setting.