The UTPA BSN program is designed to prepare graduates at a high level of competency for beginning positions in culturally diverse health care settings. It has the responsibility to foster professional excellence by providing a climate in which intellectual achievement in nursing is encouraged and developed.
The BSN program is generic in nature with an alternate pathway for registered nurses. The BSN curriculum evolves from each of these concepts: individual, society, health, nursing, and education. The faculty subscribe to the following beliefs:
The individual is a holistic being with her/his own inherent worth. Each individual has unique interwoven biopsychosocial, spiritual, cultural, and political characteristics. Individuals are viewed as being ultimately responsible to act in their own best interests based on their ability to manage human needs across the life span.
Society forms the dynamic environment within which individuals, families, groups, and communities live and function. It is composed of people, distinctive in ethnic origins, cultural patterns, religions, political affiliations, and social classes. Individuals are born into such a society, live in it, influence it, and are influenced by it. Society affects the perception of health and the selection of actions taken to manage health processes.
Health is an evolving multidimensional process that is culturally defined, uniquely perceived, and personally experienced. Holistic health involves interrelated physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and sociocultural components. At best, it is mind-body-spirit harmony, allowing people to function at their maximum potential within their environments. Ranging on a continuum from high-level wellness to devastating illness, health impacts the totality of a person's existence.
Nursing is an art and a science, a holistic, interpersonal caring process guided by a theoretical base. By using nursing knowledge, research, and related theories, nurses assist individuals, families, groups, and communities in their quest for optimal well-being. This assistance includes activities to nurture and promote self-direction, increase knowledge, prevent illness, maintain or regain an optimum state of health, or cope with dying and death. Nursing practice extends into a variety of multicultural settings and health care delivery systems (lay/popular, folk, professional).
Education promotes change in psychomotor, cognitive, and affective behaviors. This change is fostered by the teaching-learning process, which is a cooperative effort between the teacher and the student. Education is enhanced by a climate of mutual respect and open interaction where critical thinking and the exchange of ideas are encouraged. Experiences are structured from simple to complex with varied methods of presentation and frequent evaluation of progress. Teachers, as facilitators, are responsible for functioning as role models, establishing effective interpersonal relationships, developing curricula with experiences that allow for individual learning needs, and utilizing ongoing evaluation to assist students. Students are responsible for learning, assisting the teacher in selecting learning experiences that will meet their learning goals, and evaluating the teacher, the curriculum, and their own progress. Both the teacher and learner are ethically and legally accountable to the individual, the nursing profession, and society at large.
Nursing education is an integral part of a collegiate setting providing students the opportunity for personal, cultural, social, and intellectual enrichment. A broad knowledge base in the social and natural sciences integrated with the humanities accentuates the delivery of holistic nursing care.
Baccalaureate degree graduates are prepared to work as culturally competent health care providers in a wide variety of primary, secondary, and/or tertiary health care settings. Graduates, as critical thinkers, are expected to integrate knowledge from the arts and sciences, nursing theory, and research as well as act on that knowledge to deliberately and rationally make decisions. Graduates, as client advocates, are encouraged to be politically aware and use the research process as well as leadership and management theories to promote quality health care delivery. Graduates, guided by the nursing process, are prepared to function as accountable practitioners with the potential to develop within the emerging role of the nurse. Graduates are expected to be committed to the profession of nursing and to the promotion of professional nursing standards. Graduates are encouraged to continue their educational process either formally or informally, including graduate study.