Skip to Main Content


Associate Degree Philosophy of Nursing

Mount St. Mary's University is an academic community committed to continuing exploration of our relationship to God, to other persons, and to nature. This exploration takes the form of programs devoted to excellence in the liberal arts and career preparation with a special focus on educating women for participation and leadership in our society and our time. The Catholic tradition of the college offers a value orientation for the student's personal and professional life, giving the motivation for a Christian commitment that views professional life as service.

Nursing is a service to humanity. It is a profession committed to: the promotion and restoration of health; the prevention of illness of individuals, families, groups, and communities; and support for a dignified death. It is the science whose main concern involves the life processes that positively affect the health status and integrity of persons, families, and groups. These life processes involve physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual life components. A focus on the interaction of these components delineates nursing science.

The Department of Nursing functions within the philosophy of the college and has developed a curriculum on the Roy Adaptation Model of Nursing. The Adaptation Model recognizes that a person is a bio-psycho-social-spiritual being in constant interaction with a dynamic and complex world. Humans possess both innate and acquired mechanisms which, in health, enable coping with the complex internal and external environment. In times of stress, these coping mechanisms may be disrupted. The ability to adapt to the internal and external environment at this time affects the person's position on the health-illness continuum. The promotion of adaptation in the direction of health depends upon an educational program which prepares the student to understand the person as a total being, to recognize and respect human values, and to utilize a scientific process within the framework of the adaptation model.

The goal of nursing is directing, maintaining, and reinforcing the adaptation of person, families, and groups toward optimal health.

The process involves:

  1. assessing the factors that influence the position on the illness continuum, the factors that influence the position, and the effectiveness of the coping mechanisms.
  2. determining the actual or potential health problem(s).
  3. establishing mutually acceptable goals.
  4. intervening by promoting adaptation through the modification of influencing factors and/or increasing the response in the coping potential.
  5. evaluating the position on the health-illness continuum to reaffirm and/or modify interventions.

Each student enters the nursing program with a unique background for potential growth. Students are active learners. Learning progresses from novice to beginning level practitioner in a variety of settings from simple to complex. Because each student is unique with different learning potentials and different critical thinking skills, the expectation is that the student will seek assistance and demonstrate growth at all stages of learning. The extent to which this distinct potential is achieved is determined by behavioral changes which are observed and evaluated in the context of the expected outcomes of the learning process.

The faculty believe the program has different levels of competencies for students to achieve their distinct potential. Options to select entry levels to promote career mobility are offered.

The faculty believe providing a supportive environment enhances learning at each level of the program. The faculty act as role models and therefore must be clinically competent and professionally active. In addition, they assume responsibility for individual advisement of nursing majors and provide opportunities for assistance in the event of academic difficulties.