11: School of Graduate Nursing

General Information | M.S. in Nursing | Ph.D. in Nursing | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Philosophy | Characteristics of Graduates | Admission | Academic Regulations
Program Description | Clinical Nurse Specialist | Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner | Health System Management | M.S.N.-M.B.A. Joint Degree
Post-Master's Primary Care Nurse Practitioner | Post-Master's Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Admission | Grades | Nurse Practitioner Program Completion Requirements


The University of Virginia is a community of scholars having as its central purpose the enrichment of the mind by stimulating and sustaining the spirit of free inquiry directed to an understanding of the nature of the universe and human existence. The philosophy of the School of Nursing is consistent with that of the University.

Nursing is both a profession and a discipline that is responsive to the changing health needs of the individual, family, and community. Nursing is concerned with responses of individuals and groups to actual as well as potential health problems, environments that influence the individuals' health, and nursing interventions that promote health. Nursing collaborates with other health care professionals to promote the optimal health care and comfort of individuals and groups through systematic application of the nursing process (ANA, 1980). Through interdisciplinary dialogue and study, nurse scholars expand their understanding of health and illness and the biological, environmental, sociocultural, ethical, legal, financial, philosophic, and historic factors influencing nursing care.

The faculty believes that education is based on scientific and humanistic approaches. These approaches foster the student's development of critical thinking, and promote an awareness of social and cultural diversity among individuals. The faculty believes that each student is a unique person with special talents, abilities, needs, and goals. We recognize that cultural diversity, varying life experiences, and changing socioeconomic factors affect each student differently. To this end, faculty endeavor to provide an environment to assist students in achieving the fullest realization of their potential. Moreover, we believe that the acquisition of professional knowledge and the development of clinical competence occurs through active involvement of the student in the learning process. Students assume primary responsibility for learning, while faculty provide educational opportunities for knowledge acquisition and professional role development. We believe that an atmosphere of shared growth and inquiry offers the maximum potential for the development of both the nursing profession and the individual practitioner of nursing.

We believe that the basic preparation for the practice of professional nursing is the baccalaureate degree in nursing. This academic preparation serves as a foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills, and the independent and collaborative pursuit of high standards of health care. The advanced practice nurse is prepared with strong emphasis on health promotion, disease prevention, primary care, and the management of acutely and chronically ill persons (Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing, 1994).

Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is the acceptance of accountability for professional growth and practice, leadership in the client advocate role, and commitment through research to the refinement of nursing knowledge in its theory and application. Lifelong learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner and the discipline of nursing.

Continue to: Characteristics of Graduates
Return to: Chapter 11 Index