Philosophy of the Practical Nursing Program
The Practical Nursing Department, while upholding the tradition of the Hazleton Area School District, is committed to providing academic distinction in meeting student needs and providing community service. The Department includes a variety of courses designed to stimulate the student’s intellectual, personal, and professional growth.
The educational program prepares students to deal with the complexities of a dynamic profession and society. The nursing faculty identifies client, body systems, basic needs, the nursing process, and environment as the major concepts of the curriculum. This philosophy expands on the conceptual meanings of these ideas.
Clients are unique individuals with inherent dignity and worth who have the right to quality nursing care. Each person is a physical, psychological, spiritual, social, and cultural being who is in constant interaction with a dynamic environment. The department believes that the use of therapeutic communication is vital to the development of an interpersonal relationship between the nurse and the client’s family support system. This is essential for the provision of holistic nursing care. Throughout a lifetime, clients, as they move along the illness-wellness continuum, develop a necessity to meet their basic needs. Maslow’s hierarchy is a basis for identifying these needs.
The environment is multi-dimensional, dynamic, and integral to client behavior. It encompasses the biological, physical, psychological, and socio cultural experiences of people. Clients experience the environment as individuals, families, and communities who share common beliefs and values. Thus, the environment causes change to itself and to clients.
The nursing curriculum is initially organized by the use of body systems. Progression of study from simple to complex occurs as each body system is identified. Knowledge of the structure and function of the normal human body is essential to understanding wellness as well as illness. This serves as a pre-requisite for the understanding of the normal physiological changes as well as abnormal changes that occur in each body system.
Basic needs are an integral part of the conceptual framework. Maslow’s hierarchy is used to identify client needs and to prioritize nursing care by transferring scientific principles to implement safe nursing practice (physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization). Inability to meet these needs can result in health-related problems.
Client needs and/or problems are addressed through the use of the nursing process. Whenever actual or potential threats to a client (individual, family, community) interfere with the ability to meet human needs or whenever a client desires assistance in maintaining and restoring optimal health, nurses intervene through the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
The nursing faculty believes that education is the sum total of all life’s experiences involving physical, psychological, and spiritual entities and that learning is a continuous process throughout the life span. We further believe education involves both the teacher and learner as they participate in the educational process. The teacher is responsible for creating quality learning experiences, sharing information, and providing an environment conducive to learning. The learner is responsible for the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to the practice of nursing. The teacher and the learner interact to explore and develop an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice. This interaction facilitates critical thinking, fosters caring and competent nursing practice, and contributes to the well being of clients. As a result, the learner, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, or handicap, can develop the potential to become a productive member of the health care team and has the opportunity to participate in continuing education.
The learner will care for all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, economic status, and handicap. We believe that practical nursing education is an integral part of the nursing profession and should have clearly defined behavioral objectives. We further believe that the Practical Nurse will function according to the Nurse Practice Act under the direction and supervision of a professional nurse and/or licensed physician.
We believe that practical nursing students have the right to learn according to their own individuality, the right to question, the right to have a voice through their student organization, and the right to evaluate the curriculum of instruction. It is the responsibility of the faculty to continually re-evaluate the curriculum to keep it current and flexible within the standards of nursing education.
The practical nursing curriculum is designed to prepare a graduate for entry-level practice. Graduates have advanced skills in the roles of direct client care, provider, educator, and collaborator. The program serves as a basis for matriculation of a graduate into a professional nursing program.