School of Nursing
Claude Moore Nursing Education Building
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800826
Charlottesville, VA 22908
School of Nursing
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Nursing has been one of the professional disciplines of the University of Virginia since 1901 when a three-year diploma program was first offered to high school students under the aegis of the University of Virginia Hospital and the Department of Medicine. Today, as one of the 11 independent schools of the University with a full-time faculty of 60 and an enrollment of over 650 undergraduate and graduate students, the school offers the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and, as a department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.
The School of Nursing, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Virginia State Board of Nursing, is a member of the Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Southern Regional Education Board. The school was first accredited by the National League of Nursing Education in 1941 and appeared on the first list of accredited nursing schools issued by the league.
The hospital-based diploma program in nursing, initiated in 1901, provided the genesis for the school’s present degree program. The first baccalaureate degree in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education, was offered in 1928 for the first time through a Department of Nursing Education in the School of Education, made possible by an endowment of $50,000 from the Graduate Nurses’ Association of Virginia in memory of Sadie Heath Cabaniss, Virginia’s outstanding pioneer nurse. The purpose of this degree program was to train registered nurses for teaching, supervisory, or administrative positions. The present baccalaureate program was established in 1950 as a four-year course. In 1953, a Department of Nursing was established to administer the diploma program and the two baccalaureate programs: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education. The department was under the collective supervision of the School of Medicine, the School of Education, and the University of Virginia Hospital. Three years later, in 1956, this department became the School of Nursing. The curriculum now consists of four years of a combination of liberal arts, interprofessional, and core nursing courses leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The School Today
Mission Statement The University of Virginia School of Nursing is committed to educating future leaders, extending the boundaries of nursing and health care knowledge through research, and providing high-quality and compassionate health care in service to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world.
Philosophy The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich the mind by stimulating and sustaining the spirit of free inquiry directed to understanding the nature of the universe and human existence. The philosophy of the School of Nursing is consistent with that of the University as it prepares leaders in health care.
Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations (ANA, 2004). Nurses, often in collaboration with other health care professionals, promote the optimal health care and comfort of individuals and groups through the systematic application of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines.
The faculty believes that education is based on humanistic approaches that foster critical thinking and promote awareness of social and cultural diversity among individuals. The faculty views each student as a unique person with special talents, abilities, needs, and goals. Cultural diversity, varying life experiences, and changing socioeconomic factors affect each student differently. To this end, faculty endeavor to provide an environment that assists students to realize their full potential. The acquisition of professional knowledge and the development of clinical competence occur through active involvement of the student in the learning process. Students assume primary responsibility for learning, while faculty provides educational opportunities for knowledge acquisition and professional role development. We believe that an atmosphere of shared growth and inquiry offers the maximum potential for development.
The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education in Nursing are basic foundations to the curriculum for both the baccalaureate and clinical nurse leader programs and thus essential for the practice of professional nursing. This education provides the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills, and the independent and interdisciplinary pursuit of high standards of health care. Master’s specialty education prepares the nurse with strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for advanced practice in acute and primary care or for specialty practice in the areas of management and public health leadership. Doctoral education prepares the nurse scholar to influence health care through leadership in education, policy, practice, research, and knowledge development.
Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is accountability for professional growth and practice, demonstration of leadership, and commitment to the development and application of nursing theory and research. Life-long learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner and the discipline of nursing.
The Nursing Major The health care delivery system is currently evolving at an accelerated rate; and, since people want health care as well as illness care, faculty members at the University of Virginia School of Nursing have developed a curriculum to respond to changing societal needs. We believe that a nurse prepared at the baccalaureate level shares with other health professionals the primary goals of promoting, maintaining, and restoring health, caring for the ill, and assisting individuals and families through the dying process.
Courses in the School of Nursing are composed of two discrete but interrelated elements: Interprofessional and Core. Interprofessional courses are designed to facilitate transition to the role of health care provider; they include social science and natural science content with special application to health care. Most interprofessional courses are open to other students within the University.
Core courses include basic knowledge and skills needed to practice professional nursing at a beginning level. Clinical and classroom experiences and academic work provide a broad basis for nursing practice related to both acute and chronic illness and health promotion. The emphasis is on individuals, families, and groups with varying levels of health and at all points in the life cycle. Issues related to professional nursing are also included.
Purpose and Objectives of the Undergraduate Program The purpose of the undergraduate program is to prepare leaders in health care to meet the needs of individuals, families, and communities. Graduates of the program:
- ensure holistic and culturally sensitive care based on an understanding of the norms and health care beliefs/practices of various racial, ethnic, religious, socioeconomic, gender-specific, and age-related populations;
- provide health care that demonstrates professional values and standards of practice, and includes moral, ethical, and legal concepts;
- incorporate knowledge of health promotion and disease prevention into professional nursing practice;
- demonstrate knowledge of the structure, organization, and financing of the U.S. health care delivery system, and the role and importance of nursing within that system;
- understand the development and implementation of national and international health care policy from social, economic, political, legislative, and professional perspectives;
- manage and coordinate patient care across health care settings and client populations;
- employ critical thinking in the provision of professional nursing care;
- effectively use current and changing health care and information technologies;
- utilize communication techniques effectively;
- accept increasing professional responsibility, provide professional leadership, and participate in activities for professional growth and development.