Mission and Vision Statement
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
The School of Nursing transforms lives by promoting health and the quality of health care. Through 2020 we will cultivate the SON’s multicultural community of scholars and researchers; create innovative models of education and practice; foster well-being and collegial spirit in a healthy work environment.
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 master’s entry 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. The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing build upon baccalaureate foundations and provides the basis for advanced generalist preparation for the nurse to provide point-of-care clinical leadership or for advanced specialist preparation. Master’s specialty education prepares the nurse with strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for advanced practice in acute and primary care as well as psychiatric-mental health or for specialty practice in the areas of systems management and public health leadership. The Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice prepares nurses to be advanced scholarly clinicians through the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The PhD in Nursing degree prepares nurses to be researchers. Both doctoral-prepared scholars will be able 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.
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 52 and an enrollment of over 750 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 first baccalaureate degree in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education, was offered in 1928 for the first time through the School of Nursing Education in the Department 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, with a curriculum consisting of a two-year academic concentration followed by the two-year nursing major. 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. Three years later, in 1956, this department became the School of Nursing. The Master of Science in Nursing Program, initiated in 1972, currently offers specialty preparation in public health nursing and health systems management; nurse practitioner preparation in acute care nursing, primary care nursing, and psychiatric mental health nursing; and clinical specialist preparation in acute and specialty care and in psychiatric mental health nursing. The primary care nursing track prepares family nurse practitioners and pediatric nurse practitioners. The acute care track prepares clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners to function in acute care settings. The Masters-Entry MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader, was initiated in 2005 to prepare second degree students as masters prepared nurse generalists. Certificate options exist for Master’s prepared nurses to seek advanced certifications. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program enrolled its first students in 2007. The focus of the DNP program is on development of clinical science and evidence-based practice. This degree prepares nurses for the highest level of expertise in a nursing specialty area.
The school offers a combined degree: an M.S.N.-M.B.A. program in collaboration with the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
The Ph.D. in Nursing Program, begun in 1982, is designed to prepare scholars and researchers committed to expanding the base of nursing knowledge. Major components of the program include nursing, research, cognates, and electives. The program is housed in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.