Jul 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

School of Nursing

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Mission and Vision Statement

Contact Information

School of Nursing
Claude Moore Nursing Education Building
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800826
Charlottesville, VA 22908
(434) 924-2743

School of Nursing
McLeod Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville, VA 22908
(434) 924-2743

The School of Nursing (SON) transforms lives by promoting health and the quality of health care. We cultivate a diverse and inclusive community of scholars and researchers; create innovative models of education and practice; and 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 quality improvement and systems 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 types of doctorally-prepared scholars 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.

Additional Information


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 12 independent schools of the University with 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, with 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 nurse practitioner preparation in adult-gerontology acute care, family, pediatric primary care, pediatric acute care, neonatal, psychiatric mental health nursing, and clinical specialist preparation in adult-gerontology acute care. The master’s-entry MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader, was initiated in 2005 to prepare students with undergraduate degrees in other fields as masters-prepared nurse generalists. Certificate options exist for nurses with a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing to seek advanced certifications. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program enrolled its first students in 2007. The focus of the DNP program is on leading system-level change aimed at providing quality care, optimizing population health and improving outcomes. This degree prepares nurses for the highest level of expertise in a nursing specialty area.

The PhD 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.

Purpose and Objectives of the Undergraduate Program

Goal The goal of the BSN program is to graduate nurses who will advocate for and deliver quality and safe patient centered care globally to individuals, families, communities, and populations across the lifespan and in all health care settings.

Terminal Objectives Graduates of the BSN program are expected to:

  • Provide evidence-based nursing care consistent with American Nurses Association foundation documents (The Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice and The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements) and to incorporate professional values; 
  • Partner with interprofessional teams and/or others to promote health and reduce health risks for individuals, families, communities, and diverse populations;
  • Advocate for the evolving role of nursing within the context of historical and contemporary issues as they impact the health status of individuals, families, communities, and diverse populations in national and/or global healthcare systems;
  • Use effective health information technology and research findings to deliver and/or evaluate the safety and quality of person-centered care across the continuum of health care systems; and
  • Accept personal and professional responsibility/accountability demonstrated through professional leadership, self-care, and participation in activities for professional well-being, growth and development; and
  • Coordinate resources to provide holistic, culturally sensitive, and equitable care to diverse populations.