Nursing: Philosophy Statement


The Philosophy of the Associate Degree in Nursing
The Faculty of Cumberland County College Nursing Department support the mission and goals of the college.

The underlying philosophy of the nursing curriculum at CCC is based upon Humanism.  Humanist philosophy allows for the fulfillment of one’s potential towards self-actualization. Humanism promotes self-direction, independence, creativity, curiosity, and the ability to take responsibility for learning. The focus of the curriculum is on critical thinking and the application of knowledge. Cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning are equally valued. Assessment takes place within the context of the experience and is portfolio and performance based. The goal of Humanism is personal growth and development for life-long, self-directed learning (Csokasy, 2002; Huitt, 2009).

Consistent with Humanistic philosophy the Cumberland County College nursing faculty defines the following essential components:

Humans are integrated whole beings, acting with intention and values, possessing the capacity for self-direction and change across the life-span. Through the process of self-direction, change, study of self, motivation, and goals, individuals have the power to become self-actualized.

The environment consists of individuals, families, communities, societies, and global populations. Humans are in constant reciprocal interaction with a changing environment that consists of both internal and external forces that vary throughout the lifespan. A safe, supportive, collaborative environment fosters empowerment and promotes self-actualization.

Health is a dynamic, ever changing state of well-being. Health is subjectively defined by individuals and societies based upon cultural/ethnic perceptions, beliefs, and values.

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). Nursing is a caring collaborative process that respects and values the diversity of human experiences. Nursing promotes health, safety, and alleviates suffering using evidenced based practice, quality improvement, and patient centered care.

Teaching-Learning Process

The curriculum is founded on the beliefs that learning is a personal act to fulfill one’s potential and that learning is enhanced in a supportive, caring educational environment. The student’s personal experiences and values are respected and explored. Learning is student centered and the educator’s role is that of a facilitator. Students are responsible for the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes through goal-directed learning endeavors.

The teaching-learning process is a collaborative experience between faculty and students where knowledge is shared, and there is a commitment to excellence. There is a focus on reflection, critical reasoning, application of knowledge, demonstration of professional skills and attitudes, and recognition of the value of life-long self-directed learning.

The curriculum is concept based. The following five pillars form the foundation for the conceptual framework:

Critical Reasoning – a thoughtful and reflective process involving purposeful mental activity in which ideas are considered, produced, and evaluated. It involves conceptualization, analysis, reflection, empathy, autonomy, creativity, valuing, and decision making.

Evidenced Based Practice - the integration of best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family preferences and values for delivery of optimal health care (QSEN, 2011)

Effective Communication - the exchange of ideas, information, and attitudes for the purpose of relating to others, establishing trust, and promoting positive outcomes

Professionalism - adherence to a defined set of educational requirements, practice standards, code of ethics, and values required for nursing practice. Professionals are able to:

  • Work independently 
  • Participate in teamwork 
  • Accept constructive criticism 
  • Provide patient centered care 
  • Maintain accountability for actions 
  • Respect diverse perspectives 
  • Reflect on self-performance 
  • Demonstrate leadership skills 
  • Collaborate in shared decision making

 Patient and Family Centered Care - Recognize the patient or designee as the source of control and full partner in providing compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for patient’s preferences, values, and needs (QSEN, 2011)

Self-actualization –Self-actualized people have realistic views and insights about themselves and the environment. They are problem solvers who are motivated by a sense of responsibility to others and ethics. Self-actualized people are spontaneous, have a continual sense of appreciation, and have inspirational experiences. They seek times of private reflection to focus on developing their personal potential.

Institute of Medicine. Health professions education: A bridge to quality. Washington DC: National Academies Press; 2003
New Jersey Board of Nursing (2012). Board of Nursing Laws. Retrieved July 2012 from
Quality Safety Education in Nursing (2011). Prelicensure KSAs.