The Department of Nursing at Eastern University prepares undergraduate nursing students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership, and service as generalist nurses and members of the global nursing community.
Statements of Belief
The Human Experience
Human beings and societies are viewed as a part of the larger environmental suprasystem created by God. Individuals, created in God's own image, are viewed holistically as physically, intellectually, psychosocially, and spiritually integrated beings meant to live in harmony with God, other humans, and the created world. This is reflected in Genesis 1: 27, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Spirituality is at the core of the human being and pervades or influences all aspects of life promoting a sense of wholeness. As a dynamic living, open system, the person interrelates and is interdependent with the larger systems of family, society, and environment. It is through the person's interdependency with these systems that basic human needs are met, including survival, security, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. Human societies are composed of individuals, families, and aggregate groups that are diverse and have a unique historical and aesthetic heritage.
The Discipline of Nursing
Nursing is an art and a science, based on a unique body of knowledge resulting from an integration of concepts and theories from the liberal arts and sciences. Through the discipline of science, nurses respond to actual and potential health problems in individuals, families, and communities. The practice of nursing employs the skills of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. The impact of science and technology on human lives must be monitored carefully. Evidence based practice (EBP) undergirds nursing praxis and is a tripartite phenomenon. Professional nurses ground nursing practice in evidence including results of research, clinician skills and expertise, and patient inclinations. Through the art of caring, nurses respond to human needs. Caring is more than offering technically correct care to patients; it is care offered with an attitude of compassion. Compassion is incarnational and is a demonstration of Christ's love through action. To practice nursing as an art and a science nurses must know patients and meet their needs through the integration of empirical, personal, aesthetic, and ethical knowledge. This requires intentionality and mindfulness demonstrated through true presence to the patient and their sufferings.
Professional nursing practice encompasses a diversity of roles that include healer, teacher, coach, counselor, caregiver, leader/manager, advocate, change agent, researcher, and collaborator. These roles are grounded in the assumption that the goal of professional nursing is to facilitate health and wholeness, that sometimes change must occur to promote well being. Mutuality and interdependence characterize the interactions between nurse and patient. Therefore, accountability for the experience of healing is shared between the nurse and the patient. Christian professional nursing ethics dictate accountability to God, others, and self. Nursing practice is an opportunity for service to fellow humans motivated by compassion and obedience to God. Nurses are present to the patient's phenomenological perspective and attend to the subtle and ordinary expressions of the human experience.
Health is associated with the biblical concept of shalom. Shalom is a dynamic state of wholeness where humans live peacefully in relationship with God, self, others, and nature. The interconnectedness of these relationships is holistic and maximizes the potential of individuals who differ not only in their capacity for wellness but also in their knowledge of what constitutes healthful living, resources to meet health needs, and motivation to maintain health. Based on the biblical principle of justice, all levels of healthcare should be available to people. Micah 6:8 provides instruction for living a just life, “He has shown all you people what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” In addition, individuals must take responsibility for their own health, utilize services, and make informed choices regarding healthcare needs.
Learning is a highly personal experience that promotes the development of self-direction and a commitment to life-long professional growth. The learner comes with an identity formed from rich, unique life experiences that provide a resource for learning. Learning occurs within and external to the formal educational experience itself. Nursing faculty facilitate learning by involving students in sharing responsibility for designing and carrying out learning activities to maximize their individual potential. The abilities to think critically and communicate effectively are essential. Scholarship requires the learner demonstrate curiosity and motivation. Learners do this by asking the “burning questions” identified through study and in clinical practice. Learning is a lifelong commitment.