Mission and Philosophy


The mission of the School of Nursing is to educate nurses at the undergraduate and graduate levels to meet the health care needs of society, provide leadership in nursing and contribute to the body of nursing knowledge.


The philosophy of the Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs incorporates professional nursing standards and “The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education” (2021), which support the mission and goals of Murray State University. It is the belief of the faculty that through a liberal education and blending of academic and professional standards, nursing graduates exemplify characteristics of the MSU graduate and meet the program outcomes. 


The faculty view individuals as constantly evolving, holistic, culturally unique beings who have needs, and who assign meaning to life. Each person has dignity, rights, worth, and potential for reasoning, responsible behavior, and self-direction. Everyone has the right to competent health care that is congruent with these beliefs and needs. When a person functions at a maximum potential, life is both meaningful and manageable. Health is determined by one’s perceptions of strengths and weaknesses.


The faculty perceives the environment as anything external to and interacting with the person. The environment consists of individuals, families, communities, society and space.


Health is dynamic. The person functions at a maximum potential so that one’s life is both meaningful and manageable. Health is determined by the strengths and weaknesses of a person’s total being.


Professional nursing is a scientific practice discipline that integrates and synthesizes theories from nursing, the physical and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. Professional nursing involves a commitment to maximize the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations across the lifespan and is practiced through interaction with individuals and groups in their respective environments. Professional nursing is guided by standards of practice to prevent disease and promote health; manage chronic disease; provide regenerative or restorative care; and provide end-of-life or supportive care (AACN, 2019). Professional nursing also incorporates the five concepts that define the discipline of nursing: human wholeness; health; healing and well-being; environment-health relationship; and caring (AACN, 2021).

The professional nurse makes comprehensive assessments of individuals, families, and communities; uses the nursing process; and provides safe and quality nursing care. The professional nurse applies the research process to expand best evidence resulting in high-quality care. Professional nurses are accountable for their behavior, function independently and collaboratively, demonstrate professional values, recognize their limitations, and take responsibility for meeting personal and professional needs. The nurse provides leadership to advance the profession to meet healthcare needs of a culturally diverse society. It is expected that professional nurses are inclusive, equitable, communicative, collaborative, adaptable, supportive, engaged in civic life, and person-centered (AACN, 2021; Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, 2022).

Nursing Education

The teaching-learning process is regarded as a complementary process occurring between the teacher and the learner. Within this process, teaching creates an environment for critical thinking and self-motivated learning while fostering a spirit of inquiry. AACN (2021) recommends that curricula address competencies from the Essentials by incorporating a “system of instruction, assessment, feedback, self-reflection, and academic reporting that is based on students demonstrating that they have learned the knowledge, attitudes, motivations, self-perceptions, and skills expected of them as they progress through their education.” The teaching- learning process occurs within an environment that supports flexibility in meeting the learning needs of students who enter the teaching-learning process with differing levels of previous education and diverse life experiences. The teacher is a facilitator of active learning, a clear communicator who shares professional knowledge and values, and one who exemplifies professionalism in nursing.

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