PHILOSOPHY AND PURPOSES
The nursing faculty concurs with the Riverside Community College (RCC) philosophy and purposes as expressed in the statements regarding its mission, business, vision, and values. RCC is a vital, affordable, personalized public institution of higher education which provides quality teaching and accessibility to a diverse student population. The college offers a comprehensive and flexible curriculum together with programs and services to meet diverse and evolving student needs. Excellence in teaching is provided by a faculty which communicates knowledge in a creative, stimulating, and challenging manner encouraging all students to think critically and analytically, and to apply learned principles, concepts, and skills.
RCC faculty and staff believe master planning to meet immediate and projected needs of all students and the community is essential to a viable educational program that enhances the quality of life. This process will move the college toward achievement of the vision, to be the leader among community colleges, highly regarded for commitment to all students, widely respected for excellence in teaching, and openly responsive to the communities served. Partnerships with other educational institutions, business, industry, and community groups are established and evolving to meet the dynamic educational needs of RCC District constituents. Student centeredness, teaching excellence, an environment conducive to learning and tradition as values of the institution form the foundation upon which RCC is built and grows. These values guide individual and collective actions of its faculty and staff.
Associate Degree Nursing Program
The philosophy of the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program has evolved from the successful 50-year history and tradition of excellence in nursing education and is based upon a set of beliefs shared by the total nursing faculty. The nursing faculty believes that nursing encompasses a broad occupational field involving a multiplicity of functions performed by individuals with varying levels of nursing education. So, to this end, the faculty agrees upon the following definition of the RCC concept of nursing:
Nursing is a humanistic art and science which employs caring behaviors to protect, promote and optimize health and abilities for individuals, families, groups, and communities. Additionally, nursing is alleviation of suffering through diagnosis and treatment of the human response. The essence of nursing is caring and compassionate quality care which is enacted through relationships and interpersonal communication in a way that is congruent with the culture, values, and lifestyles of individuals from diverse populations. The nurse collaborates with the client, the family, and members of the healthcare team to establish strategies using therapeutic interventions which will promote health by modifying, reducing, or preventing health--illness problems. The nurse advocates for and enhances the dignity of persons, planning and implementing measures designed to enable the individual to achieve maximum health and independence or to die in comfort with dignity. The nurse is thus concerned with the nature of persons/clients and prioritized human needs as applied to the individual within the life cycle. The nursing process provides a structure for critical thinking, clinical decision--making and implementation of quality care.
The nursing faculty believes that there is collaboration among nurses whose practice evolves from varying levels of education. The associate degree level of registered nursing practice falls between that of the vocational nurse and that of the registered nurse with additional education and advanced clinical expertise. As a member of the multidisciplinary healthcare team, the associate degree nurse functions as a generalist whose primary focus is to give direct and indirect care for clients with common and recurring health--illness problems in diverse community--based settings.
The purpose of nursing education is to provide cognitive, affective, and psychomotor instruction necessary for students to become safe and caring practitioners. Nursing education should take place within an institution of higher learning. It is appropriate that education of the associate degree nurse occur in the community college whose purposes include occupational and transfer education. The associate degree nursing curriculum is comprised of courses which incorporate principles from natural, behavioral, and social sciences, the humanities, and the art and science of nursing. Clinical experiences are developed in accordance with college policy, accreditation guidelines, and the regulations of the state licensing authority. Learning opportunities are provided that include clients of all age groups at varying points on the health--illness continuum.
The nursing faculty believes that the person/client is a human being with unique biopsychosocial, intellectual, spiritual, and cultural attributes. The person/client has a set of needs hierarchical in nature, which develop through a series of recognizable stages from conception through death, based on the Erikson/Newman and Newman eleven stages of the life cycle. Throughout the life cycle, the person/client is learning and selecting methods to meet daily needs. As a member of a family, group, and community, the person/client exhibits a variety of characteristics affected by the aging process, interpersonal relationships, health--illness problems, and changing responsibilities. The behavior of the person/client is influenced by changing conditions in our world and universe.
The nursing faculty believes the conceptual framework forms a basis for the curriculum structure, selection of content, and learning experiences. The organization of the curriculum is based on stages of the life cycle, basic human needs, health--illness continuum, nursing process, and the roles of the associate degree nurse. The curriculum provides a pattern that guides the student in developing caring, safe, and competent behaviors. The nursing process includes assessment, analysis/nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation of these five steps in the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and provision of quality care.
Associate degree nursing students at RCC represent several stages of the life cycle. The nursing faculty respects the varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds of all students and believes the diverse population enriches the learning environment which promotes cultural competence. The faculty use teaching methodologies that integrate innovative technology to meet the differing abilities and learning styles of all students. Learning does not proceed at the same rate and in the same way in every individual. Learning is an active, continuous process, proceeding from simple to complex concepts, resulting in behavioral change, facilitating attainment of identified student outcomes. The nursing faculty believes that the student should be self--regulated by actively participating in the learning process, using experiences and guidance offered by faculty, and assuming responsibility for meeting learning outcomes. Learning involves the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains and is transferable to a variety of situations. Learning is a growth process facilitated by a caring and collaborative relationship between teacher and student.
The nursing faculty believes teaching is a dynamic process that integrates principles of adult learning. Faculty serve as role models and facilitate learning by providing an environment that promotes inquiry, critical thinking, accountability, self--evaluation, and attainment of program outcomes. In accordance with the trend of healthcare delivery, clinical instruction occurs in varied community-based settings.
The Riverside community and the nursing faculty believe in the value and competence of the Associate Degree Registered Nurse to our healthcare system. Community members are involved in the development and implementation of the RCC ADN Program. A cooperative partnership with the constituent healthcare institutions is integral to an effective program. The contributions of nurses, as preceptors and mentors, as well as members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team are essential to the learning process. The nursing faculty is responsible for facilitating communication within clinical agencies participating in the program. The nursing faculty collaborates with healthcare partners regarding the overall program outcomes of the ADN graduate. This collaboration includes the implementation of innovative strategies to increase enrollment that addresses the community needs in the on--going nursing shortage.
The ADN graduate is prepared to function as a safe entry--level practitioner in diverse community--based settings where health promotion, prevention of illness, and provision of quality care are directed toward clients with common and recurring health--illness problems. This process begins with the ability to make appropriate assessments of the client’s needs and identify community resources available to meet these needs. The graduate nurse develops the plan of care, promotes client dignity, and collaborates with members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team to attain identified client outcomes. Nursing theory and evidence--based information are used as foundations to guide the development of an individualized plan of care. The graduate practices safely within the ethical and legal frameworks of registered nursing, maintaining organizational and client confidentiality. The graduate acts as an advocate, empowering the client to make informed decisions about healthcare, changes in health status, and end--of--life decisions. Therapeutic communication techniques are used to collaborate with the client, family and members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team in planning nursing interventions.
The nurse graduate implements and documents appropriate caring interventions, which ensure client safety, security, comfort, optimal functioning, and hygiene along the health--illness continuum to attain maximum health or dignified death. Furthermore the graduate: a) develops a teaching plan to provide client education that facilitates optimal healthcare decisions and outcomes utilizing community resources; b) safely administers medications and implements related interventions with predictable outcomes according to accepted standards of nursing practice; c) demonstrates competence in current technologies and safe technical skills when providing client care.
The graduate demonstrates flexibility and innovation in adapting nursing care. The graduate considers the client’s values, customs, culture, spiritual beliefs, and/or habits as well as the healthcare setting and healthcare delivery system. Additionally the graduate: a) manages client care safety and maintains accountability while assigning tasks to unlicensed members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team and delegating responsibility to licensed personnel; b) is able to assume beginning managerial and leadership functions, including effective problem solving and conflict resolution; c) manages resources by balancing quality care and cost containment; d) recognizes that nursing research results in evidence--based practice and assists as appropriate in data collection; e) demonstrates professional behaviors by participating in lifelong learning activities, in professional organizations/political healthcare issues, organizational committees, quality improvement activities, and mentoring/role modeling; f) demonstrates professional behaviors by maintaining professional boundaries in the nurse--client relationship.
The RCC graduates earn an Associate in Science degree in Nursing and are highly successful on the national licensing examination for registered nurses (NCLEX--RN). Graduates express positive comments about the quality of their RCC ADN education. RCC graduates are highly sought for employment in the community healthcare facilities and receive excellent ADN entry-level evaluations. Formal and informal articulation agreements assist graduates in continuing nursing education at institutions which offer baccalaureate and higher degrees. The ADN Program at Riverside Community College provides a sound foundation for further personal and professional development leading to opportunities for continued growth and advancement in the nursing profession.