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.


Congruent with the mission and goals of Murray State University, the philosophy of the Murray State School of Nursing is informed by the professional nursing standards, The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, The Essentials of Master’s Education and The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. It is the belief of the faculty that through this blending of academic and professional standards, nursing graduates exemplify the behaviors outlined in the Characteristics of the Murray State Graduate and program outcomes. The mission and goals reciprocally support the faculty’s belief in a liberal education as a basis for nursing practice. This document outlines the faculty’s beliefs about person, environment, health, nursing and nursing education.


The faculty views the person as a constantly evolving holistic, culturally unique being who has needs and who assigns meaning to life experiences. The person has dignity, rights, worth and potential for reasoning, responsible behavior and self-direction. The person has the right to competent health care that is congruent with these beliefs and needs.


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 maximizing the health of person and environment and is practiced through the interaction with individuals and groups in their respective environments.

The professional nurse makes comprehensive assessments of individuals, families and communities through the nursing process and develops quality-nursing care for culturally diverse societies. The professional nurse utilizes the research process to extend and expand nursing knowledge and improve care. Professional nurses are accountable for their behavior, function independently and collaboratively, recognize their limitations and take responsibility for meeting personal and professional needs. The nurse participates in social and political activities to foster positive changes in health care delivery.

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 learning and fosters a spirit of inquiry. Learning proceeds both independently and collaboratively toward the acquisition of expanded knowledge, attitudes and skills that enrich the learner’s personal and professional life. The teaching-learning process occurs within an environment that provides 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 learner is a self-directed, self-motivated individual with unique knowledge and life experiences. Learners initiate teaching-learning as they grow and develop. The teacher is a facilitator of learning, a clear communicator who transmits professional knowledge and values and who exemplifies professionalism in nursing.

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