Philosophy of the UCLA School of Nursing

The UCLA School of Nursing is guided by a philosophy that embodies the mission and goals of the University of California.  The philosophy addresses nursing, the clients of nursing, and nursing students. The school is committed to an interdisciplinary learning environment.

Nursing encompasses clinical practice, education, research, consultation, leadership, management and service to the profession at both the local and global communities. Nursing involves individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities as patients. The profession must consider the human, physical and social environments that affect these patients, who may have health conditions that range from wellness to illness. Nursing activities must, therefore, include health promotion and maintenance, intervention and treatment, rehabilitation and restoration, and palliation. At an advanced practice level, nursing involves comprehensive healthcare, which encompasses the responsibility and accountability for continuity of care across the health-illness spectrum.

Nursing research is both applied and basic and has as its core actual or potential human responses to illness and as its goal the development of nursing science.  Guided by ethical standards that consider the perspectives of the patient, the healthcare provider and the larger society, nursing has a social mission that encompasses the right and responsibility to provide leadership in health policy, as well as healthcare to all patients regardless of disease status, gender, race or culture.

People who receive patient-centered nursing care are complex individuals who exist in relationship to others in their family and community. This complexity of person involves biological, behavioral, emotional, psychosocial, cultural and spiritual dimensions. Each individual reflects a unique combination of these dimensions that interacts dynamically with the environment. The patients of nursing are autonomous decision makers who have certain values and knowledge about themselves that not only are relevant, but also essential to successful healthcare outcomes. As a result, nurses have the responsibility to protect the patient’s right to collaboratively participate with healthcare professionals involved in their care.

Successful nursing students are active learners who bring unique gender, cultural and ethnic life experiences to the professional practice of nursing and its advancement as a discipline. Students at all levels learn relevant theory, acquire practice skills and are socialized into the profession of nursing.

Increasing levels of complexity and sophistication of learning and socialization are expected of students in the different programs.  Whether at the beginning practice, advanced practice, or scholar level, nursing students learn to apply knowledge, skills and professional attitudes in their work, which may include educative, administrative and research arenas.  While students have the right and responsibility to participate in their own learning, faculty members have the right and responsibility to structure the teaching/learning environment to facilitate learning.  Individual academic counseling and a variety of one- on-one, small-group, and interactive learning formats assist students to meet program and individual learning goals.