Philosophy of the Registered Nursing Program

The nursing faculty supports a program of study based on nurse caring science, derived from the following beliefs:

Human Being

Nursing student checks equipment in Human Simulation Lab.Every human being is a whole person expressed uniquely through biologic, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual aspects in constant mutual interaction with their environment(s). The human being is a unitary being, transcending any combination of aspects.


The concept of environment in nursing is used in its most comprehensive sense to include all the various contexts within which a person may be situated in at any given moment in time. Human beings experience internal environments made up of their physiology, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and values. Human beings also experience external environments-for example, physical, family, cultural, political, social, religious, legal, and work contexts to name a few.

Health and Illness

Health is ultimately subjectively defined by the holder, and reflects the individual's/family's physical, emotional, intellectual, social, developmental, and spiritual wellbeing. Health is also associated with the degree of congruence between the self as perceived and the self as experienced, a dynamic state that continually changes as an individual and family interacts with their internal and external environments. Health can be experienced as unity and harmony within the mind, body, and spirit. Illness is experienced as a state of disharmony in human environmental relationship or as a disharmony in relationship between various aspects of the self. Many aspects affect the experience of health, including genetics, age, life-style, perception of health and illness, health promotion activities, values, beliefs, and culture.


Based on the above definitions of health and illness, the nurse's role is one of being a caring, healing presence promoting wellness for human beings in their internal and external relationships with themselves, others, and their environment. We believe that optimal health is a right for all people and not a privilege. This nation's most valuable resource is the health of its people. We advocate equal access to health care, and encourage individuals/families to make autonomous and informed health care decisions.

To be a caring, healing presence, nurses have a responsibility for self-care, as well as to be knowledgeable about theories, principles, and applications of biological and social sciences. The nurse integrates multidisciplinary knowledge to promote the health of individuals/families/groups, or when necessary, to dignify death and ease the dying process. Nurses use reflective practice to improve quality of care. The following caring skills are identified as program themes: multiple ways of knowing including critical thinking, communication, management, teaching, professionalism, and nurse caring process. Caring is also expressed through curriculum threads of: pain management, pharmacology, nutrition, community, human maturation, caring, and cultural diversity. Nurses must collaborate with health professionals to provide effective health care. Patient centered care and advocacy are central to the nursing role with professional caring and ethical decision making as core values.

We believe human beings are integral with their environments, existing in a vast network of interdependent relationships within our planet. The health of individuals is directly related to the health of the various groups and communities upon which they depend and to which they belong. The role of the nurse is to promote wellness in individual, community, and environmental contexts, since these contexts must be addressed together in creating a healthy global future.

Associate Degree Nursing Practice

Nursing student checks IV in Human Simulation Lab.The purpose of the nursing program at Ohlone College is to prepare beginning registered nurses who will provide competent nursing care after licensure. Graduates are prepared to manage care for a group of clients within a variety of structured health care settings and to collaborate effectively with other health care professionals. Graduates have internalized lifelong learning through education, clinical experience, and reflective practice. In addition, the graduate is expected to engage in professional development and to nurture the development of colleagues and the profession through engagement in mentoring activities and active involvement in professional organizations. The Nursing Faculty recognizes that the Associate Degree in nursing is a bridge to advanced education and practice.

Nursing Education

Nursing education is the process by which students internalize the art and science of nursing and become contributing members to the profession of nursing. Educational experiences should be stimulating and desirable, supporting growth in learners. We believe nursing education is obligated to base curriculum decisions on realistic conceptions of nursing roles and practice as a multi-level occupation. At the associate degree level, the curriculum must provide students with caring skills and knowledge utilized in the common domain of nursing practice and evidence- based research. Prior learning achieved by some students with a health career background is acknowledged through formal procedures. The Nursing Faculty encourages life-long learning and leadership in nursing.

Teaching and Learning

Both teachers and students are engaged in a continuous process of teaching learning. Human beings have a natural potential for learning. This desire for expansion of knowledge and experience can be achieved through building upon the student's previous experience, actively involving the learner in the process, and progressing from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Significant learning takes place when the subject matter is perceived by the adult learner as having meaning. Learning is the process by which individuals evolve as they apply knowledge, attitudes, and skills through experience and reflection. The ultimate responsibility for learning rests with the learner. A variety of opportunities for application of knowledge encourages the learner to develop and apply multiple ways of knowing and critical thinking skills.

Teaching is the facilitation of learning and requires valuing the student as a person and understanding the student's learning needs. Learning is facilitated by timely feedback that is understandable to the learner. Essential to the student's ability to learn is the capacity to act on insights gained through self-reflection and a clearly understood plan collaboratively developed by the learner and teacher to meet individual learning needs. This plan includes objectives, timelines, outcomes and evaluation.

1978. Revised 1983, 1985, 1988, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2014.