Purpose, Beliefs, Philosophy & Professional Standards of the Nursing Division

The purpose of the program in nursing is to prepare individuals to function as entry-level LPN or RN staff nurses in primary, secondary and tertiary care, i.e. as generalists attending to illnesses that are common, recurrent and relatively predictable. Nursing graduates will be able to meet the National League for Nursing’s competencies in human flourishing, nursing judgment, professional identity, and spirit of inquiry.

Further, nursing graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX examinations for licensure as Licensed Practical and/or Registered Nurses. In addition, graduates of the associate degree nursing program are eligible for direct transfer into RN to BSN or RN to MSN Programs of study.

National League for Nursing Educational Competencies Model

The nursing program at Hagerstown Community College believes in and utilizes the NLN Educational Competencies Model (NLN, 2010) as one of the guiding forces for nursing education. The NLN seven core values of caring, diversity, ethics, excellence, holism, integrity and patient-centeredness, as well as the six integrating concepts of: context and environment; knowledge and science; personal and professional development; quality and safety; relationship-centered care; and teamwork; are all interwoven throughout the Hagerstown Community College nursing curriculum. The core values and integrating concepts all support the achievement of the four competencies defined by the NLN for graduates of Practical nursing and Associate degree nursing programs.

Competencies for Associate Degree Nursing Programs

  • Human Flourishing
    • Advocate for patients and families in ways that promote their self-determination, integrity, and ongoing growth as human beings.
  • Nursing Judgment
    • Make judgments in practice, substantiated with evidence that integrate nursing science in the provision of safe, quality care and promote the health of patients within a family and community context.
  • Professional Identity
    • Implement one’s role as a nurse in ways that reflect integrity, responsibility, ethical practices, and an evolving identity as a nurse committed to evidence-based practice, caring, advocacy, and safe, quality care for diverse patients within a family and community context.
  • Spirit of Inquiry
    • Examine the evidence that underlies clinical nursing practice to challenge the status quo, question underlying assumptions, and offer new insights to improve the quality of care for patients, families, and communities.

Competencies for Practical Nursing Programs

  • Human Flourishing
    • Promote the human dignity, integrity, self-determination, and personal growth of patients, oneself and members of the health care team.
  • Nursing Judgment
    • Provide a rationale for judgments used in the provision of safe, quality care and for decisions that promote the health of patients within a family context.
  • Professional Identity
    • Assess how one’s personal strengths and values affect one’s identity as a nurse and one’s contributions as a member of the health care team.
  • Spirit of Inquiry
    • Question the basis for nursing actions, considering research, evidence, tradition and patient preferences.

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) is one of the professional standards that help to provide a curriculum framework for the nursing program at Hagerstown Community College. The overall goal of QSEN is to prepare future nurses with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the healthcare systems in which they work. QSEN has identified six areas of competencies, each with individual knowledge, skills, and attitudes that promote quality and safety. The six competencies expected for pre-licensure nursing students are:

  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Safety
  • Informatics

The nursing program student learning outcomes are closely aligned with the six QSEN pre-licensure competencies. Please refer to the QSEN website for more information.