Nursing Philosophy

The faculty of the nursing programs support the mission and philosophy of the university which aims to educate persons who will become concerned and enlightened citizens committed to a spirit of Christian service and social justice. The mission of the supporting congregation of the university specifies a commitment to the economically poor and underserved. The nursing faculty attempt to operationalize this philosophy through our approach to both nursing education and nursing practice, by preparing individuals for professional nursing at the generalist and the advanced levels, and by the generation and application of nursing knowledge to improve health outcomes.


The fundamental aspects of professional nursing practice are: the care of sick patients across all environments, the promotion of health, and population-based health care. Nurses function in four primary roles: providers of patient-centered care, patient health and safety advocates, members of health care teams, and members of a profession. As providers, nurses emphasize caring as a means to assist individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations to develop the skills and abilities necessary to achieve or maintain health. The need for nursing arises when individuals, families, groups, communities, or populations are unable to adequately meet their own health care needs because of insufficient knowledge, skill, interest, or resources. Nurses help through caring relationships, direct intervention, collaboration and coordination with family members and other health care providers and professionals, and political advocacy and participation in professional associations. Nurses are concerned about the environment in which care happens and how the environment influences health.

As a profession, nursing derives its mandate and reason for existence from the larger society that has needs that change over time. As members of a profession, nurses work to challenge social inequities influencing health, and to shape health policy. We believe that professional standards guide the education of our students and the practice of nursing.

Patients/Clients of Nursing

Individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations are the patients/clients of nursing. Individuals possess inherent dignity and worth because they are created by God. They are composed of spiritual, psychological, physical, and sociopolitical dimensions. Individuals and families are responsible for creating meaningful lives for themselves and their communities.

Health and Illness

Health is defined as harmonious functioning of the spiritual, psychological, physical, and sociopolitical in individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations. The collective experience of individuals and families influences the health of the community. Advances in science and technology along with quality improvement and advocacy contribute to the health of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.

Illness is the actual or perceived disharmony of these dimensions that leads to a sense of alienation, loss of self, and loss of social integration. Disharmony in individuals may result from disease processes, genetic vulnerabilities, or specific experiences. Communities that are unable to effectively function and meet the needs of their members may be considered unhealthy. To properly understand the experience of health and illness it is necessary to be aware of the social, cultural, political, economic, ethical, and religious factors which influence human life.

The Education of Nurses

We believe that professional standards guide the education of our students in all our programs and the practice of nursing. Therefore, the minimal preparation for entry into professional nursing practice is a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Nursing programs must facilitate the educational progress of registered nurses whose prior education and experiences provide a sound foundation for educational mobility.

We believe role development is an essential aspect of nursing education. Personal and professional standards, values, and ethics are incorporated into role development and professional performance. Nurses work interprofessionally in bringing about system changes in a variety of healthcare settings, particularly those systems that serve clients with health disparities in all age, ethnic and cultural groups with a preferential option for the economically poor. Further, professional nurses need to demonstrate personal and professional commitment to the advancement of nursing, be eligible for national certification, and be dedicated to lifelong learning.

Through nursing education, students are helped to further develop these qualities and to fully embrace the discipline of nursing. They become increasingly responsible for their own learning, reflective self-evaluation, a commitment to advancing our respected profession, and to the ethical principles and values that nursing ascribes.

Approved by Nursing Faculty Organization (NFO) April 27, 2020

Nursing Accreditation

The University of the Incarnate Word Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions baccalaureate nursing program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and the baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice programs and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at UIW are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.