Mission, Philosophy and Purpose

The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing accepts and upholds the mission of the College in providing flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adult learners. As such, the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing mentors believe that independent and self-directed study in a mentored, online environment is the hallmark of the academic programs offered to students by the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing. In this learning environment, the student, as an adult learner, interacts and collaborates with mentors and peers to create and enhance a dialogue within a community of learners. Through this innovative approach to programming, the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing assists in shaping the nursing profession by preparing nurses who are clinically competent and technologically adept to assume leadership positions in nursing.

The mentors believe that attainment of the baccalaureate degree is essential to the ongoing process of professional nursing education and development. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, building on the prior education and experience of the student, prepares graduates to practice nursing in a variety of settings and roles and provides a foundation for graduate study and lifelong learning. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in a diverse, technologically challenging and global healthcare environment as educators and practitioners, and for advanced study and lifelong learning. The Graduate Nursing Certificate program offers opportunities for advanced specialized study to master’s prepared nurses seeking additional opportunities in nursing.

The mentors believe that nursing is a dynamic profession which provides an essential service to society. As such, nursing is engaged in multilevel roles and relationships and is accountable to society for its role in improving the health status of the community. Nursing is practiced with respect for human dignity and individual differences. The art and science of nursing requires the ongoing application of specialized knowledge, principles, skills and values. As a distinct body of knowledge, nursing builds upon theories from various disciplines and works collaboratively with other professions to enhance the health status of individuals, families, groups and communities.

The mentors view the client as an open and dynamic system with unique psycho-physiological, spiritual and socio-cultural characteristics. Within this system, the client interacts with the environment and experiences varying states of health. Health is described as a dynamic process fluctuating along a wellness-illness continuum. Nurses assist clients to function and effectively adapt to the environment along that continuum. The environment encompasses numerous factors which affect the development and behavior of clients. These factors have an impact on the client’s ability to function and maintain optimal health status. Nurses, through the systematic use of the nursing process are responsible for the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health.

The mentors are committed to the belief that the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing must: utilize a teaching learning process based on the principles of adult learning; demonstrate effective design and delivery of educational experiences in varied learning environments; provide for collaboration and collegial interaction among staff, mentors and peers; effectively link theory, practice, research and technology; and extend its reach to people of diverse ethnic, racial, economic, and gender groups.

Through mentors' beliefs and contributions to the ongoing development of caring, competent, informed, ethical and accountable nurses, the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing strives to play an influential and positive role in helping to shape the future and practice of professional nursing.

Purpose and Goals
In keeping with the mission of the College and the commitment to providing high-quality education to address the needs of the greater community, the purpose of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing is to provide high-quality nursing education programs that meet the needs of RNs and the healthcare community, and the standards of the nursing profession.

The goals of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing are to:

  • Prepare graduates to assume leadership roles in a diverse society and changing healthcare environment
  • Provide nontraditional nursing education programs that meet the needs of adult learners
  • Provide a foundation for advanced study and lifelong learning