Mission, Philosophy, Conceptual Framework, and Nursing Theories
The formation of an effective curriculum is an important task for every university because it defines the experience that is gained during the educational process. The structure of the curriculum should also correspond to the standards of nursing education elaborated by the appropriate commissions and associations, which explicitly describe the necessary issues that should be reflected in the course. Thus, the paper focuses on the analysis of FIU’s curriculum and its structure, which should comply with the requirements set by the educational commissions that support the development of professional skills with the aim to deliver quality care to the patients of the diverse global environment.
The mission of the nursing school of Florida International University (FIU) is public research that is committed to high-quality teaching, collaborative engagement, and creative activity connected with the global and local communities (“Mission, vision & goals,” n.d.). The philosophy of the nursing school focuses on providing its students with the necessary knowledge using the innovative technologies and close collaboration with the other institutions that can help to improve the skills and gain adequate experience (“Mission, vision & goals,” n.d.). The conceptual framework concentrates on the establishment of the core values that are the same for both the nursing school and the university. They include the dissemination and application of the knowledge, freedom of thought, respect for dignity and diversity of the individuals, responsibility as a steward of citizenship and environment, and excellence in operational aspects, personal and intercultural issues (“Mission, vision & goals,” n.d.).
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Both framework concepts are emphasizing on the preparedness of the culturally competent healthcare professionals within the global and technological environment. However, there is also a difference between the conceptual frameworks of the university and nursing school (FIU, 2014). FIU promotes, validates, and expands scientific knowledge focusing on evidence-based practice through interdisciplinary research. The concept of the nursing school is oriented on providing more general knowledge, including the study of the greater range of subjects with the aim to form a strong basis that will help to learn specific nursing information in the future (FIU, 2014).
FIU forms its work based on the following two theories: Roger’s theory of unitary human being and the nursing process theory. Roger’s theory of unitary human being views nursing as art and science. The purpose of nurses is to ensure the well-being and health of all people regardless of their location (FIU, 2014). The nursing theory supports the view of the unitary human being that is integrated into the universe. Thus, the theory regards nursing as the study of human and environmental fields and proves that nursing depends on the external factors and amount of nursing knowledge that are an integral part of the effective practice. In turn, the nursing process theory focuses on the purpose of nurses and their responsibilities in the field. The nurses should immediately determine the needs of their patients and provide appropriate help. The crucial task of a nurse is to use intuition and insight into the situation, which will help to define the true needs of a client, and it is impossible without gaining the appropriate knowledge.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is a national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Its aim is to establish the standards for nursing education, provide assistance in the implementation of the elaborated standards, support the nursing profession with the aim to improve health care, and promote the professional education, practice, and research (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 2013). The AACN supports the development of the range of essential documents that describe the competency expectations for graduates of different degrees.
The standards that should be met by the nursing curriculum include using the consensus-based process. The crucial factor is using clinical resources and appropriate technologies to support the research and faculty practice (CCNE, 2013). Thus, the curriculum should include the disciplines that provide the students with an opportunity to learn how to use various technologies that can help to apply the gained skills in practice and define the alternative instruments to address the problematic situation. The AACN standards also focus on gaining knowledge, developing the tracking and assessing skills, and providing care over great distances. A nurse should be able to use the Internet and other innovative technologies to provide timely and quality care. Therefore, the crucial issue is teaching nurses to work in many locations and develop the skills to play a diverse role in the health care system.
Another crucial aspect of AACN is the integration of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role into the healthcare delivery system simultaneously promoting the benefits of CNL certification (CCNE, 2013). The autonomy arm of AACN is CCNE that serves the public interests through the evaluation and identification of the programs that engage the effective educational practice (CCNE, 2013).
NCLEX Preparation Knowledge and Skills
NCLEX concentrates on the collection the data from the practice analysis performed every 3 years. Besides, the test form focuses on entry-level RN practice. The results of the studies determine the contents distribution of licensure examination by analyzing the entry-level RN practice (“NCLEX Communique,” 2013). Such an approach is necessary for the performance of the newly licensed registered nurse practice that requires a specific modification of the curriculum. The list of activity statements for the exam prepared by NCLEX is developed by the Practice Analysis SME Panel with the aim to use the practice analysis survey. NCLEX is provided in the computerized adaptive testing (CAT) that are administrated by Pearson Professional Centers (“NCLEX Communique,” 2013).
The curriculum formed under the NCLEX standards should develop knowledge regarding a safe and effective care environment, management of care, control of infections, psychological integrity, parental and pharmacological therapy, and psychological adaptation. The majority of questions during the NCLEX exam concern the physiological integrity and adult medical and surgical care as well as the growth and development of children (“NCLEX Communique,” 2013). About 33% of the questions are about the safe and effective care environment focusing on the safety measures in case of injuries and safety precautions. 12 % are questions that emphasize health maintenance and promotion (“NCLEX Communique,” 2013). Next 12 % of the questions concern psychiatric problems and the peculiarities of such disorders as anxiety disorder, substance abuse, crisis intervention (“NCLEX Communique,” 2013). The above-mentioned gradation significantly helps to improve the knowledge of the students.
Curriculum Design and Factors Influencing It
The development of an efficient curriculum is a crucial task for every university, and FIU is not exclusion. The significant influence on the creation of the curriculum has specific requirements and guidelines, which are set by the AACN that also helps to acquire a higher level of accreditation (“FIU university core curriculum,” 2015). Besides, the selection of subjects strongly depends on the themes that require the NCLEX tests (“FIU university core curriculum,” 2015).
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The curriculum for foreign students is an important issue that ensures that physicians from culturally diverse backgrounds are well-educated (FIU, n.d. b). The core of the curriculum is appropriate structuring that is oriented on obtaining the BSN degree, becoming a registered nurse, and gaining the skills to be eligible to take the Advanced Registered Nurse Practice national certification exam (“FIU university core curriculum,” 2015). The curriculum for foreign students is based on the requirements of BSN/MSN programs and builds upon the skills and knowledge of the physician and social sciences from the prior BS degree requiring full-time enrollment. The curriculum is created in accordance with the 63 upper-division credits system including 46 graduate credits. It also contains the 8-semester program that combines the coursework of CNBS (“FIU university core curriculum,” 2015). The CNHS graduate nursing programs that are implemented in the curriculum are elaborated with the aim to prepare professional nurses who can coordinate, lead, and provide culturally competent, comprehensive, and high-quality health care.
Furthermore, FIU has also an online academic curriculum formed for Panther Life students (“FIU university core curriculum,” 2015). The primary goal of the Panther Life project is to develop the program for eligible students through the partnership including the well-planned, structured, and individualized curriculum (“FIU university core curriculum,” 2015). The program focuses on work with disabled students and students with limited English proficiency.
Objectives, Outcomes, and Professional, Accreditation, and Social Expectations
Nursing programs at the university derive from the vision, mission, and goals of the CNHS Nursing Unit. The objective of an undergraduate program is to utilize critical thinking and apply the knowledge from science, arts, and humanities to nursing practice using Roger’s theory. They are later supplemented by the objectives of the MSN program that are the development of the abilities to evaluate the families and groups of diverse environments and provide efficient care. The crucial factor is using appropriate teaching principles and technologies to educate clients and groups and assume accountability for the ongoing acquisition of skills and knowledge. The nursing school focuses on the same principles and prepares professionals who provide high-quality health care and have professional competence in the global environment.
The appropriate curriculum design significantly facilitates the attainment of outcomes that are based on the implementation of the quality enhancement plan of FIU which is called Global Learning for Global Citizenship (FIU, 2016). It is realized through the collaboration of all students in order to overcome global problems in and outside the classroom. It is also an impetus for the BSN organizing curriculum framework that forms under the influence of the common global concept.
Students advance through the levels of nursing specialty gaining and synthesizing nursing knowledge (FIU, 2016). The curriculum includes several levels of students’ knowledge, which significantly influences the development of the program outcomes. The first level is the study of 7 pervasive organization threads, which include communication and collaboration, genomics, safety and quality, technology, globalization, ethics, decision-making process, and cultural competence. The second level includes four vertical organizing threads: health management, global health system, evidence-based practice, and professional nursing. They are integrated into the curriculum and are identified at all levels of the program study. The vertical organization threads are depicted within the globe and comprise illness management, global health system, professional nursing, and evidence-based practice that are integrated through the levels of BSN curriculum and articulate in the logical progression (FIU, 2016).
The outcomes definitely meet social expectations and those of nursing professionals because the implemented program requires profound nursing knowledge. It relates to the health care system and includes health promotion and prevention of injuries that are the core of the accreditation standards and social demand (FIU, 2016). Students also synthesize nursing knowledge related to the global health system emphasizing health promotion and prevention of injuries of individuals and communities, which is the essence of the qualified nursing professional.
Courses Design, Outcomes and Teaching Learning Strategies
The courses are designed in accordance with the requirements set by the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and AACN that require the NCLEX tests. Such a structure proves the courses completely meet the curriculum design. Therefore, FIU’s curriculum consists of numerous courses that also include curriculum theory and describe its application in nursing education. The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the development of the curriculum in nursing. The courses in FIU are oriented on continuing education, which is reflected in the learning expectations that are achieved through the thoroughly elaborated curriculum. Numerous courses are formed with the aim to earn important credentials and certificates. A good example is MOOCs, the massive open online courses that are free for everyone on the Internet (FIU, n.d. a). Each of FUI’s online MOOCs is a self-directed version of the college-level course. These 8-hour MOOCs propose several learning academic programs at FIU and offer an introduction to online learning (FIU, n.d. a). There is also a great range of online undergraduate courses, which include communication arts that emphasize the development of communication skills required to introduce change, manage conflict, and build teams (FIU, n.d. a).
Furthermore, the outcomes include the synthesis of the knowledge of arts, natural, and social sciences as the basis for understanding the complexity of nursing in a variety of settings (FIU, n.d. a). The learning expectations are met through the support of nursing’s implementation of holistic and patient-centered nursing care. The crucial factor is the employment of effective written, oral, and electronic communication that helps to facilitate the sharing of information and interprofessional collaboration (FIU, n.d. a). The learning expectations and curriculum outcomes are also shaped with the help of the development of leadership skills and employment of the core values of the nursing practice including the performance analysis of the health policy, finance, and regulations’ impact on the patient (FIU, n.d. a).
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Teaching-learning strategies emphasize the application of the specific approach to engagement in the global learning tactic including the interdisciplinary problem-based approaches. The teachers at FIU often use traditional and authentic assessments (FIU, n.d. a). The crucial aspect is re-imagining the global learning through social media crowdsourced scientific research and citizen science. The professors do not like when their students use Wikipedia as a source of information. That is why they try to reorient the students prompting them not to depend on Wikipedia but to contribute to it instead. The important issue is teaching how to incorporate Wikipedia into the courses. Consequently, the students research their topics step-by-step focusing on the proposed by Wikipedia questions that direct the students and help to avoid plagiarism (FIU, n.d. a). The professors prefer a specific approach to teaching that makes the learning process more interesting and effective.
Comparison and Contrast
The analysis of FIU’s curriculum proved that its effectively elaborated structure helps the students to think analytically, critically, and creatively (FIU, n.d. a). The curriculum is oriented on the organization of the courses that help to express original ideas. It also represents such important aspects as golden rules, exceptions, information about the assigned advisor, academic warnings, and requirements to global learning (FIU, n.d. a). The curriculums of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Pennsylvania also have a detailed description of the courses. Another common feature is the values that are similar for all universities and that put an emphasis on the gaining of the specific knowledge and skills that would be effectively applied during the delivery of the medical help to the representatives of diverse cultures, excellence in operational aspects, and contribution to the global nursing issues. An important common factor for the curriculums of the University of California in San Francisco and the University of Florida is their strong orientation on the BSN and MSN programs.
The curriculum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa represents the information concerning the academic program and graduate study. It also includes the data about admission, program, and plan requirements, which describe the classes and represents the credits that the student can receive during their study. Thus, the curriculum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa is close to FIU’s curriculum, but it is more detailed and explicit, which helps the student to acquire more relevant information about the courses (University of Hawaii, 2016).
The University of California in San Francisco provides an appropriate educational experience designed to develop students’ knowledge and skills that are necessary for achieving their goals (the University of California, n.d.). A positive aspect that distinguishes the curriculum from those of the other universities is that it contains more detailed data because its courses are divided into seasons with the description of the skills and knowledge that should be gained (University of California, n.d.). However, the curriculum does not represent the desirable credits for the course ends. On the other hand, the curriculum of the University of Pennsylvania is close to the curriculum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa because of its more detailed description of the curriculum goals that are set for the students. However, the sector that represents the requirement concerning the interdisciplinary explorations that connect the fields of knowledge is too general (the University of Pennsylvania, n.d.).
The curriculum of the University of Florida describes all 4 years of study and every one of them is divided into semesters with explicitly described classes (the University of Florida, n.d.). The description of the third year also contains information concerning evaluation. Thus, the analysis of the curriculums showed that every one of them has a specific core, but the most similar to FIU’s curriculum is the curriculum of the University of California in San Francisco. All of the above-mentioned curriculums explicitly describe the areas that should be learned and represent the information concerning the credits that help the students to evaluate their potential knowledge and prepare better.
Evaluation and Recommendations
FIU is accredited according to the model followed by the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges that award the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees. The model is based on defining the goals that should be achieved after passing a particular course (CCNE, 2013). Thus, during the evaluation, it was concluded that the curriculum has a full scope of various disciplines that could provide the appropriate knowledge.
The comprehensive analysis of the curriculum induced several recommendations. The first is to make the curriculum more detailed in order to determine what skills will be reached after the completion of the courses and how they can be improved after finishing additional programs. The second recommendation is to form specific courses or classes, which would be based on the usage of the new technologies that could help to enhance knowledge (CCNE, 2013). Such an approach is very popular today and produces direct results. The third recommendation is to modify the curriculum emphasizing the gradation of talented and gifted students (CCNE, 2013). It is crucial to form the appropriate programs for gifted students and adequately modify the curriculum taking into consideration the strengths and interests of such students, which would help to develop specific methodology and improve productivity (CCNE, 2013).
The analysis of FIU’s curriculum proved its effective structure and numerous benefits compared to the curriculums of other universities. FIU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges and is capable of achieving the set goals after passing the course. Thus, the curriculum has a full scope of various disciplines that could provide the appropriate knowledge. However, there are also several recommendations, the realization of which would significantly improve the results, thus enhancing the skills and knowledge of the students. Consequently, international students would show the best results and gifted students would receive an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills more productively than other students did.