Nursing Program Purpose/Mission

“The mission of the MSU Billings COT Nursing Program is to prepare qualified nurses for entry level positions to meet community workforce needs.”


The philosophy upon which the Nursing Program is based considers the patient as a holistic being having physical, emotional, socio-cultural, cognitive and aesthetic needs.  It is our philosophy that healthcare is administered in a holistic manner.  This empowers the patient to continually strive toward a healthy adaptation to their ever-changing environment.  Nursing process and critical thinking are the foundations for nursing practice and these principles are emphasized throughout the curriculum.

The philosophy of the nursing department encompasses the faculty’s beliefs regarding

  • Health
  • Nursing Practice
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Nursing Education

The faculty believes health refers to a combination of the absence of illness, the ability to cope with everyday activities, physical fitness, and quality of life.  In any organism, health can be said to be in a “state of balance” or homeostasis.  This balance affects each patient in the four dimensions of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Health is influenced by internal and external factors.  Each patient defines health as a state of being in relation to their own values, culture, personality, and lifestyle.

The goal of nursing practice is to promote, maintain, and restore holistic balance as perceived and valued by the person, family, or community.  Nursing practice is a caring process guided by concern for the person and preservation of human dignity.  Functioning as a healthcare advocate for the patient and his/her family in our complex healthcare system is an essential role for the beginning student in nursing.

Nursing education is a dynamic and life-long process of acquiring knowledge, skills and values in the art and science of nursing.  Learning is a teacher/student partnership in which the instructors structure and facilitate optimal environments to support student achievement.  The student is a partner who is ready and willing to learn, and accepts accountability for his/her educational outcomes.  Nursing education guides and encourages caring behaviors, preparing the students for their ever-changing role in nursing practice.

The faculty believes practical and professional nursing practices are an integral part of the nursing workforce.  Each functions within the ethical and legal framework of the Nurse Practice ActPractical Nurses provide nursing care for clients in structured healthcare settings who are experiencing common, well-defined health problems.  In their roles as members of the discipline of nursing, practical nurses actively participate in and subscribe to the legal and ethical tenets of the discipline.  Practical Nurses provide care under the supervision of registered nurses, physicians, osteopaths, podiatrists, and dentists.  They participate in data collection, communicate information within the chain of command, and implement nursing interventions based on established care plans.

The role of the Associate of Science Registered nurse graduate is to provide direct care to clients, individuals, or groups, in a variety of structured settings with clear policies and procedures.  Within this context, the faculty believes that the role of ASN is to practice as provider of care, manager of care, and a participating member within the discipline of nursing.  The ASN is prepared to prioritize care by assessing the evolving needs of individuals, groups and families.  The ASN utilizes critical thinking to modify the nursing plan of care.  They manage, delegate, and supervise other health team members, forming collaborative relationships with a therapeutic goal.

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