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Southern Vermont College - Division of Nursing


The mission of the Nursing Division of Southern Vermont College is to provide entry into the profession of nursing by offering career mobility through associate and baccalaureate education. The associate degree program prepares individuals to enter the field of nursing as novice technical nurses, while baccalaureate education provides an opportunity for registered nurses to practice as professional nurses. The Division strives to educate students in the art and human science of nursing in an environment which emphasizes caring, praxis and holism. The programs promote knowledge development, skill acquisition, legal and ethical values and experience through practice.


The Nursing Division believes that nursing is an art and a human science that is based on the moral ideal and value of caring (Watson, 1979). Nursing is involved in human interactions which assist in the fostering of health and wholeness (ANA, 2004: Chinn & Kramer, 2004). Caring provides a foundation for nursing practice as it sets priorities and fosters a connection between nurse and patient and provides for giving and receiving assistance (Benner & Wrubel, 1989). The definition that the Nursing faculty has developed for caring includes thoughts and actions characteristic of concern for the well-being of patients including sensitivity, comforting and attentive listening (Mosby, 1998). Caring also includes being present for patients and clinical competencies which develop over time through observation, reflection, using interpretive skills and practice (Sadler, 2003; Benner and Wrubel, 1989).

Nurses provide care for patients in the context of their environment. The individual and the family are the focus of associate degree nursing care, while the baccalaureate student expands his/her perspective to include the group and community. The individual is seen as greater than a sum of their parts, which include biological, sociological, psychological and spiritual components. Each patient is unique deserving of respect and nursing care. The Nursing Division recognizes that the environment does not just relate to the physical space but includes the type of setting in which care occurs.

The Nursing Division recognizes that the restoration and preservation of health is the primary focus for nursing. Health exists independently from disease and is a dynamic process which is defined by each individual.

The Nursing Division believes that nursing education is also based on caring. In addition, nurses must possess the knowledge, skills, values and experience to successfully practice nursing (Webber, 2002). Praxis is used by the Nursing Division to provide an overarching theme which elevates the knowledge, skills, values and experience that the student obtains during the course of the program. Praxis is defined as a "value-grounded, thoughtful reflection and action that occurs in synchrony (Chinn & Kramer, 2004)." The Nursing faculty consider praxis to be the integration of critical thinking and therapeutic nursing interventions based on a foundation of caring.

To achieve the aim of educating technical nurses who possess the knowledge, skills, values and experience necessary, the Nursing faculty provide personalized learning environments and small classes. A strong liberal arts and science background provides the foundation for knowledge development. Knowledge of nursing and appropriate application of therapeutic nursing interventions provide the foundation for their practice. The educational preparation of these students includes a focus on the development of psychomotor skills and sound critical-thinking skills with classroom and clinical activities designed to promote acquisition of those skills. Students are afforded opportunities for personal expression with the expectation that graduates will be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing. Through service-learning experiences, students are given opportunities to develop a sense of community and a commitment of service to others. Values inherent in nursing and society provide a foundation for practice.

Knowledge development in the baccalaureate program is enhanced through an exploration of the theoretical basis of nursing practice and research. Inquiry in this area enables students to further develop their critical-thinking skills. Communication skills, both orally and in writing, are refined throughout the program. The concept of service learning is enhanced at this level with students having opportunities to assume leadership roles, responsibility and accountability while making contributions to the community. Value exploration and clarification provides a basis for professional practice. Experience is gained in a variety of settings which serve to broaden students’ scope of practice. The baccalaureate degree provides opportunities for students to enter professional practice and prepares them to assume leadership roles in the health care field as clinicians and managers or as graduate students.

The Nursing Division believes that teaching and learning are collaborative, communicative processes which foster inquiry, dialogue, self-knowledge and evolution of thought. It endeavors to create a caring environment in which to provide the knowledge, skills, values and experience needed for successful nursing practice. The expectation is that graduates are capable of fulfilling their inherent potential both personally and professionally, through the educative process and become lifelong learners.


A student who has already completed an associate degree in Nursing prior to initial matriculation at SVC and has a current RN license, can complete the baccalaureate Nursing and core requirements for a BSN in two years going full time. A student must complete all the degree requirements for the ADN and an additional 51 credits to complete the BSN degree and must take a minimum of 39 of the 51 credits at SVC.

School name:Southern Vermont College - Division of Nursing
Address:982 Mansion Drive
Zip & city:VT 05201-6002 Vermont

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Southern Vermont College - Division of Nursing Courses

The first class in the baccalaureate program, Topics in Professional Practice, offers students the opportunity to explore current issues effecting professional nursing practice. Knowledge development focuses on the components of a profession, the relevance of research and theory, the legal and ethical influences on nursing practice and principles of teaching and learning. Skill acquisition includes the enhancement of critical thinking and oral and written communication. Values central to nursing are discussed through readings, reflective exercises, writing, discussions and presentations. Students develop the knowledge, skills, values and experience to begin to develop a professional nursing practice.

A significant and growing number of Americans utilize one or more modalities of complementary or unconventional therapies as their primary health care or to augment their allopathic (traditional Western) medical care. This course examines the principles, practices and outcomes of complementary and alternative therapies (CAM). It provides an overview of the broad range of CAM therapies, reviews selected systems of alternative healing and focuses on specific healing modalities that are widely used in the general population. Emphasis is placed on evidence-based criteria to evaluate the risks and benefits of selected therapies. The integration of alternative and conventional therapies are examined with attention to positive and negative therapy interactions, importance of alternative therapy history, and ethical, legal, and professional issues. Topics include the mind-body-spirit connection, herbal remedies, energy modalities such as Reiki or Therapeutic Touch, massage, shamanism, nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, aromatherapy and prayer.

The purpose of this course is to introduce nursing research to the baccalaureate student. Knowledge development in this class focuses on developing an understanding of research methodologies, the theoretical and philosophical paradigms that underpin research methods and the components of a published study. Skill development includes the ability to retrieve, critically evaluate, and communicate research findings. Students explore the legal and ethical issues related to the conduction of research. The experience gained in this course will enable the student to critically read, evaluate, and apply research findings to professional nursing practice.

The focus of this course is to build on the assessment skills students have developed through prior course work and nursing practice. Knowledge development in this course integrates the social and natural sciences including anatomy and physiology. Theory content will include discussion of the client in both the well and ill states, and the practice component will primarily focus on the well person. Emphasis throughout the course will include the need to assess the interrelationship of systems both within the individual and with her/his environment.

This course will provide opportunities for students to obtain the knowledge, skills, values and experience necessary to provide nursing care to families, groups, aggregates and communities. This course examines theoretical and clinical aspects of community health nursing practice including viewing families, groups, aggregates and communities as the client. Through inquiry, dialogue and reflective practice students will learn to care for a variety of populations and learn to employ processes and interventions typically used in community settings. In addition, students will analyze current issues in community health. The clinical component of this course is an opportunity for students to explore various facets of community health nursing practice and apply the nursing process in community settings. The clinical component includes 90 hours in a community setting which is arranged by a collaboration between the student and faculty. 4 credit hours of classroom (offered in a low-residency format) and 2 credit hours of clinical (90 hours of clinical per semester).

This course offers students opportunity to examine access, cost and quality across a variety of health care delivery systems. For knowledge development, students consider current health care issues that may serve as barriers to accessing health care and selected health care delivery systems in acute, subacute and long term and home care. The concept of continuum of care is discussed. The application of case management across selected systems is included. The course provides students an understanding of health care financing including Medicare, DRGS, PPS, RUGS, Med icaid and other managed care and third party payor arrangements. The application of quality improvement, regulations and performance improvement standards is examined. Skills in critical thinking and oral and written communication are further developed during this course. Throughout the course, the values of nursing in the promotion of access, controlling costs and assuring and improving quality is emphasized. Clinical experience provides an opportunity for the development of a caring and reflective professional practice.

Leadership is the capstone course in the baccalaureate degree program and provides the opportunity for students to explore the components of leadership in nursing. Knowledge gained in this course will be related to management theory and an analysis of the function of leadership in professional nursing. In this class, students are poised to assume professional roles and responsibilities with skill attainment that includes praxis, critical thinking, communication, leadership and delegation. The values that have been spoken about throughout the program such as caring, professional behavior, accountability and collegiality are emphasized. The course will discuss aspects of leadership, which can be demonstrated through clinical practice, research, advanced practice, education or political and professional activism. The clinical experience permits the student to integrate theoretical with experiential knowing and assume the role of a professional nurse.

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