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The purpose of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Jefferson Community College is to provide a curriculum that includes liberal arts, science, and nursing education courses which will prepare men and women to practice as Associate degree nurses upon successful completion of the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses.


The Nursing Department of Jefferson Community College is committed to providing communities with excellent, caring, professional nurses at the Associate Degree level. Our graduates will be prepared to engage in critical thinking, interdisciplinary collaboration, and building community relationships. The graduate nurses of JCC will be recognized for their high quality dedication to the profession of Nursing.


The Nursing Department of Jefferson Community College will be an examplar of excellence among Associate Degree Nursing Programs.


The philosophy of the Nursing program reflects the overall mission and goals of Jefferson Community College. The Nursing faculty seeks to prepare its students to practice holistic, evidence based nursing care of clients across the life span in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing health care environment. The Nursing graduate will be prepared to function collaboratively as a member of the interdisciplinary health care team.

The faculty believes nursing is the art and science of caring for individuals, their families, and the community. To be prepared to deliver quality care, the nurse must possess a strong scientific background, engage in critical thinking, have knowledge of sociocultural theory, and practice therapeutic communication. Because the profession of nursing is an evolving, dynamic environment, students and graduates will need to engage in lifelong learning.

The nursing faculty will facilitate the learning process by utilizing Benner’s Model of Novice to Expert. This model will assist students in acquiring knowledge and skills over a four semester Nursing sequence and complete the program as an expert graduate nurse.

Conceptual Framework

The faculty has adopted Patricia Benner’s Model of “Novice to Expert” as the conceptual framework for the Nursing program at Jefferson Community College. Utilization of this model provides for a strong relationship between nursing theory and practice. In addition, foundational courses within the program employ Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a conceptual basis for care planning and problem solving.

Within this framework, we define four paradigms of Nursing that are the basis of the program of study. These are: human beings; environment; health; and nursing practice.

Human beings are defined as individuals who are capable of conscious and organized thought who have inherent physiological and psychosocial needs. These individuals are not predefined but get defined in the course of living a life, where the mind, body, and spirit are integrated as one.

Environment is believed to be the context in which human relationships occur. Environment is viewed throughout the curriculum to include personal, social, national, and global dimensions, physical, psychosocial, cultural diversity, historical development, economic and political aspects are considered in each dimension. The concept of holism and human development are integrated across the curriculum. Holism includes the biological, psychosocial, social, cultural, spiritual, and intellectual aspects of human beings.

Health, a dynamic process, is the synthesis of wellness and illness and is defined by the perception of the client. It is defined as the experience of wellness and the experience of illness or loss/dysfunction that can be mediated by caring relationships. Stress can create a disruption in wellness and coping can restore the balance based on the individual experiences.

Nursing practice is the development and progression of the student nurse through study and clinical practice. The learner role include student, scholar (expert learner), and beginning researcher. The clinical role of caregiver includes critical thinker, teacher, collaborator, and patient advocate which allows the student nurse to progress from novice to expert clinician. The nursing role also involves moral/ethical and professional dimensions.

Novice to Expert theory in the Nursing program at Jefferson Community College.


Novice nursing students have no experience of the situations in which they are expected to perform. To give them entry to these situations and allow them to gain the experience necessary for skill development, students are taught about situations in terms of objective attributes. Features of a task can be recognized without situational experience. Nursing students must be given rules to guide their performance.

NUR 111, Nursing 1: Basic Needs is where novice nursing students are taught objective attributes such as weight, intake and output, temperature, blood pressure, pulse and other measurable parameters of a patient’s condition.

Advanced Beginner

Advanced beginner nursing students can demonstrate marginally acceptable performance and have experienced enough real situations that recurring components are meaningful. Aspect recognition is an appropriate learning goal for the advanced beginner. Nursing students in this stage are able to integrate attributes but treat all attributes and aspects as equally important.

NUR 112A, Maternal/Newborn and NUR 112B, Medical/Surgical I are both courses where aspect recognition is a learning goal. Students are guided through setting priorities, so that students begin to perceive recurrent, meaningful patterns in their clinical practice.


The competent nursing student is able to establish a perspective and the plan of care is based on considerable conscious, abstract, analytical contemplation of the problem. The competent nursing student lacks speed and flexibility but is able to cope with and manage the many contingencies of clinical nursing.

NUR 231A, Medical-Surgical Nursing II provides the student with conscious, deliberate, structured planning that helps achieve efficiency and organization. Students develop long-term goals for clients expanding the attributes of current to future situations.

NUR 231B, Psychosocial Nursing provide student expansion of application in the use of the nursing process to treat people with actual or potential mental health problems or psychiatric disorders. Students continue to promote and foster health and safety, assist people to regain or improve their coping abilities, maximize strengths, and prevent further disability. Focus on nursing care which promotes and supports the emotional, mental and social well-being of the client and family while experiencing stressful events as well as clients with acute or chronic mental illness.


Proficient student nurses understand a situation as a whole because they perceive its meaning in terms of long-term goals. The proficient student nurse learns from experience what typical events to expect in a given situation and how plans need to be modified in response to these events.

NUR 232, Medical-Surgical III provides the student with more complex patients. This allows the student to utilize previously learned aspects and apply those to more critically ill patients. Students are able to prioritize, analyze, plan and evaluate patient responses. The use of case studies enhances their ability to grasp the situation and share situations where they felt successful and thought their interventions made a difference.


The expert student nurse no longer relies on concrete rules to complete his or her understanding of the situation to an appropriate action. The student is able to zero in on the accurate region of the problem without wasteful consideration of a large range of alternative solutions.

NUR 234, Seminar in Nursing is a capstone course which allows Nursing students to qualitatively explore issues related to morality, ethics, legal responsibilities, legislative concerns, nursing research and educational development. Students write their own contracts which allow them to explore aspects of the profession.

The Nursing faculty realize that graduating as an “expert student nurse” does not infer that a graduate is an expert nurse. Nursing graduates are prepared to begin their careers as novice graduate nurses in the clinical realm.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Associate Degree program in Nursing, the graduate will be able to:

  1. Practice concepts of learned attributes to care for patients at all developmental levels.
  2. Utilize the nursing process to meet the caring needs of individuals experiencing an illness or loss/dysfunction.
  3. Utilize effective communication skills when interacting with health team members, clients, families and peers.
  4. Demonstrate competency in performing technical skills for clients.
  5. Practice as a team member in collaboration with other health team members.
  6. Create an environment for health teaching for individuals seeking to restore balance.
  7. Maintain ethical, legal, and professional responsibilities with the Registered Nursing scope of practice.
  8. Identify and embrace characteristics of a lifelong learner.
  9. Utilize theories and/or concepts of science, liberal arts and nursing to provide holistic care.

The circles of Novice to Expert overlap realizing that Nursing students will bring a variety of skill sets to the program. As students' progress through the 4 characteristics, the theoretical knowledge level and clinical practice, the student will assimilate the attributes of each level with a goal of “expert” nursing graduate.

The 4 paradigms of nursing are the definitions and conditions of nursing. Human beings can be the client and family. Environment includes the interface of the client with their surroundings. Health includes the dynamic state of the client including wellness and illness. Nursing is defined as the intervention of clients in the environment to achieve a balance of health.

The integrated concepts are attributes that a nursing student will utilize to assist the client to achieve the balance.

This Conceptual Framework is a dynamic model with the levels of Novice to Expert, paradigms of nursing and integrated concepts flowing freely which allows the nursing student to achieve his or her highest potential.