Nursing

Student Learning Outcomes

To successfully complete the nursing major, each graduate will demonstrate achievement of essential nursing student learning outcomes, which includes:

  1. Professionalism: (demonstrates accountability as a life-long learner for the delivery of evidence-based nursing care. Evaluates own practice that is consistent with ethical, moral, altruistic, humanistic, legal, and regulatory principles, and utilizes self-care to practice in a mindful manner)
    • Understanding the professional standards of practice, the evaluation of that practice, and the responsibility and accountability for the outcome of practice
    • Showing commitment to provision of high quality, safe, and effective patient care
    • Implementing a plan of care within legal, ethical, and regulatory framework of nursing practice
    • Participating in life-long learning
    • Enlisting system resources and participating in efforts to resolve ethical issues in daily practice
  2. Leadership: (demonstrates leadership in the professional practice setting through accountability, influence, change management, and collaboration with others in a way that will facilitate the establishment and achievement of shared goals)
    • Explaining the importance, necessity, and process of change
    • Understanding the principles of accountability and delegation
    • Implementing change to improve patient care
    • Demonstrating purposeful, informed, outcome-oriented thinking
    • Modeling effective communication and promoting cooperative behaviors
  3. Patient-Centered Care: (enters into a holistic, compassionate, respectful partnership with the patient and family that facilitates shared decision-making, recognizing consumer preferences, values, and needs in providing age and culturally appropriate, coordinated, safe, and effective care)
    • Understanding that care and services are delivered in a variety of settings along a continuum of care that can be accessed at any point
    • Respecting and encouraging individual expression of patient values, preferences, and needs
    • Understanding how health and illness are affected by socioeconomics, culture, race, spiritual beliefs, gender, lifestyle, and age
    • Valuing the inherent worth and uniqueness of individuals and populations
    • Supporting patient-centered care for individuals and groups whose values differ from their own
  4. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP): (identifies, integrates, and evaluates current evidence and research findings coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of consumers’ preferences, experience, and values to make practice decisions for quality outcomes)
    • Describing the concept of evidence-based practice (EBP), including the components of research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient/family values
    • Participating in data collection and other research activities
    • Basing individualized care on best current evidence, patient values, and clinical expertise
    • Facilitating integration of new evidence into standards of practice, policies, and nursing practice guidelines
    • Valuing the need for continuous improvement in clinical practice based on new knowledge
  5. Teamwork and Collaboration: (practices effectively with the healthcare consumer, family, and inter-professional team(s), to build relationships and foster open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making)
    • Appreciating the importance of collaboration
    • Functioning competently within own scope of practice as a member of the health care team
    • Understanding the impact of effective team functioning on safety and quality of care
    • Valuing the creation of system-solutions in achieving quality of care
    • Contributing to effective team functioning
  6. Communication: (communicates effectively, fostering mutual respect and shared decision making to enhance knowledge, experience, and health outcomes)
    • Understanding the principles of effective communication through various means, including verbal, written, and electronic methods
    • Understanding the physiological, psychosocial, developmental, spiritual, and cultural influences on effective communication
    • Identifying preferences for visual, auditory, or tactile communication
    • Making appropriate adaptations in own communication based on patient and family assessment
    • Interpreting differences in communication styles among patients and families, nurses, and other members of the health team
  7. Systems-Based Practice: (is knowledgeable and responsive to the changing healthcare system and demonstrates the ability to access resources in a safe, effective, and financially responsible manner to provide value based care)
    • Understanding interrelationships among nursing, the nursing work unit, and organizational goals
    • Planning, organizing, and delivering patient care in the context of the work unit
    • Understanding the concept of patient care delivery models
    • Valuing the need to remain informed of how legal, political, regulatory, and economic factors impact professional nursing practice
    • Valuing effective communication and information sharing across disciplines and throughout transitions in care
  8. Informatics and Technology: (demonstrates proficiency in the use of technology and information systems to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and to support decision making for safe practice)
    • Defining the impact of computerized information management on the role of the nurse
    • Extracting selected electronic resources and integrating them into a professional knowledge base
    • Evaluating information and its sources critically and incorporating selected information into his or her own professional knowledge base
    • Applying technology and information management tools to support safe processes of care and evaluate impact on patient outcomes
    • Using and evaluating information management technologies for patient education
  9. Safety: (utilizes clinical reasoning and critical thinking that drives a culture of safety to prevent risk of harm to healthcare consumers, families, colleagues, and the environment)
    • Describing factors that create a culture of safety
    • Recognizing that both individuals and systems are accountable for a culture of safety
    • Demonstrating effective use of strategies at the individual and systems levels to reduce risk of harm to self and others
    • Valuing system benchmarks that arise from established safety initiatives
    • Participating in analyzing errors and designing systems-improvements
  10. Quality Improvement: (contributes to evidence-based nursing practice by participating in improvement strategies/processes including the use of data to design, implement and evaluate outcomes to improve the quality and safety of healthcare systems)
    • Recognizing that quality improvement is an essential part of nursing and health care delivery
    • Actively seeking information about quality improvement in the care setting from relevant institutional, regulatory and local/national sources
    • Describing approaches for improving processes and outcomes of care
    • Participating in the use of quality improvement tools to assess performance and identify gaps between local and best practices
    • Participating in the use of quality indicators and core measures to evaluate the effect of changes in the delivery of care
  11. Geriatrics: (values the unique psychosocial, physical, and cultural attributes of the older adult in order to promote healthy aging and provide safe and effective care)
    • Acknowledges the older adult’s independence and ability to self-direct
    • Identifies nursing role in advocating for older adults
    • Identifies barriers to communication with older adults
    • Assesses symptoms related to geriatric syndromes and common illnesses of older adults
    • Recognizes the importance of the interdisciplinary team in helping an older adult and/or their caregiver(s) make healthcare decisions

Adopted from Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nursing Initiative (2010), Nurse of the Future: Nursing Core Competencies and Maine Partners in Nursing (2013): Maine Nursing Core Competencies