Educational Framework

Mission Statement

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Collaborative) program will prepare entrants to become competent and compassionate nurses to meet health concerns of individuals, families, groups and communities within a rapidly evolving health-care system. Through active engagement in a cohesive, integrated, contextually relevant, learner centered curriculum, graduates will demonstrate competence in the delivery of nursing care, including professional accountability, leadership, critical reasoning, communication and self-directed learning.

Educational Philosophy

Three philosophical pillars (learning in context, professionalization and self-direction) will guide all aspects of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Collaborative) Program. The first pillar, learning in context, refers to the opportunity afforded students to develop nursing expertise while addressing real life situations. A comprehensive, integrative design with coordinated clinical, laboratory, and classroom experiences will enable students to actively apply developing knowledge and skills within relevant patient/client care learning environments.

Professionalization is the second pillar, and key component from day one. Professionalism (including professional demeanor, conduct and communication) will be consistently demonstrated by program faculty, staff and students, in all classroom, clinical and laboratory settings.

The third pillar, self-direction, speaks to the student’s responsibility to negotiate his or her own path to success in collaboration with nurse educators.

Conceptual Framework

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Collaborative) Program is based on the four Metaparadigm Concepts of Nursing (Person, Health, Environment, and Nursing) and the core concepts for nursing practice as organized by Jean Giddens (2017) under three categories: Health-Care Recipient Concepts, Health and Illness Concepts, Professional Nursing and Health-Care Concepts.

Metaparadigm Concepts

A person is an integrated, distinct, and unique whole with biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions. Each person has inherent value, worth and dignity, and possesses the potential for self-determination and self-reliance within that person’s own ability. A person has the right to be fully informed and to make decisions and choices. Persons include clients/individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.

Health is a dynamic process of physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being. It is a resource for everyday living and is influenced by a person’s beliefs, values, attitudes, and the determinants of health. Wellness and illness are dimensions of health. Health is a separate and distinct entity that coexists with illness or injury such that regardless of the seriousness of a person’s disease/injury, health is always present in some form.

Health involves the development of person’s capabilities, capacities, special gifts and competencies (Gottlieb, 2013).

Environment is dynamic, complex, and multidimensional. It is inclusive of social and physical components; and it is the context, surroundings, setting, foci or backgrounds within which individuals interact. Persons have a relationship with ever changing internal and external environments. These environment systems interact in the ecological, societal, cultural, historical, spiritual, ethical and legal realms and influence the health of person(s).

Nursing is an evidence-informed practice profession that uses clinical judgement in the provision of care to enable people to improve, maintain, or recover health, to cope with health problems, and to achieve the best possible quality of life. Nurses work autonomously and in collaboration with others to focus on the dynamic interrelationship between persons, environment, and health in achieving health outcomes.


Nursing curriculum is defined as: “the totality of the philosophical approaches, curriculum goals, overall design, courses, strategies to ignite learning, delivery methods, interactions, learning climate, evaluation methods, curriculum policies, and resources” (Iwasiw & Goldenberg, 2015 p. 6).

The BScN (Collaborative) Program is a student-centered concept-based curriculum built around an educational philosophy which promotes contextually relevant, learner-centered programing toward professional practice, and the nursing metaparadigm concepts of person, health, environment, and nursing. These concepts provide the foundation and structure of the undergraduate curriculum. The program focuses on foundational principles and concepts that students must apply in the classroom, the skills lab, and during clinical experiences. Students acquire a deep understanding of nursing practice by making connections between concepts and practice across patient settings, the lifespan, and the health-illness continuum.

While nursing knowledge is a major emphasis, the theories of science and humanities enhance the broad knowledge base required. It is informed by evidence and grounded in nursing values, knowledge, theories and practice. The curriculum also fosters commitment to life-long learning.

The curriculum addresses health issues that affect persons across the lifespan and in a variety of practice settings. The initial focus is on the wellness continuum, beginning with health promotion and health protection, then progressing to include health maintenance, rehabilitation, restoration, and palliation. The curriculum prepares the student to understand and work within the dynamic relationships among person, health, environment, and nursing.

Contextually relevant, learner-focused opportunities are provided to enable students to acquire the competencies (knowledge, values, attitudes and skills) required for entry-level practice. Critical inquiry skills including reflection, self-evaluation, ethical decision-making, and clinical judgment are facilitated progressively throughout the curriculum. Technological competence is enhanced through use of information technologies.

The curriculum emphasizes the collaboration among students, educators, and others, e.g., health-care professionals, throughout the educational process. Interprofessional learning is facilitated through the development of professional relationships with other health team members and other sectors of society.

The program prepares students to apply beginning research skills and utilize knowledge informed by evidence. Students are prepared to advance the profession and to provide leadership in a changing system of health care.

Students will learn to identify and respond to emerging nursing and health issues through advocacy and policy development.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning are dynamic lifelong growth processes. They are reciprocal and interactive, characterized by creativity and flexibility, and meet the diverse and changing needs of the students, the nursing profession, and health needs of society.

Students, educators, and others are partners in the educational process. The educational climate fosters caring, respect for self and others, cultural sensitivity, critical thinking, professionalism, self-direction and a spirit of inquiry.

Throughout the program students are active participants, are responsible for the discovery of knowledge, and are accountable to communicate this with others. Further student responsibilities include availing of learning opportunities, seeking and utilizing feedback throughout their learning process, and integrating competencies required for entry-level practice in nursing. Students internalize the values, ethics, and behaviours endorsed in the CRNNL Standards of Practice, and understand that continued learning is essential for professional nursing practice.

Educators facilitate knowledge discovery and professional socialization by guiding, mentoring, role modeling, and challenging students to be self directed, reflective, and creative. Educators respect student diversity and support individual learning styles. A variety of strategies and supportive structures are used to foster teaching and learning and professional development of the student.

Nursing Practice

The goal of nursing practice is to assist persons across the lifespan in a variety of practice settings to achieve their perceived optimal health on the wellness continuum. Nurses assist persons to recognize and develop their capacity for self-determination and self-reliance. The provision of safe holistic care to persons requires clinical reasoning, critical thinking, technological competence, effective communication skills, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Nursing practice requires collaborative relationships and partnerships with persons, health team members, and other sectors of the community in the performance of nursing roles. Nurses also collaborate with persons in the mobilization of communities toward healthy development and capacity building. Nursing roles include direct caregiver, educator, counsellor, advocate, facilitator, coordinator of care, researcher, and leader. These roles require the nurse to be aware of the changing cultural, economic, technological, environmental, and political contexts of health care in Canada and globally. The presence of role models is essential to the professional socialization of students.

Professional standards and competencies, legal standards, and the CNA code of ethics guide nurses’ practice. Nurses are accountable to society for safe, ethical, competent, and effective nursing care. Nurses advocate for quality work environments and patient safety. Nurses practice independently and interprofessionally, advancing the profession of nursing and influencing changes in health care.


Giddens, J. (2017). Concepts for Nursing Practice. 2nd ed. Elsevier: St. Louis, MO.

Gottlieb, L. (2013). Strengths-based nursing care: Health and healing for person and family. Springer Publishing: New York, NY

Iwasiw, C., and Goldenberg, D. (2015) Curriculum Development in Nursing Education. 3rd Edition, Illustrated, Jones and Bartlett Publisher, Burlington, MA.

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Last updated: 2021-09-09