About the School of Nursing

School of NursingHistory

The nursing program at MTSU began in 1966 as a two-year associate degree program. A total of 799 students graduated from the associate degree program with the last graduating class in 1990. The present four-year BSN program enrolled students in the first junior year nursing class in the Fall 1988. The first class of 23 students graduated in May, 1990.

Nurse Reviewing Patient ChartMission

The mission of Middle Tennessee State University School of Nursing is to provide excellence in nursing education by preparing individuals to meet the dynamic and complex health care needs of society.  Through robust academic programs, the School of Nursing demonstrates its commitment to the art and science of nursing.

PhilosophyNurse Charting

The Middle Tennessee State University School of Nursing has established an operating framework with five core competencies at the foundation. These are communication, critical thinking, personal and professional relationships, the nursing process, and leadership. From this base, additional concepts emerge to provide interaction with persons, the environment, health, professional nursing and nursing education.

Communication includes all interaction, verbal and nonverbal, that occurs with an individual or the environment. Because communication is a complex process, education and experience contribute to expanding an individual's ability in this competence. Good communication involves receiving as well as sending messages. It is essential in order for any of the other competencies to be useful.

Critical thinking encompasses all forms of analysis, creativity and reasoning. It is essential for good decision-making. Although it involves some basic intuitive ability, critical thinking skills can be taught. Since critical thinking can be taught, opportunities for practice and improvement are available in a variety of settings. This skill is a cornerstone without which the other core competencies would remain at a dangerously superficial level.

Personal and professional relationships are important factors in the operating framework because they are the context in which the other competencies interact. Through the process of socialization, students learn the professional role in formal and informal ways. Experiences can increase abilities to interact with a large variety of individuals, thus enhancing relationship skills. Competency in interpersonal relationships is crucial for successful goal attainment.

Leadership is a dynamic process that includes technical skills in combination with the art of nursing. Effective leaders demonstrate all other core competencies as they guide others in the professional role. Adaptation to future trends in the healthcare system is possible through skills in management that allow for control of both material and human resources. The baccalaureate graduate is prepared to assume positions that require this important core competency.

The nursing process is the vehicle that connects and applies all other competencies. It is the profession's method of problem solving and allows for consistent, creative and skillful care. Through the nursing process, a team of concerned professionals meets individuals' needs for health and well-being.

Nurse with Mother and InfantGoals & Outcomes

  • Develop professional knowledge and skills necessary to design, coordinate, and lead within the healthcare system.
  • Utilize the nursing process as a foundation for nursing practice.
  • Communicate in a variety of media to facilitate the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and information.
  • Employ critical thinking abilities for personal and professional development and nursing practice refinement.
  • Exhibit personal and professional development responsive to changes in nursing, health care, and society.

Surgical NurseSelf-Study Reports

Surgical NurseMemberships & Collaborating Organizations

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