Marshall University School of Nursing endeavors to be globally recognized for innovative programs in nursing education, scholarship, evidence-based practice, and interdisciplinary partnerships that improve the health and well-being of the individual, family, community, and global society.


To provide quality, innovative education to improve the health and well-being of the individual, family, community, and global society.
To accomplish this mission, the SON:

  1. Maintains rigorous professional education standards through the high expectation of student learning and performance.
  2. Encourages involvement of faculty in service to the individual, family, community, global society, and the profession of nursing.
  3. Supports the engagement of faculty and students in evidence-based practice, research, clinical practice, and other scholarly endeavors.
  4. Cultivates a community that is inclusive, just, and equitable.



The person is a holistic being; an individual who is complex, dynamic, and cannot be reduced to the sum of his/her parts. Each person has values, attributes, and behaviors that are influenced by environment, culture, social norms, experiences, physical characteristics, moral and ethical constructs, and religious beliefs and practices. The person is viewed as a system interacting with the environment and developing relationships with others. The person is capable of growth and development, self-direction, change and goal directed behavior. Each person is diverse and unique in nature and should be recognized as such. Diversity may occur in, but is not limited to, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and physical abilities. Each person deserves respect and dignity.


Health is a dynamic process which has variations along a wellness/illness continuum throughout the lifespan. Wellness is the highest functional potential for holistic well-being. Illness incorporates any alteration in health which produces dysfunction or a potential alteration in the individual. Perceptions of health are determined by society and by the person. Health is influenced by heredity, environment, and lifestyle. Individuals ultimately have the right and responsibility to make decisions and set goals concerning their health.


“Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.” (ANA, 2010, p. 3) Nursing involves integration of many values including caring, diversity, integrity, holism, client-centeredness, and excellence. Caring is the essence of nursing and can be described as the act and expression of compassion and concern towards others to promote a sense of health and well-being. Diversity is integrated into nursing through recognition and acceptance of unique and individual differences and the beliefs, values, gender, race, and ethnicities among individuals and communities. Nursing practice demonstrates integrity through adherence to moral and ethical principles, respecting the dignity of others and providing honest and trustworthy care. Nursing is client-centered where the patient is the focus of care and is actively involved in the process of change to enhance health. The value of holism is integrated by viewing the individual as a dynamic being and every aspect of the human condition is considered during the nursing process. Nursing is a dynamic profession continuously striving for excellence. The practice of professional nursing incorporates a spirit of inquiry and judgment utilizing knowledge and science to help clients achieve their highest level of wellness. Nursing practice is performed autonomously and collaboratively.


Education is an interactive, life-long process, which includes formal education and life experiences contributing to self-fulfillment. Learning is fostered in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. The educational process occurs in an environment which is conducive to learning by encouraging self-direction and active student participation. Faculty members facilitate learning through the identification of content and experiences necessary for students to integrate knowledge and skills of contemporary nursing practice. Experiences are designed to address the health care needs of patients in a variety of settings.

Baccalaureate nursing education provides a general education with an introduction to multiple disciplines including fine arts, social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. Baccalaureate education in nursing is the basis for professional practice as a nurse generalist and should be accessible to traditional students and to those who have previous formal educational experiences. It also provides students with the education needed to develop critical thinking skills. Consideration is given to the needs of diverse populations of the 21st century while providing culturally-competent care in a safe, nurturing environment within a complex and changing health care system. This level of education is guided by a spirit of inquiry focused on improvement and delivery of nursing services through evidence-based practice. The professional practitioner is prepared to make critical decisions regarding health care based upon competencies and standards for patients across the lifespan, whether individuals, families, groups, or communities. An individual’s responsibility for continued self-learning, professional growth, and the advancement of nursing as a profession is fostered and expected. Baccalaureate nursing education is the foundation for graduate study.

Graduate nursing education builds upon baccalaureate nursing education. The hallmark of graduate education is the scholarly exploration of theoretical and clinical concepts. It prepares graduates to practice an advanced level of professional nursing in clinical, administrative or academic positions. Graduate nursing education provides the foundation for doctoral studies.

Approved by the SON Faculty 10/25/2022

The above philosophy was developed and revised incorporating a broad range of materials including, but not limited, to:

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2009). The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice: Faculty Tool Kit. Washington, D.C: AACN.
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2009). The Essentials of Masters Education for Professional Nursing Practice: Faculty Tool Kit. Washington, D.C: AACN.
  • American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing’s Social Policy Statement. (3rd ed.)
  • National League for Nursing. (2010). Outcomes and Competencies for Graduates of Practical/Vocational, Diploma, Associate Degree, Baccalaureate, Master’s, Practice Doctorate, and Research Doctorate Programs in Nursing. New York: National League for Nursing.​