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College of Nursing Mission, Vision & Values


The College of Nursing strives for excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research, scholarship and health services to diverse individuals, communities and populations across the life span. The college improves human health and quality of life for people in the state of South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world.


To be a national leader in accessible and quality undergraduate and graduate nursing education and be recognized across health disciplines, and to prospective students, alumni and nursing leaders as innovative scholars and researchers who improve human health through strategic partnerships and interprofessional collaboration that shapes new delivery models of quality health care and nursing education.

Core Values

We recognize leadership is derived from service to others. We are committed to creating a culture where all thrive and are supported on their own personal and professional paths toward lifelong learning, growth and leadership.

Creativity is our cornerstone to expand knowledge, develop human understanding and enrich quality of life. We believe that education and research/scholarship/creative activity reinforce one another and the best academic programs bring innovative teaching and rigorous research together.

We act with organizational and personal integrity, through honest interactions, professionalism, transparent and accountable decision-making and respect for others.

We are committed to diversity of community and ideas. We believe in a supportive, inclusive, collaborative and cohesive environment with a focus on access. We actively seek collaboration and we respect individuals with differing perspectives, backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Excellence is achieved through continuous improvement, assessment and accountability. We embrace bold action and adapt to an ever-changing environment. Individually, we are experts at what we do. Collectively, our impact is even greater.


Education of nurses and other health care professionals is essential to the health and quality of life in the state, region and nation. Education is a self-directed, yet interactive lifelong process that empowers learners to think critically and grow toward their potential as individuals and contributing members of the profession and society.

The essential components of professional nursing education include liberal education, professional values, clinical reasoning and role development. The role of faculty is to guide, direct, facilitate and evaluate learning while encouraging curiosity, creativity and independent thinking.

Undergraduate education prepares individuals for basic entry into nursing practice. This education provides the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills and pursuit of high standards in health care to influence quality health outcomes. The health science minor offers nursing and other professional students knowledge and skills to promote health, prevent disease and protect the environment.

Master’s education prepares nurses for advanced practice in nursing or for specialty areas of nursing practice. The advanced professional nursing role relies on best practices and evidence-based research with a focus on evaluation of health outcomes and process.

Doctoral education prepares the PhD nurse scholar to influence health care through leadership in education, policy, research, nursing theory and nursing knowledge development. Doctoral education prepares the nurse clinician (DNP) for advanced practice in a primary care role and to influence health policy.

The nursing curriculum is based upon the meta-paradigm of nursing, which includes the concepts of person, health, environment and nursing.

Each person is a complex and unique multidimensional being, which includes physical, psychological, sociocultural and spiritual dimensions. Person encompasses the lifespan. The concept of person encompasses individuals within families and communities as well as groups and aggregates within populations.

Health encompasses multidimensional states of developmental, cognitive, physical, psychological, social, cultural, genetic and spiritual balance throughout the lifespan. Health is a dynamic state which is individually defined within the environment.

Environment consists of dynamic internal and external factors that interact to influence a person’s health. The environment can be altered to positively affect a person’s health by changing or removing unhealthy factors and enhancing or providing health promoting resources. Persons are influenced by and responsive to their environments and can choose to alter their internal and external environments to influence their health.

Nursing is a professional way of caring which uses both art and science to respond to and interact with all dimensions of the person and the environment to provide quality health care and promote quality of life in health, illness and end of life. Nursing is concerned with human experiences and responses to birth, health, illness and death within the context of individuals, families, groups and communities (American Nurses Association, 1995). Nurses, individually and in collaboration with other health care professionals, provide optimal health care and comfort of individuals and groups through the systematic application of knowledge from nursing and other disciplines. Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is accountability for professional growth and practice, demonstration of leadership and commitment to the development and application of nursing theory, nursing knowledge and research. Life-long learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner and the discipline of nursing.

Diversity Statement

Diversity encompasses all characteristics that comprise each unique individual. These characteristics include but are not limited to socio-economic status, geographical location, cultural and educational background, gender identity, sexual orientation and overall life experience. The College of Nursing believes and embraces how diversity enhances the student learning environment and strengthens collaborative relationships. We recognize and welcome the value of diversity among nurses as well as individuals seeking to become future nurses. We regard these characteristics as important assets in creating a diverse healthcare workforce, reflective of the people nurses serve thus working to create a healthier region, nation and world.

Pathway to Premier-2030

College of Nursing Strategic Goals

To be a national leader in accessible and quality undergraduate and graduate nursing education, recognized across health disciplines and to prospective students, alumni and nursing leaders are innovative scholars and researchers who improve human health through strategic partnerships and inter-professional collaboration that shapes new delivery models of quality health care and nursing education.

Goal one

Achieve Excellence through Transformative Education.

Goal two

Cultivate and Strengthen Community Engagement.

Goal three

Foster Innovation and Increase Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.

Goal four

Be a Growing, High-Performing and Health University.