Department Profile

Mission Statement

The mission of the Dordt College nursing department is to provide serviceable insight to appropriately talented persons in order to prepare them for Christ-centered nursing. This distinctively Christian nursing attends to the suffering of humanity, provides compassionate caring, and works toward the restoration of the integral wholeness established by our Creator within every human being.

Learning Outcomes

The four curricular coordinates as developed within Dordt College's Educational Framework (religious orientation, creational structure, creational development, and contemporary response) provide a basis from which the overall goals of the nursing program are hinged together.

  1. Religious Orientation
    • Christian Worldview: Articulate a reformational, Christian perspective of nursing.
    • Other Worldviews: Evaluate dominant non-Christian or conflicting worldviews regarding the nature and profession of nursing.
  2. Creational Structure
    • Theoretical Frameworks within Nursing Science: Apply prominent theoretical frameworks used to explain and guide professional nursing practice and research.
    • Preparation for Professional Nursing Practice: Incorporate knowledge-based competencies and critical thinking with the sciences and humanities to provide and evaluate holistic nursing practice.
    • Caring in Professional Nursing Practice: Integrate reformational Christian perspective within the various roles of the professional nurse and the various health care systems in a complex global society.
  3. Creational Development
    • Historical Development of Nursing
      • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical roots of nursing and familiarity with the influence of key historical figures.
      • Convey an understanding of the history and current management of health and disease within legal and ethical frameworks and various health care systems.
    • Philosophical Perspectives of Nursing: In understanding the historical context of a Christian philosophical perspective of nursing, evaluate emerging nursing philosophies.
  4. Contemporary Response
    • Leadership and Professional Development in Nursing
      • Assume an active role in practice development and leadership activities consistent with Christian professional nursing.
      • Display a commitment to personal and professional development through lifelong learning with a Reformed Christian worldview.
    • Effective Communication: Demonstrate effective avenues of communication with colleagues, individuals, families, and communities in the promotion of optimal health across the life span.
    • Health Care Technologies: Use various technological methods in the acquisition of information and management of care as a professional nurse on the health care team.
    • Appreciation of Human Diversity and Individual Needs: Display an appreciation of human diversity and world cultures while developing competency in caring for the contemporary needs of individuals, families, and communities.

Program Strengths

  • Faculty members provide diverse skills and insights, including advanced practice experience.
  • Our program's clinical coordinator ensures quality clinical experiences for our students and clinical sites.
  • Our nursing education building (renovated summer 2009) gives faculty and students ample opportunities to interact together in the gathering room, skills lab, study lounge and conference room.
  • Our B.S.N. students are eagerly sought by employers and area healthcare organizations because of their exceptional licensing preparation and their Christian professionalism.

Program Philosophy

The nursing department faculty embraces wholeheartedly the principle that the Bible is foundational to the development of a Christian educational philosophy. Moreover, it is that biblical foundation that nourishes our vision for nursing as a profession for the providing of holistic care and service to individuals, families, and communities within God's kingdom and to his world in general.

In harmony with the mission and vision of Dordt College, the nursing department faculty believe that, as God's image-bearers, persons are integrated individuals who express multiple dimensions of personhood, such as the physical, rational, faith, and social dimensions. In accord with both professional nursing terminology and the beliefs of the Dordt College nursing faculty, the bachelor of science in nursing program philosophy can be expressed in terms of the concepts of (1) individual person, (2) nursing, (3) health, (4) environment, and (5) education.

1. Individual Persons

  • The faculty believe that individual persons are integrated wholes, multidimensional beings made in the image and likeness of God, who express their personhood and their needs not only in the physical and biotic dimensions, but also in the emotional, social, aesthetic, faith, and other dimensions. Individual persons possess abilities, accumulate experiences, and develop values in accordance with their heart-direction, that is, in conformity to the central direction of their personhood with respect to their Creator. It is this central heart-direction which shapes a person's worldview and which fosters in the person an understanding of the structure and workings of God's created order.

2. Nursing 

  • Nursing is a theory and practice based profession that seeks to provide holistic care and service to individuals, families, and communities within a global society. Focusing on physical and biotic needs, nursing practice entails caring for others across diverse environments as well as promoting health and wellness in all areas of life. The successful nurse will have the insight and competence to serve the kingdom of God in a most basic manner: loving one's neighbor by healing the sick (Luke 10:9).

2. Health 

  • Health is a dynamic, ever-changing state, influenced by family and community, which is characterized by the flourishing of a person's abilities to be the servant he or she is called by God to be. Beginning with physical and biotic flourishing, health is exhibited by complex, multifaceted interactions between persons and their environment and extends beyond the physical and biotic to all other dimensions of personhood. Therefore, in addition to bodily health, it is meaningful to speak of emotional health, moral health, and the health of one's faith life.

3. Environment

  • The environment is a never-changing dynamic aggregate of factors that surround and affect individuals. These factors influence integrally both health and the perception of wellness and encompass all dimensions of the person and the rest of God's creation.

4. Education

  • The nursing faculty is committed to the educational mission of Dordt College "to develop and share serviceable insight into the meaning, structure, and development of the world God has created and graciously maintains." Education is an on-going process, enabling the development of whole persons at an advanced level of theoretical reflection and practical competence so that they may better serve their Creator in all areas of life. The teaching-learning process fosters and expands the multidimensional insight in which theory and practice are integrated within the unifying development of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and insight that will sustain lifelong, responsible, health-oriented service in God's kingdom. Professional nursing practice is obedience to God's call.