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Nevada State College emphasizes caring in revamped nursing curriculum

Nevada State College is hitting refresh on an online program that provides advanced training for nurses.

The school has rolled out a revised curriculum — rooted in Dr. Jean Watson’s theory of human caring — for the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing online degree program.

“This developed more out of the need to adapt the movement toward nurses being with their patients as opposed to just doing for their patients,” said LaTricia Perry, director of the School of Nursing. “We want our students to meet their patients where they’re at and get back to connecting on a holistic, personalized basis as opposed to having someone just hooked to a machine.”

Perry said coursework will now reflect principles developed by Watson, a professor at the University of Colorado’s College of Nursing and advocated through the nonprofit Watson Caring Science Institute. Watson’s theories are centered on returning to the roots of nursing, where “caring, compassion and loving-kindness” are the guiding principles. The first course, the Theory of Caring Science, introduces students to this theory.

The school’s shift in philosophy launched with the start of the first seven-week summer term on May 8, but the changes were three years in the making.

Dr. Neal Rosenburg, dean and associate professor for the School of Nursing, began planting seeds when he arrived at the school three years ago, Perry said.

“We didn’t have any idea where it would go,” she said. “But the faculty embraced it. We want to own it and make it come to life here at Nevada State College.”

Rosenburg agreed.

“This isn’t just about developing a revised curriculum,” he said. “It starts with the faculty. We live this theory and philosophy.

“We’re seizing the opportunity to have a place at the table, and bring the humanness back to the delivery and co-creation of care.”

Contact Natalie Bruzda at nbruzda@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3897. Follow @NatalieBruzda on Twitter.

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