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Nursing at EMU

Mission & Philosophy

Mission statement

Eastern Mennonite University’s Nursing Department offers accredited degrees in nursing. The department aims to prepare competent, professional baccalaureate and master’s prepared nurses from a Christian-Anabaptist perspective. The department fosters leadership in its students, preparing them to serve compassionately in diverse and changing socio-cultural settings locally, nationally and globally.


The nursing program is based upon Christian-Anabaptist faith beliefs, as well as the Standards for Baccalaureate and Masters Education established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and is consistent with EMU’s mission and vision. This philosophical statement identifies the major underpinnings for the program and the nursing department’s philosophy of education.

Christian perspective

We encourage students to adopt a Christian philosophy of nursing, which incorporates the following approaches to caring:

agape love

Nursing in the global environment

We view the environment as including both natural and sociocultural systems. Health care systems are especially important components of the environment. Nursing is understood by considering role functions, various processes nurses engage in, Christian approaches to caring, and professional responsibilities. The discipline of nursing is best built upon knowledge from the natural and behavioral sciences and the liberal arts.

What does an effective nurse do?

  • thinks critically
  • feels deeply
  • communicates clearly
  • interacts meaningfully
  • assumes responsibility
  • acts morally
  • approaches clients within a partnering framework
  • understands that people’s needs vary with developmental stage and cultural background
  • views people holistically, recognizing that health encompasses both wellness and illness

Therefore, preparation of the professional nurse requires the development of both intellectual and affective capacities.

Our graduates

Graduates of the EMU Nursing program are generalists, prepared to function as beginning practitioners in a variety of settings, working with individuals, families, or groups of clients. Graduates are self-directed and engage in continual learning and development. They are accountable for their own actions but work collaboratively with clients, other health team members, and communities within which they practice.

As professionals, they seek to improve health care by involvement in church, community, political, and professional organizations and activities. They also have the prerequisite background for graduate study. The responsibilities of nurse care givers require validation of adequate preparation for practice. Our graduates are ready to take state licensure examinations.

Our program’s educational environment

A number of foundational beliefs underlie the educational environment we seek to create.

  • Personal growth is essential for professional growth.
  • Interdependence in relationships with faculty facilitates this growth.
  • Teachers must provide honest feedback within a supportive framework.
  • The learning process is strongest when student involvement is high, the goals of learning are clear, and the student has the opportunity to practice desired skills.
  • Different students learn more easily by different methods; therefore, the educational experience should incorporate a variety of methodologies.

Our program goals

  • Promote the development of a covenantal faculty student relationship that facilitates and promotes personal and professional growth by providing support, honest feedback and consistent challenge.
  • Provide faculty advising that is respectful, available, and cognizant of individual student needs and capabilities and assists advisees in exploring career goals and advises accordingly.
  • Provide learning resources to support effective learning.
  • Provide a learning community in which students are active participants.
  • Facilitate an educational process that retains students with the capacity to become excellent generalist practitioners and assists students unable to meet the mastery requirements to transition successfully to a different major.
  • Promote a learning environment in which faculty, staff and students are respectful of the diverse beliefs held by the members of the learning community.
  • Provide learning experiences that will prepare graduates for success on NCLEX RN.

Further information about our program’s philosophy

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