Montana State University-Northern
Department of Nursing

Contact Us

Department of Nursing
P.O. Box 7751
Havre, MT 59501-7751
FAX: 406.265.3772

P.O. Box 1144
Lewistown, MT 59457
406.535.5575 x13

ASN Mission Statement (March 2014)

Our mission for the ASN Program is to provide our novice nursing students with a high quality nursing program that challenges them both personally and professionally in a variety of collaborative clinical settings in the community. We enhance our student’s learning within a student centered and culturally enriched environment and prepare the student to be an advanced beginner in the profession of nursing.

RN to BSN Completion Program Mission Statement (March 2014)

The mission of the Montana State University-Northern RN to BSN Completion Program is to offer an online nursing program of professional development which assists the RN to grow personally and professionally. The RN to BSN courses build on the student’s knowledge and experience as a registered nurse, enhancing skills in community health, research and leadership roles as she/he moves along the practice continuum from advanced beginner/competent to expert.

RN to BSN Completion Program Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Utilize critical thinking to make clinical decisions to assist individuals, families and communities in obtaining optimum levels of health.
  2. Deliver safe, evidence-based, patient-centered care with sensitivity and respect for the diversity of human experience.
  3. Integrate leadership principles and information technology while incorporating knowledge, skill and quality improvement to provide safe care to individuals, families and communities.
  4. Exhibit professionalism by assuming leadership positions, participating in professional organizations and demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning.
ASN Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Utilize the nursing process to guide clinical decisions when providing safe, patient centered care.
  2. Provide safe, evidence-based, patient centered care to diverse patient populations.
  3. Utilize information technology to manage knowledge, plan patient-centered care and communicate effectively with patients and healthcare professionals.
  4. Portray professionalism, respect diversity and practice ethical behavior while maintaining accountability and patient confidentiality.
Department of Nursing Philosophy

We believe:

Professional nursing is a practice-based discipline which incorporates knowledge from the humanities, and biological, psychological, social and physical sciences with nursing knowledge and theory to provide optimal health care to individuals, families and communities. Professional nursing practice utilizes the nursing process, critical thinking and clinical decision making skills, cultural awareness, therapeutic communication and evidence-based practice measures in a collaborative nurse/patient relationship to promote desired health outcomes across the lifespan.

Both a sound educational base and a multitude of experiences are needed to develop expert nursing practice. Professional nursing faculty are collaborative partners in the learning process by being resource persons, motivators, and facilitators of experiential opportunities which assist students to meet specific educational goals and optimize achievement of each learner's potential growth.

Department of Nursing Organizing Conceptual Framework

Our organizational framework and concepts of people, environment, health/illness and nursing reflect the Department of Nursing’s philosophy correlates with our Department of Nursing’s mission as well as the mission of MSU-Northern. Concepts related to AACN’s BSN Essentials (, QSEN ( ), Benner’s Novice to Expert Nursing Theory and Malcolm Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory are used to guide the development of program outcomes, course objectives and student learning outcomes. Our organizational framework is a guide for the selection of content and meaningful student learning experiences for our curriculum.

The four major concepts of our nursing curriculum are PEOPLE, ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH/ILLNESS and NURSING:

People are unique, multifaceted beings, who have inherent dignity and worth, and are capable of making their own health care decisions. An individual is a blending of body, mind and spirit who adopts values and attitudes which influence life experiences, health and quality of life. Initial exploration of basic nursing care with regard to caring for individuals throughout the lifespan occurs in Level I. Level II continues with more intensified focus to alterations in health status for individuals, families and groups throughout the lifespan. RN to BSN nurses explore care of individuals through the life span, families and groups with regards to evidence-based practice.

People enter the health care setting from environments that consist of both internal and external factors. The internal environment includes the individual’s biophysical and psychosocial states. The external environment includes relationships and communications among significant others, families and communities. People are in constant interaction with those environments. The interactions between people and their environments affect human health/illness states.

Health and illness are actual and perceived dynamic states. Health includes the ability to use one’s own powers to the fullest in the pursuit of chosen life-goals. Illness includes deviations from the usual or perceived health status or the presence of personal or environment deficits. The concepts of health and illness and their common variations/deviation are introduced in Level I. Level II concepts focus on increasingly complex acute and chronic needs related to health and illness and their more complex variations. The RN to BSN program addresses higher acuity health/illness, more rigorous use of evidence-based practice, and health care theory and practice for groups and communities.

Nursing is an art and a science. Nursing is a profession that encompasses the personal values and competencies of patient-centered care and clinical decision making. The essence of nursing is to provide evidence-based care with sensitivity and respect for the diversity of the human experience. Nurses develop critical thinking skills while performing patient-centered care. Nurses advocate for self, patients, and families while promoting health, wellness and personal growth. Nurses demonstrate professional behavior by assuming ethical behaviors and having regard for differing values, cultures and religions.

Nursing knowledge and practice must be guided by theory and research. Professional nursing practice encompasses patient-centered care utilizing teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety and informatics. The curriculum incorporates knowledge from general education and fundamental nursing courses to enable students to progress from core to complex nursing courses and concepts. The clinical components of our curriculum provide opportunities for students to gain experience in a variety of acute, chronic, and community-based care settings and exposes them to the diverse cultures within our communities

The BSN graduate is prepared to advance through the practice continuum from an advanced beginner/competent nurse to an expert nurse by practicing the nursing profession in both structured and unstructured settings. The BSN prepared nurse is able to detect and implement use evidence-based research findings is an effective manner to improve patient care.

Nursing education is a process of lifelong learning that provides students, guided by faculty, with opportunities to use knowledge from the humanities, the behavioral and physical sciences as well as evidence based nursing literature to develop clinical decision making strategies. Faculty and students utilize health care information systems and technology to inform their practice of nursing

Faculty are responsible for the quality of the education and the promotion of safety and competence as students move through the novice and into the advanced beginning stages of nursing practice. The student-faculty interactions provide the student with guidance and skills for forming collaborative relationships with the patient, families and health care team members.

Nursing education should provide students with the incentive to engage in continued inquisitiveness and lifelong learning.

Definition Of Concepts Governing the RN-BSN Completion Program

Nursing Process and Clinical Decision Making: The nursing process is the systematic framework for problem solving, It consists of five steps: assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. The nurse uses the nursing process and critical thinking to make clinical decisions

Patient Centered Care: The nurse provides care that is respectful of the patients’’ values and desires. Patient centered care includes collaboration with the patient and family in the decisions about their care, process for their care, resulting in greater patient satisfaction.

Evidence Based Practice and Research: Nurses make decisions about how to promote health or provide care by integrating the best available evidence. Evidence is the result of research findings derived from the systematic collection of data and the testing of hypotheses.

Communication, Collaboration and Teamwork: Communication is the process of exchanging information and can be nonverbal, verbal, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. It also consists of documentation shared among the health care team. Multidisciplinary approaches to patient centered care are necessary to create an environment of healing and health promotion.

Safety and Quality Improvement: Quality improvement is a continuous process in which the health care professionals and industry work together to prepare nurses who have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the health care systems within which they work, in order to produce higher quality patient centered care. Quality assurance includes the provision that services meet appropriate nursing standards.

Informatics and Technology: Nursing informatics and technology are an integral component of the communication process and are used in the didactic and clinical courses to obtain evidence based research. Electronic health records are an integral part of providing patient care, acquiring patient history, and communicating with health care industry.

Professionalism and Professional Behaviors: Nurses are responsible, accountable, self-directed and professional in behavior. Nurses validate professional behavior by demonstrating ethical behaviors, conducting themselves as role models and patient advocates, treating others with dignity and respect, demonstrating regard for differing values, cultures and religions, maintaining patient confidentiality and value lifelong learning.