Mission, Vision, & Philosophy


Rooted in Franciscan values, the Nursing faculty engage a diverse community of students in preparation for professional nursing and lifelong learning, service and leadership.


The Department of Nursing at the University of Saint Francis will become a leader in nursing education and service, recognized nationally for academic excellence, distinguished faculty and exceptional graduates who lead the profession with vision and compassion.


Guided by Franciscan values, the Nursing educational experience at USF serves as a foundation for lifelong learning. Graduates are prepared for professional nursing practice, leadership and service within an increasingly technological and diverse world.

Learning is an interactive, lifelong process that enables the learner to think critically and creatively, and to adapt to change. Learners are active, self-directed, goal-oriented and responsible for decisions involving their own learning. Learners bring valuable knowledge and experience that is respected in the learning environment.

Nursing faculty facilitate the learning process and create a learning environment that stimulates critical reflection, and supports the strengths and learning needs of a diverse community of learners. Through an atmosphere of open communication, mutual trust, collaboration and caring, Nursing faculty promote the growth of persons toward their full personal and professional potential in a flexible, creative and technologically innovative educational environment. Faculty members are active in the scholarships of teaching, application, integration and discovery.

Nursing is an art and a science that is proactive and responsive to the needs of individuals, groups and communities across the life span in a variety of settings. An evolving science, nursing has its own body of knowledge derived from nursing practice, theory and research. Nursing care is patient-centered, utilizing collaboration with patients, families and other disciplines. Guided by evidence-based practice, the nursing process is used to assist and empower patients in health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, and management of illness and disease. Caring, as an essential and unifying concept, forms the foundation for the profession of nursing. Service to others is a critical aspect of nursing. Through the selfless giving of one’s expertise and unique self, service exemplifies the art of nursing. Through service to others, nurses engage in addressing health needs of individuals, families, groups, communities and society.

Knowledge from nursing and the arts and sciences serves as the basis for professional values, critical thinking, clinical skills and judgment required to practice professional nursing. With a commitment to legal, ethical and moral conduct, nurses are accountable to their profession, society and their patients for quality care. Utilizing an understanding of diversity and therapeutic communication to promote the dignity of all people, nurses apply knowledge, expertise, time and personal energy to help patients feel valued and worthy. Nurses promote optimal health through critical thinking, practice of independent nursing activities, effective communication, use of information and healthcare technologies, and interdisciplinary teams.

Nursing leadership is an interactive and interprofessional process directed toward mutual goal achievement and is a vital component of meaningful change. Leaders shape and improve healthcare systems by advocating for quality accessible healthcare for all people according to the principles of peace and justice. Leaders use political action to influence health policy.

People are holistic, diverse, unique and valuable creations of God who are endowed with inherent worth and dignity. People interact with their environment, demonstrating physical, mental and spiritual growth and change throughout the life cycle. Essential needs are met through intrapersonal, interpersonal and transpersonal relationships. All people have the right to acquire, understand and utilize information needed to assist them in making decisions regarding their personal health.

Health is a dynamic state in which people are able to set goals, mobilize energy to meet goals, and attain or maintain effective relationships with others. The multidimensional concept of health spans wellness to end of life, and is influenced by individuals’ perceptions, culture, values, beliefs and previous experiences.

Environment is a dynamic, comprehensive, complex and unique context within which individuals, families, groups, communities and society exist. Humans and the environment are interdependent and interactive; internal and external environments are constantly changing and affecting the human condition. The inherent relationship that exists between environment and health can be positively impacted by nursing.