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Nursing Department

The Georgia Highlands College Nursing Department reflects the mission statement of Georgia Highlands College. The curriculum is designed to produce a competent entry-level graduate nurse who demonstrates professional behaviors, interpersonal communication skills, assessment skills, clinical decision-making skills, caring interventions, teaching and learning capabilities, and collaboration skills when managing care for clients. The curriculum emphasizes an education based on the collegeís student learning objectives which promote diversity in a technologically enhanced environment to include distance learning delivery methods.


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Contact Information

Address: Georgia Highlands College - Heritage Hall - 415 E. Third Ave. at Glenn Milner Blvd - Rome, GA 30161
Telephone: 706-295-6321

History of the Nursing Department

The associate of science in nursing degree (ASN) program opened in 1971 at the campus of Floyd College. The nursing department has been part of the college since 1971 beginning at the Floyd county campus in Rome. The first class of 28 graduated in June, 1973. The National League for Nursing (NLN) gave initial approval of the program in June 1974 and full approval on April 16, 1976. Since then, more than 3000 students have graduated from the ASN Program. Graduates have consistently performed above the state and national average on the licensure examination for Registered Nurses and are currently practicing in a variety of health care settings. Reorganization of the College in 1993 placed the Nursing Department under a newly created Division of Health Sciences along with the Dental Hygiene Program. The Department of Nursing was relocated to Heritage Hall in downtown Rome, Georgia in 1995. Changes in the nursing curriculum are on-going to keep pace with the current changes in health care and to insure a reality-based education for the graduates. There is a traditional ASN as well as LPN and Paramedic to RN bridge programs. The associate degree nursing program is accredited by the ACEN www.acenursing.org through fall of 2016 and has full approval from the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBON) through December 31, 2016.† In May 2011 the Board of Regents approved a mission change making GHC a state college becoming a limited mission four-year institution.††In June of 2012, SACS approved Level II status for Georgia Highlands College, allowing the institution to begin offering four-year degrees. The Georgia Board of Nursing approved implementation of the BSN in March 2013. †The RN-BSN program was approved by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) for candidacy status in December 2013 through fall 2015 and by SACS in June 2014.The first BSN students will graduate in December 2014.

Accreditation

The ASN program has full approval by the Georgia Board of Nursing, Agency member of the NLN Council of Associate Degree Programs, and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, Phone: 404-975-5000, Fax 404-975-5020, http://www.acenursing.org
Last approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing; February 2005. Last approved by the ACEN on†July 2008.

In May 2011 the Board of Regents approved a mission change making GHC a state college becoming a limited mission four-year institution.† In June of 2012, SACS approved Level II status for Georgia Highlands College, allowing the institution to begin offering four-year degrees. The Georgia Board of Nursing approved implementation of the BSN in March 2013.† The RN-BSN program was approved by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) for candidacy status in December 2013 through fall 2015 and was approved by SACS effective June 2014. The initial site visit for accreditation of the BSN program is scheduled for fall 2014.

Philosophy

The philosophy of the Georgia Highlands College Associate Degree Nursing Program is congruent with the philosophy of Georgia Highlands College to maintain a teaching/learning environment which promotes inclusiveness and provides educational opportunities, programs and services of excellence in response to identified needs. The Georgia Highlands College Nursing Program was established in 1971 based on the identified need to provide a two-year nursing degree for the citizens of Floyd County and surrounding communities.

The ASN curriculum provides a strong educational basis to prepare graduates to take the licensure exam for an RN and practice as a beginning level professional nurse. The faculty is dedicated to preparing Associate Degree nurses who are competent, caring professionals who possess effective communication skills. This is congruent with the core components and competencies as outlined in the Educational Competencies for Graduates of Associate Degree Nursing Programs provided by the Council of Associate Degree Nursing Competencies Task Force and the National League for Nursing with support from the National Organization of Associate Degree Nursing. The ultimate goal of nursing education is to prepare students for employment as competent, registered nurses who are qualified to enhance client movement along the continuum to their optimal state of wellness or health. Specific emphasis is placed on assisting clients related to identified community health risks and common conditions.

The faculty believes that a competent nurse is one who possesses nursing knowledge, assessment skills, teaching skills, and critical thinking skills to assist clients throughout the life span to promote and maintain wellness. A caring attitude is considered by the faculty to be respectful, empathetic, and sensitive. This means that the nurse exhibits nurturing, protective, compassionate, client-centered behaviors. Professionalism is a key component of nursing. Nurses are expected to demonstrate accountability for their own behaviors while adhering to the American Nurses Association Standards of Professional Nursing Practice and the Code of Ethics for Nursing. Effective communication is the foundation for developing therapeutic relationships for the purpose of providing patient care and collaborating with other members of the health care team. Communication is defined as having both oral and written components and includes the critical thinking skills involved in comprehending and interpreting the written word.

In developing a professional nurse, the faculty believes that learning begins in a supportive, caring environment. Learning is a dynamic process that involves acquisition of skills, attitudes and values which are achieved by changes in patterns of thinking and behavior. The faculty believes learning is best achieved when concepts progress from simple to complex utilizing a variety of teaching methods and principles of adult learning where students take responsibility for their own learning. Success in learning is enhanced by role modeling and mentoring. The frequent individual interactions between faculty and students offer opportunities for students to learn professional roles. The faculty acknowledges preceptorship as a valuable learning tool. Preceptorship experience gives the students an opportunity to apply knowledge, utilize research, enhance technical skills and participate in the reality of nursing practice.

Georgia Highlands College recognizes the skills and knowledge of LPNís and paramedics to build upon previously learned content and advance into a higher degree program. The associate degree nurse is prepared to function under the guidance and supervision of the baccalaureate or advanced degree nurse. The faculty believes that nurses with baccalaureate, masterís or doctoral degrees provide leadership for complex health care, research, and management of the client in the community. Articulation is valued by the faculty in an effort to facilitate nursing career mobility and graduates are encouraged with faculty support to return to higher educational programs to complete undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.

ASN Mission Statement

The Georgia Highlands College Nursing Program reflects the mission statement of Georgia Highlands College. The curriculum is designed to produce a competent entry-level graduate nurse who demonstrates professional behaviors, interpersonal communication skills, assessment skills, clinical decision-making skills, caring interventions, teaching and learning capabilities, and collaboration skills when managing care for clients. The curriculum emphasizes an education based on the collegeís student learning objectives which promote diversity in a technologically enhanced environment to include distance learning delivery methods.

Application of these principles is illustrated by the educational objectives for the ASN program:

  1. Graduates will assess the physical, developmental, emotional, psychosocial, cultural, spiritual and functional needs of clients and provide caring interventions to meet the identified needs.
  2. Graduates will demonstrate effective oral and written communication.
  3. Graduates will utilize therapeutic communication and caring interventions to provide client-centered nursing care.
  4. Graduates will demonstrate critical thinking when making clinical decisions while providing direct care to clients, implementing a comprehensive plan of care and managing care for a group of clients.
  5. Graduates will demonstrate therapeutic interventions when providing direct care to clients to maintain wellness as well as to care for clients with commonly recurring, predictable problems and common complicated medical-surgical and mental health (psychiatric) conditions utilizing a variety of health care delivery systems.
  6. Graduates will demonstrate professional behaviors by practicing accountability while practicing within the legal, ethical and regulatory framework of nursing practice as well as incorporating an awareness of current trends and issues.
  7. Graduates will collaborate with other members of the health care team and access community resources to act as a client advocate to facilitate achievement of optimal health.
  8. Graduates will function in beginning RN positions in their employment, providing health care for clients of all ages.
Page last updated: September 10, 2014