Transforming nursing and healthcare as leaders in advancing excellence in nursing science and education contributing to clinical excellence and optimization of health and health equity.


Rutgers School of Nursing is a national and global leader in nursing education, research, and scholarship and an innovator in advancing health care that contributes to improved quality of life, health outcomes and health equity. We lead the nation in nursing education, research and scholarship. We are recognized for our culture of respect and inclusivity and pursuit of equity and social justice.


The faculty has a set of beliefs regarding the metaparadigm concepts of the discipline: humans, the environment, health, and nursing. These beliefs as well as those regarding education and care quality, provide the foundation for the organizing framework for the undergraduate and graduate curricula and underpin our graduates’ reputation as resilient, skilled practitioners and researchers who contribute to high quality, safe, equitable, holistic and person-centered care. The philosophy of Rutgers School of Nursing reflects the principles of the faculty and gives direction to the curricula of the baccalaureate, the master’s, and the doctoral nursing programs, as well as to the continuing education and educational opportunity fund programs. The school philosophy and goals are consistent with its mission statement.


Nursing is the professional discipline of caring based on evidence drawn from nursing science. It both a science and an art. The profession, discipline, and science of nursing build the capacity of individuals, families, populations, and communities for health and well-being throughout the life course.

  • Nursing science is an organized, discrete body of knowledge derived from research and scholarship comprising paradigms, frameworks, and theories that describe, explain, and predict phenomena related to the metaparadigm concepts of nursing.
  • The art of nursing is human connectedness manifested through compassionate concern and openness, which enables the nurse to become aware of the unique values, interests, priorities, and needs of individuals, families, and communities.

The nurse uses the knowledge from both the science and the art of nursing to practice person-centered, evidence-informed individual and population care to promote the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities and to lessen the burden of disease and mortality associated with social inequalities. Practicing in a society, characterized by increasing social and cultural diversity, and at times division, requires that nurses work in collaboration with other professions, respect cultural differences, and recognize the right of choice regarding health care decisions.

The practice of nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Nurses practice in a variety of settings from primary health promotion to the provision of supportive and palliative care.

Nurses use a broad range of health technology, information technology and skills in enabling individuals, communities, and populations, including assessing and triaging acute, chronic, and wellness needs; care planning, monitoring, and coaching; providing self-management support; educating and supporting caregivers; and coordinating among medical, community, and social resources. Nursing has an active and enduring leadership role in improving the health of the public and ensuring accessible, safe, quality primary, secondary, and tertiary care for all. To achieve these goals, nurses must be advocates and champion for social justice and health equity by influencing and promoting change across, health, social, economic, political systems. 


Humans are biological, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual beings who have the capacity for growth. They are affected by their environments and possess the ability to change or adapt to these environments.

  • Biological. Human development is shaped by genetic endowment; conditions in utero; and experiences at home, in the neighborhood, at work, and in the broader society throughout the life course.
  • Psychosocial. Individuals are also shaped by the historical experiences of their sociocultural group(s) and present life conditions that impact on their worldview and interactions with others. Timing of life transitions and events affect an individual’s development and life potential in different ways.
  • Cultural. Nurses help build human capacity for self-empowerment and self-advocacy by respecting a person’s unique background and experiences and by providing care with cultural humility to accommodate differences, negotiating with the established social hierarchy of various groups and advocating on their behalf for public policy.
  • Spiritual. Nursing actions are informed by the spiritual values and practices of human groups and social realities affecting their circumstances in the broader society.

Nursing advocacy requires a compassionate understanding of how human diversity is affected by the assumptions and preferences of health professionals, organizations, and the dominant society. Understanding and respecting individual difference builds human capacity for negotiating these distinctions as well as self-empowerment and self-advocacy.


Nurses assist individuals, families, and communities to draw on their resources from their physical, social, and cultural contexts of human life — all of which are intimately linked and can promote or diminish health — to create healing, establish equitable environments and maximize human and community potential.

  • The physical environment is comprised of geographic location, climactic, temporal, and situated resources; technology and technological resources; and the built environment, all of which affect quality of life, access to services, safety, and the health of the population.
  • The social environment refers to human-designed structural arrangements and policies in society that stratify groups of people, which may affect their status and position within the social hierarchy as well as their opportunities in life.
  • Cultural environment is the constellation for the values, meanings, beliefs, philosophy, spirituality, and morality that evolves from prolonged experience within specific environmental contexts.


Health is a multidimensional and complex phenomenon influenced by biological, developmental, cognitive, behavioral, political, economic, environmental, spiritual, social and cultural factors.

  • Optimal health is a resource that may further capacities while poor health may diminish one’s capacity.
  • Humans biologically incorporate their social and physical worlds; thus, health status is determined by the structural inequalities that create variant exposure, susceptibility, and resistance of individuals through the life course.
  • Health disparities is defined in Healthy People 2020 and 2030 as “… a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with economic, social, or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater social or economic obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic -status, gender, age, or mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion”. Reduction of health disparities is best achieved by actions and decisions that improve the social determinants of health in communities through broad-based partnerships and collaboration, not only among multidisciplinary professionals, but more importantly with lay communities and institutions.
  • Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment. Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.”
  • Advocacy, empowerment, and transformative partnerships are needed to promote health equity. Achieving health equity and social justice entail development and implementation of social policies and programs that support healthy environments, safe neighborhoods, and broad access to quality health services.
  • Quality improvement of programs and services are inherent in effective capacity development.

Nurses can participate in a range of roles through direct care provision, communication with and coordination of the interprofessional team, involvement in institutional/organizational and professional association committees, and as community members. In fact, the expectation is that nurses will expand their roles beyond patient care and redefine interdisciplinary collaboration to include a wider network of professionals such as government officials, civil society, school personnel, prison staff, occupational health, private industry, and other partners outside of the clinical setting.


Nursing education is grounded in liberal arts; behavioral, biological, and social sciences; humanities is the foundation for nursing education, which is a humanistic-practice-based discipline. Learning and education are interactive and transformational processes. Education is a lifelong pursuit and is aimed at developing optimum potential of the learner. It should include empowerment to practice at the highest level of nursing, as supported by research, scholarship and devotion to clinical practice. Professional nursing education is informed by the concept of health; is individual and communal in scope; and focuses on wellness as a guide for the development of the learning experience. Educating students and nurses to practice in increasingly complex and diverse settings requires not only theoretical and clinical expertise but also an atmosphere of caring, support, cultural humility, and mutual respect based on innovative and novel learning models inclusive of interprofessional learning experiences.

Rutgers University School of Nursing is committed to creating and cultivating an environment that is not only equitable and diverse but is also actively anti-racist and anti-biased in our institutional practices classrooms, curricula, and daily interactions. Nursing faculty are responsible for the creation and maintenance of a learning environment that fosters free, respectful and open interaction and stands against racism and hate in all its forms. Educational practices, rooted in philosophy, learning theory, and empirical studies, foster the integration of varied learning strategies that support creative and critical thinking. Educational delivery at all levels must incorporate learning strategies to facilitate different learning styles, evidence-based clinical knowledge, and research with effective communication and leadership skills. Excellence in scholarly activity, service, and educational best-practices are the hallmarks of nursing education.

The School of Nursing educational programs are congruent with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing vision for nursing education at both the entry-level and advanced-level of nursing practice. Entry-level education Entry-level professional nursing education is provided at the baccalaureate-degree level. Advanced-level nursing education occurs in master’s and doctorate degree nursing programs.

Key Goals

At Rutgers School of Nursing, all of our efforts flow from and point toward excellence in five key focus areas — education, research, service, practice, and leadership. Continue reading to learn more about how we integrate these principles into everything we do.

» Uphold Rutgers School of Nursing’s reputation as a leader in best educational practices and an innovator in preparing students for practice within complex and changing systems to improve the health of the populations served.

» Create a student-centered learning environment that is responsive to changing educational and socio-political trends, and also develops nurses who see themselves as leaders in health care systems, policy, etc.

» Integrate innovative teaching and learning strategies that promote learning responsive to the needs of diverse populations and health care settings for our students, clinical partners, faculty, and community clients.

» Provide leadership and participation in collaborative, inter-professional education (IPE).

» Provide excellence in research and scholarship that contributes to the health and well-being of diverse populations.

» Foster research initiatives that generate, test, and refine disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary or inter-professional knowledge and also inform health policy at the local, state, national, and global levels.

» Design interventions that reduce inequities, enhance patient safety and quality outcomes, promote health and comfort and reduce suffering.

» Articulate areas of research concentration that reflect faculty expertise and scholarship and help advance the national health agenda; signature areas for research include patient and person-centered care, self-management, and symptom management.

» Develop strategies that increase team research including participation of clinical faculty, students, other disciplines, and community partners in ongoing research activities.

» Expand areas of expertise and influence in selected research methodologies, such as systematic reviews and community-based participatory research.

» Contribute to the body of knowledge in areas of patient centered care, self-care management, and symptom management.

» Become the “go-to” School of Nursing for expertise and influence in unique research methodologies such as systematic research reviews and community-based participatory research and use of large datasets for population health improvement.

» Develop collaborative partnerships with New Jersey communities and health professional scholars to improve care outcomes and enhance educational opportunities for students within a variety of practice settings.

» Foster collaborative research opportunities for students and faculty to contribute to improving cost effective, high quality, patient/person centric health care outcomes for all.

» Partner with health care settings to design educational and research experiences that enrich the environment of care and foster curriculum innovation.

» Provide leadership at the local, national, and global levels that ensures the public has access to quality, safe, and cost-effective health care.

» Maintain and expand access to clinical services through the Federally Qualified Health Center, Rutgers Community Health Center.

» Integrate ethical principles that ensure the rights and privileges of all humans to health care that is sensitive to preserving the human dignity of all persons.

» Explore the impact of social determinants of health on health and wellness of populations served in community-centered practice.

» Leverage the School of Nursing’s strengths to create positive change in health care delivery, health policy, and population health outcomes.

» Develops and implements evidence-based leadership in order to lead change.

» Demonstrates leadership in inter-professional practice and education. 

» Foster workforce and team engagement through demonstration in research and clinical practice.