The mission of the Wharton County Junior College Associate Degree Nursing Program is to prepare graduate professional nurses to use clinical judgment to provide safe, evidenced-based, and patient-centered care for the benefit of the community.
The WCJC ADN program supports the mission of Wharton County Junior College by providing
a quality nursing program in a learning-centered environment to meet the educational
needs of students in our service and surrounding areas. Successful completion of the
associate of applied science degree curriculum leads to acquisition of the skills,
knowledge and attitudes necessary for employment, thereby helping to meet the health
care needs of the diverse community served by WCJC. The faculty is committed to promoting
the development of qualified students prepared for the professional role as a registered
nurse at the entry level. The faculty places a high level of importance on strategies
designed to increase graduation, employment and licensure rates of its program’s graduates.
Nursing is a theory-guided, evidenced-based discipline, which builds on a foundation of knowledge from the biological, social and behavioral sciences. The curriculum is concept-based, directed toward the competencies needed to provide patient-centered care for an aging and diverse population in complex environments that increasingly require interdisciplinary teamwork, leadership, use of quality improvement, informatics and technology. The graduate of the WCJC ADN program is prepared to meet the differentiated essential competencies (DECs) at the associate degree level as defined by the Texas Board of Nursing in four major roles: member of the profession, provider of patient-centered care, patient safety advocate, and member of the health care team. Core values of caring, ethics and integrity support the program’s integrating concepts (patient-centered care, teamwork & collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety and informatics) and lead to the main program goals of quality of life, clinical judgment, professional identity, and spirit of inquiry.
Learning is a continuous process that occurs when the individual is challenged and motivated to enhance personal knowledge. Teaching and learning are interactive processes between faculty and students. The responsibility of the faculty is to facilitate the student’s development of clinical judgment skills through the design and evaluation of learning experiences and access and use of resources. The nursing student is responsible for actively participating in learning experiences and assuming responsibility for their own learning and accountability for their actions. Learning is a dynamic process based on life experiences, readiness to learn, and the ability to learn. Students apply what they learn in theory to their client situations and gain new insights. Faculty incorporate evidence-based teaching such as; increased contact between students and faculty, cooperation among students, active learning, prompt feedback, high expectations, and respect of diverse learning styles. Experiences in simulation with a strong debriefing component compliment clinical education and allow students to experience high-risk, low volume situations in a safe environment.
The curriculum is conceptually based and founded on principles of adult and collaborative learning. The curriculum emphasizes deep learning about the discipline’s most central concepts rather than content, which leads to the student’s ability to develop habits of thought and pattern recognition. The student develops a deeper understanding of prevalent health care conditions and situations across the lifespan. Learning activities designed by faculty promote student engagement, self-assessment and self-directed learning. Developing clinical judgment results from understanding of both professional and health care concepts. Reflective practice, evidence-based practice, ethical practice, cultural competence, inter-professional collaboration, and therapeutic communication and relationship skills are essential components of clinical learning. Opportunities are provided for students to engage in interactive and collaborative activities with their peers that contribute to better learning outcomes and development of higher order thinking skills.
The faculty values lifelong learning by offering multiple entry points into the ADN program and encouraging progression to the BSN and MSN levels. The faculty is committed to removing barriers to academic progression and making pathways seamless, building on previous knowledge and competencies already achieved. Graduates are encouraged to continue their personal growth by continuing their professional education. To facilitate a smooth transition to higher education, the faculty strives to establish and maintain articulation agreements with institutions of higher education.