The Associate Degree Nursing Program operates within the framework and endorses the mission of Walla Walla Community College by providing an opportunity for students to discover their potential and achieve their goals. The mission of the Associate Degree Nursing Program is to promote the art and science of nursing by developing professional, caring and competent nurses who are dedicated to enhancing the wellness of a culturally diverse population.

Students enter the Walla Walla Community College Associate Degree Nursing Program with diverse backgrounds. Nursing education is a progressive process that allows students multiple entry and exit options. Through the educational process, students are socialized into the profession of nursing. At the completion of the Associate Degree Nursing Program, the graduate is prepared to perform in entry-level nursing positions in a variety of health care settings.

Nursing practice is an art and science based upon the foundational concepts of caring for ones-self and others, thinking skills, professional behaviors and cultural awareness. Nurses provide the best possible clinical care when their nursing practice is evidence-based and patient centered. Nurses practice in a variety of settings to promote, maintain and/or restore the client's health as well as provide end-of-life care.

Critical thinking is the foundation of the program of learning. Nurses must be able to think critically to problem solve and to identify the best solution to meet a client's needs. The nursing process is the approach to critical thinking endorsed by the profession and it is one way critical thinking is actualized in the curriculum.

Caring is the essence of nursing. Caring encompasses those attitudes and interventions that assist the client to move toward a desired outcome. Nursing practice provides service to society through caring behaviors for individuals of all ages, families and groups. Each individual or family is viewed through the concept of wholeness, which is complete only when the physical, psychosocial, cultural and spiritual dimensions are considered. Nursing interventions may be nurse initiated, physician initiated, or collaborative.

Professional behaviors are characterized by accountability and responsibility for competent nursing practice. Nurses practice within legal, ethical, and regulatory frameworks of health care and must adhere to the standards of nursing practice. Professional behaviors demonstrate awareness of the impact of economic, social, cultural, demographic, and political processes upon healthcare and nursing practice. The graduate collaborates with peers and other health care team members to meet client needs that exceed the graduate's current level of knowledge or experience.

Learning is a dynamic, interactive process that is accomplished best when a mix of cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills is provided in the program of learning. The faculty prepare students for life-long learning to meet the continually evolving nature of nursing practice and the health care delivery system. Faculty function as learning facilitators, professional role models and evaluators of student performance. Current practicum knowledge and expertise is essential for faculty to be competent in the classroom and practicum settings. Faculty maintain professional relationships within the academic community at WWCC and the health care community at-large.

Program Outcomes

  • Seventy percent (70%) or more of students who enter the program will earn an Associate level in nursing within three years of enrollment in the first nursing course (150% of the stated nursing program length).
  • Graduates will achieve a pass rate on the NCLEX examination at or above the national mean pass rate for first time takers.
  • Ninety percent of the Nursing graduates will be employed in nursing and/or enrolled in a bachelor's degree program six months after graduation.
  • Graduates will rate overall program satisfaction greater than or equal to 2.5 on a 1-4 point scale.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate critical thinking in the use of the nursing process.
  • Demonstrate use of management/leadership principles in the delivery of client care.
  • Perform interventions in a safe and effective manner.
  • Use therapeutic communication.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors.