Associate of Science Degree in Nursing

Program Overview

The LHU Nursing Program, established in 1990, offers an Associate of Science degree in nursing.  The program is designed to give you hands-on clinical experiences needed to become an excellent nurse.  In addition to your coursework, you will rotate through quality healthcare facilities, all within a reasonable distance from the campus.

Nursing students work directly with the patients, nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals in specialty areas such as mental health, medical/surgical, OB/maternal child, acute care, long term care, physician's offices, emergency room, neonatal ICU, surgical center, prison, home health and orthopedics.  This, along with rigorous classroom nursing instruction and general education courses which complement your clinical experience, will prepare you to pass state board exams.

This highly selective and competitive program limits the number of enrolled students.  It is highly recommended that interested candidates review the required prerequisites and apply one year prior to the fall in which they plan to enroll for admission consideration.

Program Philosophy

The Lock Haven University Nursing Program provides an affordable, comprehensive education to students from diverse backgrounds. It provides the skills and the theoretical background necessary to ensure graduate nurses who are capable of delivering quality nursing care to individuals and families in a variety of settings within the community.   Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is the conceptual framework that provides continuity and language for the program. The curriculum integrates three major threads throughout the program: mental health concepts, pharmacology and nutrition.  Lifespan concepts are integrated throughout the curriculum.  

The Nursing Program subscribes to the mission statement of Lock Haven University and bases the curriculum on the following beliefs about the person, environment, health, nursing and nursing education.

Person  is viewed as an intelligent being that possesses traits and characteristics that make them unique beings with personal dignity and self-worth.  Persons, as members of society, are adaptive and continually interact with their environment as they strive to achieve maximum health potential. As a person evolves through their life cycle, they use their intellect and free will to make conscious choices regarding their health needs and health care. Persons have basic human needs but may differ in culture, values, health practices and spirituality.

Environment – consists of physiological, psychosocial, cultural, philosophical, developmental and spiritual conditions and forces impacting the person’s health. Environmental conditions and forces continually change and interact, forming a complex context for nursing practice. The nurse has the responsibility to assess the environment at the level impacting the person, manage its constraints and utilize its resources to promote the health of the person.

Health – is a dynamic state in which individuals adapt to alterations in their internal and external environment; so that there is a state of physical, emotional, socioeconomic, and spiritual well being.  Health encompasses levels of wellness and illness; and nursing assists individuals when there is an alteration in their health status.  The nursing faculty believes that individuals have inherent rights to receive the appropriate health care needed to achieve their optimal health potential.  Within this context, health care is provided to assist individuals and families in meeting their basic needs in accordance with their capacity, goals and life style. 

Nursing – is an art and science characterized by critical thinking, clinical competence, accountability, and commitment to the value of caring, and interdisciplinary collaboration.  Nursing applies to persons across the life span and within various cultures.  It is based upon interpersonal communications among the individual, the family, and the nurse.  It involves assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating the human needs of the individual in health and illness.  An important part of the nursing process includes health teaching by the nurse to assist individuals in the promotion and maintenance of health.  In cooperation with other members of the health team, nursing care is delivered in accordance with the legal and ethical standards of the nursing profession and in response to societal health needs. 

Nursing Education – is the process by which the learner develops a knowledge base for nursing practice progressing from simple to complex.  This base includes knowledge and skills from nursing science as well as the humanities and the natural, behavioral and social sciences.  Faculty provides an environment conducive for integration of concepts from these disciplines to the practice of nursing in a variety of supervised clinical settings. 
The faculty believes students must be actively involved in the learning process to acquire clinical proficiency and to be socialized into professional roles.  These roles include provider of care, manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. Associate degree education is a means of preparation for these roles, and provides experience for the nursing student at the entry level.  The associate degree graduate will practice in diverse settings where policies and procedures are specified and guidance is available. 

Faculty views learning as a life-long process and subscribes to the belief of career mobility.  In accordance with this, an advanced placement option is offered to Licensed Practical Nurses desiring to obtain an associate degree.  In addition, distance education for Licensed Practical Nurses is offered at remote sites, enabling these individuals to overcome access barriers by providing a unique educational experience through the use of technology.  The nursing program also provides a foundation for further study towards a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

The Lock Haven University Nursing Program facilitates the development of skills and provides the theoretical background necessary to ensure graduate nurses who are capable of delivering quality nursing care to all individuals and families in a variety of settings within the community.