University of Virginia School of Nursing

Mission & Vision Statement

The School of Nursing transforms lives by promoting health and the quality of health care. We will cultivate the SON’s diverse and inclusive community of scholars and researchers; create innovative models of education and practice; and foster well-being and collegial spirit in a healthy work environment.


The UVA School of Nursing is a learning community rooted in compassion and respect. As a community of students, faculty, and staff, we value:

  • Equity: We stand firmly for equity, inclusion, and diversity and against racism and social injustices
  • Trust: We are a community of trust and integrity
  • Excellence: We pursue excellence in nursing practice and in teaching and learning. Learning is lifelong.  
  • Collaboration: We all thrive when the environment is healthy, respectful, and caring  
  • Knowledge: We are committed to advancing science and developing evidence-based solutions that improve health, health equity, and health care


The central purpose of the University of Virginia is to enrich the mind by stimulating and sustaining the spirit of free inquiry directed to understanding the nature of the universe and human existence. The philosophy of the School of Nursing is consistent with that of the University as it prepares leaders in health care.

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 (ANA, 2004). Nurses, often in collaboration with other health care professionals, promote the optimal health care and comfort of individuals and groups through the systematic application of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines.

The faculty believes that education is based on humanistic approaches that foster critical thinking and promote awareness of social and cultural diversity among individuals. The faculty views each student as a unique person with special talents, abilities, needs, and goals. Cultural diversity, varying life experiences, and changing socioeconomic factors affect each student differently. To this end, faculty endeavor to provide an environment that assists students to realize their full potential. The acquisition of professional knowledge and the development of clinical competence occur through active involvement of the student in the learning process. Students assume primary responsibility for learning, while faculty provides educational opportunities for knowledge acquisition and professional role development. We believe that an atmosphere of shared growth and inquiry offers the maximum potential for development.

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education in Nursing are basic foundations to the curriculum for both the baccalaureate and master’s entry programs and thus essential for the practice of professional nursing. This education provides the foundation for the development of professional knowledge, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, leadership skills, and the independent and interdisciplinary pursuit of high standards of health care. The Essentials of Masters Education in Nursing build upon baccalaureate foundations and provides the basis for advanced generalist preparation for the nurse to provide point-of-care clinical leadership or for advanced specialist preparation. Master’s specialty education prepares the nurse with strong critical thinking and decision-making skills for advanced practice in acute and primary care as well as psychiatric-mental health or for specialty practice in the areas of systems management and public health leadership. The Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice prepare nurses to be advanced scholarly clinicians through the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The PhD in Nursing degree prepares nurses to be researchers. Both doctoral-prepared scholars will be able to influence health care through leadership in education, policy, practice, research, and knowledge development.

Implicit in the practice of professional nursing is accountability for professional growth and practice, demonstration of leadership, and commitment to the development and application of nursing theory and research. Life-long learning leads to the optimal development of both the individual practitioner and the discipline of nursing.

The revised School of Nursing mission was approved by the School of Nursing faculty on January 28, 2013, and the philosophy on May 13, 2013. The revised values were approved on November 22, 2021.