Nursing - Program Descriptions

Program Descriptions

    The nursing program is organized into two (2) major components:

  • Pre-requisites (which comprise general education courses, with a focus on biological and social science courses)
  • Nursing courses

Students who have an active and unencumbered Washington State LPN licence MAY apply to go directly to the 4th quarter of the program.

    The nursing courses are further organized into three (3) distinct areas: nursing theory, skills laboratory, and clinical rotations.

  • The theoretical portion of the nursing curriculum presents concepts and knowledge essential to the practice of nursing.
  • The skills laboratory portion of the curriculum allows the development of manual skills required for nursing practice.
  • The clinical rotation portion of the curriculum provides the opportunity to apply both theoretical knowledge and skills in the direct care of clients and includes a service-learning project. Simulations conducted in the nursing lab are considered a part of clinicals.

The six (6) quarter sequence of courses provides for progressive development of knowledge and skills.

During the first three quarters, students learn basic nursing science and practice basic technical and interpersonal skills in providing care to 1-3 clients whose health/illness problems are stable and predictable.

The last three quarters focus on the assessment and intervention processes for clients experiencing unstable and unpredictable illness states, with health care needs of increasing acuity. The emphasis is on problem solving and managing the care of groups of clients.

The curriculum is designed to provide the student with a theoretical framework on which to base nursing interventions and a way of processing information to arrive at competent decisions, as well as competence in manual skills basic to nursing practice.

    Implementation of the nursing curriculum is based on the following principles:

  • Courses and topics of study are designed so that the student moves from the simple/basic aspects to the complex/more difficult aspects.
  • The sequence of topics among nursing courses and between nursing and related science courses is planned to correlate as much as possible.
  • Courses are structured to provide didactic instruction, skills laboratory and simulation, exercises, seminars, small group discussions, and direct clinical practice at the high level of correlation.
  • Learning expectations are structured by program design and consistent use of theory and laboratory objectives.

The Nursing Process

The nursing process is a systematic problem-solving process that requires the use of decision-making, clinical judgment, and other critical thinking skills to assess, identify and prioritize client problems, to assign nursing diagnoses with measurable outcomes, to plan care systematically, and to implement and evaluate the results of the care given. The Pierce College Nursing Program has adapted the Nursing Process as means of determining how best to provide and evaluate the care we deliver to our clients. Nursing process provides a framework for the nurse’s responsibility and accountability. There are five sequential and interrelated steps or phases.

    The steps or phases of the Nursing Process include:

  1. Assessment: A process of systematic collecting, organizing, validating and documenting data (information) about the health status of an individual, family, group, or community. Thus, the first step in the Nursing Process involves gathering data about the client using objective and subjective information. This data is continuously updated, validated, and communicated.
  2. Nursing Diagnosis: This step involved the analysis and interpretation of assessment data. Using the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) approved statements the nurse identifies actual or potential health problems.
  3. Planning: The third step of the Nursing Process involves the establishment of clear statements of the behavioral outcomes for nursing care. The nurse establishes these client goals/outcomes and works with the client to promote optimal health.
  4. Implementation: The implementation of care best assists the person in attaining established outcomes.
  5. Evaluation: The final step in the nursing process involves evaluating the effectiveness of the nursing intervention by comparing the behavior after the nursing intervention and the established goal. Together, the nurse and client identify factors that either positively or negatively influenced goal/outcome achievement. Client response to the plan of care determines whether nursing care should be continued as is, modified, or terminated. If evaluation points to the need to modify the nursing care plan, then the accuracy, completeness, and relevance of the assessment data, as well as the appropriateness of client diagnoses, goals, and nursing interventions, should all be carefully reviewed and modified. During this step of the nursing process the nurse compares actual outcomes with expected outcomes of care and reprioritizes client goals as indicated.


Eustenia Kasjan M.A.
Allied Health Manager Nursing Advising/Admissions

Ronda Durano MN, RN
Nursing Program Director

Bebhinn Horrigan MACM
Nursing Program Coordinator
Front Office

Elizabeth Webber RN, MSN, CCRN
Nursing Faculty

Tiffany Smith MN, RN
Nursing Faculty

Vicki Dickson ARNP, MN
Nursing Faculty

National Accreditation

This nursing program is
accredited by:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Rd. NE
Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326