University of Hawai’i Maui College Career Ladder Nursing Program Philosophy

 UHMC Nursing Program faculty embrace the mission of Maui College. The faculty aim to inspire and support students in the pursuit of nursing education and life-long learning. We prepare students to recognize the trends in health care delivery, respond to the increased complexity of clinical environments, and adapt to economic changes. We believe that the learning process is enhanced when the student is self-directed, and support the student to take responsibility for their own learning when challenged with academic rigor.

The UHMC Nursing Program coursework builds on basic liberal arts, behavioral and natural sciences, and includes bioethical issues, application of technology, cultural awareness, and evidence-based practice. As a member of the Hawaii Statewide Nursing Consortium, the career ladder program supports students to achieve a Certificate of Achievement and LPN licensure at the end of the first year, an Associate of Science degree and RN licensure at the end of the second year, and, if the student chooses, to continue on for a Bachelor of Science degree from UH Manoa with the addition of a third year. MC nursing graduates are expected to abide by the laws of the state in which they practice, the American Nurses Association Standards of Practice, and the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics.

We believe that nursing is an essential health discipline concerned with providing quality care within a patient-centered framework that includes the ohana and community. We strongly believe that an attitude of caring must be internalized as a part of the professional practice of nursing.

Our philosophy of nursing education is informed by the ideas of Patricia Benner, Christine Tanner, and the Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN) Institute. We believe that nursing and nursing education incorporates:

  • Acquiring and using knowledge and science (knowledge)
  • Using clinical reasoning and skilled knowhow (skills)
  • Ethical comportment and formation (attitudes)

Accordingly, the Hawaii Statewide Nursing Consortium developed the curriculum with principles from Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, and Day (2010):

  • Replacing decontextualized knowledge with concepts
  • Integrating clinical and classroom teaching
  • Emphasizing clinical reasoning and multiple ways of thinking
  • Guiding the formation of identity and self-understanding to a professional nurse

Clinical instruction in the UHMC Nursing Program is provided recognizing the conclusions drawn by Tanner (2006), that: clinical judgment is unique to the patient context, clinical reasoning occurs in many ways, and reflection is essential for improving clinical reasoning.

As concerned nurse educators, the UHMC Nursing Program faculty emphasize the six competencies of knowledge, skills, and attitudes for the pre-licensure nurse from the Quality and Safety Education in Nursing Institute (2014), these are:

Originally derived from:

Cronenwett, L., Sherwood, G., Barnsteiner J., Disch, J., Johnson, J., Mitchell, P., Sullivan, D., Warren, J. (2007). Quality and safety education for nurses. Nursing Outlook, 55(3)122-131.


Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., and Day, L. (2010). Educating nurses: A call for radical transformation. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Tanner, C. (2006). Thinking like a nurse: A research-based model of clinical judgment in nursing. Journal of Nursing Education 45(6), 204-211.

QSEN (2014). Quality and Safety Education in Nursing Institute: Competencies: Pre-licensure KSAS. Available from