Our philosophy

Vision statement

Advancing nursing and nursing knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, clinical practice, leadership and innovation.

Mission statement

Educating and preparing nurses for an evolving healthcare system grounded in the principles of primary health care, social justice and caring supported by evidence and research.


The articulation of values for UNB’s Faculty of Nursing are meant to provide clear expectations of how faculty will proceed in their daily work. Demonstrating these values will mean the entire team will be engaged in meeting students’ needs. These values are a key component of this plan.

Excellence: We are committed to delivering high quality nursing education at the undergraduate and graduate levels through the adherence to standards and the use of relevant, innovative teaching methods responsive to learners’ needs.

Caring: We will demonstrate dignity, compassion, respect and fairness at all levels in our internal and external interactions and will advance substantive knowledge for caring science as a core nursing value.

Collaboration: We will grow and sustain our relationships with relevant stakeholders in order to create mutually beneficial outcomes and common goals for the university, our colleagues and our community.

Integrity: Honesty, transparency, fairness and reliability will be evident in all our proceedings.  

Accountability: The structures and processes we have in place will improve our capacity to evaluate and measure relevant indicators and the effectiveness of our program delivery.

Responsiveness:  Our undergraduate and graduate programs will be proactive and demonstrate flexibility in anticipating and responding to changing trends in health care delivery.


  • To create an academic environment that builds and maintains quality collegial relationships within and external to the faculty.
  • To recruit and retain highly qualified faculty and student leaders capable of  shaping practice, reflective of trends and needs that impact the health of the provinces.
  • To model teaching excellence in theory and practice.
  • To effectively allocate resources to best meet the diverse needs of all programs of study.
  • To create and support a strong culture of scholarship.


In order to prepare our students for practice in the current health care environment, the curriculum is responsive to the social context of health care and the social determinants of health.  Of particular importance are societal and health care reform trends that support Primary Health Care.

Philosophical underpinnings

The curriculum uniquely focuses on Primary Health Care, social justice and caring as core values.

Major intellectual emphases are on understanding human responses and experiences in health and illness situations. Practice situations facilitate the development of knowledge and clinical competencies.

Our curriculum supports a holistic and multidimensional view of nursing.

Graduates are prepared to work with clients in achieving affordable and accessible care in a variety of settings.  The Bachelor of Nursing degree fosters development of a transferable set of abilities, including the generation and application of knowledge, critical thinking, communication, professional ethics and social responsibility.  The educational commitment to these abilities prepares graduates for competence in nursing practice and ensures a commitment to lifelong learning.

Societal trends

Societal trends have influenced both our health care reform and our nursing education.

The increase in acuity of client illnesses, shorter hospital stays, and diverse practice settings challenge nurse educators to prepare nurses who adapt well to institutional settings, are able to coordinate and provide follow-up care in the community, and work collaboratively to improve health care interventions and health outcomes.

Along with changing needs, rising costs of health care and economic constraints have resulted in a need to shift from exclusive emphasis on expensive, curative medical approaches to practices that emphasize disease prevention and health promotion. This shift results in a more equitable and cost-effective distribution of health care resources.

As a consequence of consumerism, people no longer accept health care professionals as all knowing and all powerful and they want involvement in health care matters. An increased emphasis on health promotion to foster personal responsibility for wellness and to build healthy families and communities is a mark of health care reform that is continuing to transform health care in New Brunswick and Canada.

Trends in health care reform

There is a continuing need for nurses to provide clinical services to individuals. This need is combined with a strengthened and more visible role for nurses in assessment, community based service, program planning, and evaluation (New Brunswick Nursing Resource and Management Plan, 1993).

Nurses are active in program development and policy-making across the range of essential health care services. (Nursing Resource and Management Plan). To ensure that the nursing curriculum meets service demands, nurses in various positions and settings around the province provide input into curriculum revision.

In a continually evolving process, we constantly solicit input from stakeholders (including employers, agencies, practicing nurses, students, and graduates) as part of our curriculum evaluation process. 

Primary Health Care

Primary Health Care is both a philosophy and a resource. 

This approach to health care requires nursing education to be attentive to the World Health Organization's definition for health which embraces the principles of social justice and equity and incorporates caring approaches. 

Nursing is critical in a Primary Health Care system.  Nurses contribute to Primary Health Care by providing nursing practice, education and research with strategies for comprehensive, integrated, accessible, affordable, scientifically sound health services. 

Primary health care addresses priority or essential personal, family and community needs through the full participation of clients and communities.

Social justice

Social justice is a philosophical approach that recognizes that all persons deserve fair treatment, basic necessities, individual freedoms and fundamental human rights.  Nurses who practice with awareness of social justice and social activism develop political consciousness, advocate for more equal distribution of society’s resources, and intervene in the social determinants of health to reduce health disparities.

Egalitarianism and utilitarianism from social justice

Fair treatment involves equitable distribution of benefits and burdens among members of society. Basic necessities include access to health care; minimum standards of income; access to affordable housing; food security; education and early childhood development; and environmental safety.

Similarly, freedoms or rights that promote health include peace, shelter, food, education, income, stable ecosystem, justice, and equity.

Egalitarianism entitles all persons to equal shares of available goods and resources.

Utilitarianism distributes resources to achieve the greatest good and serve the largest number of people.


Caring as a universal phenomenon is essential to human development and survival and is a moral imperative of nursing.

Caring is a dynamic, informed, intentional process that requires a connection between individuals and/or groups.

Caring may occur privately or within broad socio-political contexts.