Nurses are the heartbeat of health care. Their round-the-clock presence in many settings, keen understanding of health and disease and sensitivity to patient and family needs ensure safe care as well as build healthy communities. No other health profession has such varied and far-reaching roles. As the practice of nursing continues to evolve—in response to changes in knowledge, technology and health care needs—the responsibilities of professional nurses have expanded and new specialties have emerged. Well-educated nurses with advanced skills work both independently and in partnership with physicians and other health care professionals.
Many nurses are now involved in building the research base needed to provide better services and act as leaders at many levels in health care systems around the world. One of the hallmarks of the Ingram School is a distinct perspective on nursing practice that is woven throughout our programs and is part of the culture in the facilities and agencies where students have many of their clinical experiences. In this model, the nurse’s role is complementary to—rather than a replacement for—traditional disease-based approaches. The nurse’s key function is to assist patients and their families in managing health. Since the 1970’s, when the McGill Model of Nursing was first described, institutions across Quebec and Canada and indeed internationally have embraced it. The model or philosophy and all of our programs are an excellent fit for nursing careers and the profession in health care systems seeking to become more patient-and family-focused.