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The M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing is a tangible expression of Villanova University's mission, tradition, and commitment to human service. As a major school of nursing under Catholic auspices, it carries responsibility for the education of nurses within the framework of Christian beliefs and values and the heritage of the Order of St. Augustine. The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing interprets nursing as a healing ministry emanated by love and demonstrated through service and the care of others. As a healing art as well as an applied science and practice discipline, nursing as taught at Villanova University emphasizes the concern for spiritual health as well as that of mind and body. Curricula reflect the integration of these elements and their application in clinical practice, and concern for others regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing educates individuals for service to a diverse society including all sectors and strata of the population; as such, graduates are prepared to assume roles in all settings where health care is delivered.

A program based on love

Within this context, nursing draws its worth and spirit from motives based on love of one's fellow men and women who are made in the image and likeness of God. As a social service to the community, nursing responds to the needs of the sick, poor and disabled, and promotes wellness as the pre-eminent goal of nursing care. The practice of nursing within a Christian environment requires that those who nurse recognize and respect the needs of each person and that they teach while they nurse in order to assist their patients and the community to achieve the highest possible level of wellness of body, mind, and spirit.

The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, consistent with the mission of Villanova University, assumes responsibility for the education of individuals who will be prepared to provide a vital service to society and who are liberally educated, clinically competent, compassionate, and ethically motivated. The College is committed to providing high quality education in the liberal arts and sciences and expert preparation in the knowledge and clinical skills of professional nursing to qualified individuals who must be prepared and empowered to confront the health care demands of a complex and technologically advanced society.

The College views itself as an important locus of education, scholarship, and organizational leadership within Nursing's professional and educational communities. It views with great seriousness its prominent role within the constellation of collegiate nursing programs under Catholic auspices.


The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing awards the baccalaureate in nursing (BSN) and provides basic preparation in nursing to those who are studying for the first professional degree in the field. Such students include high school graduates with no prior college experience, college graduates with degrees in other disciplines who have made a decision to study nursing, and adults who are studying for their first college degree.

The Graduate Program awards the master's degree in nursing (MSN) and provides preparation and leadership development in selected areas of advanced nursing practice, development of research skills, and knowledge of health policy. In addition, course options prepare individuals for positions as educators and primary care nurse practitioners.

The Graduate Program administers the doctor of philosophy degree in nursing (PhD), which is designed to prepare nurses as educators and researchers for academic careers in higher education. The Doctoral Program at Villanova is unique in that it focuses on the application of advanced nursing knowledge and scholarly inquiry that address professional and practice concerns related to the learning process.

The Graduate Program administers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to prepare qualified nurses as nurse anesthetists.

It also administers the DNP degree to prepare APRNs, including Nursing Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse-Midwives, and Nurse Administrators with advanced knowledge in evidence-based practice, organizational leadership, and financial acumen to lead innovation in nursing practice and healthcare. The complex issues and changing landscape of healthcare have created a need for nurse leaders to respond effectively and implement solutions with interdisciplinary teams or independently in order to achieve positive healthcare outcomes for individuals and populations.

The Program in Continuing Education is committed to providing quality programs that enhance the professional growth and update the knowledge base of nurses, other health care professionals, and the public on topics related to health care.

The Fitzpatrick College of Nursing's emphasis on education in values and ethical principles is a pervasive and central theme and emanates from the Catholic and Augustinian tradition of the University. The faculty are expected to serve as role models and mentors for the professional development of students in the exercise of their academic responsibilities.

My View

"As a premier school that enjoys a growing international reputation, the College of Nursing will be known for excellence in teaching and scholarship, for responsiveness to the needs and trends in health care and for a deep concern for the people we serve."

M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN
Connelly Endowed Dean, Professor of Nursing