In addition to the purpose and philosophy, the nursing faculty believes in five integral

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components to nursing practice. These components are viewed as the Conceptual Framework

Pillars. The philosophy is built upon these pillars and they support the structure of the nursing

profession. Without the strength of the pillars the foundation will weaken and fail. These pillars

are used within the constructs of each nursing course at South University and shape the way the

student will learn, develop and practice.

The Conceptual Framework Pillars of South University are: Caring, Communication, Critical

Thinking, Professionalism, and Holism. Each pillar is defined separately and then

interdependently to demonstrate their interconnectedness.


encompasses the nurses’ empathy for and connection with the patient as well as the ability

to translate the values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice into

compassionate, sensitive, appropriate care.


is a dynamic, complex, interactive circular process by which information is

shared between two or more individuals. Conveyed formally or informally, communication may

be verbal, nonverbal, or written in a social, personal, or therapeutic manner. Three elements

included in the communication process are the sender, the message and the receiver.

Communication is a learned process influenced by an individual’s past experiences, sociocultural

background and competency.

Critical Thinking

is highly developed thought, the outcome of which reflects assimilation of

inquiry, reasoning, analysis, research and decision making. Knowledge is generated and learning

occurs with the application of critical thinking relevant to the discipline of nursing.


is a multifaceted process involving competency, legal, ethical, political and

economic issues. Nurses utilize the fields of law and ethics in reference to standards of practices,

legal interpretations, and shared beliefs concerning health-related behaviors. Professional issues

play an ever-increasing role in the standards and delivery of health care by the contemporary nurse.


is the unity and completeness of person. Holism recognizes that persons are entire entities

composed of complex, integrated systems. Conditions of the body, mind and spirit are influenced by

culture, religion, education, environment, standard of living, interpersonal relationships, gender and

developmental stage. Holistic nursing practice focuses on the whole being in the attempt to achieve

optimal wellness through comprehensive health promotion, disease/illness prevention and

restorative care of person, family, and community.

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