History and Vision
In 1980 three years prior to the establishment of the Aga Khan University, the Aga Khan University School of Nursing (AKU-SON) was established. AKU-SON became the first operational academic unit of the Aga Khan University and the first school of nursing in the country to be affiliated with a university.
The School of Nursing has also accomplished many other firsts in Pakistan. It was the first to start a two-year Post RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Post RN BScN) programme for diploma qualified nurses in 1988; the first to start a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) in 1997; and the first to begin a Master of Science in Nursing (MScN) programme in 2001.
The founder and chancellor of the Aga Khan University, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan provides the vision for AKU-SON, which in his words is "to raise the standard and standing of the profession itself, so that it is accorded the recognition and prestige earned and deserved by the women whose working lives are dedicated to the demanding and honourable task of caring for the sick."
The School of Nursing aspires towards becoming a centre of excellence in the region, providing the highest level of education, promoting and disseminating knowledge and technology, and providing education, research and service with particular relevance to the development of Pakistan, developing nations and the Muslim Ummah. Following the university's international mandate, AKU-SON is currently working towards improving the access to and quality of nursing education initiatives in Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, Syria, and Egypt.
In order to meet its goal to achieve the highest international quality, the School of Nursing has forged mutually beneficial and long-term partnerships with important universities such as McMaster University, University of Alberta, and the University of California San Francisco. In collaboration with its partners, AKU-SON has been able to provide unique higher education opportunities to prepare its faculty members for distinguished careers in academics and has also been able to bring international expertise to bear in developing innovative curricula and evidence-based pedagogies.
The School combines the talents of national and international faculty with educational and professional experiences from Pakistan, Africa and North America. Faculty expertise in clinical practice, education, management and research enriches nursing education of students across all programmes.
AKU-SON motivates young men and women from all over Pakistan to choose nursing as a career in order to strengthen the delivery of health care services. In the process, these young individuals are encouraged to play a more meaningful role in the nation's development, and advancement for women, which is in harmony with the traditions of Islamic society.
Philosophy of AKU-SON
People are individuals of innate worth and dignity. They have spiritual, biological, social and psychological needs, and have the right to pursue the highest level of health and quality of life achievable for themselves and their communities. People‟s commitment to Islam helps them to develop a code of ethics, which directs their attitudes and activities toward others.
People influence and are influenced by their environment. The environment is composed of factors, which dynamically attract the individual. Society, one of the factors, is made up of communities in which people are closely connected through similar interests and needs. Communities generally share similar institutions, values, beliefs and morals, but may have diverse and complex health care needs. The family, which is the basic structure within a community, provides psychological and material support to assist its members to live within the society.
Health describes the human condition through a continuum from wellness to illness. This continuum is reflected in the extent to which individuals, families, and communities are able to recognize and meet their needs, thus contributing to an acceptable quality of life. Pursuit of universally accessible health care is an essential right. Primary Health Care forms an integral part of the country‟s health care system. It acts as a nucleus, and enhances the overall social and economic development of the country.
Learning is a life-long process, in which knowledge is pursued in an atmosphere of support, guidance, free inquiry and expression. The faculty is committed to facilitating students to develop skills in problem-solving and critical thinking, and to design appropriate interventions in response to present and emerging needs of people, institutions, and communities. The university is dedicated to enhancing respect for the nursing profession and raising the standard of nursing practice.
Nursing integrates concepts from bio-psychosocial sciences and spiritualism to provide an essential service to people. The pursuit of knowledge and the tradition of rendering care and comfort to the sick, foster the blending of traditional values with modern technology and functional requirements. Nursing is committed to promoting and maintaining the integrity of the individual, preventing illness, and assisting those who are ill to regain the highest level of health possible.
Nurses synthesize information from many sources and integrate it into practice, teaching, management, consultation and research.
The major goals of the School of Nursing are to:
1. Educate nurses to provide exemplary nursing care appropriate to the health needs of urban and rural population in hospitals and communities.
2. Provide leadership in nursing education, practice, administration and research.
3. Graduate nurses with the capability of pursuing higher education at institutions of learning throughout the world.
4. Provide opportunities of continuing education to meet the needs of nurses, institutions, and communities in Pakistan.
5. Respond to identified needs for nursing in the developing countries and regions which it serves.
6. Promote partnership and networking across the Aga Khan Development Network and with other national and international institutions.
Aga Khan University School of Nursing aspires to inculcate the following values in its students:
6. Growth/Life Long Learning
7. Teamwork/ Sharing/Generosity