Nurse Educator Competency 1 – Strategies to Facilitate Learning
Part 1: Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies
Teachers worldwide strive to give their best to their learners by using various teaching strategies that enable them to deliver the content appropriately. Similarly, teaching nursing students requires the implementation of various strategies to make learners understand and later serve the community (Farzi et al., 2018). Among the various teaching strategies, the use of pretesting, show and tell, and productive group work are my favorites. These strategies have pros and cons to be addressed hereafter.
Pretesting is a teaching strategy that teachers use to assess the level of knowledge of learners before teaching them. A teacher uses a set of questions about a topic or a course and administers them to learners who will provide the feedback (Horntvedt et al., 2018).
The feedback helps the teacher to understand the needs of the learners, understand their misunderstandings, and help the teacher to devise an appropriate plan to deliver the contents in a way learners understand. However, teachers should be wary of using identical pretests and post-tests as this can impair students’ creative thinking while limiting students’ input.
Productive group work is a strategy that allows learners to share knowledge with each other and improve learning and understanding (Horntvedt et al., 2018). Learners are allowed to contribute to each other and help to solve difficult tasks. In large classes, allowing immediate neighbors to discuss questions can help in achieving group work. However, proper organization of the group is paramount and close supervision is necessary as some learners may opt to leave the tasks to a selected few, thus impairing learning.
Finally, the show-and-tell model is achieved by efforts from both learners and teachers. Teachers provide explicit instructions verbally combined with meaningful visuals (Roshni & Rahim, 2020). The explanation dictates what students should understand, while demonstrations acquit learners with skills to demonstrate. This model helps in the retention of knowledge while allowing creativity (Roshni & Rahim, 2020). However, some learners may be slow to grasp the knowledge immediately, affecting their overall performance.
Farzi, S., Shahriari, M., & Farzi, S. (2018). Exploring the challenges of clinical education in nursing and strategies to improve it: A qualitative study. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 7, 115. https://doi.org/10.4103/jehp.jehp_169_17
Horntvedt, M.-E. T., Nordsteien, A., Fermann, T., & Severinsson, E. (2018). Strategies for teaching evidence-based practice in nursing education: a thematic literature review. BMC Medical Education, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1278-z
Roshni, M., & Rahim, A. (2020). Small group discussions as an effective teaching-learning methodology for learning the principles of family medicine among 2nd-year MBBS students. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 9(5), 2248–2252. https://doi.org/10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1228_19
The concept of preceptorship, otherwise nurse educator, is an old practice. Nurse educators are tasked with a lot of responsibilities, among them is to provide a safe environment for students. Nurse educators prepare graduates for the ever-changing, complex healthcare environment by using up-to-date information and building close relationships with learners.
Furthermore, they constantly communicate, meet learners, and motivate them to foster a safe environment that encourages learning while bridging the gap between the realism of the workplace and the idealism of academic requirements (Coffey & White, 2019). The mission of Grand Canyon University (GCU) integrates with the values of the Christian worldview to provide a positive environment that enhances learners` innovation and acquisition of skills and values of being good servant leaders (GCU, 2021).
Incorporating faith with compassion and kindness in the teaching curriculum allows learners to be mindful of the needs of others while working with preceptors to prepare for future practices. Furthermore, learners appreciate the value of integrity, which is essential in nursing in the nursing profession.
Because nurses work in a difficult work environment that is often faced with a conflict between choosing civilized and uncivilized behaviors, integrity is paramount in such circumstances. Nurse educators are required to train nurses with integrity and acquit skills to face challenges that may arise in future practice (Coffey & White, 2019). Use of simulated situations when teaching nurses is an integral part of preparing nurses to adopt various skills, including teamwork and communication, that are essential in future practice.
The clinical setting is another environment that requires nurse educators to provide a positive learning experience. Despite the challenges in clinical settings, preceptors can create a memorable learning experience for learners in various ways. Adopting simulation, practicing clinical scenarios, and use of reflective journaling are some of the methods that can be used to facilitate learning.
Clinical simulations and practical scenarios allow learners to think critically, reflect on the situation, and make decisions (Izadi et al., 2020). These methods are as effective as interacting with the real clinical situation. Likewise, reflective journaling allows learners to think critically and reason appropriately, and allows teachers to understand the thought process of learners.
Coffey, J. S., & White, B. L. (2019). The clinical nurse educator role: A snapshot in time. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50(5), 228–232. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-20190416-09
Grand Canyon University. (2021). Integration of faith, learning, and work at Grand Canyon University. https://www.gcu.edu/sites/default/files/media/Documents/IFLW.pdf
Izadi, F., Bijani, M., Fereidouni, Z., Karimi, S., Tehranineshat, B., & Dehghan, A. (2020). The effectiveness of teaching nursing ethics via scenarios and group discussion in nurses’ adherence to ethical codes and patients’ satisfaction with nurses’ performance. TheScientificWorldJournal, 2020, 5749687. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/5749687