Basics of Nursing Education Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

nursing program to a BSN program

Over the years, promotion of nurses' higher education has been a focus of national reports. One of several reasons for this is growing evidence tying improved performance with continued education. Another factor is that nurses taking Master's programs often focus on education; this ensures a good supply of nurse educators as well as clinical nurse specialists and midwives (Scott & Brinson, 2011).

Factors influencing the need for a BSN program.


Researchers and policymakers continue to point out that education is a key determinant of nurses' performance in our medical facilities. Bachelor's degree programs provide more content than diploma programs do. They also tend to be more thorough. It has been noted that those institutions that have more baccalaureate degree registered nurses reported less fatalities. This inverse relationship shows that education level is a key determinant of performance and competency (Johnston, 2009).

Disasters, Violence and Terrorism

Natural disasters need nurses' attention even more now that there are several complexities due to the high population of our urban areas. Nurses should be adequately trained to handle the disasters of such scale and magnitude. There are also cases of domestic violence -- mainly against children and women; these require nurses' attention too (Jacob & Vanderhoef, n.d.).

IOM's informed decision for a BSN program:

The year 2010 saw the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issue a report they called: "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health." It looked deeply at the roles that nurses ought to play in reforming our healthcare system. Three important messages are contained in the message as far as nursing is concerned. The first was the recommendations made by the IOM to ensure transformation of nursing practice. Second, it was noted that the future of the practice depended on nurses' continued training and education, and the placing of systems to ensure smooth academic progression (Garner, 2011).

One of the odd things about nursing is there being several educational paths that can grant one a RN license at the entry level. Some of them are associate degree (ADN), baccalaureate degree (BSN), and hospital-based diploma program. Academics continue to debate what minimum requirements in education are to be stipulated for nurses (Garner, 2011).

It is however clear that for nurses to adequately meet the demands of the current workplace and to perform at peak levels, higher education levels are required. The following have been offered by the IOM as the reasons why higher education should be a necessity:

The current environment requires nurses to possess several competencies like geriatrics, health policy, leadership skills, research and evidence-based practice, etc.

Hospital care is becoming more complex and nurses have to make significant decisions that directly affect the life of a patient.

More nurses are being asked to provide primary care.

Complicated information management systems are currently in use and nurses should thoroughly understand the intricacies of these systems.

Working with multi-disciplinary teams calls for collaboration yet professionals on these teams often have doctoral or master's degrees (Garner, 2011).

IOM's recommendation of Quality and Safety Initiatives

In the year 2003, IOM made a publication: Health Professions Education: A Bridge to Quality. The document made several recommendations to ensure an improved professional healthcare education as regards competency as well as safety and quality (Bertch, 2012).

1. Rationale for recommendation: seeking to improve quality needs a person to identify the errors as well as hazards that exist in care. They must understand them comprehensively and seek to put in place measures to mitigate them.

2. Barrier: there ought to be a mindset shift in continuing education of practicing registered nurses. Many of these nurses do not know the extent of the quality and safety problems and they lack adequate training to deal with them systematically (Bertch, 2012).

3. Learning Theory

Learning theories guide the educational systems through which our nurses study. An understanding of the principles allows for effective passing of knowledge and the achievement of effectiveness and efficiency.

The theories can find usage beyond the class room and can be applied in such areas as problem solving, constructive communication, behavior development and the changing of habits (Aliakbari, Parvin, Hedari & Haghani, 2015).


Nursing curriculum is always grounded on the concepts of adult learning since adults often form the audience. Constructivism is popular in such a setting. The basis of constructivism is the construction and deconstruction of knowledge. It involves drawing parallels between what is being learned and the student's experiences or what is already in their awareness. The internalization and the reconstruction of these concepts allow learning to take place (Josephesen, 2014).

4. Critique of Constructivist


Allows students to have new understandings as well as construction of knowledge: the students engage in reflection and introspection as they seek draw meaning from what they are learning based on their own knowledge and experiences. This allows for deep thinking about what they are trying to learn and the learners can direct their thinking toward investigating further (What is unique about Constructivism, n.d).

The new learning and teaching ways is a reflection of the changing student and teacher roles: constructivism gives the teacher the role of a guide, mentor or coach. The learners almost become cognitive apprentices. Knowledge development is advanced as the teacher engages their learners to the brink of their capabilities (What is unique about Constructivism, n.d.).


It lacks structure: the learning isn't as structured as in other methods. The students who may do very well under highly structured environments are at a disadvantage in this situation. Since the learning is often personalized, standardization is often paid attention to. Uniformity in level of learning is therefore hard to attain (Constructivist Learning Theory: Pros & Cons, n.d.). Because students tend to evaluate the progress they are making on their own, less value is placed on traditional grading systems. This can be a disadvantage in that some students may not create knowledge and copy their fellow students (Constructivist Learning Theory: Pros & Cons, n.d.).

May lead to confusion: students not able to construct meaning and form abstracts and relationships between what they know and what is being learned may become frustrated and confused. This can be remedied by using other learning systems alongside constructivism (Constructivist Learning Theory: Pros & Cons, n.d.).

Key Components of Multiple Intelligences

Creating interactive learning environments has always been a challenge for nurse educators. To achieve such an environment, the educators should encourage active participation among the learners. Being creative in designing cognitive strategies that appeal to the preferences of the learners. The educators should be open in their thinking and drawing of strategies (Amerson, 2006).

Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligence (MI) learning gives a conceptual framework to guide the design of classroom activities promoting interactive and participative learning and energizing a lecture.

In his 1983 publication called 'Frames of Mind', Gardner gives the constituents of MI learning and said that determining a person's intellectual profile and making use of the information for learning enhancement is possible.

Gardner gave intelligence the following definition in his 1999 publication: "biophysical potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products that are of value in a culture" (Amerson, 2006).

Eight learning intelligence categories were identified by Gardner. This information has been found to be relevant to classroom settings.

The application of MI in teaching was discovered to help lower teacher directedness, increase learning experience authenticity, increase student initiative and control and increase relevance (Amerson, 2006).

Critique of Multiple Intelligences

People from testing and psychometric communities have critiqued Multiple Intelligences. One scholar, for instance, says that intelligence testing literature doesn't support in the slightest the notion of eight independent intelligences, but does support the notion of one overarching intelligence. Another scholar notes that the evidence supporting Gardner's work is lacking in strength and that no extensive research exists to show its practicality (Armstrong, 2009).


The mindset that all students are gifted in their own unique ways allows educators to approach teaching wisely and understand that the learners are not at the same level and may have different talents and skills. An environment that is responsive and is optimal for all students is conducive for learning.


The application of the approach in adult education reduced teacher directedness but increased student initiative and control. The reality on the ground is that the application of just one method will disadvantage a section of students and advantage others (Amerson, 2006).

F -- Modalities

Online Education

The decision of going back to college in order to pursue an advanced degree is often a weighty one for nurses. Many of them even wonder if the degree will be of benefit to them. Some wonder which specific program best suits their career aspirations while others face certain challenges that hinder their returning to school. Online learning has been quite helpful in opening doors for such students who have several demands competing for their attention. These courses allow these nurses to remain competitive…

Sources Used in Document:


Aliakbari, F., Parvin, N., Heidari, M., & Haghani, F. (2015, Febuary 23). Learning theories application in nursing education. Retrieved from

Amerson, R. (2006). Energizing the Nursing Lecture: Application of the Theory of Multiple Intelligence Learning. Nursing Education Perspectives, 194-196.

ANA. (n.d.). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. American Nurses Association.

Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd Edition. ASCD.

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