Nursing Education and Curriculum Development Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Curriculum Development in Nursing Education Knowledge and Skills

Curriculum Development Issue in Nursing Education, Knowledge and Skills

Nurses make use of wide-ranging theories, models, knowledge and skills in nursing practice. Both their skills and knowledge are gained from diverse methods --a few are 'hidden' from practice; However, all knowledge and skills sources ought to be assessed for quality and relevance and should they fail to meet national standards, they ought to be discarded. Knowledge in the Nursing profession helps them achieve the goals of patient-care since it reinforces what they do daily. Knowledge classifies and distinguishes nurses when compared with (more or less) identical jobs of doctors or perhaps physiotherapists, and assists to distinguish nurses from support-care workers as well as even lay carers. Knowledge therefore, is what differentiates the nursing profession since possessing a 'distinctive form of knowledge' classifies a profession within a society. Therefore, curriculum holds a significant place within the nursing education (Hall, 2005). This paper sheds light on why is this issue a problem, given the shortage of nurses in the constantly changing demands of the workplace? And what are my proposed strategies to resolve these issues?


The development of curriculum concerning nursing education faces some problems, in that the nursing profession must continue to stay abreast of the changes that take place in the healthcare sector to make sure there is a continuous delivery of safe, high quality, and effective healthcare with the patient-centric approach. As such, it must be relevant to not only current trends but also anticipative of and responsive to changes it might face in future. To remain up-to-date, new people in the nursing profession must be adequately equipped and educated with appropriate and relevant competencies, skills, knowledge and attitudes, which may not be readily available most of the times. The nursing practice of the 21st century faces several challenges such as an increasing number of hospitalized patients who are both older and more seriously sick, which increases the cost of healthcare, and the need to stay updated on the recent improvements in medical technology and knowledge.

An existing shortage of nurses complicates the challenges along with rapidly aging workforce, inadequate nursing faculty members, and the predictions that there will be more shortages in availability of nurses. Additionally, new systems of general healthcare delivery are being created that will affect both the care delivery and workforce. To stay abreast of the ever changing healthcare delivery, system, educators in the nursing profession are required to continuously assess and make a revision of the education approaches, curricula, and programs utilized in educating both new and practicing nurses, which leads to the main problems experienced with nursing employment. As a major component of the workforce in the healthcare system, the nursing profession must stay abreast of the healthcare system to make sure the there is a continuous delivery of safe, high quality and effective patient care.

To stay updated, there is need to train and equip new nurses with the right skills. In order for policy makers and educators to plan adequately for the future, the first and foremost necessity is then assessment of the requirements for future workforce, as determined by the working environment and its expectations. Due to this evaluation, the main goal of nursing educators will be to create educational techniques and curricula needed for nurses to occupy those positions and play those roles.

Policymakers can encourage these efforts by making sure that the requirements of the healthcare system are being met by making adequate resources available to supply the workforce required to train and educate the future nurses. In the issue of developing the curriculum in the nursing education, one major issue is the fact that graduates believe that they have the required knowledge to do well. However, management and receptors gave a report that while the graduates possess the right knowledge of the important skills required for the practice, they do not have certain skills like how to accurately insert an intravenous line, use healthcare IT, chart the information of patients, and carry out other relevant interventions and tasks they could have easily practiced while in school or during their clinical training (NACNEP, n.d).

These are challenging times to be an employee in the healthcare sector. Unusual changes in the system are affecting care in every setting of healthcare practice. Some of these changes are financial pressures, uncertainty of the right direction for reforming healthcare, regulatory agency mandates to improve patient safety and quality, looming workforce shortages, and the increase in number of patients. These changes can pose a challenge to decisions made in resource allocation and affect the working environment negatively. Nevertheless, these forces can equally open up opportunities for nurses and the entire nursing profession. These opportunities involve a higher voice for nursing in the healthcare policy, increased employment opportunities, and an improved image for both nurses and the nursing profession. The stress experienced in the workplace today squarely falls on nurses' shoulders with regards to care (Tomajan, 2012).

The health of any nation is adversely affected by shortage of nurses. Higher staff nurse rates relate to reductions in negative patient results. Educational organizations find it very difficult to trigger the interests of qualified APRNs that are willing to render their services in faculty roles. The need for APRNs both in different practice settings and in educational institutions has simultaneously increased, but educational organizations are at a disadvantage due to their obvious inability to provide very competitive payment packages. Controlled budgets lead to compacted salaries all through the higher education systems, which increases the gap between available salaries for those in practice and the ones offered to those occupying teaching positions. When APRNs enrol for PhD programs, they mostly graduate only to be faced with the stark reality of the tenure procedure in educational institutions that are research-driven. Emphasis laid on the role that faculty play in carrying out research and producing revenues from research reduces the PhD-prepared APRN faculty availability to take part in supervising APRN students directly. One common result is that the major APRN clinical education responsibility falls on ineligible faculty for tenure and whose salaries are much lower than what APRNs in clinical practice earn. Educational institutions that lack well developed faculty practices are faced with additional hindrances for encouraging and retaining faculty required to practice with the aim of maintaining licensure and certification, as an addition to meeting the criteria for tenure and teaching (Fitzgerald, Kantrowitz-Gordon, Katz & Hirsch 2011).

Proposed Strategies to Resolve These Issues

Internal plans are those plans that can be easily undertaken within the nursing educational programs and the host universities, while external plans are those that give a reflection of certain engagement levels with some other organizations, which includes other nursing education schemes and healthcare systems. A shortage of faculty representing the gathering of multiple factors hamper the expansion of superior nursing education programs. These involve the supply-side challenges that relates to the nursing shortage proper and to all competitive factors that reveal, among others, the comparatively high cost of educating graduate nurses as compared to the income potentials of nurse teachers. The internal efforts of the educational institutions to strengthen and develop concerted partnerships has the potential to reduce the shortage in the nursing faculty and make available more clinical resources for APRN education (Malone, 2011). Learning based on problems can be incorporated in a competency-based framework or as a stand-alone technique to improve the growth of critical thinking as well as hypothesis-testing skills. The habit of using replication in nursing education is becoming increasingly famous due to its ability to improve the way advanced practice nursing students think critically and because it makes a useful evaluative faculty tool available. Additionally, Distance education is also helpful for creating opportunities for place-bound nurses to go after graduate studies to major as APRNs by expanding the scope of these nursing education schemes beyond the traditional boundaries. With external strategies, introduction of inter-professional collaboration linking nursing, allied health personnel education and medicine within the health settings of the same community, creating room for the development of skills and knowledge that are important to higher practice nursing.

In proffering solutions to nursing problems, it is important that point-of-care nurses create and use their advocacy abilities to address the concerns at the workplace, encourage positive work environments, and campaign for the profession. The voice of the nurse by the bedside has never been this critical to the patients, healthcare facilities and colleagues. A higher number of healthcare facilities have, or are currently building shared structures for governance to make sure the nurses at care points have cognizance when it comes to decisions that relate to the work environment and patient care. The effect of these registered nurses on the outcome of patients is increasingly obvious; and nursing efforts into institutional decision-making that relate to quality and safety initiatives is quite valuable. Nurses are getting better positioned to speak out more effectively than they ever had for both patients and the entire…

Sources Used in Document:


Almidei, N. (2010). So you want to make a difference: Advocacy is the key. (16th ed.)

Washington DC: OMB Watch.

Fitzgerald, C., Kantrowitz-Gordon, I., Katz, J., & Hirsch, A. (2011). Advanced practice nursing education: challenges and strategies. Nursing research and practice, 2012.

Hall, A. (2005). Defining nursing knowledge. Nursing times, 101(48), 34-37.

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