Teaching Strategies for Nursing Educators

Introduction

Russell et al (2007) assert that the healthcare system has undergone unprecedented and rapid changes over the past years due to the reduced vital information’s lifespan and mounting complexity of the practice. Distinctively, quite a number of technological advantages have been availed in radiological science such as Picture and Communication Systems (PACS) and computed and digital radiography. This has increased information to learn and teach within a short period of time hence necessitating educators to reassess their teaching strategies to meet the new health cares system’s demands. This paper presents two of such strategies that nursing educators can employ to enhance active learning that is student-centered as opposed to traditional teacher-centered approach. The paper will also look at the barriers that could be experienced while using the strategies and how to overcome them.

Lecture

Lecture is the broadly used and the oldest teaching method used in classroom currently. This strategy is very popular due to its many advantages. First of all, the lecture has the ability of giving information to a big number of students. It can also cover a huge amount material within a short period other than providing efficient utilization of class time and being cost effectiveness (Russell et al, 2007). The lecture is a mode of introducing new material, maintain a topic discussion and summarize the content of the course and also present big blocks of confusing and complex ideas.

There are however some shortcomings of the lectures as teaching strategy as they offer less chances for the students to process ideas and information and grow problem-solving skills, the make students lose interest promptly and deny them an opportunity to provide feedback. Additionally, lectures do not do not enable students skip familiar content and they also enhance a teacher-centered setting as opposed to student-centered setting (Russell et al, 2007).

Self-Directed Learning

This is a strategy that offers the learners responsibility to carry out some learning activities on their own. It assists students take an extra active role as far as their nursing education is concerned (Russell et al, 2009). A nursing educator can use this opportunity to encourage students to set their own learning goals, make decisions on the learning methods to employ and evaluate their progress on regular basis. These are important aspects of self-directed learning which can be manifested in the form of contracts, distance learning packages, clinical logs and problem-based packages.

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Russell et al (207) observe that there as various forms of self-directed learning such as self-evaluation, which lets students evaluate their own performance, precisely identify their weaknesses and strengths and grow to be more independent. Another of self-directed learning is learning contracts which promote active learning. This is a written joint agreement between students and teachers clearly stating what a leaner has to do to attain particular learning outcomes. This helps students to take a bigger responsibility in their education.

Barriers faced by nursing educators and how they can be solved by the above strategies

There are many barriers that nursing educators face in line of their duty. This is partly because nursing has been identified by the U.S Department of Labour as the “fasting growing occupation in terms of growth through 2012” (Keller & Collins, 2004). This has increased what is expected of nurse educators and as a result some of the immediate barriers are identified as financial, language, and student preparation

Financial barriers with the nursing educators’ profession could be brought about to the fact that some students may lack required materials or resources. This situation can easily be solved through lectures as few resources can be used to teach many students. Additionally distance learning packages as a form of self directed learning reduces costs. Language could be solved through self-directed learning students are given instructions and carry out activities on their own as opposed to listening to educators whose language they don’t understand. Sometimes students may lack time to prepare but this situation is dealt with through lectures which cover loads of information within a short time, giving them ample time to prepare (Keller & Collins, 2004).

Conclusion

Nursing educators can use a number of strategies to ensure that active learning is promoted not only in a class setting but also in practical basis. Among these strategies are lecture and self-directed learning that go along way in meeting the goal of educators, that is, preparation of students to become better professionals. There is however barriers faced by educators such financial, language and student preparation barriers that can be solved through proper use of the discussed strategies

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