What new insights have you gained in terms of the variety of roles that adult educators play?
Depending on the theorist and the learning theory style there are various views on the role of the adult educator. During this module I have learned that the adult educator’s role includes being a role model, facilitator, mentor, motivator, providing a safe trusting environment, engage in ongoing professional development, and being knowledgeable on the content they are delivering to the class. In adult education, learners often come with experience and knowledge. An example is that a Care Aide may enter the Practical Nursing Program with experience and knowledge on providing personal care, transferring techniques and charting experience. As an educator I need to recognize the learner’s “prior knowledge and experience and the nature of that knowledge and experience” (Merriam et al 2007, p 403) and utilize it in the classroom.
Through experience and research for this module I have learned that not all learners benefit from the same learning style. These learning styles include visual, auditory and kinesthetic which is” movement of the body” (Merriam et al 2007, p194). Therefore as an educator I must have the ability to alter the delivery method to meet the learner’s needs. This includes incorporating many different activities in the classroom setting to keep the learner engaged and motivated. I have gained valuable insight and knowledge into to the different learning theories and how to apply some of these theories into practice. As an adult educator in a nursing program I find I use transformational learning in the classroom setting. An example is that I will assign journal writing or a learning plan which engages the student in self-reflection. It is essential for nurses to engage in self-reflection, question assumptions, and at times alter his or her way of thinking.
What are some trends in your field? How are you preparing to address these trends?
In relation to tends in the nursing field both learning partners presented articles that focused on the nursing shortage. I was shocked to discover that the existing nursing shortage is predicted to become greater than any previous shortage. The authors provided various explanations for the current and predicted ongoing nursing shortage. Nursing shortages have an impact at the bedside as well as in nursing education. Both articles identified the main reason is the age of the existing workforce. As many nurses are retiring; there is a shortage of nurses with the required education or desire to enter into teaching. Other rationales offered are the numerous job opportunities available in today’s market, increased technology, and the increased age of the worker entering the profession, which decreases the number of years of service. One author identified that management often focuses on financial matters and lacks decision making skills “in fundamental decision science” (The Future of Nursing: Ten Trends to Watch, 2000). A nursing shortage leads to increased financial costs, due to overtime incurred by nursing staff. Employers are required to fill the vacancy with a nurse at any cost to ensure the patient has the right care provider at the bedside. Historically, nursing shortages have produced wage increases during or following a nursing shortage. And the authors of this article are predicting that the past practice will follow this nursing shortage in regards to wage increases. This wage increase will occur for several reasons, in an attempt to retain the current workforce in the field and to aid with recruitment in the field. Another trend in the health care field is the increased use of technology. Nurses are impacted by the increased use of technology in their practice. Examples are computerized medication system, ordering and reviewing diagnostic tests by computer, submitting referrals to other disciplinary team members and electronic medical records. As a health care provider you can no longer pick up the telephone to order a lab test, or call another team member to come and see your patient. All of these functions must becompleted by using the computer or internet.
In relation to trends in nursing education, there is a need for a paradigm shift in nursing education, from what is being taught to how it is being taught (Overhauling Nursing Education, 2011).The nursing curriculum must have a stronger focus of health promotion and prevention throughout the life span (Overhauling Nursing Education, 2011). There is inadequate gerontological content being taught in nursing programs (Gerontological Nursing Content in General Medical/Surgical Textbooks, Cline, D. et al 2012). The author, Stokowski lists many reasons why this is occurring. There is a lack of nursing educators with expertise in this area. Also cited was the nursing text books used for gerontological nursing do not contain evidence based protocols or best practice. Therefore changes are required in the nursing curriculum and textbooks to include evidence based protocols and best practice when teaching this component of the program (Gerontogical Nursing Content in General Medical/Surgical Textbooks, Cline, D. et al 2012). In order for these changes to affect the best outcome for the geriatric populations, experienced practitioners utilizing the above methods must be involved.
During my research for this project, I learned that there is a trend in nursing education to integrate simulation into the lab. This is due to several factors, “shortages of clinical placements for clinical practicum’s” (Enriching Clinical Nursing Education through Simulation). Moreover, simulated lab scenarios provide the student with practical experience in a safe environment” (Enriching Clinical Nursing Education through Simulation). Simulation enhances the student nurses knowledge, skills, critical thinking, self-confidence and problem solving skills before they confront real patients on a unit.
Other trends identified during our web-conference were that the nursing curriculum must shift from the learner being task orientated to the learner becoming a critical thinker and a problem solver. There is a requirement for nursing graduates to be practice ready upon graduation. This will ensure they can provide competent and safe quality care at an assured level of quality to all demographics of society upon entering into practice.
In keeping current with trends in nursing education and practice, I am in the process of completing the Provincial Instructor’s Diploma, actively involved in the implementation of the revised Practical Nurse curriculum, committed to life long learning, and continue to practice at the bedside. For example I have recently attended a workshop on integrating simulation into the nursing lab. This ensures I can utilize the mannequin to the fullest capacity to enhance the learner’s knowledge and skills.
Reflect on the Web-Conference experience. How was it? What was one thing that you learned?
Web conferencing through the use of Skype is an effective tool to engage in dialogue with peers. The use of this free world-wide technology allows for real time voice or video conferencing, face to face interactions, networking, and socializing. During this assignment I was able to hear and observe my learning partners’ reactions to the articles that I was presenting. Whereas through other available resources, such as email or telephone, I would not have the opportunity to observe their reactions during my presentation. This was a positive interactive experience, with all of us engaging in questions and discussions regarding the articles presented.
We discussed the rise in use of technology in the education system and the health care setting, trends in nursing education, nursing practice, the nursing shortage, the aging population, best practices for nurses and the changing health care environment. It was interesting that both of my learning partners had chosen articles that highlighted the nursing shortage. As I was not aware of the prediction that the number of nursing graduates and current practicing nurses are in decline; these numbers will be insufficient to meet the demand posed by the aging population.
There are many advantages to using social media in adult education. Social media fosters collaboration between students, develops discussions, engages the shy students, and offer the student the opportunity to get assistance and direction from the Instructor when needed. With the use of any social media in the educational setting there should be guidelines and policies in place.
Cline, D., Manchester, J., & Tagliareni, E., M., (2012), Retrieved on February 2, 2013 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nlnjournal.org/toc/nhcp/33/3
Heller, B., Oros, M. T., & Durney-Crowley, J., (2000), The Future of Nursing Education: Ten Trends to Watch, Retrieved on February 2, 2013 from the World Wide Web http://www.nln.org/nlnjournal/infotrends.htm
Henshaw, J., Trends in Nursing Education, Retrieved on January 15, 2013 from the World Wide Web:http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Trends-In-Nursing-Education/1602470
Merriam, S.B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L.M. (2007), Learning in Adulthood A Comprehensive Guide (3rd Edition)
Miskin, P., Enriching Clinical Nursing Education through Simulation, Retrieved January 15, 2013 from the World Wide Web: http://www.nursetogether.com/Education/Education-Article/itemId/3048/Enriching-Clinical-Education-through-Simulation.aspx
Stokowski, L., (2011), Overhauling Nursing Education, Retrieved on February 2, 2013 from the World Wide Web: http://mededandtech.blogspot.ca/2011/02/trends-in-nursing-education-for- 21st.html