Competence and Care: Signature Pedagogies in Nursing Education

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Contribution to Books

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A registered nurse should exercise sound, compassionate clinical judgment; demonstrate deep and broad knowledge of health and illness; and be a technically skilled health care provider, who works effectively with patients and families in a complex medical, ethical, legal, and professional landscape. The nursing profession has periodically reflected on the nature of nursing education and has proposed new directions in the teaching of nursing. The Goldmark Report (1923), funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, paved the way for college- and university-based nursing programs; prompted by the success for the World War II cadet nurse program, the Montag Report (1951) initiated the movement toward associate degree nursing programs; the National Commission for the Study of Nursing and Nursing Education's Lysaught Report (1970) prompted research-based education of nurses and research into nursing education. Now the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has funded another watershed study: Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010) finds that, although the U.S. nurse educators are very effective in teaching ethics and professionalism and are often successful when they integrate theory and clinical courses, they are "not generally effective in teaching nursing science, natural sciences, social sciences, technology, and humanities" (p. 12). At each turning point in the history of nursing education, nurse educators, have assessed learning outcomes and the methods used to achieve them with the same critical eyes that they apply to evidence-based clinical nursing practice. Today nurse educators are examining the field's signature pedagogies, like clinical rotations and simulation, and are turning to new approaches, like narrative and problem-based pedagogies or study-abroad experiences.

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