Nursing Educational Concept of May L Wykle

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Nursing Education Concept By May L Wykle

Nursing Educational Concept of May L Wykle

Who Is May L Wykle,Interest In Teaching,Willingness For Teaching,Preparation For Teaching,Develop As A Teacher,Comfortable As A Teacher,Comfortable As A Teacher,Challenges,Embarrassing Moments,Rewarding Aspects of Teaching,Least Rewarding Aspects,Advice For New Teachers.

Who Is May L Wykle

    May L. Wykle is Dean and Florence Cellar Professor of Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. 

    Dr. Wykle graduated from the Martins Ferry Hospital School of Nursing, and earned a BSN in nursing, an MSN in psychiatric nursing, and a PhD in education from Case Western Reserve University. 

    She is a fellow at the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America. She is the past president of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI). 

    She has initiated educational programs internationally and served as visiting professor at the University of Zimbabwe. 

    Dr. Wykle has received numerous honors and awards, including the Gerontological Nursing Research Award from the Gerontological Society of America and Outstanding Researcher, State of Ohio, by the Ohio Research Council on Aging. 

    She was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Black Nurses Association, and received the STTI Elizabeth Russell Belford Founder's Award for Excellence in Nursing Education. 

    She has published extensively, including co-editing eight books, one focused on student development in nursing education.

Professional Background 

    Dr. Wykle has had a wealth of experiences in psychiatric and geriatric nursing. all of which have shaped her teaching expertise. 

    She began her contributions to the scholarship of nursing education early in her nursing career, coauthoring a text with colleagues in the School of Education. 

    She is well known by her students and colleagues for her humor in the classroom, and for her gift of using many life associations and experiences to emphasize opportunities.

Interest In Teaching

    For several years She was a head nurse in a psychiatric institute and one of the areas that She really liked was teaching the nursing assistants. They had a huge responsibility for pouring medicines and doing assessments of patients without really having the background to do these tasks. 

    So we began to teach them what they needed to know. At that same time, She had the experience of teaching nursing students who came to the units. In those days it was the head nurse who did the clinical teaching. 

    We not only made the assignments and provided supervision, but also had the students for pre- and post conferences . She really thought teaching was a neat thing to do, so She decided that She should go back to school.

Willingness For Teaching

    She received some formal preparation as part of her  master's program in psychiatric nursing. Then, later on, after teaching for several years at the university level, She returned to school for a PhD in Higher Education. 

    That opened up a whole new world; She learned much more about theories of learning, how students learn and how teachers teach. 

    It was exciting for her  to learn so much more about the classroom, and find out that as much as 1 wanted to teach and have students progress, learning depended on the student's readiness to learn and change. 

    Her  formal preparation gave her  a better idea of what you do so that students are more interested and eager to learn, rather than focusing on how well you prepare for class. 

    She discovered different ways to learn; e.g, providing visual input at the same time as auditory input. She became aware that students do well teaching each other. 

    When they are responsible for a class it helps them gain more knowledge about the subject. Thus, She found that seminars were most conducive to learning, particularly for graduate students.

Preparation For Teaching

    At Cleveland Psychiatric Institute (CPI), She was mentored by Helen Kreigh , the Director of Nursing Education. 

    She was taught by Dorothy Mereness and had a bachelor's degree in nursing education. She remember her saying that she had prepared a teaching outline and had presented it to Mereness for evaluation. 

    At the end of her presentation, Mereness said, “Well, what do you think about what you have done?” Helen said, “Well, She think it is OK; but, She know She can do better.” Therefore she passed that course with flying colors because Mereness said that you are always becoming, and, as a good teacher, you are never satisfied with your end product. 

    You want to go further and achieve more, challenging both students and yourself as the teacher.

Develop As A Teacher

    While working at CPI, She attended Case Western Reserve University and received a bachelor's degree in nursing. She really enjoyed the classes She was taking and She liked the way the teachers taught their courses. 

    So, She enrolled in school full time and was offered a position at CPI as an Instructor of Nursing. At that time, we had 11 affiliated schools of nursing; It was a wonderful opportunity for teaching. She moved from being an Instructor to being Director of Nursing Education at CPI. 

    It was a whole new experience for her  because She had responsibility for all education programs. Every time a school was visited by the State Board of Nursing or the National League for Nursing, She had to participate. 

    She learned quite a bit about teaching and evaluation. We had students for 3 months at a time for their psychiatric nursing experience and you had time for clinical supervision as well as the didactic teaching. 

    There were never too many instructors-so, as Director, She did a lot of the teaching. That is how She really started her  teaching career, and She thought, “I like teaching so well, She need to go back to school to improve her  skills.” So, She went back to get a master's degree in psychiatric mental nursing at Case on government stipend. 

    Part of the psychiatric program at that time focused on the educational process; part of the course work was focused on application. As graduate students participating in seminars, we were responsible for teaching the group classes. 

    We spent time learning how to teach patients, following the model of Hildegard Peplau, who said that the road to mental health was an educational process. Peplau's philosophy of psychiatric nursing fits well with the nursing model of relationship nursing.

    She have always believed that teachers ought to strive to teach less so that students could learn more. It took a while for her  to develop that belief over time because in the very beginning She was so oriented to teaching using a lecture format. 

    Yet, the interactive pre and post-conferences and seminars were so much better and She was more comfortable with students.

        Another way her  teaching style evolved was through teaching patients. She did some part-time work at City Hospital and did a lot of patient teaching to prepare them for surgery and discharge. Thus, She have always been involved in teaching, both formally and informally.

Comfortable As A Teacher

    She was comfortable as a teacher when She was at CPI. She think She felt comfortable because teaching was something that was expected; it was an expectation of the position. 

    We had 11 schools of nursing so that meant having a lot of students in class. She was able to put it all together during the CPI experience: the didactic, the clinical teaching, and the integration of the two. 

    She would say it took her  about 6 months of teaching before She felt comfortable. She think part of that was because She had already had experience informally teaching patients and nursing assistants. 

    She was always very comfortable teaching nursing assistants because She was very comfortable with the content and understood their need. They were always very eager to learn more.

    She believe that for teachers the enthusiasm of the students is important. If you teach students who are enthusiastic, then you feel that you are a better teacher and enjoy the experience. 

    She learned early in her  teaching career to encourage students to ask questions. Sometimes they were reluctant to talk and to ask questions. She use to say to students, “He who asks a question is a fool for 5 minutes; but, he who does not ask could be a fool for the rest of his/her life.” Encouraging students to question is a critical part of the teaching/learning exchange.

    Another important factor is that She like teaching and She believe that it makes a difference. She love to lecture and She use a lot of parables and stories in her  presentations. 

    She often tell people that She am a storyteller. She think that the most important part of her  preparation for classes was to be able to give examples demonstrated through parables. 

    She have learned a lot from Gerald Kaplan, because he teaches you to understand students, and to understand your own insights about students and their ability. 

    She love his use of the term “theme interference.” He believed that sometimes the attitudes or the stereotypes that the teacher had towards the students got in the way of them being able to develop an effective teacher-student relationship.


    She had some challenges, first of all, being an African American teacher when the majority of the students were not African American. She grew up in the era when bias was legal and cultural differences were exaggerated. 

    Trying to develop cultural competence among students was a challenge. They did not call it cultural competence in those days, but it was important to help students understand the stereotypes that they had, and to be able to work with different groups of patients and staff. 

    It was particularly important for students to understand the relationship between culture and illnesses and its effect on health promotion.

    It helped her  to work in a psychiatric setting, because it gave her  a better appreciation for mental illness, and to understand that behavior was a question of the degree of illness. 

    Through education, She was able to help students become less biased towards the patients. Sometimes we neglect this aspect even today; we operate on the assumption that students ought to automatically like everybody that they are working with; instead, when they do not, we need to help them to understand the importance of this.

    Some of her  most difficult times in teaching occurred when She tried to bring people together to learn-faculty, staff, and students. 

    One of the skills that helped her  was her  knowledge of group process. It helped to bring people together and talk about a problem: What we need to discuss is in the middle of the table, let us go around and have everyone express their view on the problem. 

    It takes the emphasis away from individual stereotypes and personal views of the situation. The other piece that is so important in teaching is being able to give feedback and do it in a structured way, and in the classroom as well. 

    For example, in doing seminars She believe that at the end of the seminar sessions you have to be able to process the learning and have students begin to evaluate each other and be able to say, “Well, you did not do as well today as you usually do.” Or, “I did not understand what you had to say.” Or, “That was a really good way you led that discussion.” 

    We do not praise as much as we could. We can do that even in classroom settings. It might help students a lot more if we were to process: “OK, what was great about the class and what was not?” 

    This evaluation process could supplement the course evaluations, which are often at the end of the course when students cannot always remember the process that occurred.

Embarrassing Moments

     She was in a seminar once with students and they were reporting and She was absolutely exhausted. She sat in the front and closed her  eyes from time to time. One of the students then asked some pointed questions because she thought She was asleep. 

    And She was; She had nodded off, but was still able to answer the question. She have had many embarrassing moments while being taught as a nursing student because She went to a diploma school that was very structured; you had to have the procedures down pat. 

    Students had to go over clinical procedures time and time again, with supervision and plenty of anxiety. When She became a teacher, She was exactly the opposite because She thought the most important consideration was to keep the students' anxiety down. 

    She have learned in teaching that humor is important and relieves tension. She tell stories that demonstrate what it is that the students need to know. This reduces the students' anxiety so that they are able to learn.

Rewarding Aspects of Teaching

    She early days as a teacher were important because it helped make her  decision to go back to school to learn more and get a master's degree. She thought that there were skills that She needed to know in order to be a better teacher. It was rewarding to discover that there was a lot to learn about teaching.

    She enjoyed teaching the students from the 11 schools affiliated with CPI. To her  it was rewarding because She could see the change in the students over the 3-month period of affiliation. 

    It was possible to develop even better teacher student relationships over the 3-month period. She still maintain that. for nursing students, you have to model that student-teacher relationship so that they can learn how to develop therapeutic nurse-patient relationships. 

    That is why She believe it is so important that the student experiences the teacher as a person. She also believe in letting students participate in designing their own program of learning. 

    It took a while for her  to learn this because in the early days, She was so used to lecturing. Also, it is important to understand what students themselves bring to the learning experiences. Not only should she, as the teacher, bring examples to the classroom, but 1 should expect students to bring examples as well.

Least Rewarding Aspects

    Her least rewarding teaching experience was when She first started as a faculty member at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. She was not assigned to any formal courses for teaching, which She was really eager to do. 

    Rather, She was asked to be a psychiatric nursing integrator, which meant that She met with hospital unit nurses to help them understand the emotional needs of patients to whom they were assigned. 

    She went to maternity and pediatric units, medical and surgical units and any place else in the hospital where a need was identified. She was not comfortable with this role because the meetings were scheduled on an as-needed basis. 

    They would call her  and She would have to come to the units quickly and consult about a particular illness or problem situation. She did not always have any time to prepare for the teaching that She was asked to do. 

    And She got lots of calls. Sometimes She would get 50 to 60 calls within a month. Finally the light came on for her  and She under- stood that She needed to have more control over what was needed, rather than running back and forth from the school to the hospital on call. 

    She decided to set up regular unit appointments to meet with the nurses and discuss problems that they were experiencing with patients. She organized seminars for them, usually around themes that would be common for the types of patients on their units. 

    For example, She would teach them about pain management and help them understand that pain was a real problem for the patient. She used a problem presentation approach, letting them discuss the case, and then helping them identify the key components of best nursing care for the patients. 

    As a group then, they were able to solve the problem and to gain insight into their own views about patients. Consultation became a rewarding experience and the emergency calls were reduced. 

    She developed a positive teaching relationship with the nurses on the unit. She arranged to go to units at scheduled times. Sometimes She would go every week, or every 2 weeks. 

    She was able to use those clinical experiences in her  work with faculty and students at the school of nursing. She would provide consultation to the faculty and students during unit post-conferences.

Advice For New Teachers

    She advice to new teachers is first of all, deal with their own anxiety around teaching and realize that they don't have to be so structured or that they need to have all the answers. 

    Many new teachers will say, “OK, this is all She am going to teach,” and are rigid about the course content. She believe that teaching should always be fun, and that when people enjoy, they learn. 

    That is why She believe the use of humor is important for beginning teachers and they should be taught to lighten up.

    There is a new two-volume book on teaching that She would recommend for educators. 

    It is titled Teaching Nursing: The Art and Science, by Linda Caputi , EdD, RN, and Lynn Engelmann, EdD, RN (published by the College of DuPage Press, 2004). Also She would recommend the book that She wrote many years ago on teaching; it was co-authored with LitwakandSakata . 

    In that book we discussed concerns that students have around the learning experience. Teaching to her  is helping students meet their developmental needs. 

    She believe that teachers need to know where students are in terms of their development, and that student development is a critical part of any teaching-learning process. If you can assess where students are and where you want them to be, you can be a much better teacher.

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