Development of Curriculum In Nursing Education

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 Curriculum Development In Nursing Education

Development of Curriculum In Nursing Education

What Is Curriculum Development,Impact of Curriculum On Nursing Education,Impact of Good Curriculum Development ,Integrated and Comprehensive Curriculum.

What Is Curriculum Development

    Curriculum development is the process of designing a formal plan of study that provides the philosophical underpinnings goals, and guidelines for the delivery of a specific educational program (Keating, 2011). Curriculum development refers to designing new programs and evaluating/revising existing programs (Kim, 2012).

Impact of Curriculum On Nursing Education

    Nursing curriculum development, ongoing evaluation, and redesign of curriculum are the responsibility of the faculty (Ruchala 2011). Nurse educators are responsible for formulating program outcomes and designing curricula that reflect contemporary health care trends and prepare graduates to function effectively in the health care environment (National League for Nursing ININI, 2005). To this end, nurse educators have the multiple responsibilities of ensuring that the curriculum reflects institutional and departmental mission, vision, philosophy, and internal processes, as well as the standards of individual State Boards of Nursing and national accrediting agencies. 

    Integration of these standards into the curriculum helps administrators and faculty to prepare for program approval or review and accreditation by ensuring that the program meets essential quality standards (Keating, 2011). At the institutional level, curriculum development requires support of both the faculty and administration (Ruchala, 2011). Faculty engagement in the process includes utilization of knowledge, skills, and expertise; serving on curriculum committees: updating courses with current information each time the course is taught; as well as mentoring faculty who have less experience in the curriculum design process. 

    Support from administration includes assurance of needed resources; physical, secretarial, and workload support, external consultants; and assurance that the work invested in the curriculum is valued and needed by the institution (Ruchala, 2011).The NLN and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) provide guidelines and competencies related to curriculum development and accreditation. NLN have been developed as suggestions for faculty as they strive to achieve a level of outstanding performance or service, relevant to all types of programs and institutions. 

    Indicators of the curriculum as a Hallmark of Excellence in Nursing Education include an evidence-based curriculum that is flexible and reflective of current societal and health care trends. Additional indicators include research and innovation, local and global perspective, cultural learning, student values development and socialization, preparation for the roles that are essential to quality nursing practice, learning that supports evidence-based practice, and multidisciplinary approaches to care and clinical competence ( NLN, 2004)

    AACN curriculum standards provide a framework for positioning baccalaureate and graduate-degree nursing programs to meet the health care challenges of a new century. The AACN guidelines have been implemented in a curriculum design to produce sufficient numbers of nurses for a health system in continual change. The AACN Essentials series outlines the necessary curriculum content and expected competencies of graduates from baccalaureate, master's, and doctor of nursing practice programs, as well as the clinical support needed for the full spectrum of academic nursing (AACN, 2014).

Impact of Good Curriculum Development 

    Dynamic changes in health care, health care. workforce education, and the call to better prepare students for the registered nurse and advanced practice role have generated dialogue regarding continuous curriculum review to prevent curriculum drift and ensure quality (van de Mortel & Bird, 2010) as well as curriculum development process reform and consideration of new models (Kim, 2012; Waters, Rochester, & McMillan, 2012). Significant changes occur in the discipline, context of employment, higher education, and health care sector in between accreditation cycles (Waters et al, 2012). 

    Challenges for faculty in schools of nursing include keeping curricula relevant and current, responsive to innovations in practice and teaching and learning (Waters et al. 2012) as years pass in between accreditation and formal re-accreditation cycles (van de Mortel & Bird, 2010 ). Curriculum drift, a widening gap between the accredited curriculum and the taught curriculum, occurs when changes to a course occur and the changes are not monitored. Possible reasons for this include the close protective association of the curriculum and academic freedom, faculty autonomy in development and delivery of their courses, and faculty teaching their courses in isolation (van de Mortel & Bird, 2010). 

    Van de Mortel and Bird (2010) propose a continuous curriculum review that provides a data-informed process that addresses quality improvement of the curriculum; ensures that issues with delivery affecting the student experience are identified and addressed; contains curriculum drift while encouraging positive change, and provides opportunity for team building, development of leadership skills, holistic perspective of the curriculum, and faculty development in the form of sharing wisdom.

    Outcomes based education (also referred to in the literature as abilities-based education) has come to be associated with competency-based education. The key principle in this approach is the development of educational programs and application of learning processes, beginning with identifying outcomes expected as a result of an educational process, competency-based education advocates for a time-independent approach. 

    Curricular contents and learning processes are driven by outcomes/competencies specified for educational programs. In professional education, this means identification of competencies needed by graduates to meet the needs of specific professional roles determined by professions and social needs (Kim, 2012).

Integrated and Comprehensive Curriculum

    Integrated and comprehensive curriculum development takes into consideration appraisal of feedback from graduates and current learners, expectations of consumers of health care, recent developments in regulations and standards, and changes in higher education and health care Nursing curriculum needs to achieve a balance between the body of nursing knowledge, skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership: and analytical and critical thinking (Waters et al., 2012). 

    Ensuring continuous quality in nursing education with the goal of producing graduates who show evidence of competencies in the beginning registered nurse and advanced practice roles requires ongoing dialogue on reforming the process of curriculum development and considering new models of nursing education in the context of accreditation.

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