Factors Affecting Curriculum Design In Nursing Education

Afza.Malik GDA

 Curriculum Design and Different Aspects In Nursing Education

Factors Affecting Curriculum Design In Nursing Education

Curriculum and Instruction,Important Topics  Patient Safety,Cultural Competence ,Gerontological Aspects,Evidence Based Practice,Technology and Informatics Use ,Inter Professional Education.

Curriculum and Instruction in Nursing Education

    Central to nursing education is curriculum and instruction. Curriculum is the overall structure of nursing education programs that reflects schools' mission and philosophy, course of study, outcomes of learning, and methods of program evaluation. Instruction is the teaching and learning strategies and experiences faculty and students engage in to achieve the elements of the curriculum. Throughout the history of nursing education various trends and issues have influenced curriculum and instruction. 

    For example, advances in germ theory added to what students learned about aseptic technique, progress in pharmacology changed what students learned about drug therapies, and research in educational theory changed how teachers taught as well as understandings of how students learn. What follows are examples of some of the most prevalent trends and issues influencing curriculum and instruction today. The areas listed are not all inclusive nor do they signify a certain level of importance. 

    The purpose of the overview is to provide you with an understanding of why you are learning what you are learning in your curriculum (ie, important topics) as well as why teachers use particular methods of teaching and learning (ie, important methods).

Learning In Nursing Education

Important Topics in Nursing Education Patient Safety

    Patient safety has always been a priority in nursing education. In recent years, due to widely publicized medical errors, patient safety has taken on even greater importance. The book To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 1999) brought national attention to the issue of patient safety by discussing the number of people who die each year from medical errors. This, in turn, sharpened the focus of patient safety in nursing education. 

    Gregory, Guse, Dick, and Russell (2007) urged nursing educators to begin the process of improving patient safety by examining how curriculum and instruction are contributing to students making errors and taking action to change teaching systems to reduce errors. Thus, nursing students today and in the future may experience a system of nursing education that prepares them differently than in the past to understand the practices and principles of reducing medical errors. 

Cultural Competence In Nursing Education

    Cultural competence is the extent to which a nurse understands and has the skills required to effectively address the healthcare needs of individuals who hold cultural beliefs and values that are different from his or her own. As society continues to become increasingly diverse and global in nature, there is an increased emphasis on teaching concepts related to cultural competence in nursing curricula. For example, the US Census Bureau (2004) reported that Hispanic and Asian populations are growing faster than the population as a whole. 

    Therefore, all nurses are likely to work with healthcare providers and provide care to patients who have cultural backgrounds with which they are not familiar. Nursing programs are integrating coursework and clinical experiences related to cultural diversity and global health care into the curriculum. These experiences can include, but are not limited to, clinical experiences in other countries and learning with nursing students who live in other countries (Fitzpatrick, 2007). 

Gerontological Aspects in Nursing Education

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007), by 2030 the number of people over the age of 65 will have doubled to 71 million, which will comprise 20 percent of the American population. In a response to this trend, Thornow, Latimer, Kingsborough, and Arietti (2006) have developed a guide for nursing faculty to assist them in preparing nursing students to care for the elderly population. 

    The importance of having a critical mass of nurses prepared to care for the growing population of the elderly in the United States cannot be overstated. It is important for gerontology concepts and experiences to be integrated throughout nursing curricula to provide students with the skills required to care for both the well and ill elderly.

Evidence Based Practice In Nursing Education

    Evidence based practice is an approach to nursing care where nurses draw on the best available evidence to make clinical decisions. In nursing, evidence-based practice includes nurses' use of research studies and theory from within nursing and outside of nursing (eg, medicine, psychology, sociology) to make clinical decisions. For example, a nurse caring for a child with asthma draws on many sources of evidence to develop a therapeutic care plan for this child. 

    Today's nursing students can expect to learn evidence-based practice through various activities where teachers provide instruction in best practices for gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing evidence.

Technology and Informatics Use In Nursing Education

    Regardless of the practice setting in which students learn nursing care, it will include using various technologies and knowledge of informatics to assist with patient care. These technologies can include, but are not limited to, medical devices patients will use to provide self-care, as well as information retrieval, clinical information management, and documentation technologies. 

    For example, students may have clinical experiences where they need to understand the use of various insulin pumps or pain management technologies that patients use at home, and that have patient teaching implications. Many schools of nursing are incorporating the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) into the curriculum to help students immediately access information on medical terminology, laboratory values, and evidence-based information. Students' use of this device has important implications for improving their clinical judgment (Newman & Howse, 2007). 

    Students are also being exposed to the use of a variety of clinical management systems. For instance, there are computerized physician order entry systems, telemedicine systems, and patient surveillance systems (Maffei, 2006), many of which have implications for ensuring patient quality and safety.

Inter Professional Education In nursing Education

    A major movement in healthcare education is that of interprofessional education. It is defined as occasions when professionals learn with, from, and about each other to improve collaboration and quality of care (Barr, Freeth, Hammick, Koppel, & Reeves, 2006). The need for such education originates from concerns about patient care quality and safety and the overall importance of innovative ways to ensure good patient care outcomes. 

    Preliminary research on interprofessional education indicated that it assists students in overcoming stereotypes about disciplines other than their own, promotes understandings across disciplinary boundaries, and improves students' ability to engage in teamwork (Freeth et al., 2001). Research on interprofessional education continues. For instance, current studies are investigating it as an approach to improving psychosocial care of oncology patients (see, for example, the Interprofessional

    Psychosocial Oncology Distance Education (IPODE) project at http://www.ipode.ca). Nursing students today will benefit from being open to and actively participating in emerging models of interprofessional education. 

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