Educating for Resilience In Nursing Education

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Resilience In Nursing Education

Educating for Resilience In Nursing Education

What Is Resilience,Need of Resilience In Nursing Education,Responsibilities of Nursing Educators for Resilience,Supporting Resilience In Nursing Education.

What Is Resilience

    Resilience in nursing education is the relationship between risk and protective factors causing an individual to bounce back and even thrive in the face of adversity. Human resilience is a dynamic interaction between personal characteristics, adversity, and the environment (McAlister & McKinnon, 2009). Personal characteristics such as inner strengths or capabilities are enhanced by contextual support, thus altering protective factors that enable resilient individuals to adapt and thrive in the face of significant adversity or stressors (Ahern, 2006; Stephens. 2013; Taylor & Reyes, 2012) and to achieve a positive outcome (Haas, 2004). 

    Windle (2011) asserts that the experience of resilience changes as an individual develops, and that adaptation is mediated through bidirectional relationships that create the multiple layers of life contexts.

Need of Resilience In Nursing Education

    Fostering resilience is essential in educating nurses to care and engage with human beings in creating therapeutic connections. Stressors, including the intimate nature of nursing care and turbulent health care environments, require nursing students to be resilient (Chesser Smyth, 2005). Work related adversities have cumulative negative effects on nursing students' health and psychological well being, exposing them to physical and emotional jeopardy (Stephens, 2012). Nursing students are very quickly catapulted into working in high stress and high risk environments where stress, adversity, and risk are all antecedents of resilience. 

    Resilience enables the student to rebound and is a required quality for success in nursing (Jackson, Firtko, & Edenborough, 2007, Taylor & Reyes, 2012) Nursing education can foster and support nurses to be resilient.Hunter (2012) studied perceptions, satisfaction, and risks in the therapeutic bond within the context of a therapeutic engagement. Resilience is vicarious, acting as a counterbalance in reducing the possibility of traumatization for nurses and patients. Resilience supports reframing of negative events and enhances coping skills (Hernandez, Gangsei, & Engstrom, 2007).

    Protective factors are attributes of resilience and modify how a nursing student copes with risk and stress. Such factors include rebounding, determination, self-efficacy, self esteem, social support, personal control, flexibility, and a sense of humor. The consequences of resilience mean that a nursing student can recover, adjust, personally grow, and thrive in a high-risk environment (Mealer et al. 2012). 

Responsibilities of Nursing Educators for Resilience 

    Nurse educators can prepare nursing students to be resilient in recovering from adversity to develop personal growth. Taylor and Reyes (2012) identified that success fully negotiating nursing studies enhances resilience. Nursing students' perceptions of their ability to solve difficult problems were higher at the beginning of the semester than at the end, thus questioning the effectiveness of resilience development. Mc Alister and Mc Kinnon (2009) describe resilience as a process of adjusting to adversity that can be learned and supported. 

    Hodges, Keeley, and Grier (2005) call for teaching and learning strategies that elicit discovery of personal meaning and effective learning in developing professional resilience among nursing students. Engagement and connection, co-created learning experiences, and freedom to experiment in creating shared professional meaning and values that are essential to resilient professional nurses are encouraged as teaching and learning strategies.

    Experiential learning, creative self-expression, explorations of original thinking, increased assertiveness, enhanced communication, and greater collaboration are key in promoting resilience in nursing (McDonald, Jackson, Wilkes, & Vickers, 2013). Resilience education should focus on the undergraduate program where nursing students learn to build identities and coping strategies, as well as discern and build strengths. Clinical supervisors and facilitators who engage in open genuine dialogue support development of resilience in practice.

Supporting Resilience In Nursing Education

    In supporting resilience, nurse educators must be resilient themselves. Having a healthy work life balance and looking after one's physical, emotional, and spiritual health will create resilience. It is recommended that the resilient behaviors of nurses be identified in order to develop a repertoire of recognizable resilient skills (Hodges, Keeley, & Troya, 2008). This repertoire of resilient skills can serve as a model of resilient behaviors that may create a greater self-awareness of resilience among nursing students. 

    In addition, resilience can be incorporated into professional development processes so that nursing students can develop resilient behaviors early in their nursing career. Encouraging nursing students to use humor and to participate in social activities that are health focused, such as a running group or hosting fun-based team building opportunities, strengthens resilience and fosters the capacity to rebound when faced by adversity.

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