Revolutionizing Nursing Education

Dr. Patricia Thomas from the University of Texas at Arlington hosted an interesting TED Talk on a trend in nursing education entitled Revolutionizing Nursing Education.  Her school has launched a digital simulation lab for students learning.  They recognized the digital age of their students and adapted learning to accommodate this need. The basis of the program is gaming in 3D. The lab would take a case, such as a newborn baby, then provide visuals and real-time case Interactive Ventilatorsituations.  The student may be doing an online newborn physical assessment her baby then the situation changes to an absent heart beat.  The student would have to use his/her current knowledge to navigate lab works, tests, doctors orders, and procedures.  The overall learning experience builds as the student progresses through the lab.  The program taps into students critical thinking and knowledge.  Professors monitor the students work and can Professor's Notesamend the program based on current teachings.  This is a truly revolutionary method of teaching and learning in a skills based program such as nursing.


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Skype Call

The Skype call with my assigned partner (Curt) was interesting. I did not particularly enjoy the experience, as I like to work completely on my own, but I do recognize the value in sharing ideas in a class about adult education.

Curt discussed a trend in his field in the federal government related to transferring learning.  He mentioned employees are younger and more tech savvy, therefore, do not want a formal teaching environment for on the job learning.  This is a threat to someone like Curt, who is the educator, and could put him out of a job.  The key is an enterprising approach, which combines classroom and technology.  The problem may be, the cost savings with the online approach.  His research did not include what was included with the cost savings or actual numbers.

This was interesting to me as Curt’s area of focus is procurement, but the progression from structured classrooms to online employee education is occurring in many professions. One hospital I worked at, I had to attend inservices over a four month period, in a classroom.  Now, the delivery mode is online and can be done at home.  It is comforting to know all industries are struggling the same way and need to adapt to their clientele.

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While researching for my paper, I learned a lot on self-directed learning (SDL) I will apply to my classes.  It is popular for adults to want a non-traditional classroom, therefore, self-directed learning is often sought to advance knowledge.  Ironically, this mode of learning is what men and women do when learning a new skill, trying a new recipe or building a shelf.  It is not a new concept but is certainly in vogue for adults…the more independent a person can be is often the attraction to the course.  the role of the educator in this mode of education is pivotal.

The role of the student in self-directed learning is as important as the educator. Weimer (2014) indicates, adult students want teachers to provide the information or else the teacher is not doing their job. The role of the educator includes fostering a learning environment that supports formal learning and self-education. The challenge comes when the educator creates dependency on themselves or does not push the learners to seek answers (Merriam & Beirema, 2014). Students lacking a vision for learning, anticipate the educator will provide the answer. Conversely, it is the educators’ responsibility to, clearly, delineate accountability and goal setting at the beginning of the learning experience (Merriam & Beirema, 2014).

The educator may experience cultural barriers with self-directed learning. Al-Eraky (2014) emphasizes that SDL may be difficult for students of Asian, Arab and Dutch descent. Learning, from these areas, tend to be hierarchal, with the educator dictating learning (2014). Although students may be taught to be SDL, Al-Eraky (2014) indicates Dutch and Chinese students were adaptive to SDL, but very competitive, whereas, Arab students felt lost and the majority of Asian students found the change in learning style difficult. These conclusions stem back to Tough (1978) emphasizing learners evaluating their own learning but, educators must constantly evaluate their role in the learner’s environment and factors hindering SDL.

Although this may not seem trendy, those students that have been educated through a formal system, find this mode of learning new and curious.  There are so many different deliver systems for SDL it is hard as the educator to keep up with the availability.

Al-Eraky, Mohammed. (2013, October 1). The cultural flavours of problem-based learning. Medical Education. doi: 10.1111/medu.12285

Merriam, S.B., & Bierema, L.L. (2014). Adult learning: Linking theory and practice. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Weimer, M. (2014). “She didn’t teach. We had to learn it ourselves”. Retrieved from



New Insights

This classes have been interesting! I have gained a variety of new insights, in particular, in relation to the role of the educator. The educator’s role is vast and not only teaches but provides assistance to navigate through the course and focus the student. The discussion by Bart (2011) focussed on providing prompts to guide students on thinking, analyzing and reasoning .  Bart (2011) also discussed assisting students to engage in reflection. Both of these concepts are based on the educator’s skills to navigate. I had never thought to include something like critical reasoning or reflection as a learning goal for the class. To consciously add this information to the course syllabus would provide a clear teaching and learning goal for the student and educator.


Bart, M. (2011, May 11). Critical reflection adds depth and breadth to student learning. Retrieved from

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Gaming in Nursing

An interesting article I found on gaming in nursing education.  I found this particular relevant to my practice as I like to keep my classroom fun and relevant.

In an article by Day-Black, Merrill, Konzelman, Williams and Hart (2015), the focus is on gaming as a teaching-learning strategy for students in a community health nursing program. The term ‘digital’ students was given for anyone born after 1983 (para.1). These students find traditional learning environments limiting and need engagement, technology and entertainment. Instead of juvenile, classroom exams, the article emphasizes serious games meant to be used in an informal setting. Serious gaming allows for a meaningful learning experience for the student, in a place that is relevant to them, combining kinetic and tactile learning styles of the digital nurse. The implementation of this program began when instructors noticed nursing students were bored with the standard delivery of instructional material. The premise of the program is based on the first three levels of Bloom’s taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension, and application. The laying of learning for the course was to provide a variety of methods of learning, including gaming. A limitation was, not all students were of the digital generation, and therefore, there was still a place for the traditional classroom. Although, gaming is fun and addresses a particular generations needed, the game must be evidence-based with clear goals and objectives focused on learning for the course.

Day-Black, C., Merrill, E., Konzelman, L., Williams, T., and Hart, N. (2015). Gamification: An innovative teaching-learning strategy for the digital learning students in a community health nursing course. ABNF Journal, pp.90-94.

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