Nursing education is a transformational experience for the student.
Teaching nursing students is a complex process and as a result, the role of the nurse educator is multifaceted, going beyond simply bestowing knowledge on the student. The nurse educator is a facilitator of learning and growth. My teaching philosophy focuses on building a relationship between the learner and the educator in which the learner is not a passive recipient of information nor is the educator a fount of unending knowledge. Instead the teaching-learning experience is an interchange built on a relationship of trust and safety. Adult Learning Theory, constructionist learning, self-determined learning, social learning theory and heutagogy all contribute to my approach to teaching. As an educator, I see myself as a guide and mediator to learning. I must provide accurate information to learners but I must also model the nursing role, guide students and support their unique and diverse needs in learning. To this relationship, the learner brings their own personal life experiences, is driven by their motivation to learn and must reflect on their own growth and development.
This perspective frames my approach to all things nursing education: from program development, curriculum design and creating courses, to the implementation of classroom activities and evaluation strategies.
An academic program must take students from nursing student to practicing nurse, building on previous knowledge and gaining depth of understanding that leads to the ability to make clinical decisions that result in safe and quality care for humans.
I am passionate about creating curriculum that respects the learner and their own learning process. It should address the needs of the community, healthcare systems and the learners. It should be supported by best practices in student centered learning and result in life- long learners
Nursing courses must be engaging, interactive, and relevant. My courses are built on realistic, measurable outcomes that can be met by providing students the tools to find information and apply it.
Class activities are active and driven by a self-determined learning approach, and ultimately give students the ability to apply the information learned in a meaningful way.
In my courses, students are evaluated on outcomes in multiple ways to support diverse learning styles.
In many ways, I feel the role of the educator is in service to the student. Much as a nurse is in service to others, in providing care and comfort, the educator is in service to the student, providing the information, experience and guidance to lead the learner to growth and development in the profession.