Review of Nursing Education: a Journey to Professionalism Through Experience

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Review of Nursing Education: A Journey to Professionalism Through Experience
Ana Lujan
University of North Carolina Charlotte

Being a nurse requires engaging the classroom knowledge base with lab-based learned perception, and – most importantly – skilled, ethical action gained in clinical practice. Herein, we will discuss the complexity of nursing by reviewing Benner’s learning model in nursing education as presented in Handwerker’s 2012 article. Abstract categorization of knowledge further enforces the emphasis on content and places the students as passive recipients of theory (Handwerker, 2012, p .6), rather than active learners developing in a more clinical environment. An educational practice gap exists and students feel that clinical practice is totally separate from what was learned in formal education settings (Benner et al., 2010: Gordon. 2005; Spouse: 2001). Several teaching methods are part of the nursing curriculum and two pedagogical models, behaviorism and constructivis, are included; Handwreker suggests a greater emphases on clinical training to bridge the aforementioned gap.
Behaviorism involves the belief that human behavior can be modified based on stimulus and response. In the learning process reinforcement for desired behavior and accomplishment is presented in different methods like high test score, performing a specific skill, or a passing grade for the assignment. Accredited organizations for schools of nursing including Board of Nursing and entities such as the National League for Nurses Accrediting Commission help to maintain the behaviorist approach by setting standards for nursing programs. These standards enforce that accredited schools maintain curriculums that include objectives, learning experiences, and measurable program outcomes. The NCLEX-RN exam evaluates if standards are followed by testing the knowledge of new nurses.

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