Issues In Nursing Education

Find below the QUESTION and RESPONSE

QUESTION
As you have learned with this week’s reading assignment, higher education is facing challenges from financial resources, student population changes, teaching and learning processes/evaluation, and a shifting workforce. Nursing education faces these challenges as well as others.

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Research the literature for current issues facing nursing education. Choose two (2) to study and educate your classmates on them both. Answer these questions as part of your review:

Discuss the issue: history and projected outcomes
Consider quantitative data (statistics and research)
Consider qualitative data (stories, examples, and research)
Individuals who can impact the outcome. Such as:
Nurse Leaders
Academic Leaders
Clinical Partners
Students
Lawmakers
Your role as a nurse leader in higher education to create a positive outcome

RESPONSE

Technological advances along with social change has caused major changes and disruption in higher education which forces institutions to find new ways to do business (Thompson & Miller, 2018). The goal of the educator is to prepare students for the demands that may be placed on them in the workplace and to prepare their minds to be a contributing and not hindering change in society (Tanaka et al., 2017). Great strides are underway for safe, high- quality, and competent patient centered care but it begins with facing and managing challenges in the higher education setting. Many challenges face all aspects of higher education affecting the institution, faculty, staff and students. The two that I will be discussing today are technology and money.

Technology has been a great resource in nursing education for learning and for communication. The past decade has seen an explosion of information technology that encompasses hardware devices, software programs, and network services (O’Connor & Andrews, 2015). Computers, smart phones, and tablets make information on demand and accessible everywhere. In a study done by O’Connor & Andrews (2015), students reported that technological devices like tablets enhanced their clinical learning, increased retention of material, and helped to organize thoughts. Advanced computer technology and simulation makes learning complex material more streamline which can improve patient safety and reduce errors (O’Connor & Andrews, 2015). So how can technology be a challenge?? Institutions are forced to adapt to new technology and innovations that helps their growth and sustainability (Thompson & Miller, 2018). This can be good, only if the institution can afford it. For-profit institutions use sound business strategies by investing in technology and uses this to their advantage to be appealing to students. They use flexible digital approaches that enhance student learning and standardize curricula, while providing faculty development that ensures their success. But this is to the detriment of non-profit and state funded institutions (Thompson & Miller, 2018). Cost of devices for student and faculty use can cause a strain on the student or the institution who cannot provide the needed technology. The rapid technological advances occurring today can cause disruptions in learning and stressful situations from constrained resources, poor computer literacy, lack of technical support, and negative assumptions about technology by both students and staff (O’Connor & Andrews, 2015). This makes the learning of and use of technology as a learning platform undesirable. Added to that, a digitally advanced world can increase the chance of miscommunication, lack of clarity, and inaccurate information.

Now let us take a look at technology in the form of communication an in the clinical setting. Rushed, insensitive and unfiltered responses on things like emails or educational platforms can lead to damaging relationships and an inability to have a therapeutic learning environment (Thompson & Miller, 2018). This further affects the quality of the educational program and thus the quality of the institution. Another issue is access to devices that are need in the clinic area because students are competing with other healthcare professionals to use what limited computers there are (O’Connor & Andrews, 2015). Nursing faculty are responsible for the content that students learn both inside the classroom and outside the classroom and if there are limited access to the technology needed, this can affect learning outcomes (Tanaka et al., 2017). Taking into account student learning styles and demographics, faculty members can get creative with forward thinking initiatives to aid in technological instructional delivery. The academic leader and clinical partners need to communicate accurate and sometimes complex information using the technology at hand along with the use of good teaching skills (Tanaka et al., 2017). Academic and nurse leaders having a cooperative and collaborative environment that leads to effective patient care, and positive holistic outcomes are ways to positively impact negative technological challenges. Students can be flexible and navigate technological changes though research, professional education, and sound clinical practice (Thompson & Miller, 2018).

Financial support and sources of operational revenue impacts academic institutions in the form of a decline in state funding and unsustainable tuition increases (Thompson & Miller, 2018). The long-term value of a liberal arts education has become an issue making public universities find new ways to remain profitable while maintaining consumer accountability (Thompson & Miller, 2018). Leaders are now having to come up with ways to align with the marketplace with measurable outcomes that address both the educational needs of students and the clinical experience in the hospitals (Tanaka et al., 2017). Online programs and trade specific programs, that are for-profit, are disrupting models of higher education that were used in the past. They modify and implement business strategies and offer a curriculum that solidify their “need” based on consumer demands, forcing traditional schools to re-think business models and respond quickly to the dynamic environment (Thompson & Miller, 2018). Resource allocation in the academic setting especially in times of fiscal constraints causes issues between institutional leaders and faculty (Donnelly & Misener, 2005). Some institutional leaders have their hands tied because of the expense of aging tenured faculty which prevents opportunities to employ younger more cost-effective faculty who has recent experience of newer educational models and that can identify with the younger students of this generation (Thompson & Miller, 2018).

Unfortunately nursing programs have experienced major budget cuts, compared to other programs, even though there is a need and increased of cost for learning programs, clinical training, and student support (Thompson & Miller, 2018). The lack in financial certainty of the educational program is also a cause of stress for students, making them at risk for poor performance in the classroom and clinical area (Deasy et al., 2014). Nurse leaders and academic leaders can impact this outcome by collaborating together to develop business partnerships, philanthropic relationships, and new business and budget paradigms that supports the institutions’ growth and quality of education (Donnelly & Misener, 2005). Leaders can work alongside faculty to create budget plans that fit the needs of the departments and the students, while making financially sound and sustainable decisions. Students and clinical partners can show respect for each other when financial issues arise. The can be more communicative and be flexible with their needs and attempt to be cohesive with leaders and faculty (Tanaka et al., 2017). Lawmakers can be sensitive to market tends and create policies that are responsive to the needs of students, faculty and the institution by increasing state funding for nursing programs.

My role as a nurse leader is to use as much information as I can to put changes, new trends, and differing opinions into perspective. Having a space for open and receptive dialogue among team members will help me to have a deep understanding of the goals of my department and how this ties together with the overall mission of the institution. I should aim to build alliances with people who share similar goals, by engaging and effectively communicating with them despite differences in opinions. When dealing with technological and financial challenges, I need to gain ideas, opinions, and advice from my team that will help to solve complex problems. Together we can facilitate buy-in from a wider base of constituents and create a path for moving forward (Thompson & Miller, 2018). Most importantly, since nursing is a practice-based profession, I need to model professionalism and act as mentors for my team and students when faced with challenges (Tanaka et al., 2017). High levels of professionalism in the classroom and in the clinical environment will positively influence those around me to also act professionally despite these challenges and to exhibit attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors that are exemplary.

Review the QUESTION & RESPONSE, offer feedback or suggestions. Are you aware of this issue? Is it present in your current teaching institution (or a prior one)? What do you anticipate it affecting your institution, faculty body, or role as a nurse education leader? What recommendations would you have to help overcome the challenges the chosen issue brings?

One page paper. 3 scholarly references, not more than 5 years. No page formating required.

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