Nursing educators ought to have skills and competencies that best suit their pedagogical roles of transferring knowledge to nursing students. Nursing as a discipline is as comprehensive and extensive as outlined in the nursing curriculum. One of the most significant roles of nursing educators is the ability to design, implement, and evaluate a nursing curriculum that best covers the essential needs of patients and nursing students. Many aspects are considered before the implementation of a curriculum is conducted. To be considered include the available technology, the needs of learners from various cultural backgrounds, societal factors, interdisciplinary collaborations, and the contributions of community stakeholders (Carnevale, 2014). The task of implementing a curriculum program is not easy and has to be lead by a member of a nursing curriculum implementation committee, assisted by relevant fellow nursing educators. The nursing curricula have often lacked relevant content, guidelines, practice settings, and practical implementation policies. It has also been noted that much content of the current healthcare education indicates isolation from nursing practice realities. The increase in demand for high quality, safe and effective healthcare services has inspired the need for change in nursing education. Because of that, there have been calls for radical transformations of nursing education. The World Summit on Medical Education conducted in 1993 provided an impetus for medical faculties to redesign their curricular and evaluate them to determine the effectiveness of healthcare delivery (Theobald and Coyer, 2008). The critical roles of nurses in the optimization of health outcomes can only be achieved through traditional and modern approaches to nursing education. Areas of emphasis have been identified as far as this evolution is concerned, have been determined. Such include but not limited to interprofessional education, care coordination, quality improvement, and health promotion. Seamless academic collaborations and progression between associate degree, baccalaureate, masters' and doctorate programs can make it easy to transform curricular content and passage to the students. This paper presents strategies for implementing and evaluating nursing education curriculum.
Communication to Students, Healthcare and Community Agencies
The beginning of curriculum implementation begins with communication to the relevant stakeholders, healthcare and community agencies as well as nursing students. These groups of people have to be informed of the curriculum development through various strategies. This is because curriculum development and implementation ought to be an inclusive process whereby information is meant for all those involved.
Informing the Students
There are numerous means through which information on curriculum development and change can be relayed to the nursing students. This section has to be covered under curriculum advertisement before the developed curriculum is implemented. Faculty meeting involving key participants in the design program should take place before students are involved. Curriculum reform and all information around it have to be a responsibility of a multidisciplinary team involving the nurse educators, the administration of the medical institution, medical professors, librarian notice-makers, senior students, and all nursing students. The effective strategies that have successfully been used before in other institutions to communicate to students include: the use of university newsletters, official channels like the university notice board, question and answer sessions, student clinical conferences, official university social media handles, professors and student leaders (McLean, 2003).
Newsletters: The university medical newsletters and notice boards are accessed freely by students in almost all institutions. The university notice boards are some of the channels that are close to the students and are strategically located in social places, library entrances, and other entry or exit points.
Lunch breaks/student Conferences: Students can also be invited for lunch breaks in which question and answer sessions can be conducted regarding curriculum development. Student clinical conferences can be organized, and all nursing students can be informed in large numbers. In such conferences, students need to be fully convinced of the benefits of the new changes. These strategies have been successfully employed in curriculum planning, design, and change at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine in South Africa in 2001 (McLean, 2003). The professors made students aware of some of the curriculum changes. However, for this program, emphasis should be applied to target students in the associate degree program.
Informing Healthcare and Community Agencies
Healthcare agencies and the surrounding community who are the consumers of healthcare also need to be informed of the impending curriculum reforms. The student nurses are expected to attend to the healthcare needs of the surrounding communities when they finish their courses, and also adhere to the relevant medical or nursing policies in their regions of practice. Furthermore, prospective student nurses are likely to come from the surrounding communities. Different learning institutions have applied different strategies including public notices, Medical conferences, faculty meetings, medical workbooks, and medical journals.
Meetings: In 2016, curricular redesign recommendations for California conducted an inclusive meeting involving representatives from the community and healthcare agencies within the state (Berg and Orlowski, 2016). A group of thought leaders led the meeting which included core medical policymakers from the Californian American Nurses Association, California Board of registered nurses, and the Association of California Nurse Leaders. Other leaders present included deans, faculty, directors, and clinical service providers, representatives from policy and regulatory agencies, industry partners as well as philanthropic organizations. Some of these leaders were from the surrounding Californian communities. All were informed of the curricular developments and changes.
Public Notices: Public notice on curriculum changes was used in 2016 by the University of Wyoming. Referred to as Revolutionizing Nursing Education in Wyoming (ReNEW) curriculum, it was pinned everywhere within the university as well as all healthcare centers within the surrounding community (Notice of Curriculum Changes, 2016). Medical conferences also offer great platforms on which curriculum changes and developments can be communicated to all healthcare and community agencies.
Challenges and Opportunities
Faculty challenges: The transition from the old to the new curriculum is not as smooth as it might be assumed. Nursing programs are aimed at fully equipping future nurses with skills that are adaptive to the rapidly changing professional practice. Central to this objective is the capability of the nursing educators to transfer the same practical skills and competencies to the student nurses. Teaching the old and the new curriculum programs simultaneous is associated with numerous challenges, and for this case, from the perspective of educators. It is difficult for an educator even to begin transitioning to the new curriculum if they have not fully understood its core contents, aims, and objectives (Theobald and Coyer, 2008). Without pointing fingers on whose fault this is, it is essential for all faculty members to the flag of the implementation of the new program if all have comprehensively understood what it entails. Lack of proper understanding limits the educator in areas of similarities and differences between the old and the new program. This aspect negatively interferes with student perceptions of certain concepts of the new curriculum.
In some cases, the faculty might find it difficult to convert some abstract ideas into practical conceptualizations for the students to understand (Fawaz, Hamdan-Mansour and Tassi, 2018). New nursing curriculum programs highly feature the use of modern medical technologies. On the other hand, the old systems utilize some old technologies that have been declared less effective. There is involvement of machine operations which have to show a link in usage between the two programs. If not understood well, complexities can arise in simultaneously teaching the two programs. There are enough works of literature suggesting new challenges that nursing practitioners face when transitioning from practice to nurse educators. Some of these challenges manifest themselves through these changes (Fawaz, Hamdan-Mansour and Tassi, 2018). The faculty can also find it a big challenge when many students in the associate degree program hardly understand new pedagogical techniques. This can suggest a problem with the pedagogy of the new design. The faculty is expected to deliver both curriculum programs at the same time through multiple channels, and also expose students to the best evidence available. This technique drains energy from nursing educators.
How Integration of Interdisciplinary Partnerships Can Boost Learning: Interdisciplinary nursing educational experience prepares nursing students for interprofessional collaboration, communication, and teamwork. Interdisciplinary teaching has become popular because of its ability to optimize the development of knowledge and practices (Hermann, Head, Black and Singleton, 2016). As a discipline, nursing recognizes and builds on the existing knowledge derived from other disciplines. For instance, nursing borrows from biological sciences, medical sciences, pharmacology, pharmacy, psychology, physiology, education, law, statistics, bioethics, sociology, and many others. Meaningful interdisciplinary teaching is known to offer significant intellectual synergies to students transforming their understanding to more diverse perspectives (Carnevale, 2014).
Developing a curriculum that incorporates interprofessional education builds the spirit of cooperation in learning and socialization among nursing students. Common interdisciplinary knowledge is created through collaboration in which scholarly perspectives are bridged and integrated. Multiple points of view promote the identification of diversified research problems and how diverse theoretical and methodological orientations can be utilized to solve problems. This teaching method can boost learning by helping nursing students in uncovering preconceptions and recognize bias. It also promotes critical thinking as well as cognitive development. Through an interdisciplinary teaching approach, student nurses are put in a position to embrace or tolerate ambiguity while also appreciating ethical dimensions of concerns (Hermann et al., 2016).
Evaluation Plan for the New BSN Nursing Curriculum
Evaluation Method: The evaluation of the new BSN curriculum tests whether or not its objectives have been achieved. It also indicates the success rates, strengths and weaknesses (Bangal, 2018). This kind of assessment can be useful in determining areas that can be improved or modified for the new curriculum to achieve best if not all of its intended goals for nursing practice. The evaluation depends on the instructional design, curriculum objectives, resources available, the environment and feedback from stakeholders and students. The method that will be used in evaluating this particular program will begin with the formation of a New Nursing Curriculum Evaluation Committee (NNCEC). The participants or evaluators of this program will be clinical faculty members/senior nursing educators, administrators, consumers, and students in the controlling institut...
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