Challenges in Nursing Education

ABSTRACT

Nursing education prepares nurses to practice in a variety of settings.  The impact of modernization, globalization and liberalization on the society has brought tremendous changes in general and nursing education.  The significant trends in modern education are creativity, changes in teaching - learning process and advanced educational technology.
The current trends in nursing education are numerous.  The scientific and technological advances in medicine along with social changes have resulted in emergence of new diseases and the development of specialities and super specialities.  Advanced nurse practice enables nurses to practice in new roles such as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists.  Nursing profession ensures a promising career in India with job opportunities abroad. Large number of private nursing educational institutions have been set up, which require faculty with postgraduate education.  In developed countries, great emphasis is given on preparing individuals with critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Issues and trends facing nursing education poses challenges for students and nurse educators.  Changes in the curricula in nursing education programmes must incorporate syllabus which reflect social trends and advances in medicine.  Curriculum needs periodic revision.  The programme has developed numerous types of education programmes to address the need for increased man power.
Alternate curriculum plans such as external degree programmes and part time courses are necessary for students who seek higher qualifications.  Degree nursing courses are offered through distance education by different methods such as print media, video conferencing, off campus programmes and academic or continuing education courses on the world wide web.  Use of evidence based and reflective practice in clinical settings are important for nursing students.  Improved teaching strategies such as programmed instruction, problem based learning, computer assisted learning and online learning are few examples of newer learning strategies available in nursing education.
Clinical skill laboratories help students in clinical skill development under non stress situations.  Advanced nurse practice roles have to be developed such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Peadiatric Nurse Practitioner, Midwifery Nurse Practitioner.  Clinical nurse specialists can function as ostomy nurse, nurse in pain management etc.
With large number of graduates passing out every year, it is a challenge to maintain quality in nursing education.  Good infra structure, clinical facilities and adequately prepared faculty are important.  Linking of nursing education and practice encourages well prepared graduates for better patient care.  Faculty need to be role models especially in the aspect of caring in nursing.  Globalization challenges nurses to find effective ways to promote interaction to further scholarly efforts between countries.

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