The learning landscape continues to evolve as new technological tools enable teachers to deliver robust learning experiences. It is important to help teachers, administrators, and students know where to begin so that the transition to virtual learning is smooth, without educational loss. This chapter consists of two sections: current trends and issues in technology integration and technological pedagogical content knowledge. The first section briefly reviews the trends in instructional or educational technologies that are causing administrators, teachers, and students to reflect on and modify their thinking about learning and educational content delivery. The second section explores constructivism, the scientific underpinnings of nursing informatics, and ethics. Nurse educators must also address the ethical challenges brought about by this evolving learning landscape. After reading this chapter, one can understand current trends and issues, as well as the influence of nursing informatics and ways to approach new ethical dilemmas.
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Healthcare is in a state of rapid change. Although practice environments have become more complex, educational delivery methods have remained stagnant. Innovative technologies provide opportunities to enhance nursing student learning and help nursing programs become more responsive to changes in the practice environment; however, obstacles may hinder successful implementation. With the increasing complexity of today’s health care environment, innovations in nursing curricula are necessary. This chapter explores some of the general challenges associated with the integration of innovative educational technologies, as well as some challenges unique to virtual simulation. It helps the reader to analyze the challenges of integrating educational technologies into nursing education associated with faculty, administrators, and students. It also helps the reader to examine practical and philosophical barriers related to technology integration and explores challenges unique to the adoption of virtual simulation.
Simulation has many advantages for nursing education, some of which include creating safe learning environments for students and reinforcing information learned in the classroom; it also has the advantage of being available in inclement weather as well as 24 hours a day for student access. Simulation in nursing is one of many methods used for teaching students. Teaching and learning in a virtual learning environment has many advantages for administrators, faculty, and students. One of the advantages includes the use of other disciplines to help create or participate in a virtual world learning experience. The virtual learning environment can be created to look similar to real communities, disaster areas, or homes, with avatars populating that environment. The advantage to using virtual reality, rather than a real-life experience, is that in real life, students could be immersed in an environment that could cause them harm.
This chapter switches gears, away from what leadership means from the view-point of personal qualities to the perspective of what one need to do to achieve the goals of our workplace. Leadership is increasingly defined as the ability to work successfully with others to achieve the organization’s mission and goals. Stereotyped views of nursing stress virtue and busyness but not strength and innovation, thus reinforcing the notion that nurses are helpers, not leaders. The point of naming what one do is for others to see what one does and how one contributes to the organization as a whole. The more others see the contributions of nurses to the organization, the more nurses will be included in key decision-making forums. The more all nurses are expected to be leaders, the more nurse leaders cannot operate from a command-and-control framework but must lead by developing the leadership of others.
Pain remains a common symptom experienced in the palliative care patient population. Despite advances in pain management, patients remain at risk for inadequate relief, especially at end of life (EOL). In order to provide quality pain relief, nurses must possess appropriate knowledge regarding assessment and treatment including pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions. This chapter provides nurses with a basic overview of the principles of pain assessment and pharmacological management throughout the illness continuum and at EOL. The needs of special populations who have been identified as “at risk” of inadequate pain control are highlighted, including older adults, children, persons with communication impairment, patients with a history of substance abuse, and cancer survivors. These groups represent those in whom pain is often unrecognized, not respected or not believed. Many of the principles of pain assessment and management reviewed can be applied to children.
An adult is presumed to have the ability to make his or her own healthcare decisions—including termination of life-sustaining technology—unless he or she is shown to be incapacitated by clinical examination or ruled incompetent by a court of law. Advance care directives are legal vehicles used by people to provide guidance to their healthcare providers concerning the care they would desire in the event they become incapacitated and cannot make their own decisions. Problems with advance directives may arise when they do not seem to apply to the patient’s situation. Nurses roles include educating the patient and family about the patient’s condition and legal end-of-life (EOL) choices, identifying the patient’s and family’s wishes for EOL care, articulating the patient’s and family’s desires to other members of the healthcare team, and assisting the patient and family to obtain necessary and appropriate EOL care.
There is no aspect of leadership as gratifying as helping others reach their potential. It is rewarding in a way that other things aren’t because any investment in people pays dividends forevermore. Appreciating others includes giving feedback that is customized to the person. There is growing evidence that indiscriminate praise doesn’t change behavior positively, particularly if the commendation is for something relatively immutable like being smart. Appreciating others includes a broad range of behaviors—valuing the contributions of different kinds of people; respecting what each generation contributes to the mix; developing a community of learning so all continue to grow and develop throughout their careers; understanding that investments in people have a ripple effect because those who have been helped tend to “pay it forward” and providing timely and effective feedback that encourages improvement or advancement. Appreciating others also means valuing what others have done to help your advancement.
The author of this book has effectively filled many roles in her career: psychiatric nurse, educator, dean, policy maker, president, chair, author, leader, mentor and, as the author would proudly note, gadfly. There are two roles in which the author has particularly distinguished herself and serve as the foundation for the second edition of her book, The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders. The first is leader and the second is mentor. In this book, the author blends the roles of leader and mentor. To this end, the author predictably offers practical insights into effective leadership strategies—some to be expected in books on leadership, such as strategic planning, relationship building, mentoring, giving feedback, building a community of learning, using and portraying data, and securing resources. Other topics are more surprising and thought-provoking, such as recognizing and managing the shadow side of our personalities, neediness and failure as a leader, pretending as a leadership strategy, managing anger, and “the vision thing”. As to mentoring, when the author was president-elect of
STTIin the mid-1980s, she introduced the concept of “orchestrating a career,” and has presented often—and popularly—on this topic. In the ensuing years, the author has written about the various career stages, encouraging nurses (and women) to be optimistic and exert leadership to enrich their own experiences and those of others, taking the long view. The author speaks about nurse as careerist and, in the book, outlines her model on career stages and mentoring needs with its five stages (from preparation through being a gadfly, or wise woman). The book offers a cumulative reflection on the career-long journey of a leader and mentor who has achieved international impact. It offers each of us, regardless of our career stage, profound insights into and options for our own journeys to effective leadership.
Career opportunities are projected to grow faster for nursing than all other occupations through 2026. The advantage of a career framework with multiple stages is that one doesn’t start out expecting to be fully developed at the beginning. Mentoring is needed throughout a career, not just at the start. This chapter provides an overview of the career model that the author has fleshed out over time, greatly influenced by Dalton, Thompson, and Price’s classic article (1977) on stages of a professional career and subsequent work. There are five career stages whereby the individual moves from: (a) becoming prepared, to (b) demonstrating the ability to work independently and interdependently in achieving professional goals, then (c) developing others and the home institution, then (d) advancing the profession and healthcare, and eventually (e) daring to be a truth teller. Exerting leadership presupposes complete career development, going through all five career stages.
Aiming for impact means that one not only thinks that one can transform clinical service, but wants to develop and provide patients and their families with the kind of positive moments that are remembered 20 years later. Leadership presupposes aiming for impact; that is, a determination to address the challenges inherent in the current healthcare system. Impact means always giving some thought to how something good can be parlayed into something better. If one is aiming for impact, developmental learning will inevitably move from focusing on mastery of what today is considered to be best practice to imagining and developing a new and improved version of future practice. Nurses have historically been socialized in the direction of convergent thinking, but leadership requires divergent thinking, experiences that promote creativity and innovation.