As nursing schools transition to a concept-based curriculum, it’s important for educators not to think back to their own nursing school education and compare the two methods of teaching. Instead, think back to how you first worked as a nurse.
Today’s nurses are required to know so much more content, and learn it in a much shorter time. The content saturation often seems overwhelming, for both students and faculty. There is a lot of repetition among the courses. At the same time, some important items fall through the cracks. Today’s nurse also needs to be a generalist, able to transfer his or her knowledge from one bedside scenario to another. Moving to a concept-based curriculum is really the only way to effectively teach students the material they need for the job and to equip them with the critical thinking and collaboration skills they will need to deliver the best patient care.
Transitioning to a new curriculum requires work on everyone’s part but it is definitely worth it. Student approaches to learning also had to change. Students expected to still sit in their chairs and be spoon-fed every bit of knowledge they needed in a short time. But to make concept-based nursing work, students do need to be prepare. They need to immerse themselves in the lessons and participate. It’s the faculty’s job to help students adjust and realize how breaking the traditional curriculum mold can transform their learning process.
We have adopted the version of Lippincott CoursePoint for Nursing Concepts specifically developed for the state of Texas. We’ve found a lot of value in PrepU. I can see that students are not just memorizing information, they are actually absorbing it. I have been very impressed. Learning the concepts and participating in simulations has forced students to think more critically and creatively. Student nurses have to put the pieces of information gathered from the patient together to consider possible diagnoses and treatments. That is really what nursing is putting the pieces together in order to save lives.
I can’t say enough about support service at Lippincott, and about the Lippincott Customer Success trainers and staff. That is a vital piece when you are changing your entire curriculum to have a guide there with you step-by-step- as you transition to unfamiliar territory. Wolters Kluwer has done everything possible to make the transition as easy as possible for us.
Tola Plusnick, DNP, RN, CPNP
Assistant Director of the Associate Degree Nursing Program, Weatherford College.