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BEYOND THE CL ASSROOM Teaching tomorrow’s nurses through experiential learning A


s the world becomes increasingly global and technology-driven, nurses are addressing the patient needs of diverse populations in more advanced healthcare settings. To help students better understand the wide range of patient needs and healthcare environments, nursing schools are incorporating more experiences outside of the classroom to complement learning and prepare nurses to provide person-centered care.1


“Educators today are turning to experiential learning methods to teach the nurses of tomorrow and help these students develop knowledge, skills and values from direct experience outside a traditional academic setting,” said Richard Cowling, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, ANEF, FAAN, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Chamberlain College of Nursing.


Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs), such as simulation centers, clinical experiences, game- based simulation, virtual learning environments (VLEs) and global health education programs, provide students with a platform to collaborate, explore and refl ect on what is being learned while actively participating with others in observing and using data to inform clinical decisions. By engaging students with more varied and active learning experiences, this experiential learning model helps develop engaged citizenship, foster team responsibility and highlight the importance of contributing to the broader public good – something that nurses do every day.


Simulation is one such example of an ELO, which has been integrated into nursing curricula over the past 20 years. Research shows that simulated learning experiences improve patient outcomes. 2


Designed


to look and feel like a real hospital or clinical setting, simulation centers use high-fi delity mannequins to teach students how to start an IV, dress a wound and even deliver a baby.


“In Chamberlain’s SIMCARE Centers™, we want our students to reflect positively on their experiences and become extraordinary nurses,” Tricia Wagner, DNP, GNP-BC, dean of clinical education at Chamberlain College of Nursing, explained. “By teaching future nurses how to collaborate as a team to provide safe and complete person-centered care, we are


transforming healthcare in our own communities and beyond.”


In expanding learning beyond simulation, Chamberlain College of Nursing students have access to diverse clinical opportunities, ranging from the intensive care unit of a city hospital, to a local elementary school or a community health clinic. Other areas of clinical opportunities include a homeless shelter, a children’s oncology unit or even developing countries across the globe. Each student’s


EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IS JUST ONE WAY EDUCATORS PREPARE STUDENTS


“Teaching Tomorrow’s Nurses: What’s Happening in the Classroom?” (CE595) CE course Sign up today to discover more teaching strategies nurse educators use to meet the needs of diverse groups of students.

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