With the increased diversity of Americans, the patient population and nursing student populations have also both become more diverse. Nurse educators thus need to acknowledge and adopt the best teaching strategies and practices to encourage a culturally sensitive learning environment, and prepare culturally sensitive nurses. Studies show that nurse educators play a significant role in promoting a positive learning environment for the nursing student by determining the educational curriculum and standards preparing students for a successful transition out of academia, into becoming thriving nursing professionals improving the safety and quality of care provided (Horntvedt et al., 2018). Evidence-based teaching strategies must be utilized to promote engagement and motivation of the learner in both clinical and academic settings. The purpose of this discussion is to explore the most effective teaching strategies for my course that are appropriate for my diverse learner population.
The main purpose of my course is to address cultural influences on patients’ health and illness, deliver culturally competent patient care to a diverse population, and finally promote the use of evidence-based practice to promote culturally competent nursing care (Natesan et al., 2020). By the end of this module, learners will be expected to be able to:
- Identify and describe the impact that culture has on health and illnesses
- Identify the cultural competencies and skills required to promote culturally sensitive nursing care.
- Identify and use current evidence-based practice guidelines to promote culturally sensitive patient care.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering culturally competent nursing care is considered a respectful and receptive way of showing the patient that they are valued and cared for. In this course, learners will be educated on the different ways of providing care to patients while considering their individual beliefs, values, and needs. The student will also learn the different terms which will be utilized in describing the delivery of care within the context of the culture of the patient including culturally congruent care, culturally appropriate care, culturally sensitive care, and transcultural nursing practice (Horntvedt et al., 2018). Additional topics that will be covered in this course include disability, culture, health disparities, religion, and spirituality. With the appropriate acquisition of knowledge and skills gained through this course, learners are expected to achieve all three goals as demonstrated above in promoting culturally sensitive practice.
The current educational reforms due to the diverse learner population call for a paradigm shift from traditional teaching styles to ones that are integrative, innovative, and student-centered. This shift will help learners integrate, analyze and synthesize information based on the evidence that the relationship between action and knowledge is more complex and multidirectional rather than linear (Yen & Leasure, 2019). For instance, in this course, I will utilize three main evidence-based teaching strategies appropriate for the educational needs of my diverse learner population, which include reflection, simulation, and collaborative learning.
Over the past few years, reflection has gained more recognition as a significant component of nursing practice and as one of the most effective educational strategies to promote the acquisition of knowledge and learning through practice. Reflection main involves educating learner by promoting critical thinking about a certain clinical experience which promote the development of insight for possible practice change. This strategy is appropriate for the diverse patient population in achieving the course expected outcomes as it provides nurses with an opportunity to build on their previous knowledge through clinical experience, promote strong communication skills, develop clinical judgment, build a collaborative practice and finally improve patient care (Natesan et al., 2020). As a teaching strategy, reflection allows nursing students to explore their clinical experiences, and the feeling and thoughts associated with such experiences, allowing them to change their assumptions and beliefs, and promoting the development of new knowledge in transforming clinical practice.
Simulation is an innovative educational strategy that stimulates several senses among learners at the same time. This teaching strategy can be designed to reflect on a real-life situation and provide the learner with the opportunity to work based on a context that is closer and more representative to the real setting (Yen & Leasure, 2019). The simulation method for this course will involve nursing students alone or in groups performing several patient care activities on a manikin. Simulation teaching strategy allows the learner to repeatedly practice their culturally competent skills into developing a sense of proficiency at their own pace, with the ability to freely make mistakes during the practice, learn from them, and avoid them in actual practice. Studies show that nursing students who learned through the simulation method make fewer medical errors in actual practice as compared to those who took part in other educational methods (Horntvedt et al., 2018).
The collaborative learning method has been utilized in the nursing profession for the past two decades. Evidence in higher learning institutions supports the use of the collaborative learning approach as this method has been reported to prevail in learners’ activities and a productive engagement among nursing students that have a positive effect on the learners’ problem solving, social interaction, critical thinking, and perseverance techniques (Dickerson et al., 2020). In a culturally diverse student population, group activities can only turn into cooperative form when all group members believe that the success of each member is guaranteed irrespective of their cultural or ethnic background. Collaborative learning is the best technic based on its positive influence on the students learning.
The current nursing education system faces several challenges which hinder the successful acquisition of knowledge and skills by the learners to improve their practice. Such challenges include the ever-changing technology, diverse student population, lack of motivation from the learners, inadequate resources, and lack of unique learning needs. The main themes that have been related to these barriers and others which have not been mentioned include time constraints, workplace culture, financial constraints, competencies in EBP, and access/relevance. For instance, some students may find the collaborative learning approach to be time-consuming as different learners have different capabilities in synthesizing knowledge (Yen & Leasure, 2019). With simulation, different students may find it quite expensive to pay for the technique due to inadequate finances. Consequently, given that the student population comprises diverse learners, some individuals might find it hard to work in groups. As such, the educator needs to overcome such challenges for the students to achieve learning and competency.
Strategies to Overcome Barriers and Motivate Learners
Nursing education is crucial in promoting knowledge and skills among nurses in the delivery of safer and quality care to patients. As such, it is curial for educators to adopt appropriate strategies to overcome the barriers that students might face when learning and keep them motivated. Most of these strategies are specifically based on the potential barriers. For instance, with the utilization of healthcare information technology, higher learning institutions will need to cultivate techniques for handling the abrupt amount of new information, skills, and concept and include them in the curriculum (Natesan et al., 2020). Consequently, when dealing with the barriers associated with culturally diverse nursing students, the educator must promote a learning environment that accommodates the necessities of the diverse learners, and make everyone feel respected and valued. The educator must acknowledge the uniqueness and value of each student despite their diversities. Finally, to motivate the learners, the educator needs to provide positive feedback and rewards to those students who have displayed great achievements at the end of every course unit. This way, students will feel that their efforts have been appreciated and work even harder in the future.
With the increasingly diverse student population, nurse educators must adopt appropriate evidence-based teaching strategies to promote the achievement of the course objective and satisfy the educational needs of each student. Such teaching strategies include simulation, reflection, and collaborative learning. However, learners might be faced with several challenges such as communication barriers based on cultural/ethnic diversities, financial strains, and lack of motivation among others. However, with the adoption of appropriate strategies such as creating a culture of inclusivity, such challenges can be avoided.
Dickerson, P. S., Russell, J. A., & Baughman, C. (2020). The professional development associate: A key role in professional development departments. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 51(9), 394-396.
Horntvedt, M. E. T., Nordsteien, A., Fermann, T., & Severinsson, E. (2018). Strategies for teaching evidence-based practice in nursing education: a thematic literature review. BMC medical education, 18(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1278-z
Natesan, S., Bailitz, J., King, A., Krzyzaniak, S. M., Kennedy, S. K., Kim, A. J., … & Gottlieb, M. (2020). Clinical teaching: an evidence-based guide to best practices from the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 21(4), 985. DOI:
Yen, P. H., & Leasure, A. R. (2019). Use and effectiveness of the teach-back method in patient education and health outcomes. Federal practitioner, 36(6), 284. PMC6590951