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Experiential learning driving community based nursing curriculum


Smith, L and Emmett, H and Woods, MA, Experiential learning driving community based nursing curriculum, Rural and Remote Health , 8, (3) EJ ISSN 1445-6354 (2008) [Refereed Article]


CONTEXT: The School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Tasmania, Australia, is the only bachelor of nursing provider in the State of Tasmania. This arrangement is unique among Australian states, which all have multiple providers. In Tasmania's situation, community based nursing students are dispersed for their clinical practica across metropolitan, urban, rural and remote clinical nursing practice. The range of practice is also diverse, and students may be exposed to the span of community health experience, from adolescent, child and family health to specialist clinics in wound care, asthma or diabetes. ISSUES: Providing a curriculum that meets the requirements of the course registering authority as well as the individual clinical learning requirements is challenging. Authentic learning in a diverse context and dispersed venues is difficult to ensure. However the intent to improve the health status of the population served through community practice nursing interventions, guided by primary health care principles, is common to all clinical placements. A curriculum designed to standardise community health practice experience and theory may not address students' learning needs in any of the practice areas. These challenges have been addressed in an experiential learning approach that focuses on the needs of the learner. LESSONS LEARNED: The fundamental principles that hold the diverse curriculum together are: (1) the experiential focus; and (2) the partnership developed between the university and the facility that supports both students and facilitator/preceptors. Providing rural and remote student practicum experiences enhances the learning outcomes of the student and the health outcomes of the community. It encourages the consideration of rural and remote community based nursing practice as a viable professional option for graduates.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords: active learning, community nursing practice, experiential learning, journaling, preceptorship, reflection
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum
UTAS Author:Smith, L (Dr Lindsay Smith)
UTAS Author:Emmett, H (Ms Heather Emmett)
UTAS Author:Woods, MA (Dr Michelle Woods)
ID Code:54345
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2009-02-18
Last Modified:2014-11-25

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