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Personal Philosophy of Nursing Education

Kristen Eden

Bethel College

Personal Philosophy of Nursing Education

Teaching is a complex process by which an educator imparts new knowledge, concepts,

and skills to a learner in order for that learner to function in a specific role and perform tasks that

are required in that role. The goal of nursing education is to prepare students who will care for

patients and family members in a way that is compassionate, safe, and effective. The nurse

educator can impart these values of care by modeling excellence in the classroom and clinical


Boyer describes the scholarship of teaching as the ability to effectively communicate

knowledge by using various teaching methods, developing innovative curricula, and identifying

effective ways to meet learning needs (Boyer, 1990). The teacher must be interested in what the

student knows and what is lacking. They must creatively integrate prior learned knowledge with

new information to enhance the conceptualization of new knowledge and processes to increase

understanding of the concepts previously learned.

Teaching means sharing the information and skills I have learned as a nurse with my

students and guiding them to use their critical thinking skills and the knowledge they have

obtained to make decisions that benefit their patients. I can exemplify these skills by thoroughly

reviewing the information already known about a patient and explaining to my student how the

information is relevant to patient care. If I have a patient with a specific diagnosis and treatment

plan, the goal is to walk my student through the diagnosis, treatments, medications, and nursing

implications in order for the student to have a thorough understanding of the needs that patient

has and how they, as a nursing student, can provide care to that patient.

I would describe my teaching style as hands-on and collaborative. I love working with

students in the clinical setting as we provide care to patients together. Whether it be teaching a

student the correct way to administer medications through a PEG tube or how to safely ambulate

a new amputee, I want to be there when they see how their efforts and correct performance of

skills has benefitted their patient. From the personality test I have taken in my MSN-Nurse

Educator course, I have the teaching style of a nurturer. I care for my students and want to see

them succeed in their ventures. I have compassion for them when they are embarrassed by their

lack of knowledge and seek to help them regain confidence by encouraging further learning and

inquiry into the subject.

Educating students in the classroom setting is very different from the clinical setting, but

both are equally important and dependent on each other for thorough understanding of patient

care. When I teach in the classroom setting, I understand that there are different types of learners

who will not always appreciate a Power Point lecture with drawn out verbal explanations of

concepts. Students thrive in an environment where there is active learning and varied ways of

conveying information.

One my favorite active teaching methods is using case studies. The well thought out case

study will incorporate facts and concepts learned in lecture to “tie it all together”. For example, I

can use a case study to teach my students about heart failure by presenting them with a scenario

of a patient entering the ER with shortness of breath, edema, and a heart murmur. I paint a

picture for them that includes the patient’s presentation and ask them questions regarding the

potential complications of heart failure, the medications that would relieve symptoms, and the

nursing tasks that would be required to care for a patient in this condition. Giving the students a

real-life scenario where they are critically thinking about the needs of their patients helps the

student to remember the importance of the facts they are learning about the disease, medications,

and nursing skills required to care for a patient in this condition.


I also appreciate games in the classroom. Adding some fun competition to a lecture can

add excitement and increased attention. Gaming allows learners to receive immediate feedback

in a learning situation and application of theory to practice is immediate. Though new

information should not be learned through gaming techniques, gaming benefits the students by

solidifying information in a fun way (Billings & Halstead, 2016).

Challenging my students must be proceeded by an understanding of my students. It

benefits me as an educator to know what they already know. That way I can challenge them to

further explain their understanding while adding new pieces of information to their current


One good way of challenging my students in the classroom setting is to write exam

questions that require them to think at a higher order of thinking. Bloom’s revised taxonomy

delineates those levels that include remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating,

and creating (Armstrong, 2018). Instead of simply requiring that my students remember facts

that I have taught them, I want them to be able to understand the patient’s situation and diagnosis

and be able to create a comprehensive plan of care that is holistic and incorporates evaluation of

that plan of care.

As a future educator, I must have a thirst for learning. Continuing education by attending

nursing conferences, participating in research, and presenting at forums are some ways that I can

continue my learning as an educator. Learning should be inspiring to the student. I want my

future students to see my interest and excitement over their learning as well as my own.

My learning style is a combination of primarily auditory and kinesthetic learning. I learn

best when I am talked through the steps of a procedure and then given the opportunity to perform

the task while it is being explained. That is why I enjoy teaching students in the clinical setting. I

am able to see what they see, have the patient present, and be able to guide them as they perform

the tasks they have been taught in the classroom and nursing lab. This is how I learned best as a

nursing student and how I continue to learn every day as I practice nursing.

This method of learning information and then using that information in order to be

solidified in a learner’s memory is the basis of Gagne’s proposed stages of the learning process.

The theory explains that incoming data must be rehearsed in order for the short-term memory to

code the new learning in one’s brain to be processed and accepted into one’s long-term memory

(Alutu, 2006). I find the explanation of this process to be simple yet profound for the student. In

essence, learning must take on meaning in order for it to be remembered long term. So when I

learn and am teaching my students to learn, reading of new information or listening to what is

being taught must be accompanied by integrating that knowledge into practice.

My teaching goals include imparting a love for learning to my students. If my students do

not enjoy what they are learning and doing, the information and skills will not stay in their

memory. This can prove dangerous once they begin caring for patient’s independently. So

teaching my students to love learning and the importance of learning for the sake of their patients

is most important to me.

I plan to teach my students that which I know well. I have worked in the hospital setting

as a medical/surgical nurse for over five years now and love continuing to learn more about

different diseases and their treatments. I hope to teach my students thorough assessment skills so

that they are able to detect when a patient’s condition is deteriorating and requiring intervention.

I am excited for the day when my students tell me that they were able to intervene before a

patient went into fluid overload or suffered devastating effects from a pulmonary embolism.

Teaching my students what to look for during their assessments and how to intervene is how I

can best teach them to provide excellent nursing care.

I also hope to teach my students the importance of compassionate listening. I find it so

important to take the time to care not only for my patient’s physical needs, but also their spiritual

and psychosocial needs. Something as simple as allowing a patient to show you pictures of their

pets on their cellphone is something that can build a trusting bond between the patient and nurse.

Modeling that caring behavior to my students is something I plan to incorporate into my


Honesty and integrity are some of the most important aspects of ethical nursing practice.

Being honest with one’s self about what knowledge is lacking before attempting a nursing skill

or administering a medication is important. So I want to teach my students to maintain integrity

and acknowledge when they don’t know and to have the humility to ask for help. This practice

keeps the patient safe and the nurse safe from harming the patient in any way.

Integrity in nursing is paramount. When a nurse makes a mistake, it must be confessed

and reported. In that way, the patient is able to be cared for properly should the mistake be

detrimental to their wellbeing. I want to impress on my students the importance of having

integrity and acknowledging when they make a mistake—because in nursing it is bound to

happen. But the effects of that mistake can be so much less harmful if reported quickly and dealt

with properly.

My belief in Christ and the principle of honesty that is taught in the Bible is something

that convicts me to be truthful when I make a mistake as a nurse or when I do not have all the

answers. I have conviction that I need to be honest with my patients, coworkers, and the

leadership I am under from physicians and managers. I believe any lack of knowledge and the

effort to remedy that gap in knowledge is what makes nurses caring and compassionate. There is

integrity in a person who is able to detect when they don’t know what they need to know and

seek ways to find out the information necessary. Being seekers of truth is also a concept that is

biblical and worthy of impressing on my students. A Christian can worship God when they do

everything to honor and glorify him in their actions. A Christian nurse can honor God by the way

they safely care for their patients and have a good attitude while going about their tasks.

I am excited about my future career as a nurse educator and feel it is a great honor and

responsibility not to be taken lightly. I am dedicated to continuing my education and be a life-

long learner so that I may be the best educator I can be. And I am thankful I have a faith that

gives meaning to all the studying, preparing, and hard work of educating future nurses.


Alutu, A. (2006). The guidance role of the instructor in the teaching and learning process.

Journal Of Instructional Psychology, 33(1), 44-49.

Armstrong, P. (2018). Bloom’s taxonomy. Retrieved from


Billings, D. & Halstead, J. (2016). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty. St. Louis, MO:


Boyer, E. (1990). Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professorate. Princeton, NJ: The

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.