Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Reframing Nursing Education to Renew the Profession

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Reframing Nursing Education to Renew the Profession

Article excerpt


from tbe NLN Education Summit 2002

Welcome TO THE NLN EDUCATIONAL SUMMIT AND TO MAKING HISTORY. It all started in 1873 with the graduation of the first nursing student, Linda Richards. Twenty years later, a group of educators, meeting at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, formed the first nursing organization in the United States, the American Society of Superintendents

of Training Schools for Nurses. This organization led to the formation of the National League of Nursing Education and, eventually, to the National League for Nursing.Today, we stand on the shoulders of nurse educators from the 1890s on, who came together to discuss problems, propose solutions, and share best practices. - Looking far outside of

nursing, two models set the stage for a discussion of how we must reframe nursing education to renew the profession.The second model comes from business, and I will allude to it later. The first model is inspired by the location of this Summit. We are in California, in a nation that was built on the notion of "going west" to find new opportunities and new ideas. Nurse educators are in the right place at the right time to solve our problems.

In the Land of Disney This Education Summit takes place in Anaheim, in the land of Disney, where children believe that dreams come true. Walt Disney and the company he founded provide an interesting backdrop for a discussion of nursing's renewal. While Disney's life was directed toward making children happy, his own childhood was not a happy one. He left home at age 16 to join an ambulance corps in World War I and, following the war, made his way to Hollywood to produce animated films (1). After he lost the rights to one of his first films, Oswald Rabbit, the critics predicted that his second film, and first full-length feature, would fail. Its unprecedented success - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs grossed $8 million in its first year, 1937 - provided Disney with the incentive to believe in what he did (2).

The story behind Disneyland is relevant to us today. While taking his daughters to an amusement park, Disney noticed that although the carousel was beautiful, the paint was chipped and the horses on the inside were nailed to the floor. Noting that parts of the park were not very nice, Disney determined to build Disneyland, where everything would be perfect.

What is written about nursing and nurses today would lead one to believe that the profession is in trouble - the paint is chipped and the horses are nailed down. The success of the Disney Corporation (3,4) has been attributed to its ability to retain Disney's core values while continuing to innovate. Nursing has retained its core values for clinical competence and caring while innovating a wide array of new roles over time. To reframe nursing education, we must, like the young Walt Disney, recognize that unprecedented opportunities lie before us.

Reframing Nursing Since the first chapter of Exodus, the role of nursing has been, and continues to be, to create a different world from the one we find. Nurses care for the sick and the well during the best and the worst moments of their lives. A small part of what is considered nursing practice is what nurses refer to as caregiver burden. In a clinical situation, nurses instantly enter into the most intimate areas of peoples' lives, at the most important times of their lives.

As we talk, thousands of nurses will save, touch, and forever change thousands of lives across the United States. What is even more incredible is that you, someone you know, or someone who once taught in your school educated all of those nurses. Whatever we are doing, however we are doing it, we have done it well.

Nursing is the profession that has never been drafted in wartime because nurses have always volunteered. Our military history is fascinating. In World War I, more than 10,000 of the 22,000 nurses who served went to Europe. …

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