Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Innovation in Nursing Education Revisited

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Innovation in Nursing Education Revisited

Article excerpt

The Merriam-Webster dictionary ( defines innovation as "the introduction of something new" or "a new idea, method, or device." Reading further, the dictionary explains that an innovation can refer to "something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field." The range of innovation is discovered through examining synonyms, which include change, alteration, revolution, transformation, and even breakthrough.

In its standards for nursing education programs, the National League for Nursing (NLN) Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (2016) defines innovation as "using knowledge by which to create 'new (or perceived as new)' ways to transform systems, including educational systems" (p. 33). Again, considering the range of innovation as presented through its synonyms, innovation can be broad enough to change an educational system or narrow enough to include an alteration to a specific teaching methodology. It can even encompass the transformation of an approach such as that used to teach clinical reasoning.

The NLN has been a leader in innovation in nursing education for nearly three decades (1988). Fifteen years after its call for a "curriculum revolution," the NLN issued a position statement: Innovation in Nursing Education: A Call for Reform (2003). This position statement called on nurse educators to engage in dramatic reformation and innovation and question the very nature of learning, teaching, and curriculum design. It challenged faculty to develop new pedagogies that are research based and responsive to the current and rapidly changing health care environment. Although written in 2003, this message is very much needed today.

To help faculty and administrators achieve clarity about a possible focus for innovation, the NLN's position statement suggests ways to proceed. These include the following:

• Engage in intensive dialogue with peers, students, and nursing service colleagues about the nature of reform in nursing education.

• Explore new pedagogies and new ways of thinking about nursing education.

• Rethink clinical education to design new methods that better prepare new graduates for current nursing practice. …

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