Listen to Your Students

By Fitzpatrick, Joyce J. | Nursing and Health Care Perspectives, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Listen to Your Students


Fitzpatrick, Joyce J., Nursing and Health Care Perspectives


Students want to learn all that is necessary to practice safely as professionals. They want to be recognized and admired for their clinical knowledge and expertise. But they also want the teacher-learner relationship to be about their lives as professionals.

AS I WRITE THIS EDITORIAL, nursing education programs throughout the country are winding down their fall semester teaching-learning activities. Students are preparing their final papers, studying anxiously for final exams, and cramming in the clinical hours that are required but may have been missed. Faculty members are contemplating whether or not to change the exam that was used last semester, and counting the days before final grades are due and a quiet break for writing or research will be welcomed. It is a time of accomplishment and celebration as another step toward basic or advanced clinical preparation in nursing is achieved.

At the end of each semester, I ask my students to tell me the most important message they would like to deliver to faculty teaching in nursing education programs. In other words, I ask, how can we, as faculty, improve our teaching and your learning?

I am always a bit surprised at some of the comments, but most do not require major curriculum overhauls. Rather, they require an attention to the learner that may be lost in the busyness of imparting necessary facts and information. Here are some of the lessons I have learned over the years from listening to my students:

1. Care about me as a nurse, as someone who shares your profession, someone who someday may be caring for you or a loved one. As a student, I want you to impart enthusiasm for your chosen field, and a love of nursing that transcends the work of teaching. …

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