Diversity in nursing education

Diversity in nursing education

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Write a 500-1000 word paper, adhering to APA format on the following topics, using at least five references synthesized into your discussion:

  • Read the attached article “Educating a new generation: Teaching baby boomer faculty about millennial students.” (Mangold, 2007) What are your thoughts on this article? Do you think this an accurate characterization of the faculty-student dyad?
  • Visit Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality and discuss what lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons need to discuss with healthcare providers. How would you discuss LGBT issues with students in class to promote unbiased patient care?
  • What is the current evidence regarding the use of learning style inventories? Describe how you might utilize such tools in your teaching approach in order to creatively develop your approach to student education.
  • What are several strategies that affect student motivation and what strategies can be implemented to overcome barriers to motivation?



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Nurse Educator Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 21-23 Copyright ! 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Nurse Educator Educating a New Generation Teaching Baby Boomer Faculty About Millennial Students Kara Mangold, MS, RN, BC This review examines the impact of generational influences on the faculty-student relationship. Specifically, the baby boomer faculty-millennial learner dyad is explored, as these two generations are most representative of the faculty-student demographic. Teaching and learning preferences are emphasized, and implications and recommendations for nursing faculty are presented. M any factors influence a successful outcome for the undergraduate nursing student; not the least of these is the faculty-student relationship. A factor that could potentially impact this relationship is the generational differences that exist between most faculty members and their student population.
Each generational cohort has a unique set of life experiences that can lead to variances in all aspects of life, including teaching and learning.1 Furthermore, individual generations will incorporate similar life experiences differently from those of other generations.2 The Generation Gap Generally, a wide age gap exists between nursing faculty and their nursing students. The average age of nursing faculty members is 46.8 years, whereas the reported age at graduation for a baccalaureate nursing graduate is 26.2 years. 3 These demographic figures place most faculty members in the ‘‘baby boomer’’ generation (born be- Author Affiliation: Staff RN, Department of Nursing, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, Ariz. Correspondence: Mayo Clinic Arizona-Mayo Clinic Hospital 5777 East Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix, AZ 85054 (mangold.kara@mayo.edu). Nurse Educator tween 1946 and 1964) and the majority of students in the ‘‘millennial’’ generation (born between 1981 and 1999).1 While one must always practice caution in overgeneralizing or categorizing groups of people, certain characteristics are shared by a common generational cohort (ie, each cohort has shared the same set of life experiences and undergone events in society at approximately the same point in development).
This sharing of key life experiences has led to commonalties in values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of the world.1,4 For example, because baby boomers have a large peer group, they tend to be very competitive. In contrast, millennials have been exposed to technology for their entire life, thus they tend to be technologically savvy. The shared life experiences unique to each generational cohort also influence the teaching styles and learning preferences for each generation.5 Nursing faculty is charged with creating a learning environment that is conducive to the students’ learning preferences while still meeting the demands of a rigorous program. Experienced faculty may have developed teaching styles that are preferable for a different generation of learners, as the millennial generation is just now beginning to enter their college years. Nursing faculty are seeking ways to modify their teaching styles to fit the needs of students in the millennial generation.6 With the shortage of nurses, faculty are developing nursing programs to attract, retain, and educate qualified students. Becoming attuned to the needs of the millennial generation is imperative as this generation represents the smallest group of entry-level workers in recent history.
6 Students have many options to consider when choosing a career and are in high demand for many professions. Baby Boomers To understand the teaching and learning characteristics of a group, it is necessary to have some baseline knowledge about that group. Most nursing faculty members are in the ‘‘baby boomer’’ generation. Baby boomers are those who were born between 1943 and 1960, raised in an environment that was prosperous, and part of a traditional nuclear family. When they were children, man was traveling to the moon and televisions were entering homes across the country. As the baby boomer came of age, the Civil Rights Act was passed, Kennedy was assassinated, and the Vietnam War was beginning. In addition, this cohort is over 80 million members strong, so they have been competitive from an early age. Baby boomers tend to be ‘‘workaholics,’’ service oriented, optimistic, and desire personal gratification.7 Baby boomers were educated in a time when learners were dependent on educators to give them information and this usually occurred in the lecture format. They sought a caring environment and responded well to positive feedback. In general, baby boomers see technology as something that is ‘‘nice to have,’’ but not necessary, as they have gotten by without it in the past. Because this group wants to know the ‘‘what’’ and ‘‘how’’ before learning the ‘‘why’’ in a new situation, they are more process oriented than outcome oriented. Baby boomers do not appreciate a learning environment where any Volume 32 & Number 1 & January/February 2007 Copyr ight © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. Copyr ight © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. 21 kind of discomfort is present and appreciate a personal touch from their educators.7 Millennials The millennial generation was born between 1980 and 2000 and make up the majority of the student body at most colleges and universities. They represent the most culturally diverse generational cohort, as 34% of millennials are black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.8 One third of them have been raised by a single parent.4
They grew up in a period with a technological boom, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and school shootings. Millennials are coming of age in the post 9/11 era and a time of potential economic downturn.4 Therefore, this cohort values public safety as well as saving money. Millennials are very technologically literate and see technology as a necessity. A civic-minded group that values diversity, millennials were traditionally raised by a group of parents referred to in the public press as ‘‘soccer moms,’’ or parents who were very involved in their children’s lifestyles. These children were kept very busy as they were growing up. They participated in multiple activities such as sports, music, and clubs. In addition, it has been suggested that due to the very active role that millennials’ parents played in their lives, sometimes educators not only have to please the student but they also need to please the parents.7 Implications for Nursing Education It is evident that there are stark contrasts between these two generations, not only in life but in educational experiences and preferences as well. The literature suggests a number of methods for accommodating the millennial learner. Embracing these methods and adapting them to an undergraduate nursing curriculum can help attract the millennial learner. Millennial Mindset The fact that the millennial generation has always been digitally connected has 22 led to a mindset unlike any that nursing faculty have generally seen. Frand9 has summarized the attributes of this mindset. Computers are not seen as technology but as tools and devices that are necessary for everyday life. Furthermore, millennials prefer the interactive nature of the digital media available.
For this reason, the millennial generation will choose the Internet over television as the Internet not only provides information but also the opportunity for e-mail and chat rooms. The millennial generation also values doing rather than knowing. Being able to search and manipulate information to generate knowledge is more important than the attainment of knowledge.9 The millennial generation is accustomed to doing things differently than previous generations. They have learned through trial and error (ie, video games), where persistence pays off and reading the manual is not very helpful. The key to winning a video game is trial and error, not reviewing information contained in a manual, if there even is one. Millennials have grown up in an environment that is enhanced by multiple forms of media so they have become adept at multitasking. It is not unusual for this group to surf the Internet, listen to music, and talk on the phone all at the same time.9 This environment has accustomed them to a different way of life, where there is a need to stay connected and a limited tolerance for delays.9 This way of thinking leads to some specific preferences in learning. This generation prefers, expects, and appreciates technology in learning and excitedly anticipates what will come next. In fact, the pace at which this savvy generation can assimilate technology exceeds the ability of faculty to maintain and integrate technologically enhanced education.2 To achieve technological integration, nursing faculty have to continually strive to incorporate technology into curriculum and teaching plans. Simulations The millennial generation expects learning to be fun and interactive, preferring to work in teams as current technology is integrated into their learning environment.4,10 These aspects make nursing simulations ideal. The interactive nature of simulations allows the nonlinear way Volume 32 & Number 1 & January/February 2007 of learning at which millennials excel. Diversity in nursing education
They can discuss, go back and forth, and work through the simulation. The millennial generation learns best by doing and discovering the answer through collaborative work. Simulations also support learner-centered education where learners can actively work through situations and problem solve with the faculty member facilitating the experience. A simulation of a nursing event, such as taking care of a patient who is having trouble breathing, can involve all of these aspects, thus a preferential environment for the millennial learner is created. In addition, after the simulation is complete, a short debriefing session can be held to help the nursing student analyze the facts, synthesize learning, and examine actual outcomes.2,6,11 Simulations also give the faculty member an opportunity to provide the immediate feedback and support that the millennial generation desires.5 Although there are challenges to simulations in higher education, such as limited time and resources, there are ways to work around this. Nursing faculty may be able to adapt existing materials, such as case studies, to fit the simulation model. Faculty can consider collaborating with other healthcare disciplines in budgeting for and using simulation equipment. Partnering with medical centers is another possible avenue for acquiring simulation equipment. Some of the time traditionally spent in lecture could be reserved for student interaction through use of simulations. Incorporating simulations into the curriculum may limit the time available for traditional didactic learning; however, the millennial student would continue to be responsible for learning the material and held to evaluation standards. In fact, this group likes to read and is independent by nature, so if given the proper resources, may be very successful in learning ‘‘textbook’’ information on their own.4-6 Use of digital media and e-learning programs to facilitate this learning is ideal for the millennial generation.5 Mentoring Millennial nursing students enjoy being mentored by older generations and this may be an option for their clinical experiences. Mentoring provides a Nurse Educator Copyr ight © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. Copyr ight © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. customized learning environment for the student, an expectation of the millennial generation. If feasible, consider placing a student in a clinical area where they have an interest. Diversity in nursing education
This placement would have to fit with the course objectives but it provides options for the student. A close partnership with an experienced nurse mentor provides the student with immediate response and feedback from the mentor.2,5 Mentoring also provides the opportunity for a student to have some flexibility in choosing a schedule for clinical hours, another desirable feature for the millennial student.12 Both simulations and mentoring incorporate many of the aspects that today’s university student desires. These include integration of technology, a fun and interactive learning environment that provides the opportunity for group work, and learning by doing. Students are able to learn by discovery, analyze, and synthesize information during the experience as well as see clear outcomes. Supplementing this learning with reading materials and course work provided in an e-learning setting further enhances the attainment of nursing knowledge and skills. Research There is very little research, nursing or otherwise, that has tested the recommended teaching methods for the millennial generation. Marshall13 found that using the mandala (development of designs in a circular formation) in a mental health nursing course provided a creative, active learning strategy that helped millennial students meet course objectives. Diversity in nursing education
Arhin and Johnson-Mallard14 modified the end of course synthesis project used in their obstetrics course to fit the needs of a new generation of learners. Instead of having the students present a comprehensive document, they allowed students to decide how to present their projects in an open forum. This gave the students a choice in how to synthesize and present infor- Nurse Educator mation, both characteristics that are desired by the millennial learner. Arhin and Johnson-Mallard14 found that the students not only preferred to use this method but also excelled at it. The course requirements have since been modified to include this design. The millennial generation wants to feel a ‘‘personal touch’’ from their educators and desires a supportive, encouraging learning environment.2,5 Wieck6 affirms this in a study regarding changes needed to attract the emerging workforce into nursing. She found that the top 6 traits the emerging workforce (ie, the millennial generation) preferred were nursing faculty who were approachable, good communicators, professional, supportive, understanding, and motivating. Therefore, it appears necessary that nursing faculty not only have to assess their teaching strategies but also reflect on what may be longheld interpersonal skills and ways of interacting with students. Diversity in nursing education
The educational environment places emphasis on the student being self-motivated, selfreliant, and responsible for learning the material with faculty acting as a resource and expert. However, today’s nursing student may want faculty who gets to know them and takes an interest in their lives.12 Conclusion The nursing profession needs to attract and retain qualified professionals in a time of nursing shortage when many of today’s youth have seemingly endless career options. Although incorporating new strategies and approaches is challenging, faculty have little choice if we wish to recruit, educate, and retain an adequate professional workforce. Traditional approaches to delivering nursing education do not fit the needs and desires of today’s student and tomorrow’s workforce. Diversity in nursing education
Faculty are playing a vital role in recruiting the next generation of nurses as they strive to reinvent the learning environment and themselves. Acknowledgment The author thanks Diane Forsyth, PhD, RN, for general support and assistance during the publication process. REFERENCES 1. Lancaster L, Stillman D. When Generations Collide. New York, NY: Diversity in nursing education
Harper Business; 2002. 2. Collins D, Tilson E. A new generation on the horizon. Radiol Technol. 2001;73(2): 172-177. 3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2004). The Registered Nurse Population: National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses. Available at: http:// bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/reports/ rnpopulation/preliminaryfindings.htm. Accessed December 8, 2006. 4. Major J. Beyond the blackboard: basics of generational learning. SSM. 2002;8(3):51-53. 5. Billings D, Kowalski K. Teaching learners from varied generations. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2004;35(3):104-105. 6. Wieck K. Faculty for the millennium: changes needed to attract the emerging workforce into nursing. J Nurs Educ. 2003;42(4):151-158. 7. Zemke R, Raines C, Filipczak B. Generations at Work. New York, NY: American Management Association; 2000. 8. Merritt S. Learners of the Future. Available at: http://www17.homepage.villanova. edu/stephen.merritt/VUNRLOF060902. htm. Accessed December 8, 2006. 9. Frand J. The information-age mindset: changes in students and implications for higher education. EDUCAUSE Rev. 2000; 35(5):15-24. 10. Zemke R, Raines C, Filipczak B. Generation gaps in the classroom. Training. 1999;36(11):48-54. 11. Tapscott D. Educating the net generation. Integrating Technol Curric. 1999; 56(5):1-6. 12. Wieck K, Prydun M. Getting them in the door: faculty influence on students choosing nursing. Tex Nurs. 2001;75(8): 7, 11, 14. 13. Marshall M. Creative learning: the mandala as teaching exercise. J Nurs Educ. 2003;42(11):517-519. 14. Arhin A, Johnson-Mallard V. Encouraging alternative forms of self expression in the generation Y student: a strategy for effective learning in the classroom. ABNF J. 2003;6(14):121-122. Volume 32 & Number 1 & January/February 2007 Copyr ight © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. Copyr ight © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited. 23 … Diversity in nursing education
Diversity in nursing education