RESCUING NURSING EDUCATION FROM CONTENTS OVER SATURATION: THE CASE FOR A CONCEPT-BASED UNDERGRADUATE NURSING CURRICULUM IN A KENYAN CONTEXT

David Kaniaru, Anthony Muchiri Wangui

Abstract


Nursing education has been plagued with a saturation of contents that is generated as requirement by the Nursing council of Kenya for many years. The multiple contributing factors underscore the complexity of the health-related problems in Kenya and validate the need for educational reforms within the discipline. This review article seeks to address various factors contributing to content saturation in undergraduate nursing and propose a conceptual approach for curriculum review, development and finally advocating for innovative teaching-learning modalities in undergraduate nursing education as discussed in current articles. Content saturation has been an evolutionary process which Shifts from the industrial age to the information age at the beginning of the 21st century. It is characterized by an explosion of new information and brings new changes and challenges to the nursing education. Changes in Health care have also played a key role. Historically, nursing practice and education have been based on a provider-driven health care system and treatment-based health care model. The addition of content related to community populations, health promotion, and outcomes to its curricula (Freeman, Voignier, & Scott, 2002; Hamner & Wilder, 2001; Reece, Mawn, & Scollin, 2003) has been a key factor in content saturation. Conventional teacher-centered pedagogy is common to nursing education. This model incorporates outcome-based or competency-based education; the focus is on content supported by predefined learning objectives within the realm of a program’s conceptual framework, objectives, and philosophy. the gap between academia and nursing practice has been cited as a concern of employers regarding the preparation of nursing graduates as theoretical based; the common theme found in these studies is the view held by nurse administrators, nurse managers, and staff nurses that nursing graduates are inadequately prepared (Eubanks et al., 2002; Burch et al., 2009; Lowry et al., 2000; Smith & Crawford, 2004). In summary Nurses must be knowledgeable, demonstrate reasoning capabilities, and be skilled at accessing and using information to keep pace with a fluid and uncertain health care environment. In addition, nurses must partner with other health care providers in problem solving and governance at the individual, population, organizational, and policy levels. A concept-based curriculum coupled with a conceptual learning approach can prepare nursing graduates who are skilled at conceptual thinking and learning; such skills are necessary to respond to a rapidly changing profession and health care environment.

 

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curriculum, learning, nursing education, teaching, content saturation

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