Journal of Nursing Education

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Editorial

Ruth Sleeper

Abstract

Every decade in nursing education manifests changes which, in retrospect, appear as milestones in the continuing efforts of the nursing profession to attain sound status. Among the indices of change most evident in the past decade is the growing importance of programs of continuing education for faculty in schools of nursing.

For some time, educational programs have been planned in increasing numbers for personnel of all categories in the nursing services. These programs, designed primarily to increase the effectiveness of the worker, have been, in general, highly workcentered. That growth should or could occur within the worker was secondary to the major purpose of the program. However, the worker who participated in the in-service program often progressed to new opportunities as a result of it.

the members of the nursing service constantly exposed to changing patterns of patient care is now taken for granted. Why administrators and teachers whose controlling orientation is toward education should have failed for so many years to see the need for and the value of continuing education for members of school faculties is difficult to understand. Perhaps in-service training or on-going education as part of an individual's everyday activity seemed appropriately the responsibility of the individual and not a phase of her professional life to be planned by others. Perhaps the teacher, because of her knowledge of basic teaching and learning methods and her constant exposure to the large body of knowledge pertaining to nursing, felt quite self-sufficient, at least more so than the nurse whose days were spent in the clinical field or in nursing administration.

If instructors came to their positions "hand tailored" to fit the school's current needs; if all instructors were selfmotivated toward activities which assure continuing growth; if the pattern of medical care and the research in science were forever to stand still, programs of continuing education might be of little concern to those involved in education for nursing. In reality, every instructor brings to a school her own particular background of education and experience, special interests, a degree of self-motivation, and particular needs for further learning.

Each year brings new challenges in education. For the new instructor there is a philosophy to be studied, understood, and applied. There are different policies, standards, and facilities, all a necessary part of an instructor's armamentarium to be acquired. For the ongoing instructor, each year brings new or different developments in curriculum planning and student counseling. For every instructor there is the challenge of the several new methods of teaching and learning to be studied and incorpated in the teaching of nursing in a dynamic setting. Teachers must now question their own readiness to guide students, the products of secondary school curricula which many of today's teachers have not experienced and do not understand. And in this age scarcely a new school year begins without some notable advances in medicine, public health, or community planning which are of concern to the teacher and her program.

Curriculum development is now an accepted responsibility of every member of a faculty. In direct proportion to the positive advancements in the school curriculum will be the knowledge possessed by the faculty, their attitudes toward self-improvement, their sense of obligation toward a teacher's responsibility, and their knowledge and application of current specialized skills of teaching.

To bring abilities and motivation into focus with the needs of the educational program of a school and the students to be taught is, to be sure, a responsibility which the mature instructor may herself meet. But all instructors are not yet mature, nor do all posses either sufficient insight or motivation. Some,…

Every decade in nursing education manifests changes which, in retrospect, appear as milestones in the continuing efforts of the nursing profession to attain sound status. Among the indices of change most evident in the past decade is the growing importance of programs of continuing education for faculty in schools of nursing.

For some time, educational programs have been planned in increasing numbers for personnel of all categories in the nursing services. These programs, designed primarily to increase the effectiveness of the worker, have been, in general, highly workcentered. That growth should or could occur within the worker was secondary to the major purpose of the program. However, the worker who participated in the in-service program often progressed to new opportunities as a result of it.

the members of the nursing service constantly exposed to changing patterns of patient care is now taken for granted. Why administrators and teachers whose controlling orientation is toward education should have failed for so many years to see the need for and the value of continuing education for members of school faculties is difficult to understand. Perhaps in-service training or on-going education as part of an individual's everyday activity seemed appropriately the responsibility of the individual and not a phase of her professional life to be planned by others. Perhaps the teacher, because of her knowledge of basic teaching and learning methods and her constant exposure to the large body of knowledge pertaining to nursing, felt quite self-sufficient, at least more so than the nurse whose days were spent in the clinical field or in nursing administration.

If instructors came to their positions "hand tailored" to fit the school's current needs; if all instructors were selfmotivated toward activities which assure continuing growth; if the pattern of medical care and the research in science were forever to stand still, programs of continuing education might be of little concern to those involved in education for nursing. In reality, every instructor brings to a school her own particular background of education and experience, special interests, a degree of self-motivation, and particular needs for further learning.

Each year brings new challenges in education. For the new instructor there is a philosophy to be studied, understood, and applied. There are different policies, standards, and facilities, all a necessary part of an instructor's armamentarium to be acquired. For the ongoing instructor, each year brings new or different developments in curriculum planning and student counseling. For every instructor there is the challenge of the several new methods of teaching and learning to be studied and incorpated in the teaching of nursing in a dynamic setting. Teachers must now question their own readiness to guide students, the products of secondary school curricula which many of today's teachers have not experienced and do not understand. And in this age scarcely a new school year begins without some notable advances in medicine, public health, or community planning which are of concern to the teacher and her program.

Curriculum development is now an accepted responsibility of every member of a faculty. In direct proportion to the positive advancements in the school curriculum will be the knowledge possessed by the faculty, their attitudes toward self-improvement, their sense of obligation toward a teacher's responsibility, and their knowledge and application of current specialized skills of teaching.

To bring abilities and motivation into focus with the needs of the educational program of a school and the students to be taught is, to be sure, a responsibility which the mature instructor may herself meet. But all instructors are not yet mature, nor do all posses either sufficient insight or motivation. Some, deeply involved in daily demands, are unaware of the changes occurring in their immediate field of activity or in the world around them. Others need to be challenged. Still others need guidance All need a well-considered program planned by the faculty as a whole. All need a program designed to help the teacher to continue to enhance her knowledge and stature as the program enables her to improve her ability to participate with maximum effectiveness in an educational program.

10.3928/0148-4834-19640401-03

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