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by: Patricia Benner
Many schools of nursing are embarked upon transforming their nursing curriculum in response to the Carnegie National Study of Nursing Education, the IOM/Robert Woods Johnson Futures Report, the Lancet Report, The Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education, and the QSEN Report on Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. These external demands are met with faculty realizing that that their curriculum may be ten or more years old and in need of revision. Where to begin?
We will focus on strategies to help in transforming a curriculum. Both the effectiveness and artfulness of a curriculum depends on identifying local knowledge and strengths and yet be relevant to diversity and global demands for nursing care. This sounds a little like the fabled mythical dessert that must be hot and cold at the same time. A local curriculum, based upon local strengths and resources that captures unique contributions of particular schools while attending to national and global demands, not to mention national and regional accreditation.
There is a theme here. Nursing Education is called upon to upgrade nursing education to meet current levels of science required for highly technical health care environments even as health care shifts to more ambulatory, community and home care. Nurses are expected to play a key role in health promotion as they also are expected to help an aging population with many chronically ill patients, and technology dependent adults and children. Again, where to begin? How to incorporate the multiple competing demands for the nurse of tomorrow?
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