|Talking the Walk: Strengthening Communication Education in the Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum
This project seeks to strengthen the undergraduate nursing curriculum in the area of professional communication. Current changes in health care demand rethinking how we comprehensively address teaching, learning and evaluation of communication skills and competencies in nursing. Current entry-level professional communication competencies for registered nurses have substantially broadened in scope (CRNBC 2006}. The School of Nursing is in the process of undergraduate curriculum review and requires a clear framework for teaching professional communication.
The main purpose of this project is to provide a sound foundation for teaching communication that consolidates theory, practice/lab training and experiential learning across the curriculum and addresses the full scope of communication competencies currently required of entry level registered nurses. The first objective is to conduct a three month exploratory qualitative research study, using focus groups with faculty and students to assess current strategies of teaching communication and to identify areas for improvement. Furthermore, the project will include a review of current innovative models for communication education, including two areas of relevant new educational approaches in team communication education and strategies for conflict resolution to improve patient safety. For this second objective we plan to organize two teaching development workshops for faculty and students bringing in experts on these topics with the view to incorporate this work in the revised curriculum.
Outcomes will have the immediate benefit of providing direction for module development on the broad scope of communication competencies required in the revised curriculum. and the long term benefit of a sustainable structure for communication education that meets current demands for entry level registered nurses, and hence will impact all nursing students enrolling in the undergraduate program (N=120/year}.
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Geertje Boschma, Nursing, Faculty of Applied Science