172702 Not the same old, same old assignment: Using contemporary literature to augment synthesis paper assignments for undergraduate and graduate nursing students

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 12:30 PM

Mary Ellen Miller, MSN, RN , Departmentl of Nursing and Health, De Sales University, Center Valley, PA
Undergraduate and graduate nursing faculty are charged to design syllabi that include evidenced based nursing practice and contain evaluation methods that will facilitate students meeting stated course objectives. However, implementing novel approaches to course evaluation methods can prove to be challenging for both the novice and the expert nurse educator.This paper highlights one approach to stimulate student's reflective thinking and writing by using non-nursing contemporary literature for student assignments. The use of non-nursing literature to augment course textbooks and nursing periodicals is a strategy utilized for a reflective synthesis paper assignment in undergraduate and graduate nursing courses in a private university in Pennsylvania.

Johns (2004) describes reflection as being mindful of self, either within or after experience, in order to confront, understand, and move towards resolving contradiction between one's vision and actual practice. Reflective writing in nursing courses augments standard assignments for papers by promoting both reflection and critical thinking. Reflection upon non-nursing literature assists students in seeing the bigger picture and how nursing and public health intersect with exemplars from contemporary literature. Some literary examples include The Anthrax Letters (Cole 2003) used in a public health nursing course, The Tipping Point (Gladwell 2002)used in an epidemiology course, and A Theory of Everything (Wilber 2000), used in a nursing theories course. Student feedback to the faculty, in class, via email, or on the summative course evaluations, overwhelmingly include positive commentary about the value of this assignment and the lessons learned. Sample grading rubrics are included. Academic challenges and replication strategies are described.

Learning Objectives:
Particants will: 1. Describe the value of reflection as a teaching strategy. 2. Identify appropriate literary examples that can be incorporated into nursing courses. 3. Articulate how to implement reflective teaching strategies into their own practice.

Keywords: Nursing Education, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in a university where I implement the teaching strategy described in the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.