Nursing Education: Four Motivational Strategies That Can Be Used in the Classroom Setting

Four strategies that can be used to motivate students in the classroom setting include praise and constructive criticism, promotion of autonomy, rewards, and use of student-active teaching activities (Burden, 2000). One of the most destructive aspects of teaching is criticizing students inappropriately and offering negative feedback. Teachers should ensure that the feedback given to students is constructive, positive, and aimed at helping them improve their performance (Murphy, 2006). On the other hand, criticism should be directed towards the activity and not the student. The teacher should offer feedback that helps the students improve, correct their mistakes, and empower them to make advancements in learning. For instance, if a student makes a mistake while solving a problem, the teacher should not criticize the student negatively and label him/her ignorant. Instead, the teacher should identify the mistake made by the student and offer tips on how to correct it. Autonomy is a motivational strategy that allows students to gain control over certain aspects of the learning process (Burden, 2000). It empowers students and motivates them to learn more because they primarily focus on academic aspects that they are passionate about. For instance, a teacher should give students the freedom to choose the projects they want to work on. The use of rewards is an effective motivational strategy because it reinforces the actions of students that produce positive outcomes (Murphy, 2006). Rewards should be given after students attain certain performance goals, especially in tests, presentations, and classroom projects. An example of this strategy is giving gifts to students who attain a certain grade in a given course. Rewards motivate students to work harder and spend more time improving their weak areas. Finally, teachers need to use numerous student-active teaching activities (Burden, 2000). These activities motivate students because they allow them to participate in learning fully and attain a certain level of mastery. Examples of the application of this strategy are teaching by discovery and initiating cooperative learning. Discovery learning satisfies the curiosity of students and allows them to unearth the underlying principles behind certain problems and concepts (Murphy, 2006). On the other hand, cooperative learning allows students to exchange ideas, opinions, and knowledge and also use their creativity to find solutions to common problems.

What is a learning resource center?

A resource learning resource center (LRC) is a facility within an institution of learning that contains various types of academic and learning resources that students and teachers use to find information on different topics (Edwards, 2009). LRCs have specialists that help students locate resources and use them effectively for the attainment of optimal results. Libraries are parts of learning resource centers in many schools. A learning resource center also provides appropriate methods of teaching and learning that teachers and students can use in the classroom setting (Callara & Callara, 2008). The facility is very useful to teachers because they use the various resources it contains to conduct research, teach, collect information on various topics, and develop new knowledge to pass on to students (Edwards, 2009). A nurse educator can use the LRC to enhance the learning experiences of students in several ways. First, he can recommend resources that are found in the LRC to students for research and further reading activities. To motivate students to use the resources, the educator can incorporate information from these sources into learning activities and classroom projects (Callara & Callara, 2008). Second, the educator can make it mandatory for students to refer to resources from the LRC when completing their assignments, tests, and projects. For instance, assignments can be structured in a way that half of the references used to conduct research are from the LRC. Third, the educator can use the resources provided by the LRC to teach. For instance, the LRC provides multi-media applications that educators can incorporate in their teaching methods to enhance student learning and participation (Edwards, 2009). Moreover, educators can use the simulations that the centers provide to improve students’ learning experiences. A typical resource center includes resources such as simulation rooms, laboratories, simulations, and computers (Callara & Callara, 2008). Educators can use these resources to improve the learning process by making it interesting and engaging.

As a nurse educator, how do you get students and staff to understand the importance of learning different computer technology?

Computer technology is one of the most important components of the health care sector in contemporary society. It has become inevitable for hospitals and health care institutions to incorporate it in their daily activities and patient care programs (Ellis & Hartley, 2004). Several approaches can be used to make students and staff understand the importance of learning different computer technology. The first approach would explain to them the impact of computer technology in the clinical setting in contemporary society and the indispensable roles it plays. For instance, electronic healthcare records (EHR), computerized physician order, entry (CPOE) and clinical decision support, and biometrics are examples of computer technology advancements that are revolutionizing the nursing profession (Axley, 2008). Helping students and staff understand the application of computer technology in nursing would motivate them to learn different types of computer technology. Another approach would demonstrate to them the inevitability of possessing skills in computer technology. In today’s nursing profession, computer technology is a vital component that has improved the provision of patient care and enhanced productivity as well as performance (Axley, 2008). Therefore, it would be important for students to learn different computer technology to perform their duties effectively. This goal can be achieved by taking students to hospitals and health care institutions to learn about the importance and application of different types of computer technology as well as their impact on nursing practice (Ellis & Hartley, 2004).

What are several types of computer technology health care students need to learn to be successful in their educational endeavors?

The types of computer technology that students need to learn about to improve their chances of success in their endeavors include computers, simulation technology, and multimedia technology (Mastrian, 2010). Computers are used to communicate (emails), conduct research, create work schedules, and share information. Computers are an inevitable component of nursing education in contemporary education (Moyer & Whitman-Price, 2008). One of their major uses is research and access to information from online databases. Many nursing schools have learning resource centers that can be accessed online by staff and students. Computers make the learning process easy by eradicating the stress of finding resources physically in the resource center. Nursing education is challenging because of the many breakthroughs and discoveries that take place every day through research studies. Computers allow students to obtain up-to-date information on such breakthroughs and integrate new information into their education (Mastrian, 2010).

Multimedia and simulation technologies are important in learning. For instance, multimedia CD-ROMs and DVDs are important because they facilitate the avoidance of problems encountered due to ineffective services by Internet Service Providers and inadequate internet infrastructure (Moyer & Whitman-Price, 2008). CD-ROMs and DVDs do not require students to possess complex skills to use them in learning. Many multimedia technologies allow students to focus more on the curriculum and course content rather than spending time acquiring skills to operate complex computer technology. Nursing students are often required to make presentations of their research and projects. Students must learn how to use multimedia equipment that helps to make effective presentations (Moyer & Whitman-Price, 2008). Simulation techniques are important in nursing education because they improve learning experiences by incorporating knowledge, skills, and critical thinking. Simulation makes the learning of complex skills easy and interesting (Moyer & Whitman-Price, 2008).

How will you role-model use of computer technology?

The use of computer technology will be role-modeled by applying role-playing and simulations. Role-playing and simulations stretch the imaginations of students and improve their critical thinking skills (Rauen, 2004). Even though the two approaches are used in the same way, they are different. They both involve the creation of experiences that reflect real-life situations that students try to solve. Role-playing can be used effectively with simulation technology. For instance, drug administration can be simulated using mannequins and drug recognition units (Rauen, 2004). The mannequin responds differently to drug injections by changes in heart rate and blood pressure. On the other hand, students can be required to conduct online research about a certain topic and report their findings using multimedia presentations (Saba, Rieder, & Pocklington, 2012). For instance, students can be asked to research new technological advancements that nurses use and how they have changed the nursing practice.


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Burden, P. R. (2000). Powerful Classroom Management Strategies: Motivating Students to Learn. New York, NY: Corwin Press.

Callara, L. E., & Callara, L. R. (2008). Nursing Education in the 21st Century. New York, NY: Nova Publishers.

Edwards, B. (2009). Libraries and Learning Resource Centers. New York, NY: Routledge.

Ellis, J. R., & Hartley, C. L. (2004). Nursing in Today’s World: Trends, Issues & Management. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mastrian, K. (2010). Integrating Technology in Nursing Education: Tools for the Knowledge Era. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Moyer, B. A., & Whitman-Price, R. A. (2008). Nursing Education: Foundations for Practice Excellence. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Murphy, F. (2006). Motivation in Nurse Education: A Case Study Approach. British Journal of Nursing, 15(20), 1132-1135.

Rauen, C. A. (2004). Simulation as a Teaching Strategy for Nursing Education and Orientation in Cardiac Surgery. Critical Care Nurse, 24(3), 46-51.

Saba, V., Rieder, K. A., & Pocklington, D. B. (2012). Nursing and Computers: An Anthology. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.