Online Nursing Education: Skills and Knowledge Development


The given research will primarily focus on the validity of online nursing education as well as analyze the main pitfalls of such an approach. The study is significant because modern education is shifting towards an online format under the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures. Therefore, it is critical to understand what ramifications will such a methodology bring to a nursing field. The research question is what skills are needed for students to successfully adapt to the transition of nursing education at Mercy nursing school to an online format and what are the major pitfalls. The research is conducted with the aim of assessing a new online educational environment adhering to the development of listening skills, critical thinking skills, discipline, and support networks. Thus, some theoretical portions of nursing education can be delivered through the internet, but the skills training aspect is irreplaceable, and face-to-face interaction is mandatory.

Literature Review

The education process is an elaborate interaction between a student and teacher, where the latter can implement a number of strategies to improve the overall learning outcome. It is stated that educators are depositors of knowledge, which equates education to the banking concept (Freire 71). In addition, an instructor needs to be aware of the essential difference of students in a classroom in order not to set up a monolithic participation structure, which does not provide equal opportunity (Tannen 4). Online nursing education needs to adhere to the given remarks and effectively utilize them in the transition process. One of the key aspects of educational issues is not cognitive problems, but rather social relations (Bruffee 44). Therefore, one needs to comprehend the value of face-to-face interaction as it is a major component of the learning progression.

Class participation is also vital for the establishment of a proper education process. It is stated that the longer students postpone the engagement in a class discussion, the more challenging the participation (Foster et al. 185). Reticence is a major challenge during offline classes, which makes that online sessions will have to double down on inducing engagement among students. In the case of nursing education, a significant portion of the programs needs to include skills development, which requires hands-on experience. Such an approach cannot be properly replaced by online lectures. The research suggests that simulation education programs can be effective at advancing nursing education and improving learning outcomes for students and instructors (Karacay and Kaya 561). However, it is helpful in the context of offline or in-class sessions, but there is no evidence regarding the plausibility of such an approach in an online format.


The research method deployed in the study is an interview of current or former instructors of Mercy nursing school. These individuals were selected due to their vast experience in educating nursing students. The interviewees are capable of understanding the major pitfalls of online nursing education, and they can also assess the replicability of skills development through the internet. The key variables are the theoretical portion of the nursing education and skill development transferability into the given format. In addition, it is important to note that it is a pilot study that wishes to assess the essential aspects of the research questions and set a vector for further, more in-depth studies.


The findings suggest that the most relevant skills are discipline, critical thinking, listening skills, and strong support system development. According to the first interviewee, Shari Hood, a student without proper discipline, will not be able to be fully dedicated to the studies and take enough time for self-care. The second interviewee, Jana Hyden, specifies that listening skills and critical thinking are mandatory in order to facilitate the learning process built on evidence-based practice. These skills are also needed to induce active participation in the classroom, which was reviewed in previous sections. Thus, one important area is the integration of online education, science, and practical health care. In order to ensure modern requirements for practical training and the implementation of the development of nursing in Mercy nursing school, it is necessary to work on the introduction of new nursing practical technologies in medical institutions. For its regulatory support, it is essential to develop a package of methodological documents regulating the organizational structure, forms and scope of nursing activities, and educational and methodological materials for theoretical and practical training of personnel in the main sections of nursing.

In the case of the major pitfalls, both interviewees agree that no online tools can fully replace hands-on practical skills training. The current technology is not capable of teaching how a nursing student should react to unpleasant stimuli gagging, yelling, or jerking. In addition, a nursing student needs to be familiar with face-to-face interaction with patients, which is developed through mock counseling procedures. Therefore, the implementation of the concept of the development of health care and nursing science at Mercy nursing school is inextricably linked with the reform of nursing education for online education. Without this, the transition to resource-saving models of health care, the introduction of new high medical technologies in the treatment and diagnostic process is impossible. Significant changes should occur in differentiating the content of secondary medical education, expanding the profile of training and increasing the professional mobility of specialists, taking into account the interests of students, the needs of medical institutions, and the prospects for the development of healthcare in the school.


There are clear skill requirements for nursing students designed to ensure that the Mercy nursing school’s transition process to online education does not hinder the overall learning outcome. Many challenges arise in the transition of higher education institutions to online learning. This is the need to create an e-learning infrastructure, train teachers-instructors, as well as develop or acquire software, solve the problem of choosing the number of online courses as a percentage of face-to-face training. If the applications are created by the educational institution itself, then it is necessary to produce a competent group of specialists of different profiles, which not all universities and colleges can do. An important question for any institution that decides to use online courses is whether online education is critical for the institution in terms of a long-term strategy. In addition, the percentage of annual student enrollment for online education is important, and the growth compared to each previous year. One needs to understand the impact of online learning on academic outcomes, and the increasing acceptance of online teaching by educators.

The results mean that it is important for students to possess outstanding listening and critical thinking skills alongside the discipline and support network. One of the most important among the given skills is critical thinking. The success of the use of teaching technology, including in the design of intelligent computer systems, is determined by the relevance of the socio-pedagogical idea underlying the pedagogical technology. As a result of the analysis of the interview, the most significant features of the process of teaching thinking can be identified. The tasks of forming critical thinking differ depending on the age of the trainees, the level of knowledge, and previous experience.

Another essential skill that is needed for the proper transition of education at Mercy nursing school is discipline. The formation of students’ discipline is carried out in a system of various types of activity and is an integral pedagogical process, where learning plays a leading role. With the beginning of the student’s activity, its plan turns into a program of actions, and the requirements and rules simultaneously become social, setting the norms for the implementation of relations through the activity and activity of communication on the basis of the exchange of values, together making up the content of the discipline.


In conclusion, it was discovered that the nursing skills training aspect of education could not be replaced as it needs face-to-face interactions in order to develop communication skills and be familiar with the unpleasant aspect of the work. The paper is relevant because a wide range of nursing schools are forced to transition to online education format, which means that both instructors and students need to know the major pitfalls of transitions and what skills are required for the latter. The next step should be focused on assessing the various techniques that can partially and effectively replace the skills training aspect of nursing education. The scholars can analyze and evaluate a number of nursing schools and how these institutions are dealing with the skills training aspect of the education process.

Works Cited

Bruffee, Kenneth A. “The Art of Collaborative Learning: Making the Most of Knowledgeable Peers.” Change, vol. 19, no. 2, 1987, pp. 42-47.

Foster, Lisa, et al. “Increasing Low-Responding Students’ Participation in Class Discussion.” Journal of Behavioral Education, vol. 18, 2009, pp. 173-188.

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum International, 1970.

Karacay, Pelin, and Hatice Kaya. “Effects of A Simulation Education Program On Faculty Members’ and Students’ Learning Outcomes.” International Journal of Caring Sciences, vol. 13, no. 1, 2020, pp. 555-561.

Tannen, Deborah. “Teachers’ Classroom Strategies Should Recognize that Men and Women Use Different Approaches in Classroom Discussion.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 37, no. 40, 1991, pp. 1-5.