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Learning Competency

Competency in nursing looks at the abilities that they required to fulfil their roles as nurse. In the nursing course, it becomes very important for them institution to clearly define their competency as by establishing a foundation for the nursing and education curriculum.  It is thus very important that nursing students and the whole educator program  competencies and outcomes are in addition to the competencies and outcomes the will see the student meeting the requirement  of their whole nursing graduate program during the first year and recurrent years of study (Alvarado, Alfaro, Rivas, & Rodriguez, 2016).  The competency statements also provide the educator and the student with guidance on what to focus on during the preparation of nursing educators and scholars (Alvarado, Alfaro, Rivas, & Rodriguez, 2016). Also while the nursing practice competency may not be the direct result of education program, it provides the foundation of what is to be taught by all educators.

According to the National League for Nursing the four main competencies include:

  1. Human Flourishing – where nursing educators are supposed to use the learning skills to ensure the enhancement of human flouring for their colleagues, fellow students, communities and most importantly their patients.
  2. Sound Nursing Judgment - Here nursing educator and learners should demonstrate a sound nursing judgement in actions or decisions which are related to the quality of education and care for patients (Gould, 2019).
  3. Professional Identity – here the growth in the nursing profession is very integral in regard to the development of the nurse educator as being a leader that follows and values the personal and professional advancement (Gould, 2019).
  4. Spirit of Inquiry-  it indicates that  the nursing profession is very vital  in regard to the reforms on health care systems, and will functions with the spirit of inquiry to the continued reforms as a way of informing practice and education (Gould, 2019).


  1. Human Flourishing

When it comes to the human flourishing competency, it looks at the effort to achieve the part of self-fulfilment and self-actualization in the nursing practice within the context of the broader community of individuals. It looks at the right of each member in the community to pursue their personal efforts. It will assess traits like diversity, dignity, uniqueness, happiness and the holistic wellbeing of the individual in respect to a larger family, population of community (Gould, 2019). As one achieves a human flourishing trait, it means that one is able to become and live the life long journey that is full of achievement, hope, losses, regrets, suffering, illness and coping.  The nurse will be educated to learn how to help individuals in reclaiming or coming up with a new pathways to their human flourishing. The concepts of nursing foundation will look at human dignity, health and illness, vulnerability, compassion, ethnic and cultural diversity of each individual (Alvarado, Alfaro, Rivas, & Rodriguez, 2016).  It is also important to understand the issue of flourishing as to mean having vigour, thriving, growing vigorously and being successful.

  1. Nursing Judgement

The competency of nursing judgement on the other hand looms at three processes in nursing education that includes; clinical judgement, critical thinking and integration through best practice exchange.  This means that the nurse is supposed to employ the required processes as they make decisions regarding their clinical care, application of research and development and the broader dissemination of research findings among other insights to the management and community and allocation of resources.   In addition, the utilization of required professional judgement in education for nurses will entail the process of acquiring and disseminating information, critically thinking about it, evidence evaluation application or required knowledge, the use of problem solving skills, using and reflecting on the clinical judgement as a way of selecting the best course of action in response to educational strategies and learning competencies. 

In the nursing professional judgement this is about the ability for the student to apply the highest order of their cognitive skills (evaluation, conceptualization and analysis) and being in a position that it become deliberate to apply critical thinking (where the nurse is required to be open minded by very wise when it comes to decision making) in the end leading to action that is appropriate and logical.  The development of nursing public policy, advocacy skills and evidence based practice will also assist the nursing educator in formulating a close linkage on how they can be able to teach their students, how they can ensure that students are able to learn and improve the outcomes of patient care (Gould, 2019).  The connections are very important as they ensure the delivery or require health care and education.

  1. Professional Identity

The third competency from NLN is professional identity which focusses on both the professional and personal development, it will look at the internalization of the main perspectives and values that are realized as the integral part to the art and the science of the nursing education.  It will also be social constructed, as the core values will have become self-evident on the basis that the nurse will gain experience (Alvarado, Alfaro, Rivas, & Rodriguez, 2016), lean and reflect and grow high in the profession. In manner, the nurse will also learn to internalize the various fundamental values in each aspect of the nursing practice while at the same time the learner keeps on working in the improvement of patient outcomes as they promote the ideals in the nursing profession. The most integral part of this program is the commitment by the nurse to ensure advocacy for the improvement and access to health care and delivery of health services for the most vulnerable of populations including sustainability and growth of the nursing profession.

This competency is very important as it is addressed during the individual’s educational experience in addition to mentors and teachers with whom the person will interact with or influence the development of their professional identity. It is thus important that the academic nurse assumes ownership regarding the development of their professional identity in addition to that of the students who depend on their, even if the student is at the initial level. By incorporating the right ethical standards which are inspired by the existing national and international codes of ethics will also reflect on the said ownership (Gould, 2019).  It is not only important that the academic nurse education accepts all the important attributed in regard to the nursing profession, by they also need to ensure that they are familiar to the perspectives and values of the discipline of education which also includes the ones found in the  nursing education. The other issue critical to the nursing professional identity looks ways that that the education curriculum will influence the way the students look at the changing healthcare visits, include the different occurrence of various values, the processes of refinement and professional identity which could also be enhanced through positive interaction with colleagues  and communities of interest (Gould, 2019).

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  1. The spirit of Inquiry

The fourth competency is the spirit of inquiry which looks at the persistent sense of curiosity that during the education session would inform both the practice and the learning process.  In this regard, the nursing student will at the end of the day be required to provide a type of inquiry through raising questions during the end of education session, or clinical practice. The nursing student will also be require to challenge the existing and traditional practices, and come up with a new and creative approach to solving clinical care problem. In the nursing profession, the inquiry competency will also come in the way of innovative thinking and will allow for the possibilities of students coming up with new solutions for those predictable and unpredictable situation during practice ("Evaluation beyond Examinations," 2014). Among the contexts that this can be found to work is when it is required for academic educators to challenge and question how they were themselves taught, including how they were able to teach their students.

It is also important that nursing educators teach and seek acquisition of new knowledge or seek understanding and clarity and be able to come up with a spirit of inquiry to their students.  The intellectual curiosity of these students will also include the enhanced or heightened dimension in regard to motivational state, cognitive stimulation and the desirable process of cognition (Clark, Raffray, Hendricks, & Gagnon, 2016). Nursing educators are also required to present a learning environment for the nursing student to allow the challenge what they are being taught. This is part of the natural progress in the spirit of inquiry from the foundational or master’s preparation of the educator and the practice, including nursing research. By fostering, stimulating or sustaining the spirit of inquiry will also begin from the foundational or master’s level in addition to the analysis of evaluation of evidence and knowledge (Clark, Raffray, Hendricks, & Gagnon, 2016). Among the preparation competencies of the nursing educator  for the nursing students will include being able to translate pedagogical  evidence so as to come up with  new and transferable knowledge to other practice settings and the system’s level. Being able to cultivate the spirit of scholarly inquiry for students also means having to engage them in the science of discovery through the implementation and design of the nursing research and come up with a new knowledge that will be used to improve the nursing education or reform agenda.

  1. Learning Objectives for the Spirit of Inquiry
  1. To assess whether the learning is following the curriculum.
  2. To find out the level of interest of the student in the learning process.
  3. To come up with new innovation in nursing practice.

A). Criterion to use:

According to the National League for Nursing, the spirit of inquiry looks at the persistent sense of curiosity which will inform both the practice and during the learning process. A nurse can depict the spirit of inquiry when they are able to raise questions and doubt some factors in a way to try and do something differently or come up with new approaches to various problems during the learning process and nursing practices.

 The first important step will be to clarify the educational objectives so that one can establish the criterion to which the students are likely to make an inquiry in some areas of study. For example, if an individual is satisfied it will be easy for the educator to  know what exactly his or her educational objectives are, and if these objectives are  couched together with traditional aims, the learning outcomes form in regard to the inquiry competency ("NLN Releases A Vision for Achieving Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion in Nursing Education," 2016). After this it will be important for the tutor to move on to the next criterion, however, if he has not discovered the educational objectives, the tutor will have to make reference to the course module descriptor (or any that is equivalent) and find out what the student learning objectives are.  In case the detailed objectives of the student do not exist readily then the student should be asked to come up with theirs in whatever format they may consider as being appropriate   by specifying the student learning outcomes to help guide the course session for the student ("NLN Releases A Vision for Achieving Diversity and Meaningful Inclusion in Nursing Education," 2016).

To help with the inquiry, the tutor can the select a provisional teaching or learning methods. For example, in the inquiry competency, it is important to makes use of Evidence Based Learning. For an experience tutor, one can be able to choose an appropriate method, in regard to the student or use various methods differently so long as they are able to achieve a particular object for the student or the group on the grounds of ‘instinct’ or ‘gut feeling’. If this is so, they can the proceed  directly to the third stage; if this still does not work then it is important for the tutor to look for outside assistance from various referees in the field.

For the lower cognitive objectives, the tutor will utilize the most common method, which is the normal lectures and may as well be the best method if the tutor’s objective is meant to provide the student with an introduction to the nursing subject or to provide them with an overview of a particular area of interest, this will also allow them to deal with some of the main questions that they may want to inquire regarding the topic (Kim, 2014). During this time one needs to consider using an  individualized learning method of different form, like using upon learning materials, following directions from a textbook, CBL, mediated self-study or multi-media and an assignment project.

  1. Traditional Approaches to nursing course

The Traditional approaches to nursing curriculum design was fist laid out by Ralph Tyler in 1949 from his influential book that later came to be known as the ‘Basic Principles of curriculum and instruction’.  From the book, his method in general is seen as though the principle way of forming a concept of the developing a curriculum.  This is due to its wide use in schools and around the world, many students and teachers find this being a familiar concept.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is a subject centred approach, especially for the first years of student as it is a presents a set of ‘experts’  who pre-determine the subject matters  that are also mastered by each student. The curriculum in this manner will also be structured around the content and units and the sequence of what is taught, what follows and the logic behind the subject matter (Kim, 2014).  In this method thus, the systemized ideologies, are also demonstrated in the introduction of Tyler’s book and will categorize the nursing school as the controller of the study to decide what is to be given to the student and how this is going to be delivered.  For example, the tradition method of curriculum development will ask questions like; how can learning experiences of students be selected that are likely to be useful to attain the required learning objectives, what educational purpose should the school aim at attaining?, how can each student learning experience be organized to ensure effective instruction, and how will this effectiveness of the learning experience be evaluated in the long run? (Kim, 2014).

In reference to the traditional method by Tyler, a learning curriculum is supposed to be an ongoing process, over the course of the nursing educational years and educational experiences will thus accumulate  to exert the profound change to the learner, like the way that water deeps in a stone so should education be transferred from the tutor to the student.  In the traditional method, the tutor needs to express the fact that knowledge and skill should not be photocopied, but should in its place be taught in a particular sequence over time (Harrison, 2014).  There should be a spiral approach in which the learner will return to the topics in a more complex form over time, this will also be considered as a traditional approach. In either case skills based, or competency based instructions, which is common in adult basic education will often draw upon a traditionalist approach to the curriculum in which student mastering the nursing skills and procedures in an instruction cycle (Kim, 2014).

Although the traditional approach to the design of syllabus design that his critic, it also has several supporters that maintain the view through mentioning the following advantages.

Some examples of the subject centred curriculum include:

Discipline design – The discipline design will promote knowledge that is gained through a method which the scholar will be using to study a particular content in the nursing profession. The main disadvantage of this design is that   only an in depth study of the main areas of specialization will be taking place.

Subject Design – in the subject design of the curriculum, more effort will be put on the content, where learning is also very much categorized. Among the disadvantages of this is that it will not account for the interest of the learner, tendencies and experiences.

Correlated design- the correlated design in the traditional approach will usually link the individual learner to the subject design as a way of reducing fragmentation. Here subject will be related to one another but will also ensure individual identities are retained.

Broad Field design / interdisciplinary – this is the most liked design, in the traditional approach of curriculum development.  The design is important as it prevents the categorization of subjects allowing students to be free to choose what to learn and what to take away from the course (Harrison, 2014).  The design will also integrate the contents that are relate to one another.


The main advantage of this approach is that the student is likely to benefit and will easily adapt to the different methods of teaching and learning so as to promote the elasticity of learning required knowledge. This is also something that students will be fond of, as it recognizes what they like and do not like, in the end they will have been brought up with what they liked from the beginning of their first year (Clark, Raffray, Hendricks, & Gagnon, 2016). The other advantage of this method is that learning distinct skill in a more systematic fashion will provide itself with traditional form of testing. It is also easy to come up with test scores and to calculate them, this is also explained to the funders as part of the program results. In addition, program administrators are able to use the results from traditional tests to defend what they have achieved from the whole course program (Harrison, 2014).  Tutors, students and lecturer will also direct to confirmed progress which is undoubtedly motivating.

The other advantage from the traditional method of curriculum development include curriculum lending itself well to the mass production (Clark, Raffray, Hendricks, & Gagnon, 2016). Here publishers are able to print books which break down reading and case studies, including evidence based practice into the whole process of learning. In the end this will make the information much easier for the student as they work on comprehending and for the teacher to learn to explain where it is evident that resources have been found to be limited and the traditional approach is much more competent.  In addition, teachers are allowed to expand on the information that they already  have by looking at the guidance from the methods and materials provided from the traditional approach ("International Family Nursing Association Develops Position Statements on Pre-Licensure Family Nursing Education and Generalist Competencies for Family Nursing Practice," 2016). The approach is also much easier from the tutor volunteers and teachers as they will easily teach from the existing curriculum.  In addition, the tradition method is good as it is usually available to learners that re interested in independent studies (Tilak, 2017). The information is easily attained from books, the internet, social media groups among other forms of transmission (Gould, 2019). Here students do not need to way for the lecturer sessions to begin or fit in their schedules, especially for first years that are also professionals, or adult learners who mostly study at home.

  1. Strategies To Evaluating Nursing Outcomes

Role Playing -  Role Playing is a form of evaluation, especially during experiential learning.  In nursing education, role play evaluation will require the students to take on different roles for various nursing requirements by assuming a profile of a personality or character and participate or interact in complex and diverse nursing situation.  The idea of role play is at times used interchangeably or inconsistently. However, it will involve some form of simulation, where the student may realize some realistic situation in which the role of the participant many not be as distinctive or prominent as it should be during role play. In most frequent situations, role play cannot perform well without simulations and will require the practice of role-playing simulation.

Advantages - Role plays are important as they also function as the main learning tools for the groups and teams or individuals since they can play face to face or online, one taking the position of the patient and the other of the nurse.  They will in the even alter their power ratios in learning and teaching relationships or between the educator and the student, this is because students most learn through their viewpoints and explorations of the character or of the personality which they imitate ("International Family Nursing Association Develops Position Statements on Pre-Licensure Family Nursing Education and Generalist Competencies for Family Nursing Practice," 2016). During role play. Students will also enable the learner oriented assessment where the task design will be created for the active learning of students.

Disadvantage - It may not work well for students will esteem issues as it requires them to be actively involved in both the peer and the self-assessment and come up with sustainable formative feedback.

Oral Questioning

An oral questioning form of evaluation is a direct means which the tutor will use to assess the learning outcomes of the student by the means of questioning them. Unlike the one used in interviews, that are usually made of a structure question list, in oral questioning evaluation, there is not structured list of questions. This means that assessors will ask questions and request responses depending on the circumstances.

Advantage - In oral questioning evaluation, the chances of the student cheating is very minimal, in addition, there is less case of plagiarism that can occur during this type of assessment.

Disadvantage -   It may present difficulties for foreign students who take English as a second language, thus they may fail not because they do not know but due to communication barrier.

  1. Criterion and Norm Referenced Tests

In nursing, criterion and norm referenced tests look at how the results of the nursing assessment will be presented.  In the criterion referenced test, it means that the test is related to some unit of measure, which reports the grade level that is equivalent to the scores, where the individual learner will be measured with to determine if they are ready to move to the next level. 

In the norm referenced test, it will look at the percentage ranking of the student in comparison to the average population. For example, a student will be referred to as being 70 percentile, meaning he or she is ranked at 70 in comparison to the total number of students in the nursing class. Most role play assessments are norm- referenced.

  1. Construction of Test Items

- Advantages of using true-false test items -   The major advantages of using the true-false test items is that it provides the learning competency for the student since it clearly indicates what the students understands and believes (Tagliareni, 2019). It also ensures that deviation from learning is avoided.

- Disadvantages of using true false test items - In most cases students may not pay attention to the purpose of the question, it also deters the student to be creative and become critical about the test question.

-Advantages of using multiple choice test items - it provides the students which a chance to critically think about the question and weigh out options before selecting, this is one of the best ways to prove that students understand the subject in question.

-Advantages of using multiple choice test items - some students may not pay attention to the question thus, it is possible a student may pass the test but still not qualify as a learner.

  1. Multiple Choice Item

-  What are the new innovations in learning the Nursing Practice?

Key considerations in identifying stem is- Nursing theories, Evidence Based practice.

Key considerations in developing responses is – current nursing practices and the traditional nursing practices.

How post-test reviews benefit students- They help the student to learn and understand the materials better, in this way, they can understand their strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Cultural and societal factors affecting student learning

Some of the cultural and societal factors that may come in the way of the student learning will include the family structure, education history especially if the student comes from a family with a tradition of learning of not. Society factors will also depend on how the student’s community views the nursing practice, including religion and traditional practices.

  1. Facilitating learning through objectives

The most expected scenario for this type of learning through objectives is when the nursing educators while using a sound and professional judgement would use the objectives to come up with educational issues in which he will need to collaborate with other members of the nursing educational and professional team, later the educator will continue with the selection, appraisal and the integration of evidence in respect to evaluation regarding the learning outcomes. In this regard, the educators is also required to reliably integrate  the evidence they find from multiple ways of knowing how they can improve the nursing education practice and the judgment made by nurses during practice. The educator will also be required to identify different gaps in education through evidence based practice and formulate the research questions that will address these gaps (Tagliareni, 2019) (Warren, Breman, Budhathoki, Farley, & Wilson, 2016,). It is also important that the nursing educator is prepared with the new health care issues that they can use in creating a diverse and strong nursing workforce.

  1. Important of critical thinking skills through collaborative learning

When the educator is able to ensure that the capacity of the spirit of critical thinking during learning on all student is the result requiring a follow up as development of knowledge and the science of nursing education looks at the exploration, discovery, learning and experimentation. By ensuring there is some form of collaborative learning to the role of nursing, including having to critically brainstorm over various aspects in the profession as an important part of creating a scholarly environment for new students and provides them with an opportunity to be innovative, imaginative and formulate new ways of nursing practise that can be adopted by the practice or the educator (Warren, Breman, Budhathoki, Farley, & Wilson, 2016,).

Through collaborative learning, as a nursing student, one is able to find answers to questions that may not be directly answered by the tutor, collaborative learning also encourages the learner to believe in their thoughts and add to the existing knowledge.

  1. Best practices of providing learning feedback

Among the best practices of providing students with feedback of their learning process can be realized through recurrent tests and assessment. Students can also learn about their development when they are given different roles or are allowed to play a particular role again and, meaning that they are being perfected on the identified role (Warren, Breman, Budhathoki, Farley, & Wilson, 2016,).

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