Curriculum development in nursing education

Written by douglas hawk
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Curriculum development in nursing education
Nursing curriculum has developed around three basic educational models. (nurse chris image by John Keith from Fotolia.com)

Curriculum development in nursing education is a means to arrange, employ and assess learning opportunities. Nursing curriculum is built on philosophical foundations and is generally structured to incorporate that philosophy by considering the nature of knowledge, how students learn it and what teaching approach will best impart it.

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Linear Development

Linear nursing education models are objectives-driven, emphasising desired student-nurse outcomes. Objectives or specific behaviours are established and a step-by-step program is developed to teach students and achieve desired outcomes. As an educational blueprint, linear models can be assessed to determine if the stated objectives have been reached.

Curriculum development in nursing education
Linear nursing education models are goal-oriented with prescribed outcomes. (nurse on duty image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)

Cyclic Models

Cyclic models portray nursing curriculum development as a coherent and logical procedure involving five specific mechanisms including situational analysis, choice of objectives, content selection and arrangement, methods selection and arrangement and learning assessment. This model assumes that what is being taught is circular with no specific starting or ending point.

Curriculum development in nursing education
Cyclic models assume nursing education has no begining and no end. (the nurse with a mask on face sits at a table image by Cosmic from Fotolia.com)

Dynamic Models

A third nursing education curriculum model is the dynamic model. Complex, flexible, interactive and dynamic, this model encourages curriculum development participants to debate, argue and discuss the curriculum approach until arriving at an agreed-upon result. The model urges nursing educators, nurses, doctors, students and health care community leaders to have involvement and input in the curriculum design and development.

Curriculum development in nursing education
Dynamic models involve educators, nurses, students, health care leadership and others in curriculum development. (Group of business people working together in the office. image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com)

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