August 21, 2008

Can nursing students communicate?

This is a little off-track for this blog but I have to ask, can nursing students communicate in writing anymore?

I ask this because I had been contributing to a student nurses forum on technology. One contributer said he did not believe nursing students should be required to buy PDAs. I responded generally about their benefits. I also sent a personal message asking for his rationale. Here is his response exactly as written:

i am a student whose instructor would always tell me the recall of material is better if one has to reachit, write the flas card and then read the information the reptition would help with the memory process. the PDA is great buy how many student actually know the material by heart after access online

It took me awhile to even figure out what this says. I eventually figured out it is the tired idea that we can memorize everything we need to know, and that somehow using a reference resource is cheating. But the bigger question is how will this student function as a professional nurse?

While many schools have students write term papers, who often to educators require students to present cogent written paragraphs? Is this example typical of many nursing students? If so, I would like to hear how we can help our future nurses demonstrate their ability to communicate in writing?


A. said...

I am completing my Education Residency, my last semester, before graduating in December with a MSN in Nursing Education. My interests lie in online education and the incorporation of informatics. How much of the 3rd NLN Technology Conference in St. Louis will apply to this area? I am currently co-teaching an online class.
Anita Ward, BSN, RN

Variegated said...

Like you, I've oftened wondered, as soon-to-be-ex-President Bush asked, "Is our children learning?"

Anonymous said...

I'm a 45 y/o BSN student who is among a cohort of 50 20-somethings, and I have often wondered about this too after reading e-mail from my classmates. The problem may have more to do with a lack of awareness than lack of ability. Maybe these kids don't consider their audience when they write. Maybe they just assume that quick-and-dirty texting language is appropriate for all electronic communication. Maybe if you explain code-shifting and how it applies to electronic communication and academic writing, they would understand.

Some of these kids are pretty shallow, too. They really don't have much intellectual curiosity at all. Looking from the back of the class, I see lots of notebook screens filled with Facebook and MySpace, but none open to NYT or even open to the lecture notes. (And I'm in an ABSN program that only took top students.) I don't think that my school cares about all that as long as the NCLEX pass rate stays above 95%. Sometimes it seems as though that's all they care about.

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