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Learning is an ongoing action that promotes higher thinking and strong reasoning. Understanding behavioral objectives is an important aspect of nursing education and promotes a more thorough, well-organized lesson plan, curriculum development, and content mastery (Bastable, 2019). Exploring objectives and goals and promotion of educational gain in a student’s degree path helps a nursing educator become more proficient in development of educational material.
One of the objectives presented in the chapter involves understanding the differences between a goal and an objective (Bastable, 2019). Although it seems easy to interchange the terms, the actual meaning of each differs, mainly by time constraints (Bastable, 2019). Objectives usually refer to a more measurable, singular idea or achievement, whereas a goal is longer termed and more of a generalized outcome (Bastable, 2019). Well thought-out lesson plans deal with several individualized chapter objectives and materials to support the chapter specific objectives (Bastable, 2019). In addition to the specific outcomes related to each chapter, the entire course objectives must also be addressed (Bastable, 2019). Finally, the program outcomes correlate to an ultimate goal of cultivating a well-educated, cultured and compassionate nurse with knowledge to care for patients as a novice nurse (Sterner, Ramstrand, Palmér, & Magnus, 2021).
Another objective presented in this chapter is understanding the mistakes of writing objectives (Bastable, 2019). Mistakes in creating objectives arises from a number of factors pertaining to deviation from the “SMART” method (Bastable, 2019). SMART format for objective writing stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely which are all descriptions for the quality of the objective (Bastable, 2019). Creating objectives often resembles care plans for patients and the creation of patient centered care. Staying specific in desirable action, precise in method, and reasonable in time span helps to create optimal and realistic objectives (Bastable, 2019).
Ultimately, creation of specific goals for entire curriculum programs engages students in a path of coursework aimed at readying the learner to engage in clinical practice. Preparing learners for all components of nursing care is the responsibility of the nursing instructor (Ryder, Taylor, & Hamilton, 2019). As nursing educators, ensuring that curriculum, program outcomes, and course objectives are clearly addressed and achieved is one of the highest priorities besides ensuring competency of graduates (Ryder et al., 2019).
Bastable, S. B. (2019). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice (5th Edition). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Ryder, I., Taylor, M., & Hamilton, C. (2019). SC25 Improving safety and quality of care in nursing education for the ‘future nurse’. BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning, 5https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjstel-2019-aspihconf.58
Sterner, A., Ramstrand, N., Palmér, L., & Magnus, A. H. (2021). A study of factors that predict novice nurses’ perceived ability to provide care in acute situations. Nursing Open, 8(4), 1958-1969. https://doi.org/10.1002/nop2.871
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