NLN Expands Focus on Innovation in Education Excellence

By: Susan Gross Forneris, Director, Center for Innovation in Education Excellence

The NLN is excited to announce a change in focus for the Center for Innovation in Simulation and Technology. Representing a new paradigm for the role of the nurse educator, along with a challenge to deliver innovation in education excellence, the Center has been restructured with a new mission and is now known as the NLN Center for Innovation in Education Excellence.

As new faculty and other nurse educators engage in excellence in teaching and learning, the continued development of online and virtual products is necessary to both enhance faculty skills and expertise and meet the needs of a contemporary generation of learners. With its new name and mission, this newest NLN Center is designed to be a national nursing education professional development arena that brings faculty together to thoughtfully and intentionally build modern, innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Why did we make this change?

For more than a decade, the NLN has promoted simulation and technology as enhancements to teaching and learning to prepare nurses for practice across the continuum of care in today’s complex health care environment.

In recognition of the vital need to build faculty excellence through the use of innovative technologies and reframe how nursing students are taught, and how graduates engage with patients and their caregivers in this connected age of health care, the focus of the Center for Innovation in Simulation and Technology was on the use of simulation and technology. But simulation and other technologies are now disruptors in nursing education. Over the past few years, as research demonstrated that the teaching strategy of simulation, along with debriefing, is effective in creating learning, we began to better appreciate the phenomenon of this revolutionary pedagogy. We now see the benefit of shifting from strictly a cognitive approach in nursing education to a relational approach. Simulation pedagogy is based on experiential learning with a shift from teaching students the content to teaching them how to use the content. It is the pedagogy of active learning and the teaching and learning principles that are the foundation for successful learning.

How will this change benefit NLN members and nursing education?

This new Center will broaden the scope of its programming through an intentional process of engaging members through makerspace activities to move programming through innovation, scaling, and the launching of new programs and products. 

The new structure of the Center is intended to cultivate and scale:

  • Cutting-edge teaching and learning resources
  • Community building to expand and support the role of the nurse educator
  • Evidence-based processes to measure excellence and educational impact

While the mission of the Center is focused on innovation in education excellence, we believe that simulation and technology initiatives and the care of vulnerable populations are niche resources. Simulation programming and programming to better educate learners on the care of vulnerable populations will be highlighted as two Institutes within the Center: Institute for Simulation and Technology and Institute for the Care of Vulnerable Populations. The management of existing programs and new program development will funnel through the Center’s new mission-aligned strategies.

How will this change affect the NLN TEQ Blog?

For nearly three years, the NLN TEQ blog has kept nurse educators up-to-date with the latest innovations in simulation, e-learning, telehealth, and informatics. The TEQ Blog will continue to be a project under the new Center for Innovation in Education Excellence. Look for our latest post highlighting makerspaces.

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