Preparing student nurses for contemporary practice: The case for discovery learning

Derek Chambers, Andrea Thiekötter, Lara Chambers


Nursing in the 21st Century is characterised by continuous change. In addition nurses increasingly have to care for: patients with multiple pathology; chronic diseases and who come from more diverse backgrounds than ever before. In order to prepare nurses to function in such an environment nurse education will need to adopt pedagogical approaches that will engender the necessary cognitive and meta- cognitive skills. One such pedagogical approach is Bruner’s theory of discovery learning.

This paper explores the ways in which discovery learning can be used by nurse educators. It reviews the factors that led to the growth of modern constructivism and how nurse educators can use concepts such as heuristics and scaffolding and spiral curricula in order to better prepare nurses to be fit for graduation as registered nurses.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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