As nurses, we often work closely with patients and regularly deliver emotional support along with health care, however; a vast number of nursing staff seem to overlook early signs and symptoms of stress and depression in patients. It is imperative to recognize that “depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global problem of disease” (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 2013). At my practicum site, I observed that depression screening was not part of the routine series of assessment questions during their triage. After interviewing the staff, reviewing practice and critical incident reviews, and observation of various nurse triage assessments of patients being seen, I realized that there was an educational need and the staff really lacked appropriate education of stress and depression and how to properly assess the patients seen in the clinic.

Description of the planned innovation
The National League of Nursing (2012) competencies promote excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator. They establish nursing education as a specialty area of practice and create a means for faculty to fully demonstrate the richness and complexity of the faculty role. This paper will provide an overview of my five primary learning objectives which will be guided by not only the NLN but will also include the Cognitive Constructivism educational theory. Cognitivist teaching methods aim to assist students in assimilating new information to existing knowledge, as well as enabling them to make the appropriate modifications to their existing intellectual framework to accommodate that information (GSI Teaching & Resource Center”, 2018). My planned innovation will consist of instructional approaches such as brainstorming, lecture, discussion, and concept mapping which is my belief that will assist learners in integrating new information to existing knowledge of the topic area, as well as allowing them to make the appropriate changes to their existing knowledge base. My goal is to create a learning experience that offers the necessary material to improve the way staff identify patients that are under stress, what is stressing them, and different ways of coping with stress can greatly improve both their mental and physical well-being. Learning involves acquiring and modifying knowledge, skills, strategies, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors (Schunk, D.H.2016). Strategies such as concept mapping can be used for the improvement of learning and teaching in classrooms, the powerful technique of concept mapping could improve education in four different categories: (1) as a planned learning strategy, (2) as an instructional strategy, (3) as a strategy for planning curriculum, and (4) as a means of assessing students understanding concepts. Concept Maps will also be used and are essential to increase meaningful learning in students and for representing the knowledge (Katagall, Dadde, Goudar & Rao, 2015). Brainstorming allows for expressing ideas and listening to what others say, students adjust their previous knowledge or understanding, accommodate new information and increase their levels of awareness.
Brainstorming’s main purposes are to focus students’ attention on a particular topic and generate a quantity of ideas (Brainstorming | UNSW Teaching Staff Gateway”, 2018). Lectures work best when they are in service of the appropriate learning objectives (University, 2018). Discussion will also be used which is “important to learning because it helps students process information rather than simply receive it. The goal of a discussion is to get students to practice thinking about the course material “(Bloomington et al., 2018). Each instructional approach serves this practicum as a means of uncovering great ideas of each and every learner and I look forward to this learning experience.
Assessment/evaluation plan
The purpose of assessment in education is the gathering of pertinent information to determine student learning (Billings & Halstead, 2012). Assessment is a term that implies judging performance or knowledge: this takes assessment beyond the gathering of information and into the realm of decision making regarding a student’s ability to progress within a program or to practice nursing safely (Billings ; Halstead, 2012). In order to determine student level of understanding educators use multiple methods of assessment. Opportunities to evaluate student understanding and integration of concepts include quizzes, exams, papers, and journals. Using a variety of assessment methods allows the educator to obtain a clearer picture of how material is assimilated in a student population.
Assessment allow educators to see how students carry information gathered and/or experienced in multiple settings into their practice. MacDonald (2013) indicates that assessment is an integral part of meeting instructional objectives and learning outcomes. Not only does assessment and evaluation measure students’ learning but also lets the educator look at the instructional objectives and methods to measure whether or not the objectives are accurate, and the methods are effective enough for the learning experience. For my evaluation, I plan to use formative assessment in the form of in-class activities, and question and answer sessions; summative assessment to include a 10-question quiz (5 true/false questions, 5-multiple choice questions) and also student evaluations at the end of the course.

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The graduate Nursing Educator program provides an opportunity for the graduate nursing student to be engaged within their preferred specialty under the guidance of a qualified preceptor. The preparation for this practicum allowed me to reflect and evaluate the areas in which I need growth and prepare a plan in order for me to meet my educational goals. My plan will be based on the guiding principles of the Nurse Educator Competencies. Literature review will allow me to explore nursing theories applicable to this practicum as well as guidance throughout the practicum. It is my plan to allow assessment/evaluation to guide my focus in improving the educational process to meet the objectives and goals of this practicum.


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