The transition to online in Nursing Education: The Struggle is REAL

I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past couple weeks with regards to this massive shift to online, remote learning for Nurse Educators and Educators in general. I have decided to take on some pro bono consultations as my very small way of helping during this pandemic. I have been helping Nurse Educators with their transition to online and I have to say...the struggle is REAL...I am hearing words like "fearful", "flustered", "nervous"...classes have moved online but Educators are still reeling from the shift in their traditional ways of teaching. Still struggling to see their students via Zoom...still struggling to hear their students...trying to figure out the best way to conduct student presentations and just trying to understand this new world of online learning. I will say, that so far the Educators I have spoken to, they have been open to learning new things and trying their very best to make the necessary online transition...but it is quite the struggle. Many are unaware of basic computing skills much less virtual classroom sessions or virtual simulations. If their institutions have a robust IT department or a faculty resource department, it would be for the entire institution, not just for colleges and schools of Nursing--leading to long wait times or potentially unanswered calls and emails, not because these departments don't want to help, but the volume of assistance needed is so great.

Even as I home school my own 3 elementary school kids, I am witnessing first hand how important it is for Educators to take a more proactive approach to their own learning and development. The technology to facilitate coursework online has been there for years-over a decade-however in our own busy-ness and in some situations, complacency, Educators oftentimes did not harness these tools in a proactive manner and what happens is the reactive approach we are seeing now, which then leads to "fear" and feelings of being "flustered".

We will never be the same after COVID-19, especially in Education. As NYS Governor Cuomo stated in one of his most recent press conferences this week, we cannot go back to yesterday. We have to begin seriously thinking about tomorrow. My hope is that Nurse Educators take this as an opportunity to learn as much as you can about the relevance and variations in remote, online learning and educational technology tools, tips and strategies. When/If things simmer down just a little, take a moment to review content on course design and layout for the remote learner. Let's take this as a step in the direction toward change-change for the better for our students and for ourselves.

If there are Educators in Nursing or healthcare in general, who need assistance with the hard and fast transition to remote learning, or if you have already transitioned and are interested in beginning to research how you can scale your now online courses in an effective way, feel free to contact me. Send me a message through LinkedIn or through the site.

Until next time, Be Well.