Nursing

Ask the expert: Meeting the learning needs of different generations of nurses

Nurse Leader Insider, August 22, 2011

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This week, Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN, discusses strategies for ensuring educational offerings meet the preferred learning environments and teaching strategies for the four generations in the nursing

Q: How can I ensure educational activities take into account the different learning styles of the various generations on my unit?

A: Generational differences affect the learning process, which makes it essential for educators to understand learners when developing teaching material. Here's an overview of the preferred learning environments and teaching strategies for the four generations in the nursing workforce.

Veterans
Veteran nurses were born between 1925 and 1945.

Preferred learning environment: Veterans prefer traditional, formal learning environments. They view educators as authority figures to be respected, so they seldom confront them directly if they disagree with what is being taught. They expect educators to behave in a businesslike manner and do not like to be asked to relay or to listen to experiences they believe are too personal.

Teaching strategies for Veterans: Goals and objectives must be explicit; provide organized handouts that summarize important points. Avoid small print in handouts and on computer screens. Provide help with new or unfamiliar technology when it is part of the teaching methodology.  Treat veterans with respect; encourage feedback midway through a program; explain how education will improve job performance.

Baby Boomers
Baby Boomer nurses were born between 1946 and 1964.

Preferred learning environment: Baby Boomers enjoy being treated as partners in the learning process. They are lifelong learners and dedicated to self- improvement. They are motivated to acquire knowledge and skills that help attain job promotions and salary increases.

To read the rest of the strategies, click here.

Editor's note: Do you have a question for our experts? E-mail your queries to Senior Managing Editor Rebecca Hendren at rhendren@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts. 



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