Learner Characteristics in Nursing

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The Chosen Topic

I currently work in infusion therapy community nursing. As a nursing educator, my primary responsibilities are to teach patients/caregivers, leadership and nursing staff infusion therapy related care. I wanted to pick a topic that was relevant to my area of practice and that a nurse professional development practitioner (NPD) would need to create different version of curriculum to effectively teach the different learning populations. So, the topic that was chosen is best practice measures for infection control to prevent central line infections.

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are entirely preventable and are mainly able to be prevented by the infection control measures utilized (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021). CLABSI has affected over 250,000 people in 2020, and over 100,000 deaths have occurred (The Joint Commission, 2021). CLABSI can significantly impact an individual’s health and result in billions of unnecessary healthcare costs (CDC, 2021). According to numbers pulled internally by the community health organization, there were 8% CLABSI events which equated to 22 affected patients in 2020 (VNA Care, 2021).  

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Learner Characteristics

            As stated, there are a few different groups of personnel that require teaching related to infusion therapy; Patients/caregivers, leadership, and clinical nursing staff. Each group differs for needs of education for example, leadership requires more policy-based education and the discussion of home safety. There could be a general biased present from the leadership team that considers other agenda such as staffing levels, or budget implications (Bastable, 2019). Curriculum would need to be well thought out and delivered to leadership or stakeholders in a policy driven manner.

In the home patients/caregivers need proper hand on skills education and a basic overview of complications. A characteristic for in home teaching is that the NPD will need to consider is heath literacy. For health literacy is defined as the patient or caregiver’s ability to understand, obtain, communicate, and understand basic health information and achieve the ability to make informed decisions (Bastable, 2019). For the NPD to present information regarding health education for infection control measures, firstly the NPD will need to ascertain how literate the patient/caregiver regarding health knowledge. This will greatly impact the delivery of the wanted education.

For the clinical nursing staff, it can be assumed that every registered nurse is highly capable of learning the wanted information and be appraised on best practice standards and have the motivation to learn to improve nursing practice. As one of the educators, I recently had a new registered nurse going through orientation who is dyslexic. Dyslexia is a learning disability affects the brains processing of word recognition (Bastable, 2019). As dyslexia can be very complex, the learner needs to have an environment that is therapeutic to learning and requires the education team to offer learning strategies that assist the learner (Bastable, 2019). In this case, offering verbal and hands on demonstration was preferable to written material and the new nurse was able to achieve all the needed skills and policy/procedure for competencies.

Technological Considerations

For the NPD practitioner, finding interesting ways to use technology as a viable resource is a helpful way for deliver of curriculum. Especially through the pandemic, our nursing agency has used technology to deliver and connect staff with needed education, policy updates, and overall communication in a virtual format. Nursing educators can use technology to enhance their curriculums by adding podcasts, hyperlinks, videos, images, and other virtual platforms to engage their learners (Oremann, 2015). Using a variety of traditional education and technology focused tools can promote active learning and improve learning satisfaction (Oremann, 2015). The NPD will need to be selective and creative in the selection of which technology will be incorporated and how it will be utilized.



Bastable, S. B. (2019). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing

practice (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett learning.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Central line-associated bloodstream

infection (CLABSI). https://www.cdc.gov/hai/bsi/bsi.html


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