Teaching students to teach patients: A theory-guided approach

Lori Candela, Linda B. Piacentine, Kathleen L. Bobay, Marianne E. Weiss


Nurses in every setting provide patient teaching on a routine basis, often several times a day. Patient teaching skills are essential competencies to be developed during pre-licensure nursing education. While students learn what to teach for specific conditions, they often lack competence in how to teach in ways that individualize and optimize patient learning.  The ultimate goal of patient teaching is to arm patients with the knowledge and skills, and the desire and confidence in their ability to reach their targeted health outcomes. We describe the creation of a theoretical framework to guide development of patient teaching skills. The framework, rooted in the contemporary health care values of patient-centered care, is a synthesis of four evidence-based approaches to patient teaching: patient engagement, motivational interviewing, adult learning theory, and teach-back method. Specific patient teaching skills, derived from each of the approaches, are applied within the context of discharge teaching, an important nursing practice linked to patient outcomes. This exemplar emphasizes the use of critical teaching process skills and targeted informational content. An online student learning module based on the theoretical framework and combined with simulation experiences provides the nurse educator with one strategy for use with nursing students. The theoretical framework has applicability for skill development during pre-licensure education and skill refinement for nurses in clinical practice.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v8n11p92

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.