Co-Creating Learning Experiences
The nursing home environment is a rich setting for students to learn everything from basic nursing care to the complexities of geriatric nursing. The best experiential learning activities are co-created by nursing faculty and nursing home staff. The nursing staff will have greater ownership in ensuring that the students’ learning objectives are being met if they not only help with setting up the experiential learning activities, but also serve as the ‘teachers’ for these experiences.
For example, consider the situation in which a faculty member wants students to learn about communicating with people who have dementia. The nursing home staff will likely have good ideas about the residents that students could work with, such as…
- They might suggest that the students work with a particular nursing assistant who is very skilled in working with residents who have dementia.
- They might recommend that students gain experience in the special care unit for people with dementia.
Every learning activity that faculty plan should be reviewed with nursing home staff to engage them in the activity as mentors and coaches for students. Review a sample expectations document.
Many learning strategies are available, including written clinical assignments with care plans, shadowing experiences, and experiential activities. Examples of these three categories of learning activities are provided for your use at the Minnesota Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Review them to see how they might fit in with your clinical learning objectives.