Quinn's Principles and
Practice of Nurse Education
From the outset while a book on nurse education, the text serves general students and practitioners in education in parts one and two. I completed my PG Cert almost twenty years ago and this book would be an asset to current students (see the content listing for parts 1-2 below). There are many technical concepts within what is a comprehensive text; for example, there are 54 index entries related to 'assessment'.
Much of the book's value is accentuated for readers here in the UK. Here is an established and high quality textbook that provides a UK perspective. As a 7th edition the references for each chapter are expansive taking in key historical sources and more recent publications. There are many illustrations in the form of flowcharts and figures. Following each chapters references, suggested further reading is provided. Review exercises at the end of chapters serve the added purpose of sign-posting content. The information architecture and design of the book makes for a logical, clear and readable experience. Even if the content were lacking, which it is not, the book is fairly substantial at 550 pages. The book is well produced, the paper quality (lending to the weight) and the binding works! Yes, the binding serves to secure the pages and works well when the book is opened flat. This is an obvious requirement and yet so frequently it is a struggle.
As to specifics: Parts 1 and 2 are a welcome refresh. The discussion on thinking and critical thinking are sufficiently detailed and of special interest (pp.58-66) to me. Intuition receives a 'nod' with a dedicated paragraph on p.66, sufficient no doubt to give our students a troubling 'prod' in their future and ongoing careers? I wonder if pages 51-59 might benefit from review and more references, acknowledging what is a well-executed historical account within part 1? An educational challenge I am pondering at present is that of values within nursing. How can we teach these (including the 6Cs)? Amongst what is new to the book is that it meets NMC standards. It would be easy to produce a list of omissions, but I would expect to see abuse, safeguarding, whistleblowing, and vulnerability in this book. How students encounter these concepts and subsequently learn about such sensitive topics must be critical to their insight (life experience to date), self-awareness and skills development. Reflection is very well represented throughout the parts of the book which encourages my efforts with Hodges' model.
I mentioned the book's relevance to current PG Cert Education students and must add that I have referenced the text in a paper for my current studies in technology enhanced learning. On this front the publishers clearly recognise the extended potential of additional e-learning services through CourseMate. An Instant Access Card accompanies the book. Part 4 extends this relevance to continuing professional development and lifelong learning. Chapter 11 is very helpful for its practical dimension, describing placement learning, link lecturers, mentoring and the challenge of the failing student. Sometimes ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages is a factor and 'language' could be noted more specifically. This is not a matter for student selection but should be ongoing and would also be addressed within the public (equality and diversity pp.129-134). In mental health I am acutely aware of the importance of communication skills. This comprehensive treatment includes supervision, sign-off mentoring, practice educators plus triennial review.
If I have a bad habit it's looking through the index of a book and asking: What might I expect to see here? The bad aspect is it's tantamount to reviewing by exclusion. And I'm already guilty too. The book fulfills its purpose and does not need to reflect the whole nursing curriculum. But... I would have hoped to see 'open source', Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), the role of mobile e-learning, learning management systems - Blackboard is mentioned but not Moodle. Perhaps there are commercial considerations at work? 'Threshold levels' are mentioned but not 'threshold concepts'. This is understandable as we are only just on the cusp of a special interest group in health and social care (more on that to follow I hope). For those like myself who are on the service-practice side chapter 8 is insightful, on marking and providing student feedback beyond the student-mentor relationship. There is constructive support and encouragement for new lecturers and advice on quality and evaluation in higher education.
A year ago I reviewed an even larger textbook on Nursing Informatics, and in truth informatics still has a long way go to prove itself to most of the nurses I meet and work with. I keep doing the sales pitch and this includes acknowledging the student's awareness of coding and classification, or pointing them (usually 1st and 2nd years) to this knowledge. Health Informatics is represented in the text and the glossary (pp.539-541). In terms of professional accountability it is vital that as nurses we are aware of what happens to the data we help to create. Students are also the researchers of tomorrow and as such they need to be aware of diagnostic schemas and ongoing issues in this area. It is true that this is the curriculum and yet the authors do right by including classification in the context of the library, and coding as in the types of fractures (figure 3.6, p.77); some mention of coding and classification within nursing and healthcare surely seems justified?
Nursing has struggled to make itself visible - for the right reasons for many years. As we look to our students to resolve this are they to rely upon some form of reverse-magic* alone? Despite this proverbial bee, I can highly recommend this book - it is a great resource.
1 Introduction: Nurse Education in the university and the clinical setting
PART ONE – THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BASIS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING
2 Adult learning theory
3 Perspectives on teaching and learning
PART TWO – LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT
4 Curriculum theory and practice
5 Planning for teaching
6 Teaching strategies
7 Assessment of learning
8 Student feedback / feed-forward
9 Teaching study skills
*It is of course customary to marvel at the visible becoming invisible.
HUGHES, S.J. & QUINN, F.M. (2013) Quinn's principles and practice of nurse education. 6th Edition. Andover, Hampshire: Cengage Learning.
I would like to extend my thanks to Mr Matthew Keown at Cengage for my copy of this book.