Health Education in Nursing: A Brief for Nursing Educators

Health Education in Nursing – Nurses are responsible for designing and implementing health promotion strategies and procedures. They control the flow of helpful knowledge between different stakeholders, including colleagues, staffers, patients, administrators, and employee training. The purpose of health education in nursing is to empower people to improve their health and participate in their care.

Health education improves patient outcomes by promoting participation in interventions and meaningful engagement in the treatment process. At the community level, it helps encourage people to live healthier lives by enhancing their knowledge and skills to improve their attitude and commitment to well-being. Health education leads to holistic health promotion through physical, mental, emotional, and social aspects of healthcare.

What is health education in nursing? Definitions and common methods

Health education in nursing entails combining methods and strategies for improving individual and community health by increasing knowledge. Nurses play a critical role as educators in transmitting knowledge to healthcare stakeholders in different settings, including hospitals and schools.

Nurse educators teach and advocate for nurses at all levels of engagement with individuals and communities. They employ theoretical and practical expertise to transfer knowledge to critical stakeholders, including fellow nurses.

Common methods of health education in nursing include interviewing, counseling, group discussions, workshops, role play, and demonstrations. In the academic setting, nurse educators promote health by improving the quality of education and the training of nurse students.

They act as role models for the younger generation, encouraging entry into the profession and advocating for change in holistic curricula.

How is the nursing process used in developing health education? Nurses as educators

Nurse educators incorporate principles of health education in nursing. They use the nursing process to communicate important messages to stakeholders, especially patients, contributing significantly to health promotion. During assessment, the nurse collects data subjectively and objectively using critical thinking skills to identify helpful information. Nurses contribute to health promotion at this stage by engaging the patient and demonstrating the critical aspects of healthcare.

For instance, nurses ask about known allergies to products and medication, suggesting to the patient the important information they should have about their well-being. Nurses also collect data about the human body functions such as blood sugar and pressure, discussing with patients the importance of the information in diagnosis and treatment.

READ: Making a Career Change to Nursing

At the diagnosis and planning stages, nurses work with patients to organize care, incorporating principles of healthcare such as fidelity, autonomy, and non-maleficence. Besides, the nursing diagnosis incorporates the patient’s needs and expectations for treatment.

Hence, the nurse engages the client in the evaluation of information. They also work together in setting the goals and desired outcomes of care. The nurse and the patient work together to design a treatment path and direction, promoting care and encouraging the patient to participate.

Patient education in nursing continues into the implementation and evaluation phases of the nursing process. The nurse encourages participation and engagement by informing the patient about the actions taken during treatment and the benefits and limitations of the interventions.

The nurse communicates the implementation process and strategies, incorporating the patient’s opinion and improving their understanding of the treatment needs. A similar strategy applies in the evaluation phases as the nurse and the patient analyze the outcomes based on the desired objectives.

The transfer of information at this point becomes a critical input into the patient’s knowledge base and can help in disease prevention and health promotion.

Nurses also contribute to health promotion through research articles and papers shared in academic and professional journals. Top nursing students use professional essay writing help from reputable sites such as Custom Writings, considered an online nursing essay writing service, to improve their knowledge base for their future educator role.

Nursing paper writing services enhance learners’ academic skills, especially in producing expert-level documents. They develop cognitive abilities in assignment writing, research papers, and organizational reviews. They also become expert writers in their fields, contributing to health promotion late in their careers and offering assistance to patients.

Learning theories in nursing education

Learning refers to the process of acquiring knowledge from another individual’s teaching, studying, or experience. It’s the uptake of information for different purposes through varying acquisition methods.

Nursing theories explain this process using principles of understanding or comprehension based on their conceptualization of information processing, need, and purpose. Nursing theories of learning distinguish the different methods of knowledge acquisition based on the importance of health education in nursing.

Cognitive theories of learning in nursing

Cognitive theorists conceptualize learning as a targeted, unobservable internal process. Instead, individuals demonstrate their knowledge through other means, including writing papers and essays and exploring or testing the usefulness of the information gathered through work. Examples of cognitive theories include Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Lev Vygotsky’s cognitive/social development, and cognitive-social learning.

These concepts focus on the individual’s capacity to intake knowledge and transform it into patterns of behavior or action. They perceive thoughts and conceptions as the overall interconnection of smaller perceptions and information. Thus, cognitive theories of learning acknowledge various approaches to knowledge acquisition, including observation, study, and being taught.

Behavioral theories of learning

These theories conceptualize learning as a change in observable behavior. They perceive learning as an outcome only measured through the transformation in observed action. Behaviorists focus on experience as the primary mode of knowledge acquisition, insisting on the need to practice and repeat activities to improve understanding. For instance, the theory of learned behavior views positive and negative reinforcements in conditioning patterns of people’s actions and reactions as critical input in learning.

Another example of behavioral theories of learning is Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory, also known as the conditioning responder’s theory. This approach is one of the most common types of health education in nursing, where nurses learn using mannequins and practice procedures before applying them in real life.

Constructivist theory of learning

This approach assumes a significant difference between education and reality. It is an apprenticeship advocacy concept that addresses the differences between reality and simulation. Constructivists promote health education in nursing by advocating for the active involvement of learners in the real-life activities they are expected to perform. It’s the basis for discussions in nursing courses and practicum.

Engaging nursing students in hospitals with professionals and experienced nurses helps promote cooperation and collaboration. It also boosts the learner’s understanding of the real world.

READ: What Is Nursing Insurance; Don’t Take A Chance, Get It

Humanist theories of learning

This approach stresses the importance of the learner as the center of the knowledge acquisition process. These theories perceive learning as an objective process to maximize the learner’s potential. Humanists acknowledge the historical development of human rights and freedoms, overlooking external influences. Thus, these theories assume that the learner retains the authority to choose the knowledge they wish to acquire and maintain.