Rockford, IL,
16:43 PM

Modern Education for Modern Nurses

OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony College of Nursing takes a tomorrow approach to teaching today's caregivers

This is not your father or mother's way of learning.

Understanding that today's student has access to technology, information and resources never before available or seen, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony College of Nursing has adopted a new way of preparing the next generation of caregivers. 

Based on the evolution of a decades long study examining why students were more advanced than what they were experiencing in school and that nursing education was simply changing because health care was changing, Saint Anthony College of Nursing has adopted a concept that is more student-centric. 

It starts with asking the right questions of the student when they enter the college. Paying attention to what the student is doing. Are they prepared? And what needs to be done to bring them to the level they need to be and can move forward with their learning.   

"We've also paid a lot of attention to what is the student's learning preferences," says Sandie Soldwisch, President, OSF HealthCare College of Health Sciences. "And we're finding that more and more of the students are coming in technologically comfortable. So, we're relying on that comfort. Fortunately for us, as well, a lot of our educational resources are coming out electronically. So, we're able to embed them more and move our student so they can be a more independent learning and a learning who can work a little slower or a little more quickly, so they don't become a bored learner."   

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Soldwisch says the adjustment has been intuitive for much of the faculty because they're dedicated to making the student successful and keeping them engaged. 

This 21st century approach to learning has proven successful and Soldwisch believes it makes Saint Anthony College of Nursing graduates a more valued employee. 

"Because the student already knows how to do a self-assessment, where am I, to recognize it's OK, whatever your level of performance and competence is, it's OK and we just need to move forward and here's how we go about moving forward," says Soldwisch. "It also teaches them to be self-sufficient in interpreting information so an employer doesn't need to provide that very directed self-development or other, oriented development. The learner can do that on their own."

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While aimed at today's generation of college students, Soldwisch doesn't see age as a factor. She says even older graduate students are influenced by the pervasiveness of today's technology and information resources. She also says it's because of the way students are introduced and supported.

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