Posts by Donna Van Rooy

Student Insights


Does a positive learning environment matter to them? If it really does matter, then what insights were my students willing to share?

The answers were overwhelming, yes. Yes, absolutely it does matter.  Here is what they communicated to me as being MOST IMPORTANT …

When I am in a positive learning environment at NWTC I:

  • have more fun
  • get more homework done
  • have increased confidence in myself
  • think my learning sticks longer
  • am more motivated
  • am able to work out my struggles and not quit
  • have the ability to push forward – past my limits
  • have my anxiety decreased about school
  • test better

So, yes it does matter!

Pictures really are worth a thousand words


How difficult would it be to perform a graded nursing skill but, you just cannot recall the table set. A table set up can make or break a successful skills check off. Nursing students tend to be very visual learners. We ask them to perform numerous basic skills in the Practical Nursing Program and I have found through review from the feedback, using various different formats, that taped video skills and table set ups together are a catalyze to increased student satisfaction and to better course persistence/retention rates. My redo rates have dropped consistently over the past two years. I asked myself what does visual learning have to offer my nursing skills students. It helped my students to organize and analyze information and to incorporate new knowledge with what they already know. They can revisit the information over and over allowing them more than one viewing. It is important to me that my students not only perform the skills accurately but, that they also understand the why behind what they are doing. Another words, what is the rationale or critical thought behind that skill set. The brain has a strong capacity for images, visual learning strategies has helped my students better understand and retain needed information in the lab setting and more importantly in the clinical setting. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.

 Thanks, Donna

Closing the Theory to Practice Gap


Clinical simulation as we all already know in nursing has become increasingly popular and valuable to nurse educators.  Incorporating teaching and learning strategies that enhance a learner’s self-achievement is a win-win experience. Could this experience of having Practical Nursing students go to the simulation lab and perform what we refer to as a, “Day 1 Assessment Experience” at the start of their clinical make a difference to our learners? My personal hope was that this could improve the theory to practice gap, enhance our learner’s self-achievements and overall clinical competence will be improved.

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