Teaching Philosophy Statement
Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN-ACNS-BC, WOC Nurse, CWOCN-AP
My attitudes, values and beliefs guide my teaching. These attitudes, values and beliefs were personally developed through experience as well as built on via the scaffolding of my education and career. The National League for Nurses (2005) Scope of Practice for Academic Nurse Educators also guides my teaching philosophy and practice.
Passion: I believe that students should be passionate about what they are learning. I will instill the attitude of passion into my students via my practice and teaching skills. I will show students how passion guides the nursing profession and how a nurse who is passionate about his/her profession stands out among the crowd on all occasions.
Commitment: Students who are committed to learning as well as to their patients have a high success rate. I believe that if my students are committed to learning and succeeding, that is exactly what they will do. I will instill the attitude of commitment into my students via my teaching, examples and practice in the clinical setting. I will share experiences with my students in which being committed really made a difference.
Empowerment: I will empower my students to do what ever it is they set their mind to in terms of their career. I will empower bedside nurses, advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), those who are learning to be nurses, and those who are continuing their education. I will empower my students in terms of advising continuing education, professional development, clinical ladders and success/reward. I will always remind my students that there is, “light at the end of the tunnel.”
I’m not “just here for the paycheck”: I will teach my students the difference between nurses (of all degrees, levels and practice scopes/standards) that display behaviors of “just here for the paycheck,” versus those who are here to make a difference. I will instill in my students the attitude of making a difference in the lives of others and remind them (as needed) that this is one of the reasons why they chose to become a nurse.
Professionalism: The term professionalism encompasses many different areas: professional organizations, social media, employers, professional boundaries and therapeutic relationships. I am a firm believer in professionalism and promise to teach my students the importance and benefits of being a member of a professional nursing organization. I will emphasize the appropriateness and inappropriateness of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). My students will understand the importance of professional boundaries both in the workplace and with patients; they will also be instructed on how to develop therapeutic relationships with patients and the importance of trust.
Career Ladder: Lifelong learning and the career ladder are important components in advancing excellence. I will instill in my students the importance of continuing education and the benefits of moving up. I will also understand when my students are satisfied with their career and now may not be the best time for them to possess the time/opportunity to advance forward with education.
Holistic Nursing Care: Holistic nursing care is on the forefront of nursing – both with the bedside nurse and the APRN. I will instill in my students the attitude of practicing holistic nursing care; we are practitioners caring for a whole patient, not just a body system or a problem (ex. headache, abdominal pain). As professional nurses, we need to care for the patient as a whole, taking into account their support system, personal values, socioeconomic status and goals of care.
Respect: Respect for patients, co-workers, other students, instructors, yourself and your family.
Lifelong Learning: We are learning every day! I will teach my students that no one knows everything; much of what we learn in healthcare is objective, although there are times when facts need to be memorized. Two radiologists can look at the same x-ray and see something different – learning does not stop just because we pass our boards and become a nurse or APRN – learning continues from the moment we are born till the end of life.
Inquiry: Ask questions. No question is a stupid question except the one that is not asked.
Accountability: Every action as a reaction. We are professional nurses and will be held accountable for the actions we choose (both personally and professionally).
Empathy: Try to put yourself in another’s position. If it hurts your feelings, it probably hurts theirs, too. How would you feel if a loved one died/is dying? Ethical decisions are not easy. The decision of proceeding with a risky surgical procedure or whether or not to withdraw care is never an easy one; I will instill in my students the importance of showing empathy to patients and their families and practicing empathy in their every day lives.
Relationship Based Care (RBC): Relationship based care is a new and coming nursing concept. Relationship based care focuses on relationships with ourselves, others, our patients and the hospital; I will instill the practice of relationship based care in my students through my teachings strategies because I believe it is a best practice (and also, evidence based for best patient outcomes!)
Understanding vs. Memorization: My students will understand information presented to them and be able to explain it to others. My students will not be encouraged to memorize, but to understand; when things and solely memorized for assessment purposes, they are soon forgotten. Understanding is key; memorizing can be good for lab values, vital signs and other nursing procedures – but we still need to understand why the values, vital signs and procedures are what they are and the consequences to the patient if the numbers are outside the desired range.
Patient Advocacy – speaking for those who are unable to speak for themselves: Patient advocacy is at the center of nursing practice; I will teach my students what it means to be the patient’s advocate as well as a part of the medical team.
Ethical & Legal: Some students come out of nursing school and into the professional nursing world and still do not understand ethical and legal consequences. Some nurses, despite their one hour of law required every two years, still do not understand why their name appears in the Nursing magazine for a disciplinary action. I will be sure that my students understand what is legal and what is not. I will also show my students where to look/who to ask if they have a legal or ethical dilemma; not everyone has all the answers, but an answer can always be found.
Culturally Appropriate Care: American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) discusses the importance of providing culturally sensitive care and understanding health literacy. I will teach my students how to adapt their nursing practice to be culturally sensitive and understand that not every patient may be able to read or write. I will be sure my students understand health literacy and how it relates to the nursing profession and culturally sensitive care.
Class participation & discussion (not lecture): A lecture does not always have to be a dialect from one person. My students will understand that I am learning from them just as much as they are learning from me.
Creative teaching techniques:I will adapt my teaching styles to encompass different learning styles (visual, auditory and kinesthetic). I will use PowerPoint, Wiki, WebQuest, Webinar, lecture, discussion, formative & summative assessment, entrance & exit slips, amongst other teaching techniques to relay information to my students and ensure understanding of concepts and skills.
Critical Thinking: I will teach my students how to become critical thinkers. I understand that critical thinking does not come all at once in the nursing profession, but it is a skill that develops with experience. When my students are frustrated because they do not understand why, “I didn’t pick up on that!” I will explain that critical thinking is a skill that is developed not just learned.
Patient First: I will teach my students that the patient should always come first. There are going to be days when paperwork, labs, doctors and orders seems to be taking every living, breathing moment of the day away from us. However, when we walk into that patient room, it is so important to make them feel like we have time to sit and listen, if only for a few minutes – it may mean the difference between a completely negative and positive patient outcome. I will share my experiences as a nurse who put the patient first with my students.
Trust:If the patient does not trust you, care will be compromised.