What Should We Teach the Nurse of the Future?

Over at RWJF's Future of Nursing blog, Dean Marla Salmon, from the University of Washington School of Nursing poses the question, what do we need to teach the nurse of tomorrow? This is a pretty important question, and one we have discussed frequently here at the sustainability project. Because one of the struggles we so often see in SANE programs around the country are nurses who have never had access to education focused on business management, leadership development or public policy. These are all critical areas that impact the day to day lives of SANE programs. A lack of these skills (or a failure to even see this skills as being relevant and necessary) makes it difficult to keep SANE programs healthy and viable for the long-term.

I don't think every SANE program manager needs an MBA (although it wouldn't hurt to have a few more in our ranks), nor do I think we should be shifting foundational nursing education away from the clinical skills that are so central to the profession. But I agree with Dean Salmon when she writes, "A good start would be strengthening the connection between initial, graduate and continuing education. These linkages are not well defined - nor are resources that are now separately associated with each. Perhaps we should think about the possibility of a lifelong learning "curriculum" or some sort of career development framework as a way of shaping some new conversations about education and learning. This could engage both our educational and service institutions in supportive and coordinated ways." An expectation that continuing education is not only part of the career path, but occurs in a purposeful and organized fashion? Continuing education tailored toward professional growth and development, and not just randomly chosen as a means for maintaining certifications or satisfying agency policies? Yes, please. It would certainly strengthen our specialty.

I am working on crafting a response to Dean Salmon's post. I hope some of you will also consider weighing in on what we should teach the future nurse. It's a great opportunity to give some feedback to an organization that has definite influence on the future of nursing.


Submitted by GMBM2010 on

My SANE educator stated that our role is to seek the truth. As a practicing SANE, I know that we must have compassion for the alleged victim, but I also know that my evidence collection must remain unbiased or my evicence and I will be discounted quickly in court.
When I arrive at the ER after being paged, the nurse and doc always have an opinion whether this victim is telling the truth or not. If thair judgement is in the victim's favor, I am instructed to do what I can to assure a conviction. I take this with a grain of salt, regardless of what I or any other employee thinks, once medical personnel bias evidence, it can become unusable in court.
I wish this was more emphasized in my training and in the training of medical staff. Often doctors and nurses believe that if they write it, it is fact without question, which is usually not the case in court.

Submitted by jmarkowitz on

I think you're right--we are definitely not always taught that we are one piece in a much larger continuum of professionals who come in contact with our patients. It can be hard for some to remember that the process revolves around the patient, and not around us.