Tuesday, May 12, 2009
What is the real goal?
I have been appalled by the poor quality of the writing my nursing students turn in. These students have all passed both semesters of freshman English, so you would think they would know the basics of grammar and composition. With this in mind, I was beginning to form plans for how to help my students learn better writing skills next year, when I was stopped dead in my tracks at our department meeting yesterday morning. The department chair thinks our students write way too many papers. My initial reaction was to think "Have you seen their writing?!?" but before I made any comments, she went on to explain that she feels our focus needs to be on helping the students improve their NCLEX pass rates. (Who can argue with that?) She would rather see our students spend time doing Kaplan remediation and practice exams online than writing more research papers. I have to admit, she's right. While college graduates ought to have some skill in composition, my prime objective is to make sure they have the knowledge to pass the NCLEX and the skills to become good nurses. I am re-thinking my plans for next year and trying to keep in mind the true goal of nursing education - making good nurses. All other objectives, however valid and desirable, must be peripheral.