I have done a little undergraduate teaching -- but have spent most of my career in Clinical Specialist and Nursing Staff Development roles. Thus, I have seen "new graduates" from both sides -- plus, of course, having been a new grad myself many years ago.
Like many people, I have mixed feelings about care plans
. I don't see any need for 30 pages, but feel that the process of assessing, diagnosing, planning an intervention, knowing why you chose that interventions, and evaluating the results of that intervention are CRUCIAL to the intelectual development of a novice nurse. Too many nurses just do things because "that is the routine" without really putting thought into their actions. Sometimes it seems as if they got so turned off of "care planning" by the agony of doing horrible, big projects that they never want to use that process again.
I think the solution is to come up with a way to document that the appropriate intellectual process was used with EACH PATIENT that the student cares for. Students shouldn't be led to believe that "nursing care planning" has to involve a huge project -- that only has to be done once per course and then never again. It should be a process used automatically with every patient, every time.
Also, students need the opportunity to practice other forms of communication and documentation. For example, I am always amazed when staff nurses serving on committees or being asked to help with an inservice, etc. say they have no idea how to procede. Some have no idea where to find information, how to organize it for a presentation, or write a simply summary of it to share at a committee meeting.
I think students should do brief care plans for every patient. Then, you might have them research one topic in-depth per course -- not using the care plan format, but a format more conducive to teaching them how to write up a case study or article for publication, sharing in a staff meeting or inservice, developing a policy or procedure, etc. These are the types of things real nurses should be doing in practice and most nursing students never get practice doing that in school. They just write huge care plans that aren't anything like that used in practice.
1. Short care plans for each patient to establish the habit of the proper approach to each patient.
2. The occasional larger, in-depth project in a format more similar to the types of projects that a staff nurse, committee member, or first-line manager or educator might be asked to do in a real-life job situation.
Just my $.02