Way Forward in Eradication of Theory and Practice Gap Among Nurses

Overcoming the breach between theoretical and practical knowledge. Nurses New Nurse Article


Way Forward in Eradication of Theory and Practice Gap Among Nurses

The theory-practice gap remains challenging among educational field professionals in Pakistan, especially among nursing institutions. Nursing students get theory-based nursing knowledge, and when they transition into the practical or clinical area, they find themselves in the hassle of integrating their classroom knowledge into the practical field of patients. Variations can be found among the public and private sectors in Pakistan. Most private nursing institutions encourage to seek feedback and work on them, but then again, it’s the minority who really work on opinions. There are a number of reasons behind this fissure. Some of the causes for the theory-practice gap can be resolved by individual’s efforts and some by the group as a nation's efforts.

There are a number of causes for this fissure between theory and practice:

1- Firstly, the educational field assumes a relaxed job, working on screens in a chilled environment. Some Nurses struggle to get jobs in such an environment where they can enjoy their privacy and work fewer numbers of hours and, most importantly, only morning or evening shift jobs, whereas some Nurses really put effort into improving the Nursing Educational System in Pakistan.

2- Secondly, the limited Nurse faculty’s clinical experience to connect theoretical knowledge with clinical practice successfully and satisfying to students. By the same token, some nursing courses are taught by medical doctors, which shows incompetent nursing knowledge.

3- Thirdly, traditional teaching strategies are still present in many nursing schools, where a teacher delivers lectures with strict unwelcoming facial expressions. By this, students do not prefer to seek answers to their queries. Then, the lack of resources is also a major problem that causes this gap to be unfilled. Less budge on nursing education, lack of updated technologies that can be used in teaching, and ineffectual infrastructure of nursing institutions cause hurdles to help students as well as teachers to learn productively. Lack of activities that help nursing faculties to grow educationally and get up-gradation on skills.

4- Finally, lack of communication among nursing institutions, in order to share knowledge and practices which can bring something new to improve in nursing profession. As per Pakistan Nursing Council PNC, in the nursing education curriculum, there are a certain amount of credit hours divided for both clinical and theoretical classes, but it still requires some innovation into it to make it clear for all how to put it on reality ground proficiently.

There are numerous benefits to overcoming the breach between theoretical and practical knowledge:

  1. It will help to decrease anxiety in the transition from nursing school to the hospital setting.
  2. It will keep nursing faculties updated with clinical practices and new medical technologies.
  3. It will build effective partnerships among nursing schools and hospitals.
  4. It will help to overcome the ineffective nurse-patient ratio in Pakistan.
  5. Nursing faculties will be confident and conduct effective sessions in their classrooms.

There are a number of ways to eradicate the gap between clinical and theoretical knowledge:

  1. Involve Clinical Nurse Instructors and Educational Nursing Instructors in theoretical classes.
  2. Make it necessary for nursing faculties to do shifts in hospitals where they involve in direct patient care.
  3. The emerging roles of Advance Nurse Practitioners in Pakistan - also, put highlighting role in it.
  4. Nursing faculties involve themselves with patient care or administrative responsibilities.
  5. Nursing faculties can work on their areas of interest, clinically and theoretically both.

All in all, the Theory-Practice Gap needs to be healed by considering the above-mentioned points, at least in developing countries, where a lack of resources and low socioeconomic status cause nations' health to suffer. So, theoretical knowledge must get some space on the practical ground, and similarly, practical knowledge in theoretical learning, in order to uplift the nursing profession, practice-, and quality-wise.

Nadia Mushtaq has 9 years experience and specializes in RN, RM, BScN, MScN student.

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Fascinating glimpse into another culture. Thank you for sharing.

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