Educating BSN Millennial Students: It's Not Your Mother's Classroom
Toothaker, Rebecca D.
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Session presented on Saturday, April 9, 2016: The millennial generation comprises the majority of learners in the traditional four year baccalaureate nursing programs (BSN). Nurse educators often struggle with developing teaching strategies that undergraduate millennial nursing students would find engaging and meaningful. To prepare for the challenges of this group, it is imperative nurse educators examine preferred teaching methods, student learning styles, and needs in relation to traditional pedagogies. The purpose of this presentation will be to disseminate findings with recommendations from an interpretive phenomenological study which identified the perceptions of millennial students participating in traditional pedagogies and its significant implications for nursing education. Thirteen BSN millennial students, enrolled in their sophomore, junior and senior year were interviewed using one central research question to evaluated the lived experiences of millennial nursing students' vantage point in traditional nursing classrooms. van Manen's method of immersion, understanding, and abstraction of interviews lent a way for theme development and an illumination of a phenomenon. The underlying phenomenon reveals the millennials need for belonging. Five themes emerged from the data collection which represented the millennials experience in a traditional classroom. A discussion of student's interview highlights will include the need for being physically present in class but mentally escaping somewhere else. Challenges of peer pressure within the classroom setting accentuate their struggles in a traditional classroom. The students highlighted only needing to know information for the test and often question the relevancy of information. Millennial students identified the most significant challenges in a traditional classroom was disengaging professors and often mistrust their current knowledge and application of such knowledge. The essence of the lived experiences of the millennial students center on belonging. The students are new to the college environment, new to nursing, and reveal a need to find oneself. Although several teaching strategies exist in teaching millennial students this presentation will develop both the faculty knowledge and skills in the teaching strategy of shared responsibility as an educational approach for the millennial students. The need for educators to decontextualize content geared toward student interest is the key to academic motivation, persistence, and degree completion. Blended teaching pedagogies that offer traditional and active methods such as role playing and discussion forums will be discussed. The National Council State Board of Nursing (NCSBN) (2011) supports active learning strategies that encompass evidenced based educational strategies. As colleges strive to lower attrition rates and increase student retention, the perceptions of the students' experiences reveals needed information. Strategies that enhance student experience and engage the students will also be discussed.