In the article Formation and everyday ethical comportment, the authors describe and discuss the essential shifts in nursing education (teaching and learning) and point out that nursing professionals need to approach teaching in new ways (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard-Kahn, & Day, 2008). The concept of formation used by Benner et al. (2008) in this article refers to “the method by which a person is prepared for a particular task or is made capable of functioning in a particular role” (p. 473).
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The first shift is integration. The authors suggest shifting from curricular threads to three apprenticeships: cognitive knowledge, ethical comportment and formation, and practice know-how (Benner et al., 2008). Developing a strong theoretical base, skilled know-how, and ethical comportment is crucial, the authors argue (Benner et al., 2008). At the same time, these apprenticeships should also be fully integrated into teaching.
It is also suggested to replace critical thinking with clinical; although critical thinking is required in nursing practice, Benner et al. (2008) point out it should be substituted by clinical reasoning that pays attention to changes in patients’ conditions or situations. Cynicism is a frequent consequence of critical thinking, but it cannot help nurses make the right decision.
Blending clinical and classroom teaching is another way in which nursing education can benefit from the authors’ suggestions; students have to endure information overload that can be resolved by this approach (Benner et al., 2008). The authors also address the issue of ethics and its implementation in practice. Reducing ethics to standards is a wrong approach, Benner et al. (2008) claim. They state that ethical practices should be seen as a part of quality nursing and good nursing practice (Benner et al., 2008).
Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard-Kahn, V., & Day, L. (2008). Formation and everyday ethical comportment. American Journal of Critical Care, 17(5), 473-476.