Legal and Ethical Issues  In Nursing Education and Student Faculty Interaction

What are Academic Performance of Students Legal and Ethical Issues, Student Faculty Interactions While Dealing With Legal Ethical Issues In Nursing Education.

What are Academic Performance of Students Legal and Ethical Issues

    Nursing faculty have many considerations as they assist students in the learning process. Developing curriculum content, choosing teaching strategies, and developing student evaluation plans can be major areas of focus. However, in carrying out these functions, faculty must also consider the legal and ethical concepts that influence the process and product of nursing education.

    Just as nurses in practice have legal and ethical guidelines, nurse educators also have legal and ethical guidelines. Nursing faculty are responsible for understanding the broad legal and ethical principles that apply in all circumstances, as well as those specific to their own setting. Major problems can occur if faculty lack an understanding of these principles and are unable to apply them appropriately.

    Many potential problems can be avoided if faculty take a proactive approach to anticipate student concerns. Faculty members who treat students with respect, provide honest and frequent communication about progress toward course goals and objectives, and are fair and considerate in evaluating performance are less likely to encounter student challenges. 

    A learning environment that supports student growth and questioning is likely to reduce the incidence of problems, especially litigation. Suggestions for avoiding such problems are discussed.

    The goal of the educational experience remains that students develop knowledge, skills, and values that will enable them to provide safe, effective nursing care. Nursing faculty who are able to apply general legal and ethical principles are much more likely to play their part in effectively meeting that goal. 

    It provides an overview of the most common legal and ethical issues related to student academic performance that nurse educators face in the classroom and clinical setting. 

    The topic includes a discussion of the importance of student-faculty interactions and the legal and ethical issues related to academic performance, including the provision of due process, the student appeal process, assisting the failing student, and academic dishonesty

Student Faculty Interactions While Dealing With Legal Ethical Issues In Nursing Education

    The student faculty relationship that is developed during the teaching and learning process is a very important one. Students have often identified student faculty relationships as the relationships that most often affect learning. 

    The Sullivan Commission Report (2004) identified several factors that “significantly determine the quality of the educational experience” and the student faculty relationship is among those. There is little doubt that a positive interaction between faculty and students is likely not only to decrease legal issues but also to promote student success.

    The National League for Nursing (2005) has asserted that the focus of the faculty should be on establishing a learning environment that is “characterized by collaboration, understanding, mutual trust, respect, equality, and acceptance of differences” (p. 4). Such a learning environment fosters professional growth and development on the part of the nursing.

    Effective nursing educators must create interpersonal relationships that promote student development into a competent professional (Halstead, 2007). The National League for Nursing clearly identified the importance of the student faculty relationship within the Core Competencies of Nurse Educators (National League for Nursing, 2012). 

    Specifically, in the NLN Competency II, which is focused on facilitating learning development and socialization, the importance of interpersonal interactions on learner outcomes is noted (National League for Nursing, 2012).

    Faculty in the classroom and in clinical settings encounter students whose backgrounds and learning needs are extremely diverse. Faculty who are able to address the needs of students from an educational perspective as well as establish positive interpersonal relationships with students of varied backgrounds will make positive contributions in assisting students to meet the desired outcomes. 

    The challenge for faculty in assisting students is to identify ways to address these varied needs. To successfully assist students, faculty must understand and appreciate cultural diversity and be able to use multiple learning strategies to assist students with varying learning styles and needs.

    The student role in the educational process has changed and must be one of active involvement. When faculty view students as partners or colleagues in an educational experience, they promote the development of a relationship that supports student growth and development and the attainment of educational goals and objectives.

    The first step in the process of developing a learning environment that encourages collaborative and positive student-faculty interactions requires faculty to carefully examine and develop an awareness of their own beliefs and values about the teaching-learning process. 

    Working collaboratively with students will require faculty to adopt strategies that involve active student participation and do not place faculty in the role of having sole responsibility for determining learning experiences. 

    Activities such as cooperative group work, debate and discussion, role playing, and problem solving exercises are examples of interactive teaching strategies that shift the focus from the faculty to the student. 

    Such a pedagogical shift in teaching may also require faculty to leave behind the “safety” and control of the classroom lecture and develop more fully the skills necessary to successfully incorporate interactive teaching strategies into the classroom.

    Another important step in the process of developing a positive learning environment is examining attitudes and beliefs that students bring to the learning environment. Students may lack confidence of their abilities in the academic environment, especially those who are first-generation college students and lack role models who have been successful in pursuing higher education. 

    Empowerment of students can occur when faculty demonstrate a sense of caring and commitment to students, and use courtesy and respect in interactions. Having a role in developing their own learning experiences can also prove to be an empowering experience for students. How can nursing faculty successfully incorporate this concept of empowerment and equity into student faculty relationships?

    Educators can assist students in meeting their unique needs by providing various resources (National League for Nursing, 2012). Learning activities can be designed to promote positive faculty student interactions. For example, the use of computer mediated communication, such as e-mail and online discussion forums, tends to remove the elements of status and power from communication, thus allowing a freer exchange of information. 

    Integrating content and discussion about empowerment, collaboration, collegiality, and teamwork throughout the curriculum can also help nurture positive student faculty interactions. Ongoing, open dialogue with students that results in clear communication of mutual expectations and responsibilities is an essential component of all successful student faculty interactions.


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