"The learner starts off as a clean slate and behavior is shaped through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement."(Learning-theories.com, 2016)
When I began nursing school, I had no previous nursing knowledge. I relied solely on what my professors told me to do and not to do. I was taught based on demonstration, and had to mimic the procedure ,whether it be taking a manual blood pressure or changing a sterile dressing.
"Instruction built on behaviorism may be most appropriate when teaching procedural knowledge with an emphasis on the acquisition of basic skills." (Mastrian, McGonigle, & Mahan, 2010, p.77)
"The learner must be able to link older knowledge with new knowledge."(Mastrian, McGonigle, & Mahan, 2010, p.78)
I simultaneously used both the cognitive learning theory, and the behaviorism theory. During lecture, I was taught concepts and why the procedures we did during lab were important. I was taught the foundation of nursing. I was quizzed to make sure what I was taught in the lesson was retained.
"Cognitive theories focus on the conceptualization of students’ learning processes and address the issues of how information is received, organized, stored, and retrieved by the mind"(Ertmer & Newby, 2013, p.51)
"Constructivists do not deny the existence of the real world but contend that what we know of the world stems from our own interpretations of our experiences"(Ertmer & Newby, 2013, p.55)
This is where I am currently. This BSN program is all about building on prior knowledge. In the classes I'm taking I am required to use real-life experiences and make them relevant to the course. In my 5 plus years of being a nurse, I've learned compassion, empathy, and confidence these things cannot be taught in a classroom. I've also been taught skills that perpetuate me as a nurse. I've learned the computer system Epic, which allowed me to carry that on to my current job, without having to be trained again.
"Humans create meaning as opposed to acquiring it"(Ertmer & Newby, 2013, p.55)
I am always learning something new, each new experience is a learning lesson for me. I look forward to my next stage of learning, and embrace it. Nursing is a forever changing profession. With each new technological advance, the nurse must learn a new role.