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Posted: September 7th, 2023

Learning Theories and Quality Healthcare

Learning Theories & Principles and Quality Health Care. Which learning theories and principles do you think are most useful to the advanced practice nurse (APN) in providing high-quality health care to clients, and why?

Submission Instructions:

Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources within the last 5 years.

Learning Theories and Quality Healthcare: A Perspective from Advanced Practice Nursing
Advanced practice nurses play a vital role in providing high-quality healthcare to clients. To do so effectively, APNs must stay up-to-date on the latest learning theories and principles that can enhance client care. Two theories in particular stand out for their applicability in this context: Knowles’ theory of andragogy and Mezirow’s transformative learning theory.
Knowles’ theory of andragogy recognizes that adult learners have different educational needs and preferences than younger students (Knowles et al., 2015). According to this theory, adults are self-directed, draw upon life experiences to facilitate new learning, and are often motivated by a need to solve practical problems (Knowles et al., 2015). APNs can apply andragogical principles in their work by tailoring teaching plans to clients’ individual needs and goals. For example, an APN educating a diabetic patient could focus on teaching practical self-management skills rather than rote memorization. This aligns education with the patient’s intrinsic motivation to control their condition (Knowles et al., 2015).
Mezirow’s transformative learning theory posits that adult learners may undergo paradigm shifts by critically reflecting on and reevaluating assumptions (Mezirow, 2018). This type of deep learning can transform clients’ perspectives and behaviors. For instance, an APN helping a smoker quit could encourage examining why the patient started smoking and what purpose it serves (Mezirow, 2018). This facilitates an epiphany about healthier alternatives that is more likely to stick than willpower alone. Transformative learning also empowers clients as active participants in their own healthcare (Mezirow, 2018).
In summary, Knowles’ and Mezirow’s theories recognize adults’ innate capacities and motivations for self-directed growth. APNs can apply these frameworks to cultivate learning-conducive care environments and foster clients’ long-term wellness. By understanding learning from the client perspective, nurses can enhance quality of care and support patients in achieving their unique health priorities.
Knowles, M. S., Holton, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2015). The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development (8th ed.). Routledge.

Mezirow, J. (2018). Transformative learning theory. In Contemporary theories of learning (pp. 114-128). Routledge.

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