1. Holmberg, Sharon K. PhD, RN

Article Content

Teaching Nursing: The Art and Science


Teaching Nursing: The Art and Science1 by Linda Caputi and Lynn Engelmann is a straightforward approach to addressing the needs of both experienced and novice faculty. This 2-volume book with an accompanying interactive CD consists of 10 units ranging from understanding the educational process to facilitating the development of a professional nursing attitude and bridging theory and practice.


The first unit of the book is designed to engage readers in familiar issues and approaches to nursing education, such as classroom and skills laboratory teaching, then progresses to other emerging techniques such as teaching on closed circuit television, Web-based teaching, and other computer-assisted educational strategies. The traditional educational processes, such as using humor in the classroom, use of case studies, use of technology, teaching in clinical and community settings are addressed by highlighting essential expectations concisely, then adding a few fresh ideas for consideration. A chapter on test construction and analysis describes a 'blueprint" for writing test questions at various levels of cognition and ways to determine the difficulty level of test items. Many of the chapters include tables of essential teaching techniques, examples of how to keep records of student learning experiences, and lists of learning activities for the teacher to hone specific skills.


Four key units address the development of students, curriculum, and critical thinking. One unit addresses learning styles and various ways in which students learn. Chapters in this unit emphasize the development of the students' critical thinking and faculty ability to work with students of a variety of culturally diverse backgrounds. A third chapter is designed to help faculty understand the structure of the NCLEX exam and ways to facilitate student success. A second key unit consists of several chapters for faculty to understand curriculum design, with a focus on incorporating spirituality and cultural diversity, use of new technology, concerns related to graduate curriculum, and outcome assessment to improve student learning.


Other issues critical to nursing program management and teaching are understanding accreditation bodies and legal issues for faculty supervising nursing students. Several brief chapters describe nursing program accreditation, including the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), and certification in nursing. The chapter on legal issues is structured by addressing several of the most common and important legal issues relevant when faculty are in supervising students in clinical settings. Among the main themes are faculty liability and liability of the nursing education program, how to successfully manage students with disabilities, and teaching students how to document care in patient charts.


Several chapters focus on organizations of interest to nursing faculty; for example, the National League for Nursing, the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, and Sigma Theta Tau International. Information about each organization includes a brief history, contributions to developing and enhancing nursing education or practice, and any additional goals and activities related to the nursing profession. These chapters provide contact information and interesting insights into the nursing profession's evolution.


The final 2 units in this 2-volume textbook are designed for faculty to realize that "learning is a life-long process" that joins the traditional scholarship categories of research, teaching, and service. As with other chapters, there are tables, self-assessment guides, learning activities for the faculty member, and charts for evaluating factors such as leadership, job culture, and, finally, the role of mentoring new faculty.


This text is clearly designed for nursing faculty at any level of experience and skill. The new faculty member is guided into succinct ways of understanding ideas, concepts, and application of multiple teaching methods. The experienced faculty member can use the text as quick review, a resource, and a guide when mentoring novice faculty and measuring personal growth in the faculty role.




1. Caputi L, Engelmann L. Teaching nursing: the art and science. Glen Ellyn, Ill: College of DuPage Press; 2004. [Context Link]