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distance learning, Generation Z, nursing students, online courses, teaching methods



  1. Chunta, Kristy PhD, RN, ACNS, BC
  2. Shellenbarger, Teresa PhD, RN, CNE, CNEcl, ANEF
  3. Chicca, Jennifer MS, RN, CNE, CNEcl


Background: Student enrollment in online learning is increasing. Generation Z students are now enrolled in higher education, including in online nursing courses. Faculty teaching in the online environment should consider best practices and learner characteristics to address the needs of this student generation.


Problem: Generation Z students prefer independent learning while still being socially connected to peers. Although this generation of students is comfortable with technology, their unique traits may create challenges for nurse educators teaching in online settings.


Approach: This article provides strategies for nurse educators teaching Generation Z students in online learning environments. Ways to foster student engagement, stimulate intellectual development, and build rapport with students, while considering characteristics specific to this generation of learners, are offered.


Conclusion: Online learning continues to develop as a means for educating nursing students. Using strategies for best online teaching practices while considering learner attributes will help students and educators be successful.