1. Lewandowski, Sara DNP, MS, BA, BS, RN, CNE, HNB-BC
  2. Strunk, Faith PhD, RN, FNP-BC
  3. Mathew-Joseph, Nitha PhD, RN, CNE

Article Content

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed many academic programs into increased online teaching. Peer support and interaction through an online curriculum differ from a traditional face-to-face nursing curriculum. The use of an online affirmation discussion in an online first-semester RN-BSN Health Assessment course was created as an introductory assignment for students to engage and interact with each other. Successful social interventions such as sharing self-affirmations are often useful in helping people develop positive narratives regarding a difficult challenge. The instructions were posted by the faculty in the learning management system during the first week of the course. The online discussion was an optional assignment, not affiliated with any student grades. The students were asked to share 3 affirmations that they have used during a challenging time in their professional nursing career. The learning management system settings for this discussion allowed for 1 initial post, with unlimited student peer replies. The optional assignment was open for the remainder of the 16-week course, which enabled students to read and respond to the discussion if they chose to do so. Faculty monitored the discussion to ensure the posts were consistent with instructions. The use of this introductory online affirmation discussion was well received by students as reflected in positive course evaluations and student engagement.