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Theory is an essential component of nursing as a scientific discipline. Please identify a nursing theory and discuss specific functions/applications of that theory in nursing relative to:

  • Practice
  • Education
  • Research

Nurse educators develop skills and competencies that build upon a foundation of graduate-level education. Nurse Educator competencies are continually developed through practical experience and ongoing professional education. The standards of professional performance expected of the nurse educator graduate include the eight core competencies outlined by the National League for Nursing (NLN, 2005): 

1) Facilitate learning.
2) Facilitate learner development and socialization.
3) Use assessment and evaluation strategies.
4) Participate in Curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes.
5) Function as a change agent and leader.
6) Pursue continuous quality improvement in the nurse educator role.
7) Engage in scholarship and ,
8) Function within the educational environment (National League for Nursing.

The Scope of Practice for Academic Nurse Educators, 2005). Provide examples how you, as a newly graduated Nurse Educator, would embody each of these eight standards of performance.

You are a diabetic nurse educator, and you have been invited to conduct a guest lecture for 30 third-year nursing students. Since they already have a solid foundation in both pathophysiology and pharmacology related to diabetes, you have been asked to focus on the nursing care of the hospitalized diabetic patient. If you had ANY resources at your disposal during this two-hour period, detail how you would promote active learning and a student-centered environment. Explain the rationale for your teaching strategies, and why these strategies were selected in favor of other alternatives. What are the advantages and disadvantages of your selected teaching methods? What teaching-learning theory or philosophy underpins your selected teaching method(s)? How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your teaching? How will you stimulate student engagement and motivation?

Peplau's theory of interpersonal relations in nursing practice, education and research

Nursing theories are interrelated concepts that clearly explain the phenomenon of nursing practice and links different abstract concepts with the process of nursing. It gives an overview of principles that underpin practice and gives a sense of identity to newly placed nurses (Tappen, 2016). This essay provides an insight into one of the nursing theories- the Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations and discusses about specific application of the theory in nursing relative to practice, education and research.

The Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations is a theory that explains about the interpersonal process underpinning nursing practice. The theory states that the main purpose of nursing is to help others identify their difficulty and assist sick individual by proper interaction with the person (Tappen, 2016). This interpersonal process helps a nurse to establish therapeutic relationship with patient and engage patient in decision making process. Hence, nurses can integrate Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations in practice to promote holistic communication between patients. Nurses can use the theory as a framework to improve their communication skills and develop appropriate attitude to provide holistic care to patent. The Peplau’s theory can not only improve interpersonal skills of nurses but also prevent them from stereotyping patient on the basis of age or any type of illness. The Peplau’s theory is informed by the principle of human relations and it helps a nurse to develop positive relationship with patient (Hagerty et al., 2017).

Apart from nursing practice, Peplau’s theory of interpersonal application also finds application in nursing education today. The integration of theory in nursing education program inform nursing students about the process needed to establish interpersonal relationship with patient. The theory gives idea about four phases of interpersonal relationship which includes orientation phase, identification phase, the exploitation phase and the resolution phase.  Orientation phase is the phase that supports nurse to identify problem in patient by asking question and exploring past experiences. The exploitation phase involves helping the patient to exploit all avenues for recovery and the last phase is termination of therapeutic relationship with patient. Nursing education programs can adopt these phases of the Peplau’s interpersonal relations theory to educate nursing students on ways to initiate conversation with client, build rapport with them an engage in therapeutic communication with different patient group. Education in this area is important for nursing students to provide holistic care and enhance the quality of care given to patient. This would have an impact of patient’s experience after placement of student nurses in the future (Tappen, 2016).

The Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations is now widely useful for the purpose of nursing research too. Many researchers have used the theory to investigate about clinical phenomenon or test the effectiveness of Peplau’s theory (D'antonio et al., 2014). For instance, the Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relations has been tested to investigate about patient experiences. Patient’s experience in hospitals are important indicators of quality and large number of research is done in this area to investigated about current skills of nurses or future actions needed to improve communication skills of nurse. Peplau’s theory is very relevant to patient care experience and it is an important theory that informs that action of a nurse is integral to patient care experience (Pozgar, 2014). Hence, Peplau’s theory is effective in exploring concepts related to patient-centered care and patient care experience in clinical setting.

The eight core competencies for nurse educator graduates outlined by the National League for Nursing

The essay summarized the application of the Peplau’s theory of interpersonal relation in nursing practice, education and research. By the review of this nursing theory, it can be said that interpersonal theory of nursing practice and the nursing process are effective for therapeutic relationship with patient. Such theories informs nurses about appropriate principles and techniques needed for meeting patient needs and helps to set mutual goals for patient care. The theory is simplistic and generalizable because of the simple way in which it explains about natural progression of nurse-patient relationship.

A nurse educator plays a vital role in delivering right information to nursing staffs and helping them to cope with challenges in daily practice. They play a major role in streamlining work process and mitigating any risk to patient or staff (Bastable, 2003). The National League for Nursing defines set of eight competency standards to promote excellence of nurse in the advanced role of the academic nurse educator. This includes facilitate learning, facilitate learner development and socialization, use assessment and evaluation strategies, participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes, function as change agent, promote continuous quality improvement, engage in scholarship and function with educational environment (National League for Nursing, 2013). The main purpose of this essay is to provide a reflective insight into how I as a newly graduate nurse educator can embody each of these eights standards of performance during the mentoring process.

I aim to fulfill the nursing educator competencies set up by National League for Nursing by first creating an appropriate environment for students to learn. I would initiate the process of learning for nursing students by first assessing learning needs of nurse. This assessment process would facilitate learning process and give me direction to make plans related to skill development of nurse in specific area. Learning assessment are needed to identify gaps in learning process and I can identify such gaps by interaction with learner and establishing an environment where the learners has no fear in confiding information (Bradshaw & Hultquist, 2016). Based on this identification, I can involve other members of the health care team to fulfill educational needs of nurse. I can prioritize needs on the basis of skills which is immediately needed or those which can be learned later (Bastable, 2003). These activities can embody competency I, II and III for nursing educators.

In addition, to make the teaching-learning experience meaningful, my strategy is to motivate nurses to learn. Emotional readiness is strongly associated with motivation and knowing motivational level of nurse can help me to determine whether learner is ready to learn or not. Based on this assessment, I can decide the teaching style that is needed to effectively function as a change agent in clinical setting. Apart from adopting process to facilitate learning, I am to develop my personal characteristic too so that I can fulfill the role of nurse education. Hence, I may have additional professional roles, however I need to have the motivation to teach so that I can effectively manage the role of nurse education (Billings & Halstead, 2015). This can help to fulfill competency III, V and VIII of the specialist nurse’s educator role.

Strategies for promoting active learning and a student-centered environment for diabetic nurse education

I can embody other competencies like participating in curriculum design, pursue continuous quality improvement and engaging in scholarship by my leadership skills. In the role of a leader, I can take the right step to design appropriate curriculum for nurse based on their learning needs. My leadership behavior and action can promote transformation of the health care system by implementation of effective quality improvement initiative. For instance, when I am dealing with a nurse regarding patient safety practice, I can inquire about skill in patient safety. Based on identification of factor influencing the patient safety at the hospital, I can implement change in the system by taking innovative approach to quality control and making changes in current system of patient safety. Proper judgment and management skills will also help me convince other stakeholders regarding the need for change (Bradshaw & Hultquist, 2016). By taking this approach, I can arrange teaching classes to disseminate knowledge about key elements of patient safety practice and promote skill development in nurses with the use of appropriate resource for patient safety practices. This is an example for patient safety practices of nurse. However, I can identify other learning needs of nurses based on analysis of adverse events and quality issues at the hospital. In addition, I aim to promote continuous quality improvement by regular evaluation of nursing curriculum and incorporating new evidence based data to streamline nursing action according to current demand.

It can be concluded that nursing educators have a vital role in transforming the health care system and developing the quality of health care. The competencies presented by the National League for Nursing are the right framework for any nurse to shift to the role nurse educator. They can use these competencies and their clinical expertise to motivate nursing staffs to professionally develop in practice and become a facilitator of quality care in hospital setting.

As a diabetic nurse educator, I have been invited to conduct a guest lecture for 30 third-year nursing students. The main focus of this lecture is not to explain about pathophysiology of the disease, instead the main aim is to provide lessons on nursing care of the hospitalized diabetic patient. This essay gives an insight into the strategy that I took as a nurse educator to create a student-centered environment and promote active learning among nurses. It also gives an overview about my teaching strategy and the effectiveness teaching method.

As my target population group for teaching is third year nursing students, I aim to make the session as meaningful and full of new information for them by creating a student-centered learning environment. This can be done by first engaging in conversation with student and stating the whole purpose of the guest lecture. Then I would ask question to students about their current knowledge in the topic and any specific queries or knowledge that aim to get from me during the learning session. This would help me to get an idea about knowledge and practices and gap in knowledge that I need to address during the class lesson. I can also create an active learning environment by evoking interest of learner and asking them what they want to learn. I can also develop interest of learner by stating them at the start of the lesson that I will offer stepwise and systematic update care plan for hospitalized diabetic patient which is used currently in high quality hospital and which can minimize chances of complication in patient. This strategy can increase engagement in the lesson during the guest lecture. The use of interactive technology and clinical resource will also aid in developing the right environment for learning (Shin et al., 2015).

There is variety of teaching strategies to facilitate learning process and for delivering lecture to third year nursing student, I aim to apply the teaching method of problem-based learning method to give lecture on care for hospitalized diabetic patient. The main rational for taking this teaching method is that the 30 minute lecture is meant for increasing clinical performance of nurse in care of diabetic patient and problem-based learning would help student to know about common problems that might arise during care delivery and how this can be addressed (Savery, 2015). By emphasizing on problem, specific learning situation can be created. It would help to clarify students regarding the challenges desired during the care of diabetic patient and key nursing action that fulfills that goal. The main advantage of this teaching method is that by emphasizing on problems, it motivates students to seek deeper understanding about process to improve practice. Hence, by taking this approach, students can develop the curiosity to learn ways to achieve competence related to diabetic care. Another advantage of problem- based teaching is that it emphasized relevance in the curriculum and accountability. It is also student-centered teaching method (Fitzpatrick, 2016).  Hence, all nurses can relate with their past lessons too. However, the disadvantage of the method is that unpreparedness of student to may affect the purpose of lecture and the assessment of performance is a time-consuming process.

The principle of cognitive constructivist explains the theory behind problem-based learning. It combines cognitive and constructivist theory to frame student-centered approach to teaching. For example, the cognitive constructivist approach states that student autonomy is important to foster ownership, whereas the social constructivist approach states that team choice and common interest builds a learning group (Onyon, 2012). Hence, these theories helped to inform problem-based learning method.

On the whole, I can say that the teaching approach of problem-based learning is a student-centered teaching approach and it can arouse the interest of learners in the lecture. To evaluate the effectiveness of my teaching strategy, I would take feedback from student regarding how the lecture enhanced their knowledge and skills in diabetic care and increased their confidence in achieving the goal of high quality care for patient with diabetes.


Essay 1:

D'antonio, P., Beeber, L., Sills, G., & Naegle, M. (2014). The future in the past: Hildegard Peplau and interpersonal relations in nursing. Nursing inquiry, 21(4), 311-317.

Deane, W. H., & Fain, J. A. (2016). Incorporating Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations to Promote Holistic Communication Between Older Adults and Nursing Students. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 34(1), 35-41.

Hagerty, T. A., Samuels, W., Norcini-Pala, A., & Gigliotti, E. (2017). Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations: An Alternate Factor Structure for Patient Experience Data?. Nursing science quarterly, 30(2), 160-167.

Pozgar, G. D. (2014). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Tappen, M.R. (2016). Advanced Nursing Research: From theory to practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning

Essay 2:

Bastable, S. B. (2003). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Billings, D. M., & Halstead, J. A. (2015). Teaching in Nursing-E-Book: A Guide for Faculty. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Bradshaw, M., & Hultquist, B. L. (2016). Innovative teaching strategies in nursing and related health professions. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

National League for Nursing. (2013). The Scope of Practice for Academic Nurse Educators. Retrieved from:

Essay 3:

Fitzpatrick, B. (2016). Problem-Based Learning. The Legal Academic's Handbook, 102.

Onyon, C. (2012). Problem?based learning: a review of the educational and psychological theory. The clinical teacher, 9(1), 22-26.

Savery, J. R. (2015). Overview of problem-based learning: Definitions and distinctions. Essential readings in problem-based learning: Exploring and extending the legacy of Howard S. Barrows, 9, 5-15.

Shin, H., Sok, S., Hyun, K. S., & Kim, M. J. (2015). Competency and an active learning program in undergraduate nursing education. Journal of advanced nursing, 71(3), 591-598.

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