Framing Constructive Feedback With the QSEN Competencies: Strategies for Educators

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 4:35 PM

Gerry Altmiller, EdD, RN, APRN, ACNS-BC
School of Nursing, The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ, USA

One of the most challenging responsibilities nurse educators face is providing feedback to students that will result in a meaningful and productive outcome. Good intentioned feedback aimed at quality improvement may be misinterpreted by a student to be negative and uncaring behavior from an individual serving as a role model for a caring profession. As the increasing complexity of societal norms for communication clash with expected professional behaviors, providing constructive feedback has become a greater challenge, with many nurse educators avoiding it as a way to avoid conflict.

Receiving constructive feedback as a student and as a nurse is essential for personal and professional growth but for faculty, delivering feedback to students while continuing to nurture the student-teacher relationship can be difficult. Failure to provide effective feedback to students can have negative effects on the learner, act as a trigger for incivility, and have deleterious effects on the professional comportment of new nurses as they enter the workforce. Nurse educators not only need to develop skills to deliver feedback effectively, but need to teach students how to give and receive constructive feedback to fulfill their roles of team member, delegator, educator, and colleague.

This presentation describes a tool created to support faculty in reframing constructive feedback with the QSEN competencies. It was developed following a study conducted at 4 schools of nursing that clearly identified the significant role communication and feedback have in creating strained student-teacher relationships. The tool provides a method to teach faculty how to connect feedback to quality and safety concepts so that they can deliver feedback effectively and model the behavior for students.

Delivering and receiving feedback effectively are learnable skills and should be introduced early in pre-licensure education. Faculty can model these skills and influence the perception of feedback to be viewed as an opportunity so that students can learn to appreciate its value in maintaining patient safety and high quality care in clinical practice. Implementing additional strategies to include a caring message while delivering feedback clarifies faculty motivations and allows a student to feel safe to listen, reflect, and make adjustments to practice. Teaching students to value feedback as an opportunity for improvement promotes professional behavior and supports quality and safety.

Nursing faculty are in a unique position to model the skills of giving and receiving constructive feedback during pre-licensure education so that students can acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to continue to develop professionally in the academic environment and throughout their professional nursing career. During this presentation, challenges to giving and receiving feedback will be identified and participants will learn strategies to deliver constructive feedback effectively and influence the perception of feedback, that is, for it to be viewed and valued as an opportunity for self-improvement, optimal patient safety, and high quality care.