Learning to Innovate in Care: Project-Based Education

Monday, 30 October 2017

Luz Patricia Diaz Heredia, PhD, MSN, RN
Nursing Faculty, National University od Colombia, Bogotá Colombia, Colombia
Luz Stella Bueno Robles, PhD
School of Nursing, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia


The formation of new nursing professionals at Universidad Nacional de Colombia and particularly in the assignment on Epistemology, models, and theories in nursing, during the first semester of the career, has implied in recent years the development of methodologies and pedagogy aimed from a constructivist vision. Through the development of a project related to innovation in caring for people, we expect to accomplish participation and acquisition of nursing knowledge: models and theories and their application during the practice. In these projects, that which is innovative must be proposed from the comprehension of the theories and models developed and must be worked on during the whole semester.

The final product constructed must be supported by scientific evidence and must involve new ways of offering care to people in areas as diverse as health promotion, caring for children and adults in chronic health condition, in the formation of nursing professionals and narratives as ways of expressing care, but always the theme selected by students must be important and relevant for them. The project is developed under the guidance of a professor-mentor of the assignment and created into a poster to be socialized in an inter-faculty event at the end of the period.

This formative experience is constructed under the assumption of inquiry- and project-based learning, seeking to bring students to construct new knowledge through authentic, relevant, and complex experiences originated from real problems(1). This strategy is an approach designed to facilitate active construction of learning through commitment to solving relevant problems, like caring for people from the nursing perspective(1). Project-based formation also seeks for a culture of teamwork that includes collaboration and interdependence, acquisition of new roles and adjustment to them, supported by a solid learning and performance structure (2). This has implied for professor-mentors arduous guidance work and work in and out of the classroom (3).

Objective. This work sought to evidence the development of innovative care strategies of students from the Faculty of Nursing at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2015 – 2016 period.


PHASE 1: Topic selection: Select topic of interest and Bibliographic search

PHASE 2: Develop Proposal: Problem statement and objective, Theoretical support: Model or nursing theory, Description of innovative care proposal, Conclusion, Bibliography

PHASE 3: Proposal Socialization: Poster presentation of project

Results. The highest percentage 38% of innovative projects were developed regarding proposals to promote health, for example, the design of an electronic game to motivate oral hygiene in children, a ludic classroom program using story telling as a tool to promote school adaptation. In second place 31% were projects aimed at generating technologies for caring, like the design of APPs to monitor patients with cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. The use of narratives reached 17% as a way of understanding and expressing care in situations such as neglect and domestic violence. Projects to promote professional formation, like the creation of a YouTube channel and the construction of a chat to work on self-esteem in students. The last theme with 4% worked on projects to promote culturally competent care by generating a program to accompany nursing students coming from other cities and regions of the country.


- The innovative care projects developed permitted identifying broad performance areas and theoretical and conceptual elements applied to problems of interest of the discipline.

Project-based education promotes the generation of innovative caring proposals that permit encouraging students to generate new knowledge to improve the practice and meet needs in different care environments. This formation strategy triggers significant learning capable of being transferred to the reality of caring for people in different health and disease situations.

Innovative care technology is the theme with the highest number of works, given that it is the theme of greater interest to students.