Poster Presentation

Friday, July 13, 2007
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Friday, July 13, 2007
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation III
Educating Nurses for Evidence Based Practice: Implications of Wenger's Communities of Practice Model
Lois E. Berry, PhD(c), College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Learning Objective #1: identify the importance of social interactions and experience as sources of nurses' knowledge for practice
Learning Objective #2: discuss Wenger's Communities of Practice model as a valuable framework for student experiences directed at knowledge based practice.

Nurse educators are challenged to provide educational curricula and clinical opportunities that prepare their students for professional practice, while also responding to the current health care agenda focus on evidence based practice (EBP). In order to develop in students a commitment to evidence based practice, nurse educators must understand how nurses in practice gain the knowledge which serves as a basis for their practice. Estabrooks et al. (2005) found that practicing nurses base their practice on knowledge gained from two sources: social interactions and experience. Therefore, in order to foster EBP in students, nursing education must involve them socially and experientially in nurses’ work. If nurses develop their clinical knowledge for practice through social interactions and experience in the clinical setting, nursing education must promote social interaction and increases its focus on clinical experiences for students. Some in nursing education may feel that they already provide such a focus. However, North American and British literature reveals a relationship between nursing students and practice settings which is transitory, superficial, and at times antagonistic. In order to promote social interaction and clinical experience for students, nursing education and practice settings must forge strong, ongoing partnerships with these aims front and center. Wenger’s Communities of Practice model (CoPs) provides us with a framework for these partnerships. CoPs involve groups of people who engage with each other around a common interest in a shared domain. CoPs promote legitimate participation of students in the community. CoPs are based on a belief that reflective practice is necessary for knowledge based practice. CoPs move reflective practice to a social level. Nurse educators must work closely with health care partners to create environments that foster CoPs, and student participation within them, in order to support knowledge development and evidence based practice.