Nursing Discussion: Applying Learning Theories to Nursing Curriculum and Programs

Nursing Discussion: Applying Learning Theories to
Nursing Curriculum and Programs


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Theorists have always been interested in how people learn. They have created and refined learning theories and provided authentic examples of human motivation and learning preferences. Much research has also been conducted on how educators teach others. Literature suggests that even when educators did not believe that they were using a theory, they were in fact using one or more to drive their instruction. Though nurse educators may naturally incorporate theories into their instruction, great care should be taken to consciously incorporate theories into the design and presentation of the curriculum. Doing so will not only benefit diverse learners but also aid in the curriculum development process.

In this Discussion, you explore how learning theories offer distinct strategies, approaches, and considerations.



Questions to be addressed:

  1. Review the learning theories presented in this week’s Learning Resources. How can each theory, or combination of theories, guide the curriculum development process? A brief description of how learning theories guide curriculum development. 

2.       Identify your Course Project setting (Arizona State University) and provide a brief description of your team’s proposed curriculum or program (Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) programs).  

  1. Reflect on the curriculum or program that your team is developing for your Course Project. In addition, reflect on the learning needs and diverse learning styles of your students/staff/patients.
  2. Select one learning theory that you could apply to your team’s curriculum or program. Consider how this learning theory could guide your team’s curriculum development process.  

5.       Explain how your selected theory applies to your team’s curriculum/program by sharing at least two authentic examples.

  1. Access the “VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles” website, also found in this week’s Learning Resources ( the learning styles assessment and review your scores and learning preferences. These results will assist you in your response post.

7.       Summary/Conclusion of Applying Learning Theories to Nursing Curriculum and Programs




1)      At least 3 pages (addressing the 7 questions above excluding the title page and reference page).

2)      Kindly follow APA format for the citation and references! References should be between the period of 2011 and 2016. Please utilize the references at least three below as much as possible and the rest from yours.

3)     Make headings for each question.








Billings, D. M., & Halstead, J. A. (2016). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

  • Chapter 6, “An Introduction to Curriculum Development” (pp. 89–117)


Chapter 6 presents the diverse approaches to using organizational frameworks when developing curriculum. How to develop outcomes and competency-based curricula are also highlighted.


  • Chapter 13, “Theoretical Foundations of Teaching and Learning” 


Chapter 13 provides an in-depth overview of many learning theories, as well as the advantages, disadvantages, and applications of each. The four steps of the teaching-learning process are discussed, as well as the many learning theories faculty should utilize inside the classroom.


  • Chapter 15, “Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Active Learning”


Educators can involve students in specific, targeted experiences that elicit critical thinking. Critical thinking teaching strategies and experiences are outlined, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Keating, S. B. (Ed.). (2015). Curriculum development and evaluation in nursing (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

  • Section II: Learning Theories, Education Taxonomies, and Critical Thinking (pp. 61–62)


This introduction to Section II provides a brief overview of the key ideas discussed in Chapters 4 and 5 of the course text.

Saylor, C. (2011). Learning theories applied to curriculum development. In S. B. Keating (Ed.),Curriculum development and evaluation in nursing (2nd ed., pp. 49–69). New York, NY: Springer.


Chapter 3 identifies each of the prominent learning theories nurse educators can integrate into their curriculum. The key contributions of each are highlighted, as well as their uses in the classroom.


Culatta, R. (2012). Learning theories. Retrieved from


You will use this website for this week’s Discussion. By clicking on the hyperlinks, you can view a summary, application, example, and overarching principles for each theory.



Fleming, N. (2011). The VARK questionnaire: How do I learn best? Retrieved from



The VARK questionnaire is a free resource that assesses how you learn best. You will take this short questionnaire in this week’s Discussion.

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