Adult Learning in Healthcare
Authored By Jaime White
If you were 43 years old and had been in your profession for 20 years, would you want to go back to school? If so, why? Well, that’s exactly what Sam has chosen to do. Rather than feel like she knows it all about her field and just ride out the rest of her career until retirement, she has opted to return for her master’s degree in hopes of one day running an operating room of her own. What prompted her to make this monumental decision and undertaking? What prompts anyone to take on this endeavor?
This case study will follow Sam, an adult nurse who recently completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) while working full time as an Operating Room nurse, as she embarks on her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Prior to completing her BSN, she successfully completed her CNOR (Certified Nurse of the Operating Room) certification, recognizing her skill and dedication to perioperative nursing, and her CNFA (Certified Nurse First Assist), allowing her to scrub in and assist the surgeon during the case. I will observe her as she works on a weekly module for her class, Foundational Concepts and Applications, and interview her about the process. Through observation of Sam in her first course of that educational journey, and a subsequent interview, we will discover what drives her to continue her education at this juncture in her life. We will also explore whether her prior knowledge and experience benefit her in this endeavor.
As we will find out, Sam is driven by her dedication and passion to perioperative nursing as well as Father Time himself. In her words, “I’m getting older, my body lets me know”. We will also establish that there is indeed a deep connection between her prior knowledge and experience and the current learning process.