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Why did you decide to use stories to teach nurses?

I’ve always enjoyed stories – reading, writing, and sharing them with others.  Using a story is a very powerful way to share information and ideas.  As children, we were conditioned to learn from stories.  Every fairy tale and fable that our parents and teachers shared with us had some kind of lesson or moral that we took away.  As we get older, the stories seem to disappear from our educational experiences, which is a shame.  Principles of adult learning tell us that adult learners need to be self-directed, practical, relevancy- and goal-oriented in their learning experiences.  A well-written educational story can satisfy all of those needs.  Adults need to learn when they’re ready and attentive.  With a nursing novella, a nurse can go to work with her book in her pocket and read a chapter or two during her breaks, for instance.  She can complete the book as quickly or as slowly as she chooses, as it’s purely self-driven, and she’s able to learn in an easy, practical way throughout the course of her busy day.  When she starts to feel for the characters and what they’re experiencing, she begins to relate what she’s learning to her own life experiences, making the education personal, meaningful, and relevant to her work.  If she discusses the story with others who have read it, it then becomes a reflective learning experience, which further helps her to internalize the book’s lessons.  Plus, it’s my hope that reading nursing novellas will be enjoyable.  Many of us read fiction for leisure, so it seems like an added bonus if a nurse can learn while she’s doing something she already enjoys.  Combining education and entertainment is what nursing novellas is all about!

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