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Help for locating disciplinary literacy resources.


Following are a few specific books relating to teaching strategies for nursing programs. These books are not located at Delta Library, but if any of these books look helpful then we can interlibrary loan the books from a library. Usually, it takes two weeks to obtain interlibrary loaned items.

Bradshaw, M.J. & Lowenstein, A.J. (2011). Innovative teaching strategies in
           nursing and
related health professions. Boston : Jones and
Bartlett Publishers.

“Innovative Teaching Strategies in Nursing and Related Health Professions, Fifth Edition continues to provide nursing educators and other health care professionals with the latest, proven teaching strategies. Newly revised and updated, this new Fifth Edition offers how-to-strategies for incorporating the burgeoning field of technology into the classroom. New topics include Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs and podcasts. Also featured are chapters on Blended Learning and Study Abroad programs, enabling students to gain a more diverse and increased global perspective. Featuring innovative teaching techniques for various learning environments and real world illustrations of the strategies in use, this book goes beyond theory to offer practical application principles that educators can count on! - Publisher.”


DeYoung, S. (2009). Teaching strategies for nurse educators. N.J.: Prentice Hall.

“Whether going into staff development, patient education, or academic teaching, Teaching Strategies for Nurse Educators is the resource when it comes to teaching strategies. All encompassing, it includes detailed discussions on planning and conducting classes, computerized teaching strategies and distance learning courses, as well as clinical teaching and evaluation of learning. Too often new educators teach as they were taught without questioning the methods or rationale. This book provides a complete foundation of the learning theories and strategies that will lead to educational success. Case Studies at the end of each chapter apply content to real-life situations. Critical Thinking Exercises allow for reflection of key issues and points of view. Ideas for Further Research sections are trigger points for research on worthy topics. Detailed teaching strategies such as lecturing, audiovisuals, simulations, problem-based learning, and self-learning modules enhance student learning. An overview of research evidence on good teaching practices is provided. - Publisher.”


Gaberson, K.B. & Oermann, M.H.  (2010). Clinical teaching strategies in nursing.

          New York, N.Y.: Springer Publishing.

Contextual factors affecting clinical teaching -- Outcomes of clinical teaching -- Preparing for clinical teaching -- Ethical and legal issues in clinical teaching -- Choosing clinical learning assignments -- Self-directed learning activities -- Clinical simulation / Suzanne Hetzel Campbell -- Virtual reality and game-based clinical education / Eric Bauman -- Case method, case study, and grand rounds -- Discussion and clinical conference -- Quality clinical education for graduate nursing students at a distance : one exemplar / Susan E. Stone and Mickey Gillmor-Kahn -- Using preceptors as clinical teachers and coaches -- Clinical teaching in diverse settings / Diane M. Wink -- Written assignments -- Clinical evaluation and grading.


Hermann, J. W. (2008). Creative teaching strategies for the nurse educator.

           Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

“The art of innovation -- Getting started with icebreakers -- Strategies for large classrooms -- Strategies for small classes -- Strategies for clinical instruction and orientation -- Strategies for discussion groups -- Strategies for teaching research -- Conclusion.” has a longer list of the table of contents if you are considering interlibrary loaning this book:


Serravallo, J. (2015). The reading strategies book: Your everything

          guide to developing skilled readers.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann: 

          Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Retrieved from



"The author of this book provides a comprehensive discussion related to building skills students need in order to meet “13 crucial reading goals”.  A literacy consultant, researcher, and author, Jennifer Serravallo is the author/coauthor of Teaching Reading in Small Groups, Conferring with Readers, and The Literacy Teacher's Playbooks.  The Reading Strategies Book lists 300 exercises that are applicable to small and large classrooms, individual or group work as well as suggestions for lesson planning.  

While the book is aimed toward K-12 many of the tactics are easily transferred into the nursing classroom and clinical setting. Each of the thirteen chapter provides a theoretical exposition of the concept as well as the audience, genre and skill the strategy is best suited for. The chapters begin with an explanation of “Why this goal is important” which leads in to “How do I know if this goal is right for my student?” and moves on to a table of strategies which lists the strategy, level of learner, genre text and skill/skills the exercise is designed to enhance.  The illustrations, tables, prompts and hat tip makes for attractive reading and serves to engage the reader in a manner that is not found in the other resources listed in this bibliography." 



The following list of articles are a result of searching EBSCO's CINAHL, ERIC, and Education Full-Text as well as searching educational websites using Google.

Here are some examples of the search strategies used to find the following articles:

teaching methods reading nursing college

teaching reading nursing

teaching writing nursing

For Google, the following search seemed to work well: teaching reading nursing

It is important to try a number of different words.


Arhin, A. O., & Cormier, E. (2007). Using deconstruction to educate Generation Y

       nursing students. Journal of  Nursing Education, 46(12), 562-567.

The entire PDF file/article is available in CINAHL.

“Nurse educators are obligated to use creative strategies to educate a post-modern generation of students who possess distinct characteristics, particularly related to teaching and learning. The complexity of today's health care system, related to changing sociological factors and the differences in this generation, gives reason to tap into the strengths of this generation and consider how a postmodern perspective can influence nursing and nursing education. Derrida, to whom deconstruction is attributed, approached postmodern philosophy as a form of textual criticism. Deconstruction denotes a particular practice of reading, criticism, and analytical inquiry, factors that are important to nursing education. This article describes how deconstruction can be used to enhance nursing education of Generation Y students, and its application to reading comprehension and writing skills is explored.”


Aronson, E. The jigsaw classroom.  Social Psychology Network (2000-2015). 

          Retrieved  from

Elliot Aronson is a Professor Emeritus at the University of California in Santa Cruz and is the founder of the Jigsaw Classroom designed to encourage and nurture cooperative learning.  This endeavor was generated in response to the unrest and incivility occurring in K-12 classrooms in the 70’s when desegregation was at its peak in terms of turmoil.  Professor Aronson and his graduate students were charged with turning the classroom from a battleground into one where learning and support would occur.  Over forty years later the jigsaw strategy continues to improve student performance and reduce rates of absenteeism. I value this site as it encourages cooperative learning in a way that I have not used. Nursing is a collaborative effort and students come into the program resisting this partnership.  The authors of the site provide instructions in the form of ten steps toward implementation. Any topic could be used with this approach and it serves to build schema and exercise reading skills. Students must critically read, share and discuss what they have learned in their groups and rotate through other groups.  Assessment occurs in the format one choses; the suggestion is to give a quiz once the jigsaw assignment has been completed.  While this is not dedicated to reading per se as is the remainder of this bibliography, it encourages vocabulary building, reading comprehension and the ability to articulate all in an interactive manner.


Beeson, S. A., & Aucoin, J. (2005). Assigning readings: Faculty perceptions

       and strategies. Nurse Educator, 30(2), 62-64.

“Nursing faculty routinely assign readings to undergraduate, prelicensure students. When asked what types of readings they required, almost all said they required readings from textbooks. Most expect students to either read or skim all the assignments before class. However, experience has taught faculty that often students do not read. Strategies are provided to enhance reading experiences or provide meaningful alternatives.”

"Little research has been done to determine if and how assigned readings aid nursing students learning.  What is known is faculty assign extensive reading with little to no direction to the student.  Beeson & Aucoin, doctorate prepared faculty at the School of Nursing in North Carolina, identified the need to garner information as to whether the most commonly used strategy for teaching nursing students, assigned readings, helped nursing students learn.  The research conducted by Beeson & Aucoin (2005) found the vast majority of students did not complete the readings and expressed a desire for faculty direction about how and what to read.  In addition it was found many students became discouraged and frustrated over faculty expectations that the student be responsible for the assigned reading. Interestingly enough the authors found 69% of the faculty did not read what they had assigned but expected students to do so.  The authors suggest faculty rely less heavily on textbooks as the primary content source considering the material is outdated by 3 to 5 years and direct students toward online and journal resources.  The authors suggest faculty demonstrate the value of assigned readings by referring to text page numbers and assigned articles in class.  Recommendations based on the results of the study can be found on page 64 and include strategies such as role modeling with students what can be skipped or skimmed, reading headings, text boxes, tables and summarizing with a goal toward improved reading comprehension.  Beeson and Aucoin (2008) remind faculty that textbooks will soon be obsolete, thus are better suited as a resource not the primary source.  While the article does not present new content it certainly reiterates the need to move away from the textbook as the primary source in an effort to engage the student in meaningful reading."


Chen, E, & Lin, M. (2003). Effects of a nursing literature reading course

       on promoting critical thinking in two-year nursing program students.

       Journal of Nursing Research, 11(2), 137-146.

This entire PDF file/article is located in CINAHL.

“Critical thinking is essential for professional nursing practice. Promoting critical thinking with teaching strategies has been a focus of nursing education and nursing research. Reading and writing assignments are teaching strategies for fostering critical thinking ability. We developed a course with the emphasis on critical reading and writing. The purposes of this study were to explore the effect of the course and teaching strategies on promoting critical thinking and to understand the learning experience and perception of nursing students as part of the course assessment plan. Quasi-experimental design and purposive sampling were used. 170 students of a two-year nursing program were grouped into an experimental and a control group depending on whether or not they took the course. The change in critical thinking ability was evaluated and determined based on performance in an article critique test before and after the course. Data was collected with an assessment tool developed for the purposes of the research and was analyzed with descriptive statistics, paired t-test, and two-factor analysis of variance with repeated measures and content analysis. The findings were: (1) The scores on the critique test at the end of the course in both groups were significantly higher than before the course (p<.001). The improvement in score of the experimental group, however, was significantly higher than that of the control group (p<.001). (2) Changes in thinking pattern and learning attitude, as well as a feeling of growth and achievement, were found in content analysis of students' self-evaluation of their learning experience and perception. Critical thinking skills were applied while learning the course. The results not only provide evidence to support the positive effect of reading and writing assignments on critical thinking ability but also confirm the teaching and learning activity design for the course.”


Herrman, J. (2002). Quick reads. The 60-second nurse educator:

       creative strategies to inspire learning. Nursing Education

       Perspectives, 23(5), 222-227.

“Educational content that is presented, attended to, remembered, and reinforced in a "fun setting" will have a greater likelihood of being learned. Creative strategies integrated throughout the learning environment are effective in increasing retention of information. Some obstacles to creative teaching methods include lack of class time and preparation time, teaching habits, divergent learning styles of students, and devotion to covering all the content in class. This article presents "60-second strategies" that can be incorporated into large and small classes and clinical teaching. The strategies are quick, easy to implement, and transferable to a wide range of teaching topics.”

"The author is a clinical coordinator of undergraduate nursing students at the University of Delaware, thus affording her direct knowledge of what faculty face in the classroom and clinical setting.  Few nursing faculty would argue that students need to be engaged to learn.  Textbook assigned readings are only beneficial if they are read.  This article presents many creative learning strategies for the class and clinical setting to aid retention of the information. The article is a breath of fresh air as it is filled with an explanation and example of strategies vs simply discussing the need to change how content is delivered to enhance reading to learn. 

The author presents numerous sixty second strategies for large and small classes which appear to be applicable to any discipline.  Barriers to utilizing such methods are acknowledged such as faculty belief of the need to cover all of the content as well as reluctance to abandon what is “comfortable”.  In lecture innovations include “Why are you here?  What’s the Big Deal?  All things being Equal” to name a few (p. 223).  Clinical suggestions to aid learning are also discussed “One minute care plan, Grand rounds, Pass the problem” which appear to be practical and relatively painless to implement (p. 226).  Herrman (2002) cautions faculty to introduce these strategies thoughtfully, and in appropriate “doses” (p. 224).  Planning how and when to utilize these techniques takes time but if one can inspire and motivate student learning through such endeavors the effort is negligible.  When thinking of other articles discussing the need to refine and down size assigned readings without losing the integrity of the content this article provides a multitude of methods that are designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles."


Hoffman, J. (2008). Chapter 12. Teaching strategies to facilitate nursing students'

       critical thinking. Annual Review of Nursing Education, 6, 225-236.

This entire PDF file/article is in CINAHL.

“Nurses must possess critical thinking competencies in order to maintain pace with the ever-changing treatment modalities and technological advances. Outdated teaching methodologies based on content and knowledge must be replaced by a focus on outcomes, such as critical thinking. Nursing faculty responsible for student learning in classroom and clinical settings must be equipped to assist students in learning "how" to find the answers, not merely "what" are the answers. Nurses must recognize that it is an expectation of professional practice that they update and maintain their competency and knowledge base. Due to the increasingly complex health care environment, memorization of facts is no longer sufficient, because there are too many facts to memorize and what is memorized quickly becomes outdated. Equipping nursing students to be engaged and independent in their learning is essential to critical thinking, lifelong learning, and maintaining competency in order to provide safe nursing care. Teaching strategies that include directed reading, case studies, and questioning can be valuable in not only assisting the student to learn new materials, but also as approaches to thinking that can be used independently in the practice setting after graduation.”

"Hoffman (2008) redirects faculty toward helping nursing students learn “how” to find the answers vs “what” the answer is.  The author encourages faculty to explore methods of fostering higher level thinking by developing questions designed to help students apply the content and to synthesize and evaluate the material.  Hoffman (2008) tells her nursing students that she will “ask them questions until they do not know the answer”, explaining that if she only asks questions about what they already know valuable learning time is being wasted.  Predictably students respond with “a deer in the headlights look” to which she assures them they will find the answers together.  The author’s action supports the importance of teaching students how to find the information which facilitates higher cognitive skills such as analysis which serves to promote critical thinking during their education and into practice.  Examples of ways to apply the strategies suggested by the author include developing clinical assignments where the student locates and reviews policies related to procedures such as blood transfusions, intravenous drips appropriate for the floor vs critical care and job responsibilities to increase knowledge for appropriate delegation.  The clinical focus of the article set it apart from the other articles which tend to focus more on classroom teaching learning modalities."


Lindsay, G. (2006). Syllabus selections: innovative learning activities.

       Reading journals: recovery and reconstruction of meaning for nursing praxis.

      Journal Of Nursing Education, 45(3), 143.

The entire PDF file/article is available in CINAHL. Here is a brief excerpt from the article to give you a little idea of what this article covers:

To that end, I involve students through “reading journals,” which are a combination of individual reading, thinking, and writing and small group verbal and written presentations. The format of the journal requires students to recover and reconstruct the meaning of an article, book chapter, or similar written piece, and to explore the significance of both for their emerging nursing praxis. Ultimately, students explore how reading for recovery before reconstructing meaning is connected to establishing relationships with people.”

"It is the author’s premise that journal articles are more conducive than voluminous text assignments for the transition from classroom to praxis. Lindsay (2006), faculty at York University, School of Nursing, proposes a format for journal reading whereby the student reads for “recovery of meaning” (p. 143) so as to discover and summarize the literal meaning of the article, identify key terms and vocabulary, and articulate (verbally and in writing) what the article is about as well as exploring the author’s evidence to support what is written.  In “reconstructing for meaning” (p. 143) students relate the journal information to what they know from life experience, what they have read elsewhere, how this information is used in clinical practice and/or how it differs from what they see in practice. Recovery and reconstructing are pragmatic methods that engage the reader with a goal of retention and application of knowledge to the clinical setting.  The articles contain critical information delivered in a succinct format as compared to pages of textbook readings.  I believe students would read the articles vs the textbook for numerous reasons one of which is the articles are written by nurses for nurses.  These same articles are what nurses read for continuing education credit mandated by the nursing governing bodies as part of our licensure.  In comparison to other articles this discussion has a heavy emphasis on promoting evidence based practice learning thus less likelihood of students questioning “why do I need to know this; when will I ever use this?" 


Oermann, M., & Christman, J. (2008). Reading assignments in nursing courses:

       some guidelines for faculty. Teaching & Learning In Nursing, 3(2), 56-58.

“This article reviews the literature on assigned reading in prelicensure nursing programs and examines applicable studies from other disciplines. The authors provide recommendations that faculty members can use to make reading assignments an effective learning tool in nursing courses.”

"Oermann & Christman (2008) suggest the debate in nursing programs has long centered on “what should be taught” at the expense of “how it should be taught” (p. 57).  Expository texts (found in most nursing curriculum) require the student to intentionally select the most important information, make sense of it and form connections to what they already know.   The authors caution faculty to recognize many students do not have the background knowledge to comprehend this type of reading without direction from the instructor.  The authors further state faculty need to read what they assign, recognizing the time it takes, make notes of what can be skimmed vs what students should focus on and link new material to content students are familiar with.   In other words faculty need to provide direction to the student if they expect readings to be completed.  

Oermann & Christman (2008) encourage faculty to develop guidelines that aid students in connecting the assigned reading to the course content, clinical outcomes and objectives, create questions to help students focus on critical content, and provide an outline to be completed by the student as they read on their own.  Studies by Oermann & Christman (2008), Beeson and Aucoin (2005) and McKee (2002) support these learning strategies as desired by nursing students.  This article gave clear direction as to why and how faculty can make reading meaningful to the student.  The numerous suggestions of how to do this require a small paradigm shift but one that faculty could do if so inclined."


Oermann, M. H., & Christman, J. (2008). Strategies for using assigned reading

       in nursing courses. Nurse Educator, 33(2), 59-60.

“Advice for faculty members on making assigned reading an effective learning tool in nursing courses is provided.”

"In this article, the authors discuss strategies to promote active learning from the assigned readings.  Nursing faculty are advised to consider how much material is being assigned with regard to volume as well as relevance.  Oermann and Christman (2008) suggest giving students a list of questions that focus on “need to know” in order to assist them in differentiating nonessential from essential content.  Tovani, (2005) recommends a method of purposeful reading “comprehension constructor” that encourages students to initially skim the content, develop questions and use these questions to guide note taking and reading.  They should then summarize what was learned and make connections between new and familiar material (scaffolding). Journal articles are encouraged as they are rich with current practice and consistent with how nurses garner knowledge.  The authors propose journal assignments whereby students search for a particular topic, read and analyze its relevance to a patient they have cared for will support useful learning in a manner the textbook cannot.  Sample active learning strategies for assigned readings can be found on p. 60 of the article.  In comparison to other articles on this topic I appreciate the practical examples provided by the authors.  Oermann holds a PhD and is faculty at the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina while Christman is a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood in Ann Arbor, Michigan."


Oberleitner, M.G. (n.d.). Responding in writing to clinical cases: The development

       of clinical reasoning in nursing. Language and Learning Across the Disciplines,

       5(1), 49-57.  Retrieved from



Sorrel, J.  (n.d.). Stories in the nursing classroom: Writing and learning

       through stories. Language and Learning Across the Disciplines, 5(1), 36-48. 

       Retrieved from


Spiers, J.A. (2012). Strategies for engaging undergraduate nursing students

       in reading and using qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 17.

       Retrieved from


Study strategies for success.  Community College of Rhode Island.  Retrieved



"The authors of this page encourage students to think of their “nursing textbook as a reference” used to review material addressed in lecture or clinical that they do not understand.  While the author’s names not listed the page is managed by the student success department at the Community College of Rhode Island, thus giving every evidence of credibility.  Students are cautioned to avoid trying to memorize information in the textbook, and further warned attempts to do so will surely increase anxiety and frustration levels.  The authors encourage students to adopt the motto of “work smart, not hard” (p. 9).  Toward that end a textbook reading strategy known as the PARROT method is presented to the student as an effective reading strategy to navigate and glean critical information from the text.  The acronym PARROT stands for Preview, Ask & Activate, Read, Recite, Organize, and Test (p. 10).  The authors promote “active reading” (p.11) whereby students think about what they know, note concepts they do not understand by formulating questions, take advantage of the activities that come with the text such as answering the questions at the end of the chapter before reading the material and reviewing the summary and vocabulary prior to reading the content.  

Over and over the student is cautioned not to waste time re-reading that which they already know. Practical advice for studying includes things such as taking a physical break every 45-60 minutes.  This means moving, doing something other than sitting with the textbook.  Also addressed are practical test taking strategies and methods to decrease test anxiety.  This page is applicable to all nursing students and is comprehensive in its breadth.  The authors write in a manner that students will understand and relate to.  Time management goals and strategies are discussed to help students’ realize the importance of planned study sessions.  Critical thinking skill development and how to read and answer nursing exam questions are also included on this page for nursing students. In comparison to the other articles listed on my bibliography this “study skills” site is most applicable to the student." 

White, H. L. (2004). Nursing instructors must also teach reading and study skills.

       Reading Improvement, 41(1), 38.

The entire article is available in PDF form within CINAHL or can be located FREE online at:

“To be successful in nursing courses, students must be able to read and comprehend a large volume of information. This requires different types of reading and study skills from other courses to which they have been exposed. The formal teaching of these skills in a nursing course takes second place to the teaching of required nursing skills. Because nursing teachers are not academically prepared to teach reading and the related skills, they have no knowledge of what to do or how to do what is needed. The purpose of this article is to provide nursing faculty with a brief overview of the kinds of activities that they can use to help their students to improve their reading and study skills.”

"This article focuses on the development and fostering of content reading skills, study skills, note taking strategies, critical reading and thinking as well as decision making and problem solving skills.  Collaboration with and referral to reading specialist is also discussed.  Given the wide range of topics I chose to focus on “Methods to improve comprehension” (White, 2004 p. 39-40.).  According to White (2004) faculty must be engaged with the assigned reading much as the student in that faculty provide students with background information of familiar concepts and how they relate to new material in the reading.  Faculty should provide a “fully developed homework assignment” to guide student reading vs a blanket assignment of “read pages 670-1030” in your text.  This preparation and scaffolding promotes a higher likelihood that content will be read and better understood by the student.  The author further states students need a variety of materials to aid their understanding of complex subjects.  A carefully designed case study guides the student in the direction of critical content while encouraging higher level thinking such as application, synthesis and evaluation.  

Textbooks come with a wealth of resources which White (2004) deems faculty should introduce and encourage during class sessions.  Mind maps, vocabulary building exercises, rephrasing the outcomes and objectives in the text into question format, as well as answering the questions at the end of the chapter are strategies to improve reading comprehension. In comparison to other articles on reading skills in nursing, this article squarely places responsibility on the faculty as well as the student in fostering reading for comprehension.  The author is a faculty member at the Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I do believe what the author proposes is better suited to a baccalaureate and graduate nursing curriculum where the emphasis is on content vs clinical as in associate degree programs." 

Young, S. (2005). BEYOND "HOT LIPS" AND "BIG NURSE":

       CREATIVE WRITING AND NURSING. Composition Studies, 33(1), 75-91.

“Focuses on the depiction of nurses in popular culture. Role of nurses in the provision of medical care; Criticism against the lack of instruction provided to nurses in the field of writing; Overview of the results of a creative writing class offered as a special topics course at a university nursing school.”

Also is available for FREE at the following website:




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