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Exploring the Use of Podcasts for Clinical Nursing Education

3 min readVincenza Coughlin, MS, RNC-MNN, CNE, CLC, Director of Nursing, Professional Practice and Education, NYU Langone Health

This past year I participated in the ANA Innovation Accelerator Program which has complemented very well with my academic and professional endeavors. In my current role as Director of Professional Practice and Education at NYU Langone Hospital – Long Island and PhD Candidate at Adelphi University, I am often immersing myself in practice-based science. Through the ANA Innovation Accelerator Program, I was able to synergize my passion for professional development with my interests in technological advancements in clinical nursing education, specifically podcasts. As a leader of a nurse-led podcast at my institution, I maintained curiosity in the empirical value of podcasts in the perspective of the busy clinical nurse. As such, the purpose of my PhD dissertation and quantitative research study is to explore the effects of podcasts on clinical nursing education. Specifically, I am interested in the relevant factors related to the capacity for learning (Zygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development) with respect to two different educational modalities (newsletter format versus podcast), controlling for characteristics of the learner.

Multimodal Approaches Needed to Promote Learning

With health care initiatives developing rapidly and evolving constantly, multimodal approaches are needed to promote learning that is effective and sustainable. The role of clinical nursing education is essential to the learning and building of nursing knowledge presented through teaching–learning strategies and endorsed through active learner engagement and relevant experience. Professional registered nurses represent a particular workforce whose worktime is dedicated to direct patient care with limited availability to check emails or participate in learning off the clinical unit. Examining different technological modalities for education considering the dynamic work schedule promotes knowledge development and learning that is effective, engaging, and sustainable.

An Image of a female dressed in a denim shirt over a black t-shirt. She is seated at a desk, and she is wearing headphones. There is a professional microphone on a stand in front of her, and she is speaking into the microphone and gesturing with her hands to show she is conveying a message.

The Use of Podcasts for Clinical Nursing Education

The use of podcasts for personal and professional use has become more prominent over the last five to ten years. Although gaining popularity in daily use, there is a lack of scientific research on the use of podcasting in clinical nursing education. There are several advantages of podcasts in education. For example, students who identify as auditory learners learn best by listening to the words and dialogue of others. Podcasts fit the needs of these auditory learners well because they are a recorded audio that provide information quite literally through words and language. Additionally, podcasts are very accessible, convenient, and can be employed to highlight an array of diverse topics which promotes generalizability and practical application. Through this research, it is proposed that podcasts can enhance cognition, self-efficacy and self-motivation for nurse learners.

As a participant of the ANA Innovation Accelerator Program, I learned the significance of cultivating ideation to formation and scholarship. Generating new knowledge related to the effects of podcast technology can better inform practice of educational methodologies in today’s clinical nursing education environment with implications on the provision of clinical care. I hope through my story others are inspired to seek a deeper understanding of questions relevant to nursing practice and to partake in continuing education opportunities such as the ANA Innovation Accelerator Program which can further cultivate a spirit of inquiry.


Images sourced from Adobe Creative Cloud

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