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By background, I am a critical care nurse. In September 2021, I transitioned to become a senior lecturer in critical care at Kingston University. Since then I have played a pivotal role in transitioning the adult critical care courses to blended learning delivery. By combining traditional classroom sessions with online resources and interactive activities, I sought to create engaging and supportive learning experiences for our students. Co-creating three specialised blended learning courses for critical care nurses allowed for a curriculum tailored to the needs of our practice partners.
I am also very aware that for many critical care nurses, returning to study or transitioning to UK higher education as overseas nurses is a daunting experience. I am committed to offering tailored support programs that ensure their success. Through providing a nurturing environment, academic guidance, and helping our students to them acclimate to the academic setting, I strive to empower them on their academic journey and enable them to make significant contributions to the critical care landscape.
As the admissions recruitment and outreach tutor, my passion lies in providing talented individuals with the opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in nursing. Kingston University takes pride in its equitable and seamless application process, attracting enthusiastic students from diverse backgrounds. It brings me immense joy to connect with schools, colleges, and educational institutions, where I can share the remarkable successes of our nursing program and inspire young minds to consider the fulfilling path of healthcare.
Senior Lecturer for Critical Care | Admissions recruitment and outreach tutor.
In my role as an educator, I took on the crucial task of transitioning critical care courses to a blended learning format. Embracing the power of pedagogical design, I collaborated with colleagues to co-create three innovative blended learning courses tailored specifically for critical care nurses.
To guide our approach, we adopted the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model developed by Garrison, et al., (2004). This comprehensive theoretical framework outlines three interconnected presences that are essential for fostering effective blended learning experiences: social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. Building on the foundation of the CoI model (Garrison, et al., 2004), we strategically employed the ABC curriculum to support cognitive presence (Laurillard, 2002). By using this approach, we aimed to promote exploration, construction, and resolution of ideas and concepts through a diverse range of engaging learning activities, empowering learners to delve deeply into the content.
To cultivate a sense of community and foster meaningful relationships among students, we prioritised addressing social presence. From the very beginning of the course, we organised students into teams, encouraging them to collaborate and connect with their peers. To strengthen this collaborative atmosphere further, we provided each team with a private digital platform, facilitating a sense of belonging and peer learning. This approach not only encouraged teamwork but also enhanced the overall learning experience by promoting active participation and fruitful discussions.
By combining the principles of the CoI model with the ABC curriculum and fostering a community spirit through team-based learning, our blended learning courses for critical care nurses have achieved remarkable success (Kincaid and Sikhamoni, 2023). Students have engaged deeply with the content, explored ideas collaboratively, and benefited from the support of their peers, creating a rich and rewarding educational experience.
As we continue to evolve and innovate in the field of critical care education, these pedagogical strategies will remain at the core of our approach, ensuring that we empower and equip future critical care nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers.
As a novice researcher, I achieved a significant milestone by securing my first research grant in March 2023. My research focuses on investigating the best ways to support nurses as they acclimate to short standalone modules. Additionally, my passion for blended learning has led me to publish on the outcomes of critical care courses delivered through both blended learning and face-to-face methods.
Currently, I am engaged in research using the adapted Community of Inquiry instrument to gain insight into our students' perceptions of how we achieved the various presences within the blended learning delivery. The Community of Inquiry model serves as a robust framework for exploring the social, cognitive, and teaching presences in our courses, providing valuable feedback on the effectiveness of our educational approach.
As I embark on this research journey, I am eager to contribute to the nursing field's knowledge base and enhance the educational experiences of nursing students. Understanding and supporting nurses' transitions through evidence-based research is essential for fostering success in the nursing profession.
Kincaid, Heather (2023) Is blended learning delivery as effective as 100% face-to-face delivery for qualified critical care nursing programs? In: The Intensive Care Society, State of the Art 2023, Congress; 27-29 Jun 2023, Birmingham, U.K..
Recognising the importance of knowledge dissemination, I have actively participated in various conferences, where I have had the privilege to present my findings and share my expertise.