Sue Gemmell & Julie Beck

1403 – It takes a whole avenue to raise an enrolled nurse: Transforming nursing education through constructivism


The need for a bridge between learning theory and practice in nursing has long been discussed. To ensure a strong connection between theory and practice challenging standard teaching and learning methods is called for. The theory of constructivism has been used to build a unique learning platform in the Diploma of Enrolled Nursing at Manukau Institute of Technology.


DEN Avenue is home to a group of families who are individually introduced to the enrolled nursing students early on in their 18 month programme via scripts, images, and scenario’s.


DEN Avenue families enable the students to be engaged in an active learning process which assists them to construct new ideas and concepts on their current and past knowledge and social interactions. Student’s play a central role in their learning as they are exposed to the families in DEN Avenue who have authentic lives, with ‘ups and downs’ which the students can sometimes relate to.


Understanding the families health issues scaffolds their learning into pathophysiology, nursing processes, person, family, community-focused health care and more. This process has demonstrated a building of self-confidence, team work and success in the Enrolled Nurse programme.  This presentation will give DEN Avenue examples and the transformation and ‘building of a bridge’ between the enrolled nursing students’ learning in theoretical knowledge and nursing practice.

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