Academic and Non-academic Sources of Nursing Knowledge Essay

Academic and Non-academic Sources of Nursing Knowledge Essay


First-year nursing students come in an associate degree nursing program have typical prerequisite coursework, yet often come with a high degree of variable life experiences. Nursing students, in general, are academic achievers who could not be admitted to their program without a high grade point average. Prerequisite coursework, such as anatomy and physiology, resides at the knowledge and comprehension level of Bloom’s taxonomy, which requires students to explain, memorize, and describe concepts (Bristol & Kerwekh, 2011).  Early nursing coursework begins to include application and analysis where students must criticize, compare, and develop ideas. For many, this is a big leap. Bradshaw and Hultquist (2017) describe that students’ progress through learning via set steps. The first step is dualistic thinking where concepts are black and white. This progresses to multiplicity, where more diverse ideas are tolerated. Nursing students also experience a difficult transition to understanding the conceptual grey areas. Academic and Non-academic Sources of Nursing Knowledge Essay


Learning Need

Early in the nursing program, students are expected to identify scholarly versus non-scholarly sources of information. Students are expected to include scholarly sources in their self-directed learning and include these in their assignments. Being able to evaluate evidence is critical for patient safety as they advance in their training and career (Horntvedt, Nordsteien, Fermann, & Severinsson, 2018).  The following are two learning objectives for this lesson:

  • Summarize the difference between academic and non-academic sources of nursing knowledge
  • Provide two examples of academic sources of knowledge

Horntvedt et al. (2018) found that interactive teaching and integration into clinical practice were effective strategies for teaching students to evaluate evidence.  The learning activity will provide necessary information about scholarly sources of information in an online format. This lesson will use a video presentation to highlight critical concepts related to assessing academic sources of information. During the lesson, students will be shown five different sources of information and be asked to rank the sources in order of most reliable to least reliable.


Shank (2005) emphasizes the need to match the skill level of the learner with the learning objectives and activities. For first-year nursing students, a basic understanding of scholarly versus non-scholarly work is appropriate. An analysis of formal research study validity is beyond the scope of what is needed at their level. The verb summarize corresponds with the knowledge level of learning in Bloom’s taxonomy. The second objective asks the student to provide two examples, which demonstrates comprehension-level understanding in Bloom’s. Both objectives, if successfully met, will allow the student to complete the required work, accessing scholarly work, successfully. Academic and Non-academic Sources of Nursing Knowledge Essay


Bradshaw, M. J., & Hultquist, B. L.  (2017). Innovative teaching strategies in nursing and

            related health professions (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Bristol, T. J., & Zerwekh, J. (2011). Essentials of e-learning for nurse educators. Philadelphia,

PA: F. A. Davis Company.

Horntvedt, M.-E. T., Nordsteien, A., Fermann, T., & Severinsson, E. (2018). Strategies for

teaching evidence-based practice in nursing education: a thematic literature review. BMC MEDICAL EDUCATION, 18.

Shank, P. (2005). Writing learning objectives that help you teach and students learn (Part 1).

Online Classroom, 4–7. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Academic and Non-academic Sources of Nursing Knowledge Essay