NRS 429 Topic 1 DQ 1: Describe the nurse’s role and responsibility as health educator.

NRS 429 Topic 1 DQ 1: Describe the nurse’s role and responsibility as health educator.

Describe the nurse’s role and responsibility as health educator. What strategies, besides the use of learning styles, can a nurse educator consider when developing tailored individual care plans, or for educational programs in health promotion? When should behavioral objectives be utilized in a care plan or health promotion? 

Nurses should not assume that when patients are literate meaning they can read and write, they will easily understand health education from the nurses. Being literate does not mean you are health-literate to understand all the medical terminologies or health information the nurse may try to give to you. Also, patients who may lack formal schooling can be taught complex health education (Whitney,2018). One prime moment nurses should take advantage of when trying to provide our patients with the most up to date and appropriate education is when they show that they have the desire to do the right thing for themselves and their loved ones. Nurses can also take advantage to provide up to date and appropriate education when patients exhibit behaviors or express sentiments with the belief that they can meet their own health-related goals and which in turn plays a vital role in meeting desired educational outcomes (Whitney, 2018). 


Whitney, S. (2018). Teaching and learning styles. In Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum. (Chapter 1). Grand Canyon University. 

The priority focus is ensuring the patient is knowledgeable about the information and its role in their health. This knowledge encourages continuous self-management in their care that carries into other healthcare-related visits and appointments. Heath (2017) mentions, “Clinicians must follow a series to steps before issuing patient education materials, ensuring that the strategies employed are useful for the individual patient.” Patients must be ready to learn and make beneficial changes before undergoing strategies. Clients should have their current knowledge level assessed before addressing new information when learning. This provides a stepping stone into the first steps of health education. It is essential to take advantage of any health literacy one knows.

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Understanding health literacy aids a patient in improving their health with the use of accessible resources. Research online shows that if health literacy is low, so is the patient’s desire to utilize health resources compared to others. (Heath, 2017). If health literacy is minimal to none, introduce definitions of key terms and concepts concerning their health. This can stimulate the process. Another prime moment is encouraging the patient to explain the information to nurses to verbalize understanding. A topic or concept is explained or demonstrated; then, the patient has to demonstrate or explain this information in their own words. Some materials utilized are one-on-one teaching, demonstrations, analogies, graphics, printed materials, podcasts, videos, PowerPoints, or group discussions.

Implement these based on patient preference. Teaching patients about health-related technology is essential to access information at home. “Using an online interface, patient portals allow patients to access their lab results, medical histories, and a plethora of other health information. Clinicians who use OpenNotes, a practice philosophy where clinicians digitally share their appointment notes with patients, can offer their patients in-depth and specific health advice each office visit.” (Heath, 2017). Online strategies let clients access their records anytime and anywhere. With constant access to their records, patients can find ways to improve their health without seeing a doctor. Healthcare providers should take advantage of patients’ health literacy, readiness to learn, understanding of teaching, available resources, and awareness of teaching strategies for beneficial education.  


Heath, S. (2017 April 27). 4 Patient Education Strategies That Drive Patient Activation. Patient Engagement Hit.  

During health education, the nurse will do patient need assessment. Sometimes patient will tell their fears about their health risk behaviors. The needs assessment allows programs to identify opportunities for health promotion and disease prevention efforts, potential barriers and appropriate strategies to address them (Rural Information Hub, 2018). The nurse then plans health education that targets the identified need. Using clear and simple words, the nurse then will educate the patient on the consequences and health issues that are associated with identified risk behavior, providing patient with the recommended preventative actions from evidence-based practice. The nurse will use the different health promotion theories and models based on the patients learning styles. 


Rural Health Information Hub, (2018). Rural Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Toolkit: The Health Belief Model. 

I think the best time to educate anyone is in the moment for example maybe you have a conversion with the patient and they state information that old or incorrect allow them to complete their thought, then offer your new information to them its easier for the mind to connect the two. another time its best is after a fall or medical emergency because the details of the incident are still fresh so its easier to pull details from that and educate the patient ( obviously after medical stabilization). 

Integrating primary prevention, and character education must be school, church, and community-wide, social events, teaching patients about vaccination, screaming monograms, teaching patients how important it does exercises, walking 30 minutes at least 3 times a week, how to eat healthily, do not smoke. primary prevention is the best education for a healthy world. To help encourage the growth of personal and social responsibility in the school community, teachers may try a variety of activities to foster the development of their students. The school especially high school students have engaged in local community events and service-learning activities to further expand their own view of the breadth of responsibilities.  

Patient education is a critical part of patient care. It includes instructing patients on follow-up care, prevention, and how to take a proactive role in their own healthcare. Effective patient education can lead to better outcomes and should be a goal of every medical provider. 

Unfortunately, patient education is not always easy. Health information is complex, and patients can easily become confused. Without the proper educational resources, doctors, clinical trial professionals, pharmaceutical reps, and other health educators may find teaching patients about medical issues difficult. To help encourage patient education, we have to put together the top five strategies for educating patients effectively. They are  

1) Demonstrate Interest and Establish Trust.2) Adapt to the Patient’s Learning Style. 

3) Use Innovative and Age-Appropriate Education Materials. 

4) Ask Patients to Explain Information Back to you. 

5) Educate the Patient’s Family or Caregiver.  

Patient education doesn’t just provide patients with useful information. It can have an appreciable, positive impact on their health. 

Pro tip: Check out Jumo Health’s collection of innovative health education resources

In the current value-based healthcare system, patient education is essential for enhancing patient compliance and outcomes. The key to patient education and ensuring they have a clear understanding of the care recommendations is to focus on patient outcomes. When patients are admitted to the hospital, effective patient education begins and lasts until their discharge. Throughout a patient’s stay, nurses should use every suitable chance to instruct the patient in self-care.  

        Many patients are uninformed about healthcare. Nurses must do assessments on their patients to decide how best to inform them about their health and how much they already know about their conditions. They must establish a relationship with patients by asking about their worries. The patient’s preferences may need nurses to modify their training methods. Though some might merely want a checklist, many patients need in-depth information. Resources must be offered in plain language to communicate in a way that is clear to all patients and has an impact. This will improve patient education and make it more effective. Additionally, writing should be done in a variety of languages and reading levels. 


Wolters Kluwer: The Value of Education for Patients Outcomes 

MedlinePlus: Choosing Effective Patient Education Materials Five Tips for Providing Effective Patient Education 

I want to caution you on using hyperlinked titles for your source referencing. It’s a sticky place to be when the expectation is to post complete and appropriately formatted sources.  

The ultimate objective of patient education programs is to achieve long-lasting behavioral changes by empowering patients to make autonomous decisions, assume as much control as possible over their care, and improve their own outcomes. Nurses can use the nursing process to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate an effective and individualized patient education program. 

Client education is a fundamental aspect of professional nursing care. Nurses at all levels of care provide client education. The essence of the client education is aimed at promoting health and preventing diseases. During health education, the nurse should identify behaviors which puts the patients at risk for diseases and give patients education about them. Majority of these behaviors are modifiable and if nurses can take advantage of these, it will help reduce diseases to a reasonable level. For example giving education on smoking and alcohol ceaseation, nutritional education to prevent diseases such as heart disorders, avoidance of sedentary life style to avoid obesity and its complications. In providing education, nurses should take advantage of discussing about health promotions and disease prevention as these will help reduce the incident of disease and disabilities within the family and communities  

When moments of educating a patients arises, we embrace this moments, because sometimes we encounter barriers to effectively educate those under our care. To empower them to promote their own health, the nurse must fully engage with them and become acclimated to their specific needs, for example a tanager with eating disorder who doesn’t want to talk about their habits Infront of their parents, when left alone for a while, may utilize this opportunity to ask us questions hence utilize this moment to educate them, in relation to their health needs. Or an abused patient, we can stand in and help them when moments arise. Nurses are always near patients, we get many opportunities that place as at appropriate moments to educate our patients.

I think we should take advantage of teaching and providing pt education for our patients with the intent that they do not have the knowledge that we do and pretty much explaining things even if it is the simplest things in the the most easiest and understandable way. We should do this because you would be surprised at how little some patients know about their own health for example I had a patients who had no idea that high sodium foods would affect their CHF and heart health, to us because we are trained in the field and possess this knowledge it may seem simple but looking at the outside we have to assume our patients have zero knowledge and start our patient education from there and then gauge it from there and take it forward.  

Prime patient education moments arise any time a patient comes to you with their questions. This can look many different ways. Sometimes the patient will ask the question and seek clarification directly. Sometimes, this will look like multiple Emergency Room visits and Hospital Admissions. The professional Registered Nurse is tasked with looking at the “Big Picture” and not just educating in the moment. 

Changes in patient’s conditions can be subtle. They require a thorough review of the electronic medical record, so that trends can be discovered. Tracking the trends is the next level of nursing care. This is how we gather evidence-based data and interpret that data in order to improve patient outcomes. 

A real-world example of tracking data and utilizing the data is the case of a patient with CHF. The patient has been taught to weigh himself daily. He does this faithfully and without fail. He writes down the data and records it for the doctor. An issue arises when the patient gains 3 pounds in one day. He has shortness of breath and brushes it off. He continues to drink as much fluid as he wants, and he is beginning to third-space, or have bilateral lower extremity edema. He still does not call his Cardiologist or PCP. Later in the evening, he begins to worry that he has Covid-19 because he can barely breathe. He is in fluid volume overload the next morning, and he has gained a total of 7 lbs. this week. His BNP is elevated. Covid-19 is negative. He cannot understand how this could have happened, because he took all of his medications this week. 

This is an opportunity to re-educate the patient. He is doing what he is supposed to do, but he does not understand the big picture. He does not fully understand FVO-Fluid Volume Overload. This is the time that the Registered Nurse can explain that is so good that he is obtaining his weight at the same time each day on the same scale. However, the teachable moment lies in aiding the patient in understand how to interpret the data. Teaching the patient what to do when he takes his weight and finds that it is greater than two pounds is critical. Having a protocol in place and someone to manage his care, such as the PCP or Cardiologist, is also a critical piece of this puzzle. The RN can also assist the patient in getting connected to follow-up care. 

Promoting high-quality nurse education relies heavily on nurse educators. A nurse educator has so many roles which may include but not limited to advisors, collaborators, clinical tutors for nursing students or new grads, and advocates for patients. Nurse educators serve as role models of effective patient-centered care, and in sharing their expertise and offering support, they enable new nurses to become competent practitioners. They are a great source of information for nurses who conduct clinical research, answer questions, and ensure that patients receive the necessary care that they need. As they assist and direct nurses through times of transition, nurse educators set an example for others to follow. They serve with professionalism and ethical conviction, inspiring their team to do the same. Nurse educators are accountable for fostering a team that works well together and communicates effectively, thereby enhancing patient care.  

           Every patient is unique and so should their care plans be. In other to provide the best possible care for a patient, it’s important to know what care to provide and how. Hence, individualized care plans with measurable goals. Behavioral objectives are important in learning and teaching because it guides the educator on the type of instructions to provide, it causes careful thinking about what is to be accomplished through instruction and it strengthens relationship between the educator and the learner. 


Global Health. (2020). Keypath education. The role of nurse educators. https// 

In patient-centered care, an individual’s specific health needs and desired health outcomes are the driving force behind all health care decisions and quality measurements.” (NJEM Catalyst, 2017, p.1) Patient-centered care focuses on individual health care outcomes. The care and teaching provided to the patient are based on their individual needs and catered to their situation. The patient is also an active participant in their own care. Patient-centered care aims to not only treat the patient but provided necessary teaching/education to optimize their health and avoid the risks of readmission. 


NEJM Catalyst. (2017). What is patient-centered care? Innovations in Care Delivery. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from  

I think on a day to day basis its heard to see how nursing educators really support us bedside nurses. Most of the times their the one advocating for better equipment, attending all those educational seminars to come and summarize a 3-4 day class in 15 to 30 min during the monthly floor meeting. depending on the kind of floor you work on sometimes they pick-up floor shift to help when were short staffed and aid in discharges as well. 

I agree with you in that nurse educators are the role models for patient care and education because we spent the most time with our patients than the doctors even though the doctors are considered the experts but no one really knows our patients like nurses who spend 12 hours a day or night with them. I like the point you made how every patient is unique and so should their care plan be, sometimes we have patients that are non-compliant unfortunately and their care-plan may just involve them getting a safe discharge if they do not want treatment and others that are compliant but maybe have another language they understand so we have to bring a translator when providing care and education.  

High quality patient care is so important for new nurses. Educators play a huge part in new nurses education. I feel that educators set the baseline standards of new nurses. Educators must have knowledge and many years of experience. At my hospital our educators teach us skills related to our nursing specialty. Educators are so helpful because we can always use them to refer back to if we are lacking education in our nursing careers.  

The nurses role in health promotion of their patients and making sure that the patient is learning and understanding the content being taught is immensely important and vital in our role. Different patient groups and communities like the elderly and families with chronic diseases have different health promotion needs or requirements and this is known as patient focused health promotion which nurses are seen as patient-focused health promoters (Virpi et al., 2013). Whenever I am doing health teaching for my patients some behavioral objectives I usually make sure to assess my patients understanding first before providing the teaching, for example if they understand English well or if it is there first language as that is a big factor in understanding , I also make sure to have my patient verbalize understanding once I provide teaching to make sure we are on the same page.    


Virpi Kemppainen, Kerttu Tossavainen, Hannele Turunen, Nurses’ roles in health promotion practice: an integrative review, Health Promotion International, Volume 28, Issue 4, December 2013, Pages 490–501, 

Patient education regarding their health is essential. Nurses are trained to be educators on health promotion. Teaching is individualized, and one’s health needs and readiness determine health promotion strategies. Patients should be willing to learn and make beneficial changes to their lifestyle before undergoing strenuous teaching. Once that is established, education can begin. What are some behavioral objectives you assess before teaching? It is important to address barriers before teaching to individualize a learning strategy specific to the client. When any instruction is complete, having the client verbalize or demonstrate understanding of the material is crucial to determine if teaching efforts were practical. Health promotion teaching may include frequent follow-ups with the patient to ensure goals are met and health has improved. If proven effective, patient outcomes and satisfaction rates are increased, and there will be reduced health facility visits since the patient will be doing self-management techniques to manage their health at home.  

The nurses working in various venues have a great responsibility in preventative care wellness. The backbone of the nursing profession has always been recognized as that of a caring profession and one that excels in disease prevention and health promotion. Nurses are strong advocates for patients because they navigate the health care system.  

Nurses can work formally or informally as case managers. There are formal roles for nurses as case managers where the nurse’s only role is to help patients and families navigate through the health system. Informally, all nurses work with patients and families to make sure that they receive the holistic care that is needed for optimal outcomes. Nurses work as consultants in communities and organizations to define the health care needs of that population, promoting activities and community development for the citizens who live there. Nurses are most recognized as the primary caregivers of patients in various venues. They are the ones who provide the hands-on care. One of the most critical roles that nurses have in health promotion and disease prevention is that of an educator. 

 Skills You Need. (2016). Barriers to effective communication. Retrieved from 

Assessing patients learning needs, and any barriers they may have is a vital part of patient education. Without taking this step, the education that is provided will not be properly digested. Each patient has unique learning needs and if we do not assess them for what they are, we are doing a disservice to the patient. “To provide effective patient education, a variety of practical skills must be mastered. These include ascertaining patients’ educational needs, identifying barriers to learning, counseling concisely, evaluating and utilizing written, audiovisual, and computer-based patient education materials, and incorporating education into routine office visits.” (American Academy of Family Physicians, 2000, p.1) It is also very important for nurses to know that patient education does not begin upon discharge. It should start upon admission, so the nurse can continue to reinforce it, and so patients have an opportunity to ask questions. 


Patient education. American Family Physician. (2000, October 1). Retrieved October 1, 2022, from  

The Nurse is the primary educator in the clinical setting. Nurses must have a broad clinical knowledge base related to a patient’s clinical diagnosis and prognosis. They must also be able to “translate” what the physician is saying to the patient, in order to help the patient to understand fully. The nurse also needs to be able to anticipate needs and questions, in addition to being prepared to research or answer new questions that have not yet been encountered. 

One important strategy for the nurse to implement is to have a good understanding of how to access evidence-based data. Providing patients with current and updated information is important when they receive a new diagnosis. It is also important to be able to provide explanations and guidance for self-care at home. (Winters and Echeverri, 2012.) 

Using compassion and empathy is also a strategy that can assist the nurse in educating patients. Good questions to ask may include the following: “How would I feel if I was going through this at this moment?” or “How can I be the person they need most right now?” It is important to consider the patient’s experience and the emotions they may be experiencing, including their barriers to good self-care and compliance.  

A Nurse Educator could consider the patient’s educational level, willingness and motivation to learn, and health literacy when designing individual care plans, or programs which promote health education. It is important to know your audience or specific demographic, before designing a particular plan. It is a priority to place emphasis on the most important aspects of the plan and not overwhelm the patients with too much information. The Nurse should remain focused and goal-directed. 

Behavioral objectives should be utilized when patients are in need of behavioral modification or safety planning. For example, in the Emergency Department, patients receive specific education on the exact steps they need to complete in order to stay safe at home. They are given resources and contact information in order to access help in a crisis. They verbally contract for safety and participate in follow-up counseling and other programs. They also receive education on medication management. 

The Nurse is responsible for designing a specific plan and educating the patient on coping skills and strategies to prevent a crisis. 


  1. ‘Teaching Strategies to Support Evidence-Based Practice,” by Winters and Echeverri, from Critical Care Nurse (2012). 

I agree with you that the “Nurse educator should consider the patient’s educational level, willingness and motivation to learn, and health literacy”, However, nurses should also note that not all formal educated patients, (meaning patients who can read and write) can understand health education or are health literate. Nurses can still run into difficulty getting desired outcomes after health education with these patients. As Whitney (2018) puts it “an educated patient does not guarantee an ability to manage health care”. Likewise, uneducated patients can lack formal schooling but yet still they can be taught complex health education and be able to achieve positive health outcomes (Whitney, 2018). 


Whitney, S. (2018). Teaching and learning styles. In Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum. (Chapter 1). Grand Canyon University. 

You make very good points. I was including this within the concept of “health literacy” and the patient’s lack of literacy, as well. Thank you!  

Assessment is key in educating a patient. From the minute a nurse takes a report the nurse starts to assess the situation surrounding the patient, including what has brought them to the hospital to their background all these factors contribute to what the best way to provide education is for this specific patient. Not only does the nurse need to teach the patient but they also need to understand the teaching process and know what will be beneficial for the patient (Whitney, 2018). If and when one way of teaching is not working for a patient the nurse needs to be able to make changes to aid the patient in retaining what is being taught. 

For example, if a patient will be going home with a new colostomy and the nurse has been trying to teach the patient about the care needed but the patient just doesn’t understand the process pulling another educator in the room could be beneficial, in the hospital I work in we have wound/ostomy nurses that care for all wounds in the hospital. One of these nurses would be called to try a different approach with the patient to be sure they retain all information they need to properly care for their ostomy. 


Whitney, S. (2018). Teaching and Learning Styles. In Grand Canyon University (Eds.), Health Promotion: Health and Wellness Across the Continuum. 

Some of the nurse’s role includes teaching the patients on how to live a healthier life and prevent infections and diseases. For patients who are under the care of their families, a nurse also becomes an agent of healthy promotion to other people in the home. The ultimate point is that nurses can reach everyone. Nurses are expected to collaborate globally, influencing research, practice and policy to advance health. 

The education of healthcare professionals is constantly evolving. Appropriate preparation of nurse educators is critical for nurses to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for success within the profession. As noted by the World Health Organization (WHO), quality education is the foundation for developing effective, efficient and skilled healthcare professionals who are equipped with the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to deliver quality care. Lifelong learning is essential in nursing. 

In today’s healthcare environment, ongoing professional development is expected of all nurses. This is where nurse educators come in. They are the people tasked with fostering staff in their continual growth and development to improve care decisions by serving as role models for evidence-based decision making. This requires styling abreast of shifting healthcare expectations, evolving practice requirements, new information technologies and rapidly expanding evidence-based health services. 

Nurses new to the profession must practice, lead, and adapt to new evidence, increasingly diverse populations, and changing needs. Education is an important starting point for change. Nurse educators may be employed by local hospitals and private practices to train other nurses. They may also work in community colleges, universities, and as a professor through online learning programs. In all settings, knowledge of educational theories and principles is fundamental to the nurse educator role. However, the purpose, practice, roles, and responsibilities of a clinical nurse educator, also known as a nursing professional development specialist, differ from those of an academic nurse educator. 

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011, March 21). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Retrieved from the AACN website. 

Great post Michelle! It almost seems like in the clinical setting that we as nurses are the ones who is the primary educator of a number of things. We wear many hats and providing quality pt education is part of that. I really like how in most hospitals we have a nurse educator for a specific area of nursing weather it be critical care, oncology, or medical. These nurse educators are often present at the new employee orientations and new grad orientations and have a huge wealth of knowledge to be shared with and i think it is excellent that hospitals are incorporating the role of nurse educators. It actually would not be a good transition for any bedside nurse looking to leave the bedside and utilize all their knowledge and experience to help new grads as a nurse educator.  

The nurse has an enormous role in educating patients regarding their health. In fact, the nurse is responsible for a patient’s health education. Nurses are also better equipped to provide health education to the patient because, not only do they possess the expertise and knowledge of the patient’s disease process but, they also spend the most time with the patient and are able to assess the patient’s learning needs. “Without proper education, a patient may go home and resume unhealthy habits or ignore the management of their medical condition. These actions may lead to a relapse and a return to the hospital.” (Arkansas State University, 2018, p.1) After assessing the patients learning needs, the nurse should also consider any barriers to learning that a patient might have. Once the nurse has collected this information, then they can work to develop an individual care plan.  

Nurses must develop individual care plans because every patient is different, the care plan that the nurse creates must be specific to the patient and based on their learning needs and barriers to learning. Behavioral objectives should be utilized in the care plan. They are essential because they are created in collaboration with the patient, and show that the patient knows the behaviors and actions that should be taken to reach improved/desired outcomes.  


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