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28 – Hot Topic Assignment: Nurses Partnering with Parents


Anne Kalkbrenner, Child, Family and Population Health Nursing, School of Nursing, UW Seattle


This poster will present the key features of the “Hot Topic” assignment used with a large lecture course (70 students) focused on helping undergraduate nursing students gain skill in partnering with parents who are facing a variety of parenting decisions in their childrearing experience. Student choose between four hot topics: bed-sharing in infancy, spanking as a discipline technique for toddlers, screen time limits for school age children, and the role of parents in adolescent marijuana experimentation. The assignment consists of three parts. Part 1 allows students an opportunity to compare the information a parent might find on google with a more scholarly body of knowledge available to nurses through professional databases, thus helping students identify the potential information they, as nurses, can offer that parents might not find on their own. In Part 2, students debate the pros and cons of their topic, thus gaining practice in respectfully communicating an alternative perspective for parents as a strategy for enhancing partnership. Part 3 allows students the opportunity to articulate their own personal position on the topic, thus gaining skill in connecting personal opinion with professional evidence. Ultimately, students gain practice in expanding their communication skills to effectively partner with parents from a broad diversity of viewpoints.

This assignment has been refined over time by personal reflection, colleague teaching appraisals, and the input of teaching assistants who have participated in the execution and grading of this assignment.

I hope instructors from other disciplines will see at least three learning opportunities from this assignment: (1.) an example of how a scaffolded assignment can build upon itself and offer integration in the learning process; (2.) inspiration for incorporation of active learning opportunities in a large lecture classroom; and (3.) new ideas for how to both utilize and develop the teaching expertise of teaching assistants.

View a PDF of this poster