In my Nur428 Management course today, we reviewed our objectives for our management project. One of my objectives is to achieve a certain level of empathy with an administrative perspective on direct care (as opposed to a floor nurse perspective on administration). But when I mentioned this in roughly similar language today I was told that I should reword it with reference to "quality", "evidence-based practice" and cognitive terminology (since the instructor groups empathy in the "effective" portion of a 3-domains-of-knowing system).
There is so much that is wrong with this situation. Start with the assumptions. For example, the 3 domains of cognitive, effective, and psychomotor are wrong. In the first place, these domains were meant as a way of thinking about learning not as definitive statement about real domains of knowledge. Second, we know now that a cognitive-effective distinction isn't even accurate psychologically.
Domains aside, I did actually have as an objective empathy. To cram empathy into an effective domain and say it isn't appropriate terminology for learning about management represents conceptually wrong ideas about management-labor relations as well as a truncated understanding of empathy as a human experience.
And whose objectives are these anyway? Is my objective in this course quality improvement?
What all this points to is the way in which nursing jargon and weak professional bases such as the 3 domains of knowledge constrain actual humanistic learning in nursing school. There is a lot of talk about critical thinking in nursing school, but there isn't actually much (i.e., any) encouragement to thinking that is independent, introspective, skeptical, or speculative. The English language is pretty much sufficient, and much more flexible in description than jargon. Jargon is only helpful when it summarizes concepts more efficiently or identifies very specific knowledge. Calling something a decubitus is far better communication tool than describing the appearance and probable origin of some breakdown. However, being forced to use the phrases "quality improvement" or "evidence-based" does not do a better job of communicating, it constrains the available range of thoughts--it is a tool of conformity, not learning.
In my experience of nursing school, I would say the most conforming students tend to be more successful in their school work, but they are also the most unhappy, unpleasant students in school and I'm not sure they are better in practice.