Book Club: The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World.

Book: Wildavsky, B. (2012). The great brain race: How global universities are reshaping the world. Princeton University Press. [Chapter 1]

The internationalision of student mobility and how “every year, nearly three million international students study outside of their home countries, a 40 percent increase since 1999”. Higher education and research is a global activity and is now considered border less.

University Challenge

How the top Universities in developing countries are partners with the top ‘traditional’ old world universities from the developed world. The resources, campus, teachers of these new competitors are providing world class facilities to their student population. What they lack in history, they provide an innovative and technological driven education.

World Rankings

The now border less world of higher education and the importance of world rankings of universities to attract both students and teachers in the ‘global supermarket‘ of education.

The Brain Drain

With this worldwide expansion of higher education and a mobile student group, the effect has been a “brain drain”. The best students have been taken from their home countries to assist in the brain gain and growth in the land of their university where they then undertake their working career. Foreign students bring both academic and economic competitiveness. They boost this economy but their home economy looses out, until they return home.

With the new universities challenging the traditional and also free world trade, it is possible that there will be a change to the brain drain to create an equilibrium of brain circulation.

Image by jesse orrico


Wildavsky, B. (2012). The great brain race: How global universities are reshaping the world. Princeton University Press. [Chapter 1]


John Heron’s Six‐Category Intervention Analysis

Resource: Heron, J. (2001). Helping the client: A creative practical guide. Sage.


Heron’s Six‐Category Intervention Analysis is a conceptual framework for understanding interpersonal relationships.

What Is Intervention?

Heron’s meaning of intervention is an “identifiable piece of verbal or non- verbal behaviour that is part of the practitioner’s service to the client”.

“The practitioner is anyone who offers a professional service to the client. This would include such disciplines as nurses, doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors” (Rungapadiachy, 1998).

Heron’s Six‐Category Intervention Analysis

Enhancement of growth and development is seen as therapeutic activity. Heron’s 6 categories of counselling interventions are based around 2 styles of authoritative and facilitative:

  • Prescriptive: Seeks to direct the client’s behaviour.
  • Informative: Seeks to impart knowledge to the client.
  • Confronting: Seeks to raise the client’s awareness or consciousness about attitudes or behaviours of which they are unaware of.
  • Cathartic: Seeks to enable the client to discharge painful emotions.
  • Catalytic: Seeks to encourage the client into self-discovery, self-directing and problem-solving approach.
  • Supportive: Seeks to affirm the client’s worth and value and understand their qualities, attitudes and actions.
  • to understand how we are interacting with people.
  • to understand how we are received.
  • to understand ourselves.
  • to understand our client.


Keywords: Heron; Six‐Category Intervention Analysis; Interpersonal Relationships.


Heron, J. (2001). Helping the client: A creative practical guide. Sage.

Rungapadiachy, D. M. (1998). Interpersonal communication and psychology for health care professionals: Theory and practice. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Sloan, G., & Watson, H. (2001). John Heron’s six‐category intervention analysis: towards understanding interpersonal relations and progressing the delivery of clinical supervision for mental health nursing in the United KingdomJournal of advanced nursing36(2), 206-214.

Dont be a know it all, be a learn it all

Lifelong Learning
Having a growth mindset is essential for individuals and businesses to ensure continually development of abilities. The attitudes and approaches to the paths of success in growth development are varied. The approach of lifelong or life-wide learning appears to be an essential aspect to growth.
By on how successful people learn:
  1. Read a lot.
  2. Practice.
  3. Learn from others’ experience.
  4. Ask for advice.
  5. Keep a student’s mindset.

According to the Delors Report (1999) the four pillars of learning are:

  1. Learning to know
  2. Learning to do
  3. Learning to be
  4. Learning to live together

For those in higher education settings, the lifelong learning approach is excellant for business as it keeps all those adult learners (customers) returning for more.


Allan, P. (2017) Dont be a know it all, be a learn it all.

Bariso, J. (2016) How Successful People Learn: 5 Simple Rules Everyone Should Follow.

Wikipedia (2017) Lifelong Learning.

World Health Organisation: Nurse Educator Core Competencies

Article: World Health Organisation (2016) Nurse Educator Core Competencies.


“A competent nurse educator should have the knowledge, skills and attitudes
to adopt new approaches in planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating nurse education programmes” (pg. 5).


“to provide a clear outline of Nurse Educator Core Competencies and performance expectations, which can form the basis for developing a competence-based curriculum encompassing the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills and behaviours expected of nurse teachers” (pg. 7).

The Process

  1. Literature review.
  2. Global Delphi survey.
  3. Initial validation of the nurse educator core competencies.
  4. Integration.

The Nurse Educator Competencies

  1. Theories and principles of adult learning.
  2. Curriculum and implementation.
  3. Nursing practice.
  4. Research and evidence.
  5. Communication, collaboration and partnership.
  6. Ethical/Legal principles and professionalism.
  7. Monitoring and evaluation.
  8. Management, leadership and advocacy.

Nurse Educator Core Competencies and Domains of Learning and Teaching

Table 1 of the document (pg. 11-16) provide the minimum competencies that a qualified nurse educator should possess with core competencies and related domains of learning and teaching.

Monitoring and Evaluation

“Monitoring and evaluation can provide information concerning the inputs, process of implementation and programme outcomes. This can help to ascertain the relevance of the educational programme/curriculum and the different roles and responsibilities of a nurse educator, including theoretical and clinical teaching, leadership and research.

Nursing educator core competencies could be assessed at three levels:

  1. Educator self-evaluation – to assess own performance in teaching and professional growth.
  2. Training institution – to address education and professional development needs of the faculty or for research purposes.
  3. National evaluation in nursing education – to ensure educational quality assessment and performance of educators in meeting the required standards and inform planning for appropriate interventions” (pg. 18).


“Globally there is an urgent requirement for more skilled nurses. Equally, there is a need to provide a system to educate teachers. Interventions in nursing education need to be carefully assessed and strategically planned and coordinated. Improving and maintaining the qualities and competencies of nurse educators requires keeping pace with shifting health-care expectations, evolving practice requirements, new information technologies, and rapidly expanding evidence-based health services. These challenges call for reformed approaches on the part of health professionals and educators alike. The development of nurse educators can facilitate the transference of competencies to new nursing generations and contribute to maintaining and enhancing the quality of health services” (pg. 19).


World Health Organisation (2016) Nurse Educator Core Competencies.

Gestalt Theory in Healthcare

Pattern or Form

The main premise of Gestalt education theory is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In a Gestalt approach, it is believed students are able to comprehend a concept in its entirety rather than broken down into segments.

“A person’s ability to organize and transforming what is taught into a general pattern (or Gestalt). They believed that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and breaking the behavior into its components, generally destroy the whole concept of behavior” Aliakbari, Parvin, Heidari, & Haghani (2015).

Gestalt theory can be considered part of the phenomenology approach to education in that the learner comes with perceptions and relates to past experiences which have a significant impact on their approach to learning. Education is delivered with relation to the learners real life experiences and this is when learning happens best.

Say What You See

“The gestalt effect is the capability of our brain to generate whole forms, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of global figures instead of just collections of simpler and unrelated elements (points, lines, curves, etc) (Wikipedia, 2017).

The Gestalt theory of learning presents information or images that contain gaps and elements that requires the learner to use critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Gestalt in Healthcare

“This implies that clinicians have the ability to indirectly make clinical decisions in absence of complete information and can generate solutions that are characterized by generalizations that allow transfer from one problem to the next. In essence, clinical gestalt is pattern recognition and is characterized as a heuristic approach to decision-making” (Cook, 2009).

So Gestalt could be considered our clinical judgement and decision making process. The question I still have in regards to this theory is, is this just our ‘priors’, our knowledge and experience providing an all round clinical expertise to make clinical judgments? In nursing is this purely our tacit knowledge, our gut feeling or sixth sense?

Keywords: Gestalt; problem solving; phenomenology; learning theory.


Aliakbari, F., Parvin, N., Heidari, M., & Haghani, F. (2015). Learning theories application in nursing education. Journal of education and health promotion, 4. [abstract]

Cook, C. (2009). Is clinical gestalt good enough? J Man Manip Ther. 2009; 17(1): 6–7. Doi:  10.1179/106698109790818223

Wikipedia (2017) Gestalt Psychology



Create an Online Journal Club for Nurses

This post is to help guide the nurse educator on the creation of an online journal club for healthcare practitioners, and focuses on the theory of initiation and engagement aspects. Reasons for a journal club could be to increase uptake of evidence based practice, changing culture, improving patient outcomes or education development.

 To Do List

  • Outline of the purpose of the journal club.
  • Set some short and long term goals.
  • Set up regular meeting dates- routines help.
  • Voluntary or mandatory attendance?
  • Closed or public journal club?
  • A journal club leader to facilitate discussion.
  • Set a code of conduct for respectful discussion.
  • Determine process to choose topics of the papers.
  • Flipped classroom- circulating papers prior to the meeting.
  • Decide on a critical appraisal process.
  • Managing the online resource and enable sharing for those not able to attend.
  • Inclusive: providing training or resources for those nurses not familiar with the online journal club resources.
It is advisable to share and discuss articles on one platform for simple access for participants and to focus all discussion in one area. The articles and links could be shared via a learning management system, blog, Wiki resource, Google+ community, Twitter or a Facebook group. Limiting the number of social media tools also reduces the facilitators workload. Deciding on the privacy settings should be decided by the facilitators, remembering that workplace and nursing have code of conducts and you will be the moderator. The copyright rules for sharing publications will have to be followed as well, so use hyperlinks to the relevant journal page for participants to access or consider using open access articles. Having a journal club code of conduct with  information regarding confidentiality, engagement and respect is advisable.
Critical Appraisal Tools
Chan, T. M., Thoma, B., Radecki, R., Topf, J., Woo, H. H., Kao, L. S., … & Lin, M. (2015). Ten steps for setting up an online journal clubJournal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions35(2), 148-154.
Deenadayalan, Y., Grimmer‐Somers, K., Prior, M., & Kumar, S. (2008). How to run an effective journal club: a systematic reviewJournal of evaluation in clinical practice14(5), 898-911.
Greenhalgh, T. (2001). How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine. (2nd ed.) BMJ Publishing.
Greenhalgh, T. (2014). How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine.(4th ed.) John Wiley & Sons.
Intensive Care Network (2017) How to make journal club work.


The Stress Curve (Yerkes and Dodson Law)

Background History

“Yerkes-Dodson law from 1908 to the present. In its original form, the law was intended to describe the relation between stimulus strength and habit-formation for tasks varying in discrimination difficultness. But later generations of investigations and textbook authors have rendered it variously as the effects of punishment, reward, motivation, drive, arousal, anxiety, tension or stress upon learning, performance, problem-solving, coping or memory; while the task variable has been commonly referred to as difficulty, complexity or novelty, when it is not omitted altogether” (Teigen, 1994).

Stress Curve By Yerkes and Dodson 1908


Pressure & Performance

There are four main influencers related to pressure and performance:

  1. Skill Level.
  2. Personality.
  3. Trait Anxiety.
  4. Task Complexity.

The perception of stress from the individual can trigger the innate fight or flight response.

For The Educator

  • Remember stress can be both a negative and positive experience. This stress theory can link to ’emotional intelligence’ of the individual, well-being and potential for burnout.
  • Simulation sessions can be set up to challenge the learner along the stress curve. The educator must be aware of how they can positively or negatively influence the learners experience.
  • The environment can also impact on stress and perceived threats (culture, unsafe workplace such as violence).
  • For the educator. the question when to challenge the learner and when to step back is very difficult and will require regular review and feedback from the learner and the wider nursing team. Its good to provide a challenge, with the required supports but dropping the learner into an unsupported situation may backfire and effect confidence. Also learners (nurses) are people and have personal lives and so sometimes private life issues means the level of stress the person is experiencing renders learning negligible. This is the time to step off the learning curve, give an extension and put supports in place and to regroup at an appropriate time. Provide a personal approach to learning, not one fitted around traditional university semester timetables.

Keywords: Resilience, mindfulness, stress curve; burnout; Yerkes and Dodson Law.


Gibbons, C., Dempster, M., & Moutray, M. (2008). Stress and eustress in nursing students. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 61(3), 282-290.

Intensive (2017) Training for Stress.

Selye, H. (1956). The stress of life.

Teigen, K. H. (1994). Yerkes-Dodson: A law for all seasons. Theory & Psychology, 4(4), 525-547.

Watson, R., Gardiner, E., Hogston, R., Gibson, H., Stimpson, A., Wrate, R., & Deary, I. (2009). A longitudinal study of stress and psychological distress in nurses and nursing students. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(2), 270-278.

Wikipedia (2017) Yerkes-Dodson Law.