FOANed (Free Open Access Nursing Education)

#FOANed is?

Free Open Access Nursing Education is a global collaboration utilising technology, social media and has the agility to discuss relevant healthcare topics in real time. The below summary is by theNursePath:

“The #FOANed hashtag also gives individuals the ability to produce, collate and share links to information that might be of interest to other nurses. Finally, #FOANed provides an opportunity for nurses who do have access to journals and articles locked away behind pay-walls to extract a bullet-point summary or take home message from the article (preferably along with a link to the abstract) and then share it with us all.”

#FOANed image by @Inject_Orange
Image: #FOANed by @Inject_Orange

Benefits of FOANed

  • Learning
  • Community
  • Collaboration
  • Up to date practice
  • Critique evidence
  • Agile
  • Social
  • Digital citizen
  • Global citizen
  • Asynchronous
  • Bite size
  • Pick your level of engagement- consumer or contributor or mix it up
  • Don’t become a “because we have always done it this way” nurse
  • It’s free!

Education Skills

  • Adult learning principles: work related, self directed, problem based, social learning.
  • Become contributers and creators not just consumers of learning (straight to the top of the cognitive aspects of Bloom’s Taxonomy).
  • Reflective practice.
  • Improves nurses digital skills.
  • Not everyone has access to resources to “the evidence”.

Resources about FOANed

Social Media Sources

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, journals, Google+ communities, podcasts, YouTube.


Remember, if you use a resource then next time you create something, you make it open access.  If we all start doing this, then the resources and community all increase. To understand the copyright aspects take a look into creative commons of your country (Example: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License).

As part of the collaborative nature of social media don’t miss the opportunity to follow the Free Open Access Meducation (#FOAMed) movement.

Book List for Nurse Educators

As we write this blog we will endeavour to keep a reading list of books we have found interesting. Take a look at some inspiring reading lists from Bill Gates and Goodreads.


Books: in no particular order

Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. Routledge.

Bowden, J., & Marton, F. (2004). The University of Learning. Psychology Press. [sample here]

Hendry, R. (2010). Building and Restoring Respectful Relationships in Schools: A guide to using restorative practice. Routledge, [sample here]

Taleb, N. N. (2007). The Black Swan: The impact of the highly improbable. Random House.

Senge, P. M. (1990). The Fifth Discipline. The Art & Practice of Learning Organization. Doupleday Currence, New York. [sample here]

McCormack, B., Manley, K, & Garbett, R. (2008). Practice Development in Nursing. [sample here]

Price, D. (2013). OPEN: How we’ll work, live and learning the future. Crux Publishing Ltd. [sample here]

Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching For Quality Learning At University (4th ed.). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education. [sample here]

Covey, S. (1989). The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. Fireside/Simon & Schuster. [sample here]

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge university press. [sample here]

Drucker, P. (2007) The Practice of Management. revised edn, Butterworth-Heinemann. [Goodreads blurb]

Quinn, F. M. (2000). The Principles and Practice of Nurse Education. Nelson Thornes.

Crawford, M. B. (2009). Shop Class as Soulcraft: An inquiry into the value of work. Penguin. [sample here]

Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Make It Stick. Harvard University Press. [Goodreads blurb]

Oakley, B. (2014) A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra). Penguin. [Goodreads blurb]

von Glasersfeld, E. (2013). Radical Constructivism. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Mesko, B. (2014). The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology and the human touch. Webicina kft. [link to free chapter]

Rungapadiachy, D. M. (1999) Interpersonal communication and psychology for health care professionals. Theory and practice. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

De Botton, A. (2010). The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work. Emblem Editions. [Goodreads blurb]

Killen, R. (2006). Effective teaching strategies: Lessons from research and practice. Cengage Learning Australia.

Foucault, M. (1998). The History of Sexuality: The Will to Knowledge. London, Penguin. [Goodreads blurb]

Illich, I. (1971). Deschooling Society. New York, 56.

Bastable, S. (2014). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. [link to 2nd edition]

Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Goleman, D. (2006). Emotional Intelligence. Bantam. [Goodreads blurb]

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge. [Goodreads blurb]

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

Wildavsky, B. (2012). The Great Brain Race: How global universities are reshaping the world. Princeton University Press. [Chapter 1]

Harding, L. (2014). The Snowden Files: The inside story of the world’s most wanted man. Guardian Faber Publishing. [sample here]

Levett-Jones, T. (Ed.). (2018). Clinical reasoning: Learning to think like a nurse. Pearson Australia.

Elliott, C. (2010). White coat, black hat: adventures on the dark side of medicine. Beacon Press [GoodReads Review]

Rogers, E. M. (1995) Diffusion of innovations. (5th ed.) Simon and Schuster, New York, USA. [summary article]

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. [Link to 4th edition]

Gladwell, M. (2008). Outliers: The Story of Success. Hachette UK. [sample here]

Peters, S. (2013). The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence, and Happiness. Tarcher.  [Goodreads blurb]

Pallant, J. (2013). SPSS survival manual. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics. Allyn & Bacon/Pearson Education.

Orwell, G. (1945). Animal Farm. New American Library.

Orwell, G. (1950). 1984. New American Library.

Isaacs, W. (2008). Dialogue: The art of thinking together. Crown Business. [GoodReads review]

Tezuka, O. (2008). Black Jack (Vol. 1: Translated). Vertical. [GoodReads review]

Tezuka, O. (2008). Black Jack (Vol. 2: Translated).

Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.

Rowling, J. K. (2013-2015). Harry Potter Series (Vol. 1-7). Bloomsbury Publishing.

Ones to Read

  1. 2019: Mix it up and read some classics (Collins, Dickens, Stevenson) and the Harry Potter series. Balance work-life relaxing time a little better.
  2. McChrystal, G. S., Collins, T., Silverman, D., & Fussell, C. (2015). Team of teams: New rules of engagement for a complex world. Penguin.
  3. Herrman, J. (2015). Creative Thinking Strategies for the Nurse Educator (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.
  4. Sweller, J., Ayres, P., & Kalyuga, S. (2011). Cognitive Load Theory (Vol. 1, Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems and Performance Technologies). New York, NY: Springer New York.
  5. Van Wulfen, G. (2013). The Innovation Expedition: A visual toolkit to start innovation. Bis.
  6. Ankel, A. & Sherbino, J. (2018). Adaptive Leadership For The New MedED: The one hour read.
  7. ALiEM. (2018). Education Theory Made Practical (Volume 2): An ALiEM Faculty Incubator eBook Project.
  8. St. Pierre, M., Hofinger, Gesine, & Simon, Robert. (2016). Crisis management in acute care settings : Human factors and team psychology in a high-stakes environment (3rd ed. 2016.. ed.).
  9. Duggan, L. V. (2018). Optimizing Crisis Resource Management to Improve Patient Safety and Team Performance-A handbook for acute care health professionals. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d’anesthésie65(1), 139-140.
  10. Delany, C., & Molloy, Elizabeth. (2018). Learning and teaching in clinical contexts : A practical guide.

Adult Learning (Andragogy)

The science of adult learning (andragogy) involves the understanding and supporting of lifelong learning in adult learners, and also developing the teaching of adult learners (Knowles, Holton & Swanson, 2011). We will refer regularly to the work of Malcolm Knowles, the godfather of adult learning theory. Now I am sure we will be interchanging between terminology and using teacher, facilitator, instructor and many others, but let’s not get too caught up in the pedantic’s. In the end we want to discover different learning theory, strategies and appropriate forms of assessment to meet our learners needs.  

Knowles’ 4 Principles Of Andragogy

  1.  Enagagement: Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
  2.  Experiential: The opportunity and learning culture to test, succeed and also make mistakes.
  3.  Work relevant: Adults are most interested in learning that has relevance and impact to their job or personal life.
  4.  Problem-centered: Learner focused with a facilitator guiding the learning as opposed to a traditional teacher delivered content-oriented delivery.

We will provide much of our focus on adult learning (andragogy), as this is our population we are training in nursing. But we will also visit school level education (pedagogy) to see new ideas and concepts that could be incorporated into our education approach. It’s always worth remembering the enthusiasm that children have for learning new things (reflect back to your school days) and why as adults we don’t always feel this same eagerness to learn. We have to question what is different? Motivation may well be a key factor in this.

Now this ‘gogy’ is post-Knowles, which is heutagogy (Greek for ‘self‘) which is self-determined learning and places the emphasis of learning on the learner, moving away from the traditional teacher/lecturer role as the focal point. Defined by Hase and Kenyon (2000) as “the study of self-determined learning”, where in an ever-changing world of work, study and life where information is readily accessible and learning aligns with this accessibility. This fits in with the approach for adult learners, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience into the learning environment.

Looking at how knowledge is constructed (epistemology) and how we learn, can improve the learning experience and outcomes. Incorporating neurocognitive approaches to learning can aid the learning process. In the health setting we also have varied training and education requirements, including the non-negotiable work requirement training (hands up for those who get excited on completing the same yearly e-learning packages). How do we motivate our learners for this type of situation where training is mandatory and the motivation factors for participation are very different? As an educator we also need to be motivated and provide consistency in not only new teaching opportunities but the day to day core training (think repetitive basic life support or moving & handling). This emphasis on delivering quality reminds us of a story of a chef and the consistency of cooking the same dish for 30 years which is now considered the world’s best paella, and the effort in not only their dedication to the same dish but the replicability and standard setting. Health is constantly changing so we nurses are constantly evolving as part of lifelong learning, with that the education philosophy will also have to adapt. Technology will be major influencer on education and learning so nurse educators must understand and engage in these e-learning spaces.  

Spotlight on Malcolm Knowles

Adult Learning Theory - Knowles' Four Principles of Andragogy
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics


Knowles, M. S., Holton III, E. F., & Swanson, R. A. (2014). The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. Routledge.