One of the necessary goals for educating nurses is to obtain improvement in patient outcomes through the nurse’s knowledge and educating various patient populations. Bloom’s Taxonomy of education gives structure on how nurses apply knowledge into the systematic process of education. The learning process is classified to teach the approach of methodical thinking skills and broaden the depths of learning through education.
First introduced in 1956, Bloom’s learning model of taxonomy was created to assess the learning needs and objectives associated with clinical reasoning. This model was implemented to assist educators to achieve their anticipated learning outcomes by enabling them to assign learning plans, according to the individual needs of the student (Duan, 2006). Taxonomy was originally started with mindset of acquiring a goal to simplify educating students using three domains of educational activities.
These domains are structurally classified using cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills used to educate students to promote positive learning outcomes (Bouchard, 2011). Classifications are organized by level of expertise to measure the complexity of student learning outcomes. This demonstrates a pattern of educational categories that range from simple concepts to more complex areas of learning. Duan (2006) states “The nursing process involves not only knowledge and cognitive dimensions, but also motor skills and attitudes, as well as cognitive strategies (p. 3).
Nurse educators are responsible for measuring the student’s ability and level of knowledge to be successful with attaining educational goals. The three domains are interconnected and dependent on the student’s educational needs. These domains are organized in stages that must be accomplished in sequential order before moving onto the next stage in the learning process (Williams, 2012). The Cognitive Domain First of the three distinct learning domains suggested by Bloom is the cognitive domain. This domain is where most of educational development is focused and the basic mental ability and knowledge is initially assessed by the educator.
This domain is integrated in nursing education by teaching learning curves needed by the nurses and educating them on the facts and processes involved. It is important that students have comprehension and understanding of processes encompassed. Concepts of the lesson are applied by the students along with assessment by the educator (Williams, 2012). Nurses will collect insight into specific skills and models to develop intellectual abilities, as well as improve critical thinking skills. Six categories of the cognitive domain are used to acquire development of intellectual skills and are arranged in order of simple to complex categories.
These categories are arranged into levels of hierarchy and consist of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (Murphy, 2007). It is important that the student completes one level before moving on to the next higher level. This learning process will enable nurses to retain and comprehend information; thus apply and analyze concepts into nursing practice. This domain is where nurses learn and retain clinical information, such as types of insulin and the steps involved to give a subcutaneous injection. The Affective Domain
The second domain of Bloom’s taxonomy is the affective domain and includes how nurses respond emotionally. This domain refers to nurse’s communication, motivations, values, morals, and attitudes that are interrelated in the cognitive domain. This domain is the deepest, most complex style of learning. Educators are in need of assessment regarding the student’s professional behavior and competence. Students should be assessed for emotional compassion and empathy for their patients and colleagues. Affective behaviors are categorized into three headings: presentation, preparedness, and interaction.
These include attributes of punctuality, appearance, communication skills, positive attitude toward others, and enhanced critical thinking skills (Miller, 2010). Nurse educators state this is the domain most difficult to assess. This is because it is the interpersonal aspect of Bloom’s taxonomy, and there are no clearly defined expectations of students for assessment. Student’s professional practice depends on their knowledge and context of the affective domain, having education and mentoring in these precise areas (Miller, 2010).
For example the nurse’s attitude and communication is assessed on how the nurse explains the process to the patient prior to giving an insulin injection. The Psychomotor Domain The third domain of educational taxonomy is the psychomotor domain. This is where the development of physical motor skills are developed and utilized into practice. Such skills can be categorized as manual, physical, or technical skills of the nurse, such as giving injections (Miller, 2010). Physical procedures of the nurse are developed and assessed by educators to test competence and ability.
According to Merritt (2008), “Psychomotor domain objectives, as other types of objectives, are used in curriculum development, instruction/teaching, learning/achievement, assessment/measurement/evaluation and essentially all other aspects of education” (p. 2). In nursing, Bloom’s cognitive and affective domain skills associated with knowledge are incorporated with the psychomotor domain to perform the physical aspects of nursing care. For example, a nurse who is new to the facility needs to be assessed by the educator before coming off orientation.
He or she was instructed on how to use the rapid infuser pump, and must demonstrate that he or she is competent with use of the pump. Conclusion Bloom’s taxonomy is a useful and excellent framework to educate nurses in any area of expertise. This learning progression is functionally structured to show positive outcomes and improve current nursing practice through assessment and communication. Educators using taxonomy to educate and assess nurses in the learning process are creating a holistic approach to education, especially when all three domains are integrated.
Using Bloom’s framework of taxonomy will overall improve the education of nurses by leading them to higher levels of systematic learning.
- Bouchard, G. J. (2011). In full bloom: helping students grow using the taxonomy of educational objectives. The Journal of Physician Assistant Education, 22(4), 44-46.
- Duan, Y. (2006). Selecting and applying taxonomies for learning outcomes: a nursing example. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 3(1), 1-14. Merritt, R. D. (2008). The psychomotor domain. Research Starters Education, 1-18.
- Miller, C. (2010). Literature review: improving and enhancing performance in the affective domain of nursing students: insights from the literature for clinical educators. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 35(1), 2-17.
- Murphy, E. J. (2007). A review of Bloom’s taxonomy and Kolb’s theory of experiential learning: practical uses for prior learning assessment. Journal of Continuing Higher Education, 55 (3), 64-66.
- Williams, J. (2012). Patient stoma care: educational theory in practice. British Journal of Nursing, 21(13), 786-794.