Julie Zimmermann wrote: "How do I feel about motivation and students??
We have students who come to us that are there because they always wanted to be a nurse and couldn't dream of doing anything else. We also have other students who are there because perhaps their parents told them they need to go to school and take something, "pick any career, just pick one!" So, they choose nursing for whatever reason, or maybe because their Mom or Grandma was a nurse and they can't think of anything else at this time, or the course started soon after they started looking, perhaps they like the look of scrubs, the stethoscope looks cool, they always liked the show 'Grey's anatomy' or because it pays not too badly.......whatever the reason, they come to us, but for some it isn't with a 'burning desire to become a nurse', it isn't 'because it's what they always dreamed of being or wanting to do', somebody told them to 'give it a try' or such. This type of student often lacks intrinsic motivation because they lack the innate desire to pursue it, which makes it difficult to engage this student in learning. So how do we engage these students?
I have found that creative thinking activities help them to seek ways that they can relate to nursing, if anything is going to help engage and motivate them, it will be this---the student needs to find something relatable in nursing, if they are going to engage in the learning and commit. (There are a million and one creative thinking activities on the net to choose from).
Just because this type of student has invested money or their parents told them to do it, intrinsic motivation is a must in order to be successful in our program. The long hours, the stress, the amount of content covered, the responsibility of people's lives, is not worth it to the person who lacks intrinsic motivation to be a nurse.
For some students (i.e those who lack confidence or those not really wanting to be there), we have to be their external motivation until their intrinsic motivation kicks in, if at all. We do this either through activities that get them to visualize themselves in the role or get them to see something in nursing that is appealing to them. Sometimes a student lacks motivation because nursing isn't for them. If the student appears disinterested, sometimes a heart to heart with the student is in order, we ask them what interests them and what do they picture themselves doing. Sometimes just posing the questions gets the student to consider what they really want to do and be honest with themselves, are they really all that interested in nursing? who's dream is it for them to be a nurse? It isn't that we want to 'counsel people out', but it is a demanding career that would be a serious challenge for someone who does not really want/care to be a nurse. I feel that it is a responsibility of the Instructor to recognize if a student is struggling within the program as well as with the decision to be or not to be in the program"- JZ.