Question Sharon Jobson Health

Problem Based Learning in Nursing

What is the definition of problem based learning in nursing.

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Answer Internal Staff

Problem based learning (PBL) is the learning that results from understanding and then working towards the resolution of a problem. The premise behind PBL is that the student will contextualise a problem which will motivate the learner to seek out the necessary knowledge to solve the problem. PBL was designed with the intent of supplying students with the hands on learning strategies they would need to help them develop and understand the knowledge seeking habits they would need for later life as a nurse.

One of the key positives of PBL is that it promotes a deep understanding of the students studying and therefore they understand the knowledge they gain rather than simply acquiring knowledge that they can reproduce at a later date. This is opposed to lecture based learning that focuses on surface learning where the student is taught to reiterate the taught content but will unlikely be able to develop this knowledge or use it to gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. PBL was designed with the hope it would reshape the learning style of students and develop long term patterns in their studies that would transition them from novices to expert learners.

It has also been suggested that PBL actually provides a more enjoyable approach to education as it keeps learners involved in the study therefore making it more challenging and engaging as opposed to a lecture that is more notes based and often offers no interaction. However with all these positives there is a cost, with the learning being more in-depth there is an argument that a smaller breadth of topics can be studied, meaning to study all core topics in nursing would take a considerably longer time than if the study was lecture based.