Gap Analysis In Nursing Education Essay


Discuss abiut the Formal, Educational And Systematic Gaps Identified Across The Nursing Leadership Development Curricula And Educational Programs?


The Nursing profession is focused on the provision of holistic nursing care to the patients for their health benefits. Therefore, the nurses should be efficient and potential enough to bring positive health outcomes to the service users. However, to reach this stage, nurses have to achieve leadership competencies with standard skills or leadership. Nevertheless, there are a number of gaps that have been identified in the nursing leadership development through the undergraduate nursing programs (Severinsson & Holm, 2012). Therefore, the nurse educators need to facilitate the leadership development program by analyzing educational and clinical gaps in nursing practices and then attempt to resolve those gaps. Therefore, in this assignment, the major focus is to identify gaps in nursing programs and nursing education in the undergraduate nursing students. Identifying these gaps would help the nurse educators to align more future proof nurses, thereby ensuring the improvement of patient’s health outcomes.

According to Knight, Kenny and Endacott (2015), in most workplaces, the new graduate nurses are seen to be excited to put their knowledge in clinical practice and the latest evidence-based research. Sometimes, it has been shown that, they are rapidly deflated while developing for complex needs of evolving health-care framework. The author depicted that, the major problem is that, the clinical practice of nursing shows a huge gap with the educational or theoretical knowledge provided to the students. Therefore, the nurse educators need to frame the educational programs for undergraduate nurses in such a way, it leads to the implication of theoretical knowledge in the clinical nursing practice. It has been highlighted that, the disconnection occurs as the students are being exposed to the hidden curriculum at the time of clinical placements. Students are not treated as partners in the health-care team; rather their supervisors often make them silent while raising problems about patient-care that they have experienced. Therefore, the students receive an unspoken message from their supervisor that is, they have to follow orders and procedures set by their higher authorities in order to retain their job and they should not try to change the status quo (Neal-Boylan and Leslie, 2013).

Therefore, a comprehensive, national review of undergraduate nursing education needs to be conducted for helping nurses to assume leadership roles in the Inter-professional teams and support them for providing standard quality care centers to patients. In this context, the survey results included that an envision of health and health care education is required including new topics, science and research, teaching methods for preparing nurses for a different and advance health care system.

From the article provided by Campbell (2011), the authors have highlighted the gaps and issues rising in the nursing leadership practices. In this article, the authors highlighted the theories underpinning leadership in nursing and factors hampering the efficiency of the undergraduate nursing program. There are differences between leadership and management and learning of nursing leadership. It has been identified by the leaders that there is a discrepancy between the ways of leading undergraduate nursing program for preparing nursing students for primary transition of education toward clinical practice.

Another article related to the gaps in nursing leadership focused on the health care systems organization. The author identified five types of knowledge required in nursing discipline, including factual knowledge, contextual knowledge, social knowledge, procedural knowledge and pragmatic knowledge. However, gaps in knowledge exist in organization at different levels (Hatlevik, 2012). Therefore, different methodological approach is needed for exploring involved phenomenon. Sometimes, it is nurse’s inability to integrate knowledge including lack of knowledge as well as opportunity for attending professional development programs. In the evidence-based research of knowledge gap, the authors highlighted that, managing change in organization is resulting in stressful conditions. There is a conflict within managerial imperatives and professional autonomy. The significance of informing team members about the changes in the workplace, which is leading to stress and resulting in 28% enhanced rate of adverse events is necessary. The increment of number of nurses can create a gap between expected patient outcomes and the outcomes really achieved. A knowledge gap exists in the level of responsibility to manage complex clinical situations in limited resources and support (Eggertson, 2013).

The other findings identified challenges of leaders in the health-sector organization. The leaders are facing problems related to interpersonal and leadership skills required for creating directions, alignment and commitment in the organization. The gaps are also identified, which are related to self-awareness and career management of nursing leaders. To avoid future skills the leaders need to take care of the knowledge and experience gaps (Nibert & Troseth, 2011).

Morrow (2015) highlighted some gaps, which are related to the governance of nursing practice in organizational practice. The study highlighted the controversial practices in the rural areas, where nurses provide care through telephone and the lack of knowledge regarding governance leads to lower potential of patient’s outcomes. It also affects the responsibilities of the clinical nursing leaders to ensure the safety, quality, risk management or regulation. Therefore, this article highlighted the gaps in clinical governance in nursing, which can lead to poor patient outcomes, thereby affecting the health care framework.

In the clinical undergraduate leadership development program, gaps are identified which were not consistent throughout the programs. These include the advocacy and some areas of self-management. Throughout six nursing curricula for the undergraduate nursing leadership development, the teaching-learning process as well as the leadership in health care informatics was identified to be inconsistent throughout the curricula. In this article, the authors also identified the gaps across discussion of participants in curricula along with the gaps of acknowledging the limitations existing in the curricula to unstable degree for time constrains of teaching. Therefore, from the perspectives of nurse educators, the identification of gaps in the clinical and theoretical practice would serve the purpose of change and improvement of future leadership (Morrow, 2015). Through the survey of the curriculum programs in six nursing schools, the gaps in networking and collaboration were also identified to affect the curriculum programs significantly.

One of the crises in the nursing profession is the nursing faculty shortage. In this context, it has been revealed that, novice nurse educators as well as the nurses transforming from the clinical role to academia are poorly prepared for the role of leadership. Therefore, the author highlighted the role of mentoring in decreasing the gap between the clinical practice and actual knowledge and skills of the novice nurses. In this context, a literature review about mentoring has been found to have significant importance as a strategy for socializing and preparing novice nurse educators for the academia. The data analysis of the literature review showed that, incorporation of a mentoring program in the graduate nurse educator program and nursing leadership development program would promote the socialization and preparation of the nursing students to become an efficient nurse educator and would ensure the efficiency of their future responsibilities in academia.

Curtis, Sheerin, & de Vries (2011) highlighted the need for the training program for developing the nursing leadership via different educational programs. Continuous involvement of the practical and theoretical training related to leadership development would help undergraduate nursing students to align their roles and responsibilities in clinical practices, while implementing the theoretical knowledge in these practices. In another article by Bleich (2015) it provided the importance of appropriate educational program in the nursing curricula to support participants in bridging gaps in their theoretical and clinical knowledge. MacPhee, Skelton-Green, Bouthillette, & Suryaprakash (2012) reflected data related the empowerment framework for developing nursing leadership. However, it has been revealed that, in most organizations, the nursing graduates are not provided with an empowered framework. The lack of empowerment and motivation discourages the participants and hinders the development of self-confidence and self-management skills. In the article provided by Nibert and Troseth (2011) discussed about the nursing leadership development programs and identified gaps related to the educational curricula. Here analysis of pre-existing literature identified gaps related to themes, the use of active learning strategies. Under this theme, gaps related to potential conflicts of interest, financial and organizational partnership were identified.

The next step of gap analysis would be incorporating a mentoring program within the leadership development curricula, which would help to bridge within the expected outcomes and gaps identified in the organization. Mentoring can be included as a strategy for preparing graduate nursing leadership students for academic and clinical practice. The involvement of technology education, hands-on experience and support, incorporation of evidence based practice and the meaningful use of multispecialty care coordination and collaboration with the new models of care and policies in the curricula would help the nurse educators to prepare potential future nurse leaders (Curtis, de Vries & Sheerin, 2011).

In conclusion, it can be said that, there are Formal, Educational And Systematic Gaps Identified Across The Nursing Leadership Development Curricula And Educational Programs. In the rapidly evolving health care framework and advancement of technology and client’s needs, the implication of traditional knowledge in current nursing practice can create a gap between the assumed outcomes and the outcomes achieved in reality. Therefore, identifying gaps and taking relevant actions to bridge the gap between reality and expectation would help to increase the efficiency and potential of future nursing leaders in clinical practice.

Reference List

Bleich, M. R. (2015). Leadership needs assessment. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 46(1), 10-11. doi:

Campbell, J. A. (2011). Bridging the Gap: Mentoring as a Strategy to Prepare Graduate Nurse Educator Students for Academic Practice.

Curtis, E. A., de Vries, J., & Sheerin, F. K. (2011). Developing leadership in nursing: exploring core factors. British Journal of Nursing, 20(5), 306.

Curtis, E. A., Sheerin, F. K., & de Vries, J. (2011). Developing leadership in nursing: the impact of education and training. British Journal Of Nursing, 20(6), 344-352 9p.

Eggertson, L. (2013). The gap between clinical practice and education. The Canadian nurse, 109(7), 22-26.

Hatlevik, I. K. R. (2012). The theory?€ђpractice relationship: reflective skills and theoretical knowledge as key factors in bridging the gap between theory and practice in initial nursing education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68(4), 868-877.

Knight, K. M., Kenny, A., & Endacott, R. (2015). Gaps in governance: protective mechanisms used by nurse leaders when policy and practice are misaligned. BMC health services research, 15(1), 1.

MacPhee, M., Skelton-Green, J., Bouthillette, F., & Suryaprakash, N. (2012). An empowerment framework for nursing leadership development: supporting evidence. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 68(1), 159-169 11p. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05746.x

Morrow, K. J. (2015). Leadership curricula in nursing education: A critical literature review and gap analysis. Journal of Nursing Education, 54(7), 367-371, 1-2. doi:

Neal-Boylan, Leslie. (2013) .The Nurse's Reality Gap: Overcoming Barriers Between Academic Achievement and Clinical Success. Sigma Theta Tau,

Nibert, A., & Troseth, M. (2011). Nursing Education & Practice: Bridging the Gap. Retrieved 5 February 2016, from How to cite this essay: