Nurse educators work in a variety of contexts. Our role is not simply to deliver content. We need to also equip our learners with the tools to be successful in achieving their goals. This week you are engaged in reflecting on health literacy as one of those tools. However, metacognitive skills are just as important for learning.

What is Metacognition?

Be Mindful

Retention of information is an important consideration in any learning environment. Stress and anxiety are enemies of retention and information recall. It is hypothesized that practising mindfulness may reduce nursing student stress, decrease burnout, and improve success (Cheli, De Bartolo, & Agostini, 2019; Manocchi, 2017). While there is limited conclusive evidence in nursing, it has worked in other higher education contexts to improve stress levels, increase resilience, decrease depression, and more (Daya & Hearn, 2018; Schwind et al., 2017). I recommend that before your exam on Thursday you take some time to meditate. You can also practice short mindful breathing exercises at any time, including during the exam.

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Learning to be mindful now can improve your presence and resilience as a nurse (Bernstein, 2019). It can also help you talk to clients about using it to manage their personal health challenges. Teaching clients to be mindful and focus on being in the moment can help them manage mental and physical health concerns (Li Jianing, Guo Xia, & Wang Hongyang, 2015; Maxwell & Duff, 2016).

Incorporating Mindfulness into Clinical Practice

Positive Thoughts

As you know, hopeful thinking can actually improve your grades and ability to pass the NCLEX (Idan & Margalit, 2014; March & Robinson, 2015). I believe that each of you will be successful on your exam this week. Believe in yourself.

Thank you,


PS: I listened to an excellent podcast yesterday about teaching. One of the key take-away messages was that we need to create a learning experience in our classrooms that students cannot find online. It is my hope that our learning experiences cannot be replaced by a website.


Bernstein, S. (2019). Being present: Mindfulness and nursing practice. Nursing, 49(6), 14–17.

Cheli, S., De Bartolo, P., & Agostini, A. (2019). Integrating mindfulness into nursing education: A pilot nonrandomized controlled trial. International Journal of Stress Management, No Pagination Specified-No Pagination Specified.

Daya, Z., & Hearn, J. H. (2018). Mindfulness interventions in medical education: A systematic review of their impact on medical student stress, depression, fatigue and burnout. Medical Teacher, 40(2), 146–153.

Idan, O., & Margalit, M. (2014). Socioemotional self-perceptions, family climate, and hopeful thinking among students with learning disabilities and typically achieving students from the same classes. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 47(2), 136–152.

Li Jianing, Guo Xia, & Wang Hongyang. (2015). Application of mindfulness intervention in health education on patients with pulmonary tuberculosis complicated with COPD. Chinese Nursing Research, 29(8C), 2983–2986.

Manocchi, P. E. (2017). Fostering Academic Success in Nursing Students Through Mindfulness: A Literature Review. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 12(4), 298–303.

March, A. L., & Robinson, C. (2015). Assessment of high-stakes testing, hopeful thinking, and goal orientation among baccalaureate nursing students. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 12(1).

Maxwell, L., & Duff, E. (2016). Mindfulness: An effective prescription for depression and anxiety. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(6), 403–409.

Schwind, J. K., McCay, E., Beanlands, H., Schindel Martin, L., Martin, J., & Binder, M. (2017). Mindfulness practice as a teaching-learning strategy in higher education: A qualitative exploratory pilot study. Nurse Education Today, 50(Complete), 92–96.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


Jessica O'Reilly · October 22, 2019 at 6:13 pm

I should listen to this podcast. Where does this leave fully online courses, I wonder?

    NurseKillam · October 29, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Great question. I think that a fully online course can create an experience that cannot be found “online” through live sessions, the informal videos you do, and all the things that make the learning experience feel human.

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