Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




active learning, contemporary teaching strategies, nursing education


Nursing education has evolved over time to meet the changing demands of an increasingly complex healthcare system. To enable teaching faculty to facilitate students’ capacity in applying critical thinking and application of nursing concepts—skills required of graduate nurses--this Organization Improvement Plan (OIP) identifies classroom teaching strategies as instrumental in students’ acquiring these skills. Analysis of University and Program conditions identify challenges and strengths of both that are considered throughout this plan. Based in transformational leadership elements, this plan describes how a grassroots or informal leader can initiate change and move it forward with formal leaders’ support. Application of Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Process (1995) identifies necessary actions the informal change leader uses to raise awareness of the issue associated with conventional classroom teaching methods and follow through required to bring the plan to institutionalization. This Process also acknowledges the relationship between informal and formal leadership to advance improvements. The Harkness Model for Teaching (Trustees of Phillip Exeter Academy, 2019) is presented as a tangible way that active learning can be supported in the classroom setting. Although the long-term goal is to provide students with skills to enable them to be practice-ready on graduation, this plan focuses on providing teaching faculty with the motivation to modernize their classroom teaching strategies.