• Ignite

Mindfulness, Ontology, and Pattern Recognition in Nursing Education and Staff Development

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

The National League for Nursing describes required essentials of competent nurse educators working to improve the nursing profession. Educator competencies include the ability to facilitate learner development and socialization within effective learning environments, which continuously evolve to reflect changes in contemporary health care trends. In order to develop quality-driven, innovative experiences, we must observe our learning communities and immerse ourselves in the verbal and nonverbal discussion happening all around us. We must encourage ourselves to truly be present in regular and frequent mindful observation, as our educational practice must be continuously developing to stay current and relevant.


Mindfulness incorporates intricately associated elements in a highly transformative process, where one cultivates a growing capacity to experience being present with attentive awareness. The practice of mindfulness integrated into education promotes considering learners for their complexity and holistic natures. Ontology, the study of being and existence of entities, is a tool useful in working with large groups of learners. The synergistic relationship between ontology and mindfulness provides a uniquely attentive combination of ways of seeing and thinking about the ways learners are feeling, behaving, and influencing or being influenced by their environment. Pattern recognition allows for the educator to anticipate probable upcoming events or changes in conditions within the community of learners. These skills can be utilized to create a calm, supportive, and transformational environment for learning to ignite.


Mindful educators are supported to practice with respect for the experience of facilitating transformative learning, which impacts the development of each individual involved, learners and educators alike. In addition, developing skills in mindfulness and advancing ability to integrate ontology and pattern recognition into education, lends to viewing problems as challenges and opportunities, while collaboratively working to foster growth and development.


Pause, Reflect, and Plan:

Practice being present with your community of learners. What do you notice? How do you feel? How can you improve your day-to-day with this new knowledge? Try to be patient with yourself as you develop your new skills. With time, your ability to detect through observation and presence will grow and your strength to foresee will ripen. These skills will support your ability to be adaptive and responsive in an ever-changing learning system.