An Overview of Adult Learning Processes

Sally S. Russell, MN, CMSRN, CPP


Urol Nurs. 2006;26(5):349-352, 370. 

In This Article


Although each patient may require a unique learning style, adults learn best when teaching strategies combine visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approaches. Assessing the patient's best style of learning will make a difference in the methods and materials most appropriate for the teaching session. Ultimately, adults learn best by doing. Active participation, which can take many different forms, is the cornerstone for both the style of learning and the principles of adult education. Active learning results in longer-term recall, synthesis, and problem-solving skills than learning with verbal instruction only.

In our day-to-day approach to educating patients, health care providers must redirect and focus their energies on assessing individual learning styles, motivation, relative past experiences, level of engagement, and willingness to apply the learning. A collaborative effort between teacher and learner will maximize success and benefit everyone involved in the activity.

CE Information

The print version of this article was originally certified for CE credit. For accreditation details, please contact Urologic Nursing, East Holly Ave Box 56, Pitman, NJ 08071, Email: .


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