The Benner Institute for Teaching and Learning

Introducing a Revolutionary Solution to Remake Nursing Education


The nursing community has been charged to remake its educational programs to better meet the contemporary needs of patient care and the nursing practice. The landmark study by The Carnegie Foundation ¹ has challenged us to radically change nursing curricula and to identify the most effective teaching and learning practices for nursing students.

There is a gap between what academia teaches and how they prepare nurses versus the needs and the practice of practice partners across the healthcare settings where nursing care is being delivered.

In Summary:

Individual efforts have attempted to meet this call to action, but there has not been a coordinated effort that brings together academic and practice scholars to radically change curricula. Nor has there been an organization to provide thought-leadership support to faculty and institutions and explore innovations in nursing education.

Our Solution: Benner Institute 

The Mission of the Benner Institute for Teaching and Learning is to:

  • Provide thought leadership for nursing education, curricula, and teaching/learning.
  • Serve as an innovation incubator for teaching/learning methodologies.
  • Disseminate and foster adoption of innovations to improve nursing education nationally and internationally.

With more than 11,000 new graduate nurses entering the workforce every year, it’s more important than ever to improve the preparation of nurses to improve the health of Californians.

We hope you will join us in building the Benner Institute by providing financial support, participating in Institute programs, and advocating for its mission. Please read and share our program brochure.

For more information about the Benner Institute for Teaching and Learning and/or to join our mailing list.

¹ Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. (2010). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass


Patricia Benner Introduces The Benner Institute for Teaching and Learning





Death, Through a Nurse’s Eyes: A Commentary

In the past year many of us have read with a mixture of sorrow, awe, and camaraderie, nurses’ accounts of giving care to COVID19 patients, particularly in the ICU. We have seen the bruised faces of nurses, overwhelmed and overburdened by their everyday work during the pandemic. In a recent posting in the New York Times, two videographers followed two ICU nurses working in a hospital in Phoenix, producing the documentary, “Death through a nurse’s eyes”. Over a span of two days the nurses wore cameras and recorded their activities in the intensive care unit. There are many novel and unanticipated ways nurses have learned to care for patients and their families during the pandemic.  As noted by Dr. Benner, “These ordinary feats become essential and extraordinary in the isolation and infection prevention measures common to the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

The video itself is impactful, and combined with Dr. Benner’s article speaks volumes towards illustrating the everyday ethical comportment that is part of the three apprenticeships of nursing practice, one of the Benner Institute’s primary aims. Dr. Benner’s article describes skills of involvement, the embodied caring practices and connection to patients and their families that nurses demonstrate in times of vulnerability, whether a birth, death, or other disruption of health in the lives of individuals. By demonstrating nurses’ skills of involvement during extraordinary times, the film represents (in Dr. Benner’s words) “the collective experience of patients, families, and nurses all over this country and the world.”

To read the full text of the article, please visit:


Faculty Survey Results of Online Teaching/Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic

 It has been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed nursing education. Abruptly, access to in-person clinical education was shuttered, and nearly all classes were shifted online. Dr. Patricia Benner recently conducted a survey of 290 subscribers to the website to learn more about their major challenges during this time as well as what they learned from the experience. Major findings were that the sudden change left the educator ill-prepared with little prior experience of teaching online and scant infrastructure to facilitate both design and delivery. Keeping students engaged was the number one issue for many schools (86.9%). Only about a third of the respondents had access to online course design specialists to aid in course development.

The implications are significant as we aim to educate practice-ready nurses. Lessons learned during the pandemic can provide a blueprint for moving forward “post-pandemic” as many schools will benefit from continued use of hybrid models incorporating in person lectures and clinicals combined with virtual simulation and debriefing. These implications support one of the major aims of The Benner Institute — to develop pedagogies based in the latest learning science.






Webinar Series


The Benner Institute recently produced two webinars on online teaching and learning in nursing education. These webinars offer a learning science and learner-centric curriculum to increase and maintain student engagement. Each webinar begins with a theoretical framework and then give suggestions for course design and delivery of the content.

Tips & Tricks from Experts in Learning Science


  • The Formation and Everyday Ethical Comportment (presented June 24, 2020)
  • The Cognitive Apprenticeship (presented July 15, 2020)
  • The Practice Apprenticeship (presented August 5, 2020)


  • Effective College Teaching in an Online Environment (presented September 30, 2020)
  • Creating a Community of Inquiry in Online Learning (presented October 21, 2020)

CLICK HERE for details and to purchase a webinar package.

Clinical Faculty Development

Nursing faculty play a critical role in preparing students for rapid changes in health care. HealthImpact’s Clinical Faculty Development Program supports faculty in meeting this need.  LEARN MORE HERE.


The Benner Institute is a collaboration between HealthImpact and Dr. Patricia Benner.  Dr. Benner is an internationally renowned nursing educator, researcher, author and co-author of more than 12 books, whose influence extends beyond nursing and into the areas of clinical practice and clinical ethics.


Patricia Benner, RN, PhD, FAAN
Professor Emerita
University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing