What It Is and Is Not: Pedagogy in Online Nursing Education Delivery

Annette M. Lane, Jennifer Stephens

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Nursing has employed distance education for decades. In the 21st century, distance programs have often been delivered online. This became even more prevalent since the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the preponderance of online nursing courses, the delivery of courses virtually does not necessarily mean that these offerings are intentionally developed online education. We discuss a secondary analysis of data examining the formation of online nursing programs at Athabasca University. This historical inquiry used interpretive description of the pedagogy, both learning strategies and the theories that substantiate the strategies, using thematic analysis. Participants discussed their theoretical substantiation of online education. We posit that online nursing education involves a purposeful pedagogy including theoretical bases and would benefit from a strong sense of mission behind the course delivery. Findings from this study may apply to online programs, irrespective of profession or discipline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov. 2023


  • nursing education
  • online delivery
  • pedagogy
  • post-licensure programs


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