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College of Nursing

Welcome to the College of Nursing at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. We are the only academic health sciences center in South Carolina, and thus we are on the cutting edge of health care practice, education and discovery.  At MUSC, we have the largest accelerated BSN degree nursing program in South Carolina, and thriving enrollment in our DNP and PhD programs of study. In fact, we are a leader in online graduate education, and in this way the MUSC College of Nursing “Fuels the Nursing Pipeline.”

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Recent Nursing News | October 2014

DNP Education Makes a Difference

From The Desk of Dean Stuart

College of Nursing - Dean Stuart

The art of problem solving

By Dean Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN

Each day we are faced with multiple and diverse problems. Some arise at work, others at home, many come from our local, national and global communities. I recently began to wonder about the problem-solving process – what is it and can we improve the way in which we tackle these recurrent challenges.

So I picked up a book called The Art of Problem Solving and gave it a read. It describes how most people approach problems and solutions from two perspectives. The first is that most people dive into finding the best solution. The second is that they spend less time on the problem and find an adequate "quick fix."

Author Ackoff suggests that there is a third path based on the notion that we often cannot solve a problem because of our self-imposed constraints. Specifically, we get stalled in our problem-solving because our view is too narrow. He believes that we most often fail as we don't see the true nature of the problem and how it fits into the bigger picture.

Thus the third type of problem-solving he proposes is a redefining and effectively eliminating the problem by thinking beyond the apparent constraints. The catch is that the better you get at seeing and solving problems conventionally, the harder it is to envision other approaches.

So my suggestion is that as we face these inevitable problems in our lives we take a deep breath and think a bit more creatively. Before we invest a lot of time in finding the best solution, let's spend at least a little time in thinking how we can make the whole problem go away by reframing it, placing it in a different context or redesigning the situation. With that in mind I am off to rethink my problem list...Gail


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