NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper


A nurse educator is a nurse who teaches and prepares licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN) for entry into practice positions. They can also teach in various patient care settings to provide continuing education to licensed nursing staff. Nurse Educators teach in graduate programs at Master’s and doctoral level which prepare advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and leaders in complex healthcare and educational organizations.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

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The type of degree required for a nurse educator may be dependent upon the governing nurse practice act or upon the regulatory agencies that define the practice of nursing. In the United States, one such agency is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.[1] For instance, faculty in the U.S. may be able to teach in an LPN program with an associate degree in nursing. Most baccalaureate and higher degree programs require a minimum of a graduate degree and prefer the doctorate for full-time teaching positions. Many nurse educators have a clinical specialty background blended with coursework in education. Many schools offer the Nurse Educator track which focuses on educating nurses going into any type setting. Individuals may complete a post-Master’s certificate in education to complement their clinical expertise if they choose to enter a faculty role.

Nurse educators can choose to teach in a specialized field of their choosing. There is not extra degree needed to be earned other than a Master’s degree in nursing. Most schools will only hire a nurse to teach a class if they have had experience in that area. This is so the students can have a better understanding of the current subject being taught.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

In Australia, Nurse Educators must be Registered Nurses (RNs/Division 1 Nurses). The Nurse Educator role is not available to Enrolled Nurses (ENs/Division 2 Nurses). Nurse Educators require a minimum of a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to teach the Diploma of Nursing in both the classroom and clinical placement settings. Bachelor of Nursing Educators do not technically require this qualification, but it is generally favored. A Nurse Educator may also complete post-graduate university study in Nursing or Clinical Education, which may lead to an academic career including research, lecturing or doctoral study. To become a Clinical Nurse Educator in a healthcare setting (e.g on an acute care ward), Registered Nurses are generally required to have 5-10 years clinical experience and 6-8 years of study (a bachelor degree plus post-graduate certificate or diploma).NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators combine clinical expertise and a passion for teaching into rich and rewarding careers. These professionals, who work in the classroom and the practice setting, are responsible for preparing and mentoring current and future generations of nurses. Nurse educators play a pivotal role in strengthening the nursing workforce, serving as role models and providing the leadership needed to implement evidence-based practice.

Nurse educators are responsible for designing, implementing, evaluating and revising academic and continuing education programs for nurses. These include formal academic programs that lead to a degree or certificate, or more informal continuing education programs designed to meet individual learning needs.

Nurse educators are critical players in assuring quality educational experiences that prepare the nursing workforce for a diverse, ever-changing health care environment. They are the leaders who document the outcomes of educational programs and guide students through the learning process.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators are prepared at the master’s or doctoral level and practice as faculty in colleges, universities, hospital-based schools of nursing or technical schools, or as staff development educators in health care facilities. They work with recent high school graduates studying nursing for the first time, nurses pursuing advanced degrees and practicing nurses interested in expanding their knowledge and skills related to care of individuals, families and communities.

Nurse educators often express a high degree of satisfaction with their work. They typically cite interaction with students and watching future nurses grow in confidence and skill as the most rewarding aspects of their jobs. Other benefits of careers in nursing education include access to cutting-edge knowledge and research, opportunities to collaborate with health professionals, an intellectually stimulating workplace and flexible work scheduling.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Given the growing shortage of nurse educators, the career outlook is strong for nurses interested in teaching careers. Nursing schools nationwide are struggling to find new faculty to accommodate the rising interest in nursing among new students. The shortage of nurse educators may actually enhance career prospects since it affords a high level of job security and provides opportunities for nurses to maintain dual roles as educators and direct patient care providers.


A nurse educator is a registered nurse who has advanced education, including advanced clinical training in a health care specialty. Nurse educators serve in a variety of roles that range from adjunct (part-time) clinical faculty to dean of a college of nursing. Professional titles include Instructional or Administrative Nurse Faculty, Clinical Nurse Educator, Staff Development Officer and Continuing Education Specialist among others. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators combine their clinical abilities with responsibilities related to:

Designing curricula
Developing courses/programs of study
Teaching and guiding learners
Evaluating learning
Documenting the outcomes of the educational process.
Nurse educators also help students and practicing nurses identify their learning needs, strengths and limitations, and they select learning opportunities that will build on strengths and overcome limitations.

In addition to teaching, nurse educators who work in academic settings have responsibilities consistent with faculty in other disciplines, including:

Advising students
Engaging in scholarly work (e.g., research)
Participating in professional associations
Speaking/presenting at nursing conferences
Contributing to the academic community through leadership roles
Engaging in peer review
Maintaining clinical competence
Writing grant proposals
A growing number of nurse educators teach part-time while working in a clinical setting. This gives them the opportunity to maintain a high degree of clinical competence while sharing their expertise with novice nurses. Nurse educators who work in practice settings assess the abilities of nurses in practice and collaborate with them and their nurse managers to design learning experiences that will continually strengthen those abilities. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper


In most instances, nurse educators teach clinical courses that correspond with their area(s) of clinical expertise and the concentration area of their graduate nursing education program. Those considering a teaching career may choose from dozens of specialty areas, including acute care, cardiology, family health, oncology, pediatrics and psychiatric/mental health.

In addition, nurse educators teach in areas that have evolved as “specialties” through personal experience or personal study, such as leadership or assessment. The true specialty of a nurse educator is his or her expertise in teaching/learning, outcomes assessment, curriculum development and advisement/guidance of the learner.


Nurse educators need to have excellent communication skills, be creative, have a solid clinical background, be flexible and possess excellent critical thinking skills. They also need to have a substantive knowledge base in their area(s) of instruction and have the skills to convey that knowledge in a variety of ways to those who are less expert. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators need to display a commitment to lifelong learning, exercise leadership and be concerned with the scholarly development of the discipline. They should have a strong knowledge base in theories of teaching, learning and evaluation; be able to design curricula and programs that reflect sound educational principles; be able to assess learner needs; be innovative; and enjoy teaching.

Those who practice in academic settings also need to be future-oriented so they can anticipate the role of the nurse in the future and adapt curriculum and teaching methods in response to innovations in nursing science and ongoing changes in the practice environment. They need advisement and counseling skills, research and other scholarly skills, and an ability to collaborate with other disciplines to plan and deliver a sound educational program.

Nurse educators who practice in clinical settings need to anticipate changes and expectations so they can design programs to prepare nurses to meet those challenges. They need to be able to plan educational programs for staff with various levels of ability, develop and manage budgets, and argue for resources and support in an environment where education is not the primary mission.

Practice Settings:

While nurses who care for patients in any setting engage in patient teaching, nurse educators typically practice in the following settings:

Senior colleges and universities
Junior or community colleges
Hospital-based schools of nursing
Technical colleges
Community health agencies
Home care agencies
Long-term care facilities
Online using distance learning technology.
Within the school setting, there are as many options as there are schools. Educators may teach on a rural, suburban or urban campus; at a major private university or local community college; as part of a certificate program in a teaching hospital; or as a research coordinator in a doctoral program. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

What Is the Nurse’s Role in Patient Education?
Effective patient education starts from the time patients are admitted to the hospital and continues until they are discharged. Nurses should take advantage of any appropriate opportunity throughout a patient’s stay to teach the patient about self-care. The self-care instruction may include teaching patients how to inject insulin, bathe an infant or change a colostomy pouching system.

Without proper education, a patient may go home and resume unhealthy habits or ignore the management of their medical condition. These actions may lead to a relapse and a return to the hospital. To educate patients, nurses may instruct patients about the following:

Self-care steps they need to take.
Why they need to maintain self-care.
How to recognize warning signs.
What to do if a problem occurs.
Who to contact if they have questions.
How Can Nurses Ensure Patient Comprehension?
Many patients lack knowledge about healthcare. Nurses must assess their patients to pinpoint the best way to educate them about their health and determine how much they already know about their medical condition. They need to build a rapport with patients by asking questions to zero in on concerns. Nurses may have to adjust their teaching strategies to fit the patient’s preferences. Many patients want detailed information, though some may request only a checklist. Once nurses complete the patient assessment, they can provide instruction by using the following:NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Common words and phrases.
Reading materials written at a sixth-grade level.
A hands-on approach is instrumental in guaranteeing that a patient understands medical requirements. Nurses should perform a demonstration and have patients repeat back the information or carry out the procedure themselves. Nurses should also teach the patient’s family members, friends or caregivers at home.

How Are Patients Different?
Not every patient has the same learning ability. Patients may have developmental disorders or literacy limitations. Some patients may respond better to visual content than to plain text. Others may have hearing or vision impairment. Nurses may encounter language or cultural barriers. Consider the following questions when assessing patients.

What level of education do they have?
Can they read and comprehend directions for medications, diet, procedures and treatments?
What is the best teaching method? Reading, viewing or participating in a demonstration?
What language does the patient speak?
Does the patient want basic information or in-depth instruction?
How well does the patient see and hear?
In order to create an environment that is conducive to patient education, nurses should develop a supportive relationship with their patients. Patients equipped with knowledge can make lifestyle changes and remain self-sufficient even if they have a chronic medical condition. Education can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes and improve patient safety and satisfaction.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

In 2008, the Institute of Medicine released a report recommending that 80 percent of the registered nurse (RN) workforce have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) by 2020, causing many hospitals to reevaluate their criteria for hiring new nurses. Additionally, hospitals aspiring to Magnet status are likely to hire more BSN-prepared nurses, due to better expected patient outcomes.

That’s why many hospitals are looking to work with educational institutions such as Herzing University to meet the rising demand of BSN degrees, such as through an online RN-BSN program.
As registered nurses return to school and new students seek entry to BSN programs, colleges and universities are under increased pressure to find qualified faculty to educate and train future nurses. Thus, nurse educators’ skills and experience are continually in demand, and essential for expanding the RN workforce to meet the healthcare needs of current and future generations.

How are nurse educators preparing nurses for the future?
Nurse educators are instrumental in shaping the future of healthcare by providing their students not only with the technical skills that they need to be successful in their field, but also the refined skills and depth of knowledge that will help advance quality of patient care.

• The importance of community nursing:
As the focus of patient care shifts from acute care to prevention models, a nurse’s role expands to health education and advocacy, community care, agency collaboration and political and social reform. Today’s nurses need to understand their evolving role in the community and how to provide holistic care for patients. As a nurse educator, you help nurses understand the principles behind the work that they do and how they can proactively contribute to the health and well-being of the communities they serve.

• Essential leadership skills:
Good leaders aren’t born—they’re made! Nurse educators help prepare today’s nurses for future leadership roles by introducing management and organizational theories that will allow nurses to take initiative in a variety of roles. In addition, nurse educators help students learn how to improve patient-care quality, how to make cost-effective decisions and how to evaluate patient outcomes to improve future practice.

• How to implement evidence-based practice:
Nurse educators can also help nurses learn how to critically evaluate new research. This is an important skill that allows nurses to become more effective decision-makers and problem-solvers and help improve patients’ health and well-being.

Becoming a nurse educator:
Becoming a nurse educator doesn’t mean that you have to forgo your clinical work; many nurse educators continue to care for patients in addition to their teaching duties. In order to become a nurse educator, you must obtain your MSN. Educational opportunities such as Herzing’s MSN-Nurse Educator program empower students to fulfill the ongoing and vital need for quality instructors in the field.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper
Helping to shape the future generation of nurses is a truly rewarding career, and one that is essential to ensuring quality healthcare for our nation. By choosing to pursue a career in nursing education, today’s nurses can help pave the way for a healthier future.

What exactly does a nurse do? This lesson explores some of the different roles a nurse plays in patient care, including caregiver, decision maker, communicator, manager of care, patient advocate, and teacher.
Roles and Functions of the Nurse
What exactly does a nurse do? Your answer probably depends on the experiences that you have had in the past. Most people think a nurse is someone who gives a shot at the doctor’s office – or simply is a doctor’s assistant. Furthermore, images of nurses in the media also paint a different picture of who a nurse really is.

However, a nurse has a number of roles that he or she performs, often at the same time, depending on a patient’s needs. With all of the changes in healthcare over the last few decades, that role has expanded even more. Let’s explore a few of these roles.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper


As a caregiver, a nurse provides hands-on care to patients in a variety of settings. This includes physical needs, which can range from total care (doing everything for someone) to helping a patient with illness prevention. The nurse maintains a patient’s dignity while providing knowledgeable, skilled care.

In addition, nurses care holistically for a patient. Holistic care emphasizes that the whole person is greater than the sum of their parts. This means that nurses also address psychosocial, developmental, cultural, and spiritual needs. The role of caregiver includes all of the tasks and skills that we associate with nursing care, but also includes the other elements that make up the whole person.

Decision Maker

Another role of the nurse, as a decision maker, is to use critical thinking skills to make decisions, set goals, and promote outcomes for a patient. These critical thinking skills include assessing the patient, identifying the problem, planning and implementing interventions, and evaluating the outcomes. A nurse uses clinical judgment – his or her ability to discern what is best for the patient – to determine the best course of action for the patient.


As a communicator, the nurse understands that effective communication techniques can help improve the healthcare environment. Barriers to effective communication can inhibit the healing process. The nurse has to communicate effectively with the patient and family members as well as other members of the healthcare team. In addition, the nurse is responsible for written communication, or patient charting, which is a key component to continuity of care.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Manager of Care

The nurse works with other healthcare workers as the manager of care and ensures that the patient’s care is cohesive. The nurse directs and coordinates care by both professionals and nonprofessionals to confirm that a patient’s goals are being met.

The nurse is also responsible for continuity from the moment a patient enters the hospital setting to the time they are discharged home and beyond. This may even include overseeing home care instructions. For nurses in the hospital setting, the nurse is responsible for prioritizing and managing the care of multiple patients at the same time, which adds another dimension to this process.

Patient Advocate

Being a patient advocate may be the most important of all nursing roles. As a patient advocate, the nurse’s responsibility is to protect a patient’s rights. When a person is sick, they are unable to act as they might when they are well. The nurse acts on the patient’s behalf and supports their decisions, standing up for his or her best interests at all times. This can empower a patient while recognizing that a patient’s values supersede the health care providers’.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

The Role of the 21st Century School Nurse
SUMMARYIt is the position of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) that every child has access all day, every day to a full time registered professional school nurse (hereinafter referred to as school nurse). The school nurse serves in a pivotal role that bridges health care and education. Grounded by standards of practice, services provided by the school nurse include leadership, community/public health, care coordination, and quality improvement (NASN, 2016a)


The practice of school nursing began in the United States on October 1, 1902, when Lina Rogers, the first school nurse, was hired to reduce absenteeism by intervening with students and families regarding healthcare needs related to communicable diseases. After one month of successful nursing interventions in the New York City schools, she led the implementation of evidence-based nursing care across the city (Struthers, 1917). Since that time, school nurses continue to provide communicable disease management, but their role has expanded and is increasingly diverse.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

A student’s health is directly related to his or her ability to learn. Children with unmet health needs have a difficult time engaging in the educational process. The school nurse supports student success by providing health care through assessment, intervention, and follow-up for all children within the school setting. The school nurse addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social health needs of students and supports their achievement in the learning process.

Students who are medically fragile or who deal with chronic health issues are coming to school in increasing numbers and with increasingly complex medical problems that require complicated treatments commonly provided by the school nurse (Lineberry & Ikes, 2015). Chronic conditions such as asthma, anaphylaxis, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, obesity, and mental health concerns may affect the student’s ability to be in school and ready to learn.

The National Survey of Children with Special Healthcare Needs has determined that 11.2 million U.S. children are at risk for chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions. These students may require health related services in schools (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, 2013).

School nurses address the social determinants of health, such as income, housing, transportation, employment, access to health insurance, and environmental health. Social determinants are identified to be the cause of 80% of health concerns (Booske, Athens, Kindig, Park, & Remington, 2010). In the United States, nearly one quarter of children attending school live in households below the federal poverty level (United States Census Bureau, 2014). Children from lower income families have a more difficult time accessing medical treatment for chronic diseases (Perrin, 2014).NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

School nursing is a specialized practice of nursing that advances the well-being, academic success, and lifelong achievement and health of students. Keeping children healthy, safe, in school, and ready to learn should be a top priority for both healthcare and educational systems. With approximately 55.9 million students in public and private elementary and secondary schools, educational institutions are excellent locations to promote health in children (National Center for Education Statistics, n.d.) and the school nurse is uniquely positioned to meet student health needs.

School nurses lead in the development of policies, programs, and procedures for the provision of school health services at an individual or district level (NASN, 2016a), relying on student-centered, evidence-based practice and performance data to inform care (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2009). Integrating ethical provisions into all areas of practice, the school nurse leads in delivery of care that preserves and protects student and family autonomy, dignity, privacy, and other rights sensitive to diversity in the school setting (American Nurses Association [ANA] & NASN, 2011).

As an advocate for the individual student, the school nurse provides skills and education that encourage self-empowerment, problem solving, effective communication, and collaboration with others (ANA, 2015a). Promoting the concept of self-management is an important aspect of the school nurse role and enables the student to manage his/her condition and to make life decisions (Tengland, 2012). The school nurse advocates for safety by participating in the development of school safety plans to address bullying, school violence, and the full range of emergency incidents that may occur at school (Wolfe, 2013).NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

At the policy development and implementation level, school nurses provide system‐level leadership and act as change agents, promoting education and healthcare reform. According to the ANA (2015b), registered nurses believe that it is their obligation to help improve issues related to health care, consumer care, health, and wellness. Educational preparation for the school nurse should be at the baccalaureate level (NASN, 2016b), and school nurses should continue to pursue professional development and continuing nursing education throughout their careers (Wolfe, 2013).

School nursing is grounded in community/public health (Schaffer, Anderson, & Rising, 2015). The goal of community/public health moves beyond the individual to focus on community health promotion and disease prevention and is one of the primary roles of the school nurse (Wold & Selekman, 2013). School nurses employ cultural competency in delivering effective care in culturally diverse communities (Office of Minority Health, 2013).NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

The school nurse employs primary prevention by providing health education that promotes physical and mental health and informs healthcare decisions, prevents disease, and enhances school performance. Addressing such topics as healthy lifestyles, risk‐reducing behaviors, developmental needs, activities of daily living, and preventive self‐care, and the school nurse uses teaching methods that are appropriate to the student’s developmental level, learning needs, readiness, and ability to learn. Screenings, referrals, and follow‐up are secondary prevention strategies that school nurses utilize to detect and treat health-related issues in their early stage (NASN, 2016a). School nurses provide tertiary prevention by addressing diagnosed health conditions and concerns.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Student absences due to infectious disease cause the loss of millions of school days each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Based on standards of practice and community health perspective, the school nurse provides a safe and healthy school environment through control of infectious disease, which includes promotion of vaccines, utilization of school-wide infection control measures, and disease surveillance and reporting. Immunization compliance is much greater in schools with school nurses (Baisch, Lundeen, & Murphy, 2011).

The school nurse strives to promote health equity, assisting students and families in connecting with healthcare services, financial resources, shelter, food, and health promotion. This role encompasses responsibility for all students within the school community, and the school nurse is often the only healthcare professional aware of all the services and agencies involved in a student’s care. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

School nurses are members of two divergent communities (educational and medical/nursing), and as such are able to communicate fluently and actively collaborate with practitioners from both fields (Wolfe, 2013). As a case manager, the school nurse coordinates student health care between the medical home, family, and school. The school nurse is an essential member of interdisciplinary teams, bringing the health expertise necessary to develop a student’s Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 plan designed to reduce health related barriers to learning (Zimmerman, 2013). Creating, updating, and implementing Individualized Healthcare Plans are fundamental to the school nurse role (McClanahan & Weismuller, 2015).

School nurses deliver quality health care and nursing intervention for actual and potential health problems. They provide for the direct care needs of the student, including medication administration and routine treatments and procedures (Lineberry & Ickes, 2015). Education of school staff by the school nurse is imperative to the successful management of a child with a chronic condition or special healthcare need and is codified as a role of the school nurse in the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015).NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Current school health practice models and school nurse workloads may require school nurses to delegate healthcare tasks to unlicensed assistive personnel in order to support the health and safety needs of students (Shannon & Kubelka, 2013). However, the availability of school nurses to work directly with students to assess symptoms and provide treatment increases students’ time in the classroom and parents’ time at work (Lineberry & Ickes, 2015).

Quality improvement is a continuous and systematic process that leads to measurable improvements and outcomes (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2011) and is integral to healthcare reform and standards of practice (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2011). Continuous quality improvement is the nursing process in action: assessment, identification of the issue, development of a plan of action, implementation of the plan, and evaluation of the outcome. Data collection through this process is a necessary role of the school nurse.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Formal school nursing research is needed to ensure that delivery of care to students and school communities by the school nurse is based on current evidence. School nurses utilize research data as they advocate and illustrate the impact of their role on meaningful health and academic outcomes (NASN, 2016a).


It is the position of NASN that school nurses play an essential role in keeping children healthy, safe, and ready to learn. The school nurse is a member of a unique discipline of professional nursing and is often the sole healthcare provider in an academic setting. Twenty‐first century school nursing practice is student‐centered, occurring within the context of the student’s family and school community (NASN, 2016a). It is essential that all students have access to a full time school nurse all day, every day (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016).

Duties of a Nurse Educator
Nurse educators teach and mentor the next generation of nurses. They are the role models for nursing students, guiding students through the challenges of learning what it means to be a nurse. Prepared at the master’s or doctoral level, they are the faculty at colleges, universities, vocational/technical schools and hospital-based diploma programs. Master’s prepared nurse educators earned an average annual salary of $72,028 in 2011, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Academic Programs
Nurse educators ensure that students who pass through their hands are prepared for a constantly changing health care environment. They design the academic programs at their institutions in accordance with the state regulations regarding nursing instruction. In addition to teaching the courses, nurse educators evaluate the effectiveness of the programs and revise them as necessary. Nurse educators teach in formal academic programs as well as in continuing education programs for graduate nurses.

Nurse educators lecture in the classroom and work in clinical settings such as hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Most institutions maintain clinical labs where students learn to perform basic nursing tasks such as medication administration, dressing changes or other hands-on skills under the direct supervision of the nurse educator. Once students have mastered these skills, they move into real life clinical settings, where they perform nursing tasks while the nurse educator supervises their practice and continues to teach them as they work with patients.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Coaching and Mentoring
A nurse educator tailors the learning experience to the student. She may carefully coach an anxious student through her first catheter insertion or provide a more experienced and confident student with a challenge that will help her learn new skills. The educator’s goal is to choose learning opportunities that help her students build on their strengths and overcome personal or scholastic limitations. Nurse educators provide regular feedback and advice to their students to help them improve their practice.

Other Responsibilities
Nurse educators often have other responsibilities, especially in academic settings. They may perform research and present the results of their work at nursing conferences. Most participate in professional organizations or have leadership roles in the academic community. They may perform peer review — a form of quality management — or write grant proposals in addition to their teaching duties. Nurse educators must also maintain their clinical skills and may work part-time in direct patient care to do so.

Some nurse educators move into administrative work and become deans of nursing programs. Their responsibilities include developing nursing programs in collaboration with instructors, assuring funding for programs, developing budgets, and hiring and supervising staff. The dean of a nursing program assures the content of the nursing instruction will meet the changing health care environment and collaborates with the health care facilities in her community that provide clinical experiences for the nursing students to assure relevant and meaningful educational experiences.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse Educators
Nurse educators can be found either in a classroom setting or working in practice settings set up within hospitals and research clinics. As mentors, nurses are needed to help prepare new nurses and provide practicing nurses with the knowledge and skills they need to do their jobs well.

Educational Responsibilities of a Nurse Educator
Nurse educators have a broad spectrum of responsibilities. These can include developing nursing curriculum and designing new courses of study, as well as instructing students and evaluating their educational progress. They also monitor the educational process, observing the outcome of the various programs created and implemented. This monitoring process helps ensure that courses achieve their desired outcomes in teaching students, adapting, and making changes as needed. In the clinical setting the nurse educator is responsible for implementing the most current research and standards of care into the clinical practice.

Additional Nurse Educator Responsibilities
Other responsibilities for nursing educators may include engaging in research within various medical settings and participating in panels and discussions hosted by nursing associations. They also speak and present at nursing conferences and may be called on occasionally to write grant proposals and engage in peer reviews. Naturally, due to the advanced nature of their responsibilities, nurse educators must maintain a high level of clinical competency. Some nursing educators engage in part-time teaching while still working in the clinical environment; this allows them to keep pace with the highest levels of clinical knowledge and competency while also assisting the next generation of nurses rising up in the ranks.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators teach within their chosen specialties. These specialties include acute care, cardiology, pediatrics, family health, and psychiatric disciplines, among others. By teaching within their specialties, nurse educators are able to impart real-world experiences and knowledge to their students.

Necessary Qualities of a Nurse Educator
The necessary qualities of a nurse educator include being a good communicator, a creative thinker, and an expert in a particular area of instruction. Nurse educators tend to be future-oriented, taking their knowledge of current trends in nursing and envisioning where those trends might lead in the future.

Nurse Administrators
A nurse administrator oversees the management of the nursing staff at medical facilities, clinics, and health care institutions. Responsible for a wide range of areas, administrators focus on the safest and most cost-effective way to get assignments and duties completed. Unlike the nurse educator, the nurse administrator focuses more on strategic management of personnel, patient care, and resources while maintaining and supporting regulating policies.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Responsibilities of a Nurse Administrator

In addition to the overall management of the nursing staff, a nurse administrator directs a wide range of projects. The nurse administrator oversees the staff, providing reviews when needed and working to ensure all activities are efficiently and safely coordinated. Critical thinking and problem analysis are necessary key skills in the role of nurse administrators.

Important Factors of Nurse Administration

Nurse administrators are often given flexibility in the way they get their jobs done. For example, some positions for nurse administrators require the creation and use of procedures that don’t conflict with current policies. For this reason, creative thinking is a definite plus as the nurse administrator has the authority to choose the manner in which the job gets done.

Nurse administrators often operate in two different arenas. They oversee the operations and functions of staff, dealing with personnel issues, and addressing any concerns. At the same time, they are part of the administrative branch of their organization, which means they need to focus their attention on areas that range from financial implications to human resources to protocol compliance.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Differences between Nurse Educators and Nurse Administrators
Nurses interested in bringing their professional expertise to an academic environment may be best suited toward becoming a nurse educator. On the other hand, those interested in more of an organizational slant in their nursing experience might well consider becoming a nurse administrator. The nurse educator will have predominant contact with nursing students, while the nurse administrator will usually have more contact with nursing personnel, as well as patients and medical staff.

Nurse Educator Role Specialization
Nurse educators play an important role as a bridge between the academic and clinical worlds. If you have a passion for teaching, knowledge and experience in nursing, and compassion for patient care, you might consider a rich and rewarding career in nursing education.

Key players in promoting quality, innovative education, nurse educators help to prepare future nurses for a diverse, developing healthcare environment. They serve as guides throughout the learning process, and are flexible, creative, strong communicators, and skilled critical thinkers.

As a nurse educator, you will champion evidence-based practice, design curricula and educational experiences, and teach students, clinicians, and clients.

Potential Roles
The Nurse Educator specialization will help prepare you for a roles as an educator in either the academic or practice setting.  as a certified or clinical nurse educator, staff development officer, instructional or administrative nurse faculty, dean of a college of nursing, researcher, or specialist in clinical education.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators work to strengthen the nursing workforce, and teach future nurses, practicing nurses, nurses pursuing advanced degrees, and other healthcare providers and clients.

Career Settings
While nursing roles are population-focused, not setting-specific, nurse educators may work in the following academic and healthcare settings:

Hospital-based schools of nursing
Technical schools
Health care organizations
Home care agencies
Community health agencies
Long-term care facilities
Online, using distance learning technology
As they are a highly sought-after role, nurse educators have the opportunity to maintain dual roles as educators and direct patient care providers. An increasing number of nurse educators teach part-time and also work in a practice setting, allowing them to share their clinical expertise with students and clinicians.

Nurses who practice in academic settings must be forward-thinking, focused on the future of nursing, and able to adapt curriculum and teaching methods to respond to the rapidly changing field of healthcare.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

The ability to anticipate changes and evolving role expectations is an important skill for nurse educators who practice in a practice setting. In their role, they will advocate for resources and design and oversee learning experiences that help their team of nurses meet daily challenges.

Role Specialty Learning Outcomes
In addition to the program learning outcomes, the graduate of the MSN with a nurse educator role specialty would achieve the following role specialty learning outcomes:

Develop curricula based on institutional mission, professional standards, educational theory and research, societal needs, and ongoing program evaluation.
Design learning environments that provide challenges and opportunities for growth for the learner while ensuring safety, support, and resources for learning.
Facilitate learning using a variety of teaching strategies based on theory, best evidence, teacher expertise, and appropriateness to the learner.
Utilize formative assessment methods to provide valuable feedback to support learner development and growth.
Design summative evaluations that are fair and objective to determine achievement of learning outcomes.
Implement the role of an academic educator, a professional development specialist, or a patient educator in a professional, respectful, and ethical manner.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper
The role of the academic nurse educator is both rewarding and challenging. Furthermore, the nurse educator plays a pivotal role in the nursing profession as well as in the development and preparation of future nurses and advanced degree nurses. The nursing profession is currently experiencing a faculty shortage. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses, the national vacancy rate for the 2014–2015 academic year is 6.9%, which limits our ability to adequately prepare our future workforce. Consequently, this is the perfect time to consider transitioning into an academic role.

Some of the factors related to the current faculty shortage include an aging workforce, lack of a diverse cadre of educators, educational requirements, the cost associated with advancing one’s education, and lack of competitive financial compensation. Although the financial compensation is not competitive with current nursing salaries, the educator role is extremely rewarding and offers a certain degree of flexibility and autonomy. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

There are several paths you can choose on your journey into the world of academia. All nurses are teachers in their own right, and nurse educators build upon these foundational skills via education and experience. Seeking out opportunities, such as the role of preceptor, patient educator, or hospital-based educator, can help you prepare for a future role in academia. Academic teaching shares many of the basic tenets of all educators; however, academic faculty must meet the triad of excellence in teaching, service to the profession and the organization, and scholarship. Completing a graduate degree in nursing education will certainly help to prepare you for the rigors of academia. There are a myriad of faculty development and scholarship programs that are offered by organizations, such as the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which help address the faculty shortage, the lack of diversity, and the related shortage of nurses.

The Institute of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing, also identified the need for the advanced education of all nurses and increased diversity at all levels of nursing. Academic nurse educators must possess the required clinical and educational competencies; however, there is always a need for experienced clinical nurses to fulfill the role of clinical instructor, and this is a great place to begin one’s transition. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Types of Academic Educator Roles

The role of the academic nurse educator varies based on the specific type of educational setting and program. Basic nursing programs include diploma, associate degree, and baccalaureate degree. Graduate programs include master’s degrees and doctoral degrees in a variety of specialty areas. Many programs are offered in traditional brick-and-mortar colleges and universities, but online programs have become very popular.

Academic teaching roles include adjunct, clinical instructor, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor. There are also a host of administrative positions for experienced educators—dean, associate dean, and director. All of these roles require related clinical experience and education.

Educational Requirements and Experience

The educational and experiential requirements for nursing faculty members are somewhat different depending on the actual role. In regards to educational level, faculty members must have a graduate degree at the master’s level to teach in an associate degree program and a doctoral degree to teach at the baccalaureate or higher level. There are exceptions to this rule, however. For example, a clinical instructor does not have to have a doctoral degree but does need the related clinical experience that is relevant to the clinical teaching role (e.g., a pediatric clinical instructor must have at least two years of experience working in a pediatric setting). Diploma and associate degree programs most often require their faculty members to have a master’s degree and related experience. Baccalaureate and graduate programs require faculty to hold a doctoral degree and related experience. Some academic institutions will hire faculty who do not hold a doctoral degree but are currently enrolled in a program. It is important to note that most academic institutions require that at least one degree be in nursing—baccalaureate or master’s. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Although it is not mandatory to have a master’s degree in nursing education, it is certainly helpful for your future role in academia. Another option is to complete a post-master’s certificate program in nursing education. This is especially helpful for nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists who are highly experienced clinicians but require further development in the principles of teaching, teaching and learning theories, course development, test construction, and evaluation.

A doctoral degree is required for most tenure track positions and/or when teaching in a graduate program in addition to most baccalaureate programs. Doctoral degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Doctor of Education (EdD), Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). There are numerous other doctoral programs, but these are the most common ones for nurse educators. Academic institutions may have different requirements regarding educational and clinical experience, so be sure to do some research before deciding on which degree program to attend. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Nurse educators tend to teach in the area of their specialty, such as medical-surgical, psychiatric nursing, or pediatric nursing, but one must be versatile because you may be asked to teach new or unfamiliar content. Because health care and technology are rapidly changing, it is vital to engage in lifelong learning and development and stay abreast of the current literature.

Major Responsibilities and Key Attributes

Nurse educators have numerous responsibilities and, as such, require certain attributes and qualifications that will guide them in their transition into the world of academia. In OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Penn, Wilson, and Rosseter argued that nurse educators must have the following: teaching skills; knowledge, experience, and preparation for the faculty role; curriculum and course development skills; evaluation and testing skills; and personal attributes. Additionally, nurse educators are also expected to serve as advisors and mentor students, serve on committees, and make significant scholarly contributions.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Being passionate and caring about your profession and your students is very important. As a nurse educator, you will spend a good amount of time developing various course items in addition to reading and evaluating students’ work, so writing and communication skills are vital. You will also need to clearly articulate the information you share with your students and peers, in addition to being a good listener. Time management and organization are also essential because the role of the academic nurse educator is extremely demanding.

essential traits of nurse educators
Excellent nurse educators are described as those who possess strong leadership and communication skills and have outstanding theoretical and clinical knowledge.

They are creative, intelligent, competent, resilient and fair. Consummate lifelong learners, they have an unquenchable spirit of inquiry, value scholarship and mentor ship and use current evidence and a variety of learning styles to meet their students’ needs.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

I asked some of my former nursing classmates what they thought the most important qualities nurse educators should possess. The discussion piqued my interest, so I also asked my nurse colleagues as well as nursing educators who work in hospitals and schools throughout the country for their thoughts.

Here’s a summary of what they had to say.

Love the role
Passion for the role and a desire to make a difference will affect the way nurse educators deliver their message. Inspiring educators help others know why the information is important and how they can use it, not just what the information is. They are motivating and energetic and create an invigorating atmosphere that students want to be part of. Inspired students want to keep learning and excelling in their knowledge and abilities.

Possess key elements
Nurse educators should be well-educated and knowledgeable and possess strong clinical experience and excellent communication skills. They bring foundational experience and knowledge in both the art and science of nursing to the role, as well as knowledge of educational theories and testing and evaluation methods. They are critical thinkers and problem solvers who now place a greater emphasis on use of technology in education. When nurse educators are organized and stay up-to-date on clinical practices, they enable themselves to be the best they can be. Educators who are clear about what they want their students to learn in any class or clinical experience shine above others.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Have the heart
Compassion, empathy, patience and a sense of humor are key. After learners receive new information, they often need time for the “Aha” moment when they can synthesize what they heard and begin to understand how the pieces fit together. When nurse educators develop good listening skills, they are aware of the learners’ goals, expectations and responsibilities and can be flexible and reasonable without compromising academic requirements. Educators should be positive and encouraging with their students but also give specific and honest feedback.

Address the needs
Exemplary educators are open and flexible to address various learning styles and explore innovative ways to deliver content, especially in this age of online learning and reverse pedagogy. There is an abundance of research focused on how people learn, how they retain and recall information, and how certain teaching and learning techniques bring better results. Understanding and appreciating how people process information differently can help educators incorporate various teaching techniques to help students learn most effectively.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Connect the dots
It’s essential nurse educators explain and link the sciences and nursing processes learned in the classroom to actual patient care situations. When educators discuss with students what they are learning and make connections between anatomy and physiology, chemistry, disease processes and patient signs and symptoms, they empower students to integrate theoretical knowledge with clinical practice.

Be a lifelong learner
A spirit of inquiry is an integral part of the role, and outstanding nurse educators are committed to lifelong learning, self-development, scholarship, mentor ship and service. Nurse educators serve as role models for their students and believe in themselves. But they are humble about their nursing knowledge, professional experience and accomplishments.

Most Important Traits of the Best Nurse Educators
Nurse educators are registered nurses who have advanced training, experience and education. As both nurses and teachers, they fulfill the role of instructor and mentor to students, other nurses and clinicians in schools, hospitals and communities. One of the most important and essential pieces of the American health care system, nurse educators play a vital role in training the next generation of nurses in the details, complexities and advances of good care.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper
For the nurse who has often wondered about a job as a teacher, becoming a nurse educator can seem like a dream job, and in many ways it is. Important, challenging, meaningful, person-centered — a career as a nurse educator can truly be rewarding, especially if you have these 10 traits.

10 – A Passion for Nursing

Good nurse educators love being nurses. They know the job isn’t perfect; long hours, stressful situations and under staffing can wear a person out. However, the best nurse educators have a visceral connection to the work of providing patient care. They believe in the mission of nursing, and those around them know it.

09 – A Zeal for Teaching

In addition to a love of nursing, the best nurse educators also love teaching. When a student is taught by an educator who loves facilitating someone else’s learning, that student responds with increased effort and better retention. Good nurse educators believe in the role and purpose of education, and they embody that belief.

08 – Approach ability and Warmth

Because nurse educators are in a position of authority, the more approachable they are, the more their students will gain and learn from interaction with them. From having open office hours to radiating genuine warmth in interactions with students, the best nurse educators convey their willingness and desire to be engaged by learners.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

07 – Excellent Organizational Skills

Nurse educators have full plates, and without top-notch organizational skills, they can easily get buried beneath piles of grading, assessments and more. Students depend on instructors to give thorough and timely feedback on tests, papers and labs. The best nurse educators employ solid organization techniques, so their students’ needs are met.

06 – Clinical Expertise

A good teacher is only as good as the material they know, and an excellent nurse educator’s grasp of the knowledge, skills and practices of nursing is always exemplary.

A good teacher is only as good as the material they know, and an excellent nurse educator’s grasp of the knowledge, skills and practices of nursing is always exemplary.

05 – Patience

Nursing students enter programs with a wide variety of experiences, skills, abilities and education, and the best nurse educators remember that. While it can be frustrating when students struggle to grasp material — especially because it is so important — good teachers know learning takes time. They keep their expectations in check and explain the material time and again.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

04 – Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is a tremendous aid in the classroom, and a good nurse educator embodies it without ego or arrogance. For students, learning new material can create insecurity and self-doubt. The confident educator can effectively calm students’ anxieties and ease their fears by simply being self-assured in the ability to teach anyone how to be a nurse.

03 – Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is extremely valuable across the field of nursing as a whole, but in a classroom environment, it can mean the difference between a student giving up or continuing to try. Nurse educators with high emotional intelligence can identify and supply students who will benefit from added help.

02 – Good Communication Skills

Good communication skills don’t just mean an ability to convey knowledge in an understandable way, and the best nurse educators remember communication is always a two-way street. Listening to students’ concerns and questions is just as important as presenting material in an engaging and memorable way.

01 – A Desire to Mentor

Without a desire to mentor, a nurse educator can’t quite do the job. The history of medicine is the history of a teaching and mentoring profession. Knowledge is only good to the degree it can be put into practice, and the best nurse educators take those they teach under their wing in order to help them become excellent care-givers, not just excellent students.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Because of the rate at which experienced nurses are retiring and leaving the workforce, new nursing professionals are now in constant demand. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for some 1.1 million new registered nurses to meet the new demand and replace retirees. Nurse educators prepare new nurses, overseeing their education and training for their positions at the bedside or in a technical role.

“Nurse educators are responsible for designing, implementing, evaluating, and revising academic and continuing education programs for nurses,” reports Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow, a coalition of 43 nursing and healthcare organizations.

“These include formal academic programs that lead to a degree or certificate, or more informal continuing education programs designed to meet individual learning needs. Nurse educators are critical players in assuring quality educational experiences that prepare the nursing workforce for a diverse, ever-changing healthcare environment.”NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Duquesne University’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program offers registered nurses the opportunity to advance in their careers and play a role in furthering healthcare education for future generations. Classes focus on foundations in education theory for professional practice disciplines, innovative curriculum design and evaluation, emerging trends and innovations in the teaching of nursing, advanced critical nursing, nursing faculty role practicum, and information on the legal environment in nursing education.

Duties Of A Nurse Educator
Nurse educators are RNs whose education includes advanced clinical training in a healthcare specialty. As such, they serve in numerous roles, ranging from part-time clinical faculty to dean of a college of nursing. Responsibilities may include:

Designing curricula
Developing courses/programs of study
Teaching and guiding learners
Evaluating learning
Documenting the outcomes of the educational process
Additionally, nurse educators assist students and practicing nurses in identifying their individual learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. Aside from teaching, nurse educators in the academic setting have responsibilities, not unlike those in other disciplines, such as:NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Advising students
Engaging in scholarly work (e.g., research)
Participating in professional associations
Speaking/presenting at nursing conferences
Contributing to the academic community through leadership roles
Engaging in peer review
Maintaining clinical competence
Writing grant proposals
The most successful nurse educators possess excellent communication skills. They must be able to clearly convey their teaching goals and expectations to their students. Time management is also essential. Nurse educators should be able to efficiently split their time and attention between the students they teach and the faculty and/or healthcare professionals they work with on a regular basis.

The Demand For And Future Of Nurse Educators
Other than the retirement rate, one of the primary reasons for the recent shortage of nursing professionals is that more students want to study nursing than there are faculty members to teach them. In many cases, according to an article on the All Nursing Schools website, academic and medical institutions have to turn away applicants, even those with stellar qualifications, because they lack the resources and personnel to accommodate a large number of students.NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

Because of the shortage, nurse educators are currently in high demand. With the high number of nurses who are retiring (more than 500,000 last year, according to the BLS), the nursing field is experiencing massive growth in most areas. In fact, the BLS also predicts that registered nurse employment will grow by 16 percent through 2024. These new nurses will need instruction, which is where nurse educators can be instrumental to the future of the nursing profession. They are needed not only in college and university classrooms but also in hospitals to ensure that nurses gain the continuing education they need. NURS 6351 – Role of the Nurse Educator Research Paper

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