Nursing as a profession is in something of a crisis and has been for several decades now. This crisis doesn’t simply stop at the shortage of registered nurses either, as the lack of basic nursing qualifications has led to a lack of nurses in senior positions too.
This means that nurses who are looking to train in more senior roles may feel a bit unsure about what is expected in these positions. Even if you become trained in a more senior role, it can still be puzzling to know exactly what your responsibilities will be, considering that nursing is such an all-encompassing role.
In relation to nurse educators, there has always been a bit of confusion relating to what they do, especially from registered nurses who want to go on to train in this area. In this short guide, you will be shown exactly what is expected from a nurse educator, and why this role is so important in 2022.
Who Are Nurse Educators?
Nurse educators are senior nurses, who have earned either their license as an RN or an LPN and have gone on to obtain a master’s in nursing. Much like regular nursing courses, these higher-level qualifications can be taught online, so if you are looking to become a nurse educator but want a more flexible training style, look for an online MSN-NE program.
A nurse educator is tasked with training registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and those studying for a master’s or doctorate in nursing, as well as an introduction to nursing courses. So, they teach a wide range of skillsets and are very sophisticated knowledgeable teachers too.
What Does a Nurse Educator Do?
As the name suggests, a nurse educator educates trained and currently licensed nurses. However, there is more to this profession than just teaching. If you are new to the role or are looking to train in the role, here are some of the other things you may be required to do.
Overseeing Clinical Practice
Nurse educators do not only teach in the classroom. As nursing is such a hands-on subject, a nurse educator will often be required to attend clinical placements to oversee areas of clinical practice relating to nursing students. You will need to evaluate their methods, identify areas where they need to improve and show them how to operate some of the machinery and tools in a nursing setting.
Much like a researcher or lecturer, nurse educators are often called upon to take part in peer-reviewed research articles. This will mean undertaking studies, designing experiments, and writing academic papers.
In some cases, nurse educators may form part of a peer-review committee, in which they review fellow nurses’ academic work and provide feedback. This in turn may lead to them travelling to discuss the findings of their papers or giving guest lectures at universities about their specialist area.
Designing the Curriculum
As a nurse educator, you may be called upon to design aspects of the nursing curriculum too. This will require you to have extensive insight into what is being taught, what the outcomes are, and the standards that nurses overall must adhere to.
You may be able to have certain parts of the nursing curriculum changed or altered if you feel that an area is lacking or needs clarity for better patient outcomes.
Mentoring or Tutoring
So, a key area of being an educator and a nurse overall is to act as a mentor or tutor to nurses who you are teaching. As a nurse educator, you will need to respond to nursing student emails, answer questions, mark paperwork, clear up areas of confusion, and of course, offer advice to nurses who may be struggling.
If you are working full-time as a nurse educator, you will also likely be placed at either a university or college, wherein you will also need to take on other administrative duties, such as setting reading lists for student nurses and overseeing their academic knowledge on set subjects.
Writing Grant Proposals
When it comes to research and funding, most academic areas will require someone to apply for grants. In the case of nursing and academia, this role usually falls to a nurse educator. This is a tough role, but you will be expected to outline the need for the research, and the predicted research outcome and work with your colleagues to work out how much funding will be needed for the project to go ahead.
Being a nurse educator does not mean you have to give up on your clinical practice, but it does mean you will need to get used to working with students. So, if you have always wanted to inspire the next generation of nurses, this role may be just what you are looking for.
Also Read: Reasons To Build A Nightly Skincare Routine