An Effort to Boost Novice and Experienced Nurse Educators’ Success

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Many Schools of Nursing’s Deans and Directors throughout the nation find themselves hiring novice nurse educators for a wide variety of reason such as expansion of their nursing programs, retirement of nursing faculty, and presentation of other opportunities for experienced nursing faculty. Deans and Directors for Schools of Nursing in Tennessee are faced with the same challenge. As a result, the Tennessee Deans and Directors for Schools of Nursing have made a commitment to help novice nurse educators, in particular, to be successful in their new role. These Deans and Directors know the specific needs of novice nurse educators they are hiring and essential topics that these nurse educators must become familiar with in order to be successful. In 2017, the Deans and Directors for Schools of Nursing in Tennessee developed the Tennessee Nurse Educator Institute. In its third year, the Tennessee Nurse Educator Institute is offered annually before the start of the academic school year. The purpose is “to provide knowledge and skills for the novice nurse educator and a refresher for more experienced faculty.” Initially, it began as a two-day activity but since has been expanded to three days. Topics include valuable information for the novice nurse educator such as writing test items and analysis; a perspective on surviving the first year as a novice nurse educator; designing a curriculum; engaging students in the 21st century; the importance of the RN-NCLEX blueprint; the basics of clinical teaching; teaching with simulation; evaluation methods for didactic and clinical courses; developing a syllabus; and the importance of program evaluation. Since the launch of the Tennessee Nurse Educator Institute, the total number of nurse educators attending the institute is 195. At the end of the three-day educational activity, nurse educators complete an evaluation to ensure the institute is its goals. In addition, participants are asked for input on what they felt helped them the most, the strengths and weaknesses of the program, and future topics to include. Responses from the evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive. Participants completing the survey was n = 133. Results of the evaluations from the three years showed the following: 98% (131/133) of the participants strongly agreed or agreed that the purpose of the conference was met, the information received will help them be more effective in their position, and they could use the information they learned right away; and 97% (129/133) of the participants strongly agreed or agreed the conference met their expectations. No barriers or obstacles have been encountered in achieving the program’s goal. The Tennessee Deans and Directors for Schools of Nursing plan to continue with the institute every year to help meet the needs of novice and more experienced nurse educators. When nurse educators are given the proper tools to be successful, nursing education is ultimately advanced with outcomes consonant with excellence. The goal is to make sure that nursing educators are using evidence-based practice when teaching future nurses.


Atlanta, GA

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