Educating student nurses has evolved since starting the first school of nursing. It is essential that current nurse educators teach with evidence-based practice as a part of the curriculum. To teach evidence-based practice the nurse educator must have knowledge of current skills and theory involving evidence-based practice. It is essential that the nurse educator is approachable and adaptable because of the different personalities and culture of students in the nurse educator’s classes. The needs of the students should drive the nurse educator to provide the best educational journey of the student’s professional career. S.H. is this type of educator. S. H. is currently a part-time nurse instructor for Kaplan College Vocational Nursing program. S. H.’s education level is she is a BSN registered nurse with an unrestricted license. Currently S. H. is enrolled in the master’s degree program at Kaplan College. Upon completion of the program in May 2014 S. H. will earn a Master’s of Science in Nursing and Education degree. During the faculty interview S.H. was asked “What are the requirements of your educational background for this position?” S.H.’s response to the question was requirements for the position as nursing instructor at Kaplan College included possessing a BSN, an unrestricted register nurse license, and one years of prior teaching experience to teach didactics in the Vocational Nursing program (Kaplan College, 2012).
To teach to clinical portion of the Vocational Nursing program she is required to have a current Registered Nursing license in good standing. According to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT), 2011 a nurse educator in California is require to possess a current, active, and unrestricted license as a Registered Nurse to teach a Vocational Nursing program. The nurse educator must also hold a valid teaching credential or a baccalaureate degree from an accredited school. The nurse educator must have a minimum of two years as an RN or LVN within the last five years. During the faculty interview S. H. was asked “Do you have prior teaching background? S.H. responded that her prior teaching background included the following; medical assistant and medical office assistant instructor. Kaplan College where S. H. is currently a part-time instructor requires one year prior teaching experience and two years as a clinical nurse is good standing. S. H. has two years of prior teaching experience.
Requirements to teach the Vocational Nursing program have been met by S. H. and approval to teach to the Vocational Nursing program has been granted by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians prior to S. H. teaching her first cohort at Kaplan College (Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, 2011). S. H. was asked why did she chose to become a nurse educator, S.H. believes there is a need to give back to the nursing profession. S. H. also believes she could make a difference in the education received by current nursing students and wanted to provide nursing students with the best educational opportunity possible. S.H. wants student nurses to understand the importance of providing care that is evidence-based. When asked “What do you find most rewarding about teaching? What do you find most onerous?” S.H. explained when students approaches her and tells her they finally understands the subject contents currently being taught that is what most rewarding about teaching. What S. H. finds most onerous is when student are unprepared, neglect to complete assignments, and expect to get passing grades.
Although a registered nurse may be an expert in their area of nursing the transition to become a nurse educator, to teach didactics, and clinical skills is a major event. The nurse will transition from novice to expert as a nurse educator in the same manner as transitioning from novice to expert. With time and experience the novice nurse educator will perfect their teaching style to become the expert nurse educator (McDonald, 2010). S.H. teaching style is to be approachable, informative, motivating, and to provide an atmosphere conducive to student learning.
To have success as a nurse educator, these attributes are essential to competent faculty. Faculty development is the responsibility of the nurse educator and the learning institution that employs the nurse educator. Investing in continuing education to keep up with current trends and evidence-based practice is essential to becoming an effective educator. Nursing educators can accomplish this by keeping current and preparing to educate students using new technology used in nursing programs. In conclusion S. H. demonstrates a desire to become an expert nursing educator. She exhibits determination that student under her tutelage receive the best education possible. She is continues to increase her knowledge base to accomplish her goals for her students by finishing her goals with the Master’s program at Kaplan College. S. H. passion for teaching is expresses in her efforts to have her students succeed.
Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. (2011). Vocational nursing practice act with rules and regulations. Retrieved from
Kaplan College. (2012). Faculty hiring policies and procedures. Kaplan College/University Catalog, 55(5)
McDonald, P. (2010). Transitioning from clinical practice to nursing faculty: Lessons learned. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(3), 126-. doi:10.3928/01484834-20091022-02