Assessment 1 Context As you start this course, it seems very appropriate to consider where we have been as a profession, both in nursing and nursing education, as well as where you have been and are going as a professional. This seems especially important at this time in health care, where more is demanded of nurses and, as the Institute of Medicine has urged us in the subtitle of the report The Future of Nursing (2010), we are to be “Leading Change, Advancing Health.”
A multitude of forces beyond our control, including economic and political forces, may shape the profession of nursing; as nurse educators, however, it is our work to provide the educational foundations needed for patient care, for improved health status for all, and for a well-prepared workforce of nurses.
The Nurse Educator Role When we say we are nurse educators, the image that comes to mind for many is that of a nursing instructor in an undergraduate nursing program. The work that person is engaged in is teaching others how to be nurses. While that is certainly one aspect of the nurse educator role, the setting and the work may vary greatly and have expanded in recent years. Today, nurse educators are also staff development specialists, clinical nurse educators, nurse navigators, patient educators, researchers, and community health educators, to name a few of the many options available.
Some nurse educators, especially in university settings, will hold joint appointments as nursing faculty in a college of nursing and as clinicians in the university hospital. Other educators will work exclusively in a hospital or community setting, educating staff, patients, or community. Regardless of the setting, the role of educator encompasses more than teaching; there is also an expectation for scholarship and for service.
References Institute of Medicine. (2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health.
Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Zorn, C. R. (2010). Becoming a nurse educator: Dialogue for an emerging career. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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