Clinician To Educator Nurse
Additional skills and requirements
Making the transition from clinician to educator is an exciting step in a nurse’s career. Clinicians considering the transition should be familiar with the role of the nurse educator (Culleiton & Shellenbarger, 2007, pg 254). A nurse educator should also understand and illustrate teaching-learning skills. This paper will discuss briefly how to facilitate learning and the development of a learner in a hospital setting.
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In a staff educator setting, the educator will be educating new and experienced nurses. Nurse educators must have the capability to convince the learners of knowledge and expertise they have. In addition, the expectation would be to engage in administrative work, participate in scholarly research, and have collaborative professional associations (Role transition: Clinician to Nurse Educator, 1). The transition from clinician to nurse educator requires an understanding of learning theories that will create meaningful learning experiences (Learning theories & learning styles, 2008, 1). According to the online readings there are some key learning theories. One theory is behaviorism in which we learn by the concept of conditioned response to stimulus, for example in a telemetry unit, the expectation is the nurse can recognize EKG strips and differentiate between heart rhythms. Tele nurses do not know this information as new grad nurses, however from our everyday learning we learn to recognize certain irregular heart rhythms and we expect to see certain signs and symptoms. The nurse educator directs the thought process of the learners in accordance to their own experience (Learning theories and learning styles, 2008, 2). As the nurse educator in the role of behaviorism, we have a source of knowledge that shapes, supervises and directs the thought processes of learners in accordance to their own experiences (Learning theories, 2008, 2). When dealing with constructivism, the nurse educator is a facilitator who helps learners acquires knowledge and figure out solutions to problems. The educator teaches in sequences of events that are relevant to the knowledge (Learning theories and learning styles, 2008, 2). Both one of these theories can be used in the teaching-learning process and individual learning styles are a reflection of the individual preferred way of learning.
As the nurse educator transition into their new role, a curriculum needs to be formulated, if not already done by the institution, identify expected program outcomes, develop competency standards, choose an appropriate, varied, and engaging instructional strategies to deliver the content. In addition, the nurse educator continues to evaluate and re-evaluate the different learning styles, learner needs, learner abilities and achieve desired learning outcomes and objectives (Identifying learning needs, 2008, 2).
How does the nurse educator know the learners are getting the expected information? In staff development, evaluation of learning outcome can include a pre and post multiple choice exams. For example, most hospital residency programs last approximately 3 months with classroom studies and floor orientation with an experienced nurse. During classroom studies, the nurse educator follows a curriculum, delivers the content, provides hands on with equipment such as temporary pacemakers, group case studies, dosage calculations and a final test along with a program evaluation form filled out by the learners which can identify for the nurse educator what worked well and what did not. This will continue to help the nurse educator transition into their role from the clinician role.
Regardless of the setting, using appropriate assessment and evaluation strategies is important to the learner and learning goals. It is also important to utilize evaluation data to improve the teaching-learning process (Learning outcome evaluation, 2008, 2).
In addition, effective communication with the learners’ and co-workers along with networking with other nurse educators/mentors is essential for the growth development of both nurse educator and learner.
In conclusion, making the transition from clinician to nurse educator may be an excellent option with new opportunities to mentor future generations of nurses. Successful nurse educators will be able to demonstrate teaching-learning skills.
Culleiton, A.L., & Shellenbarger, T. (2007). Transition of a Bedside Clinician to a Nurse
Educator. MEDSURG Nursing, 16, (4), 253-257.
South University (2008). Learning theories and learning styles. Retrieved July 14, 2008,
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