Core Competencies of Nurse Educators: Inspiring Excellence in Nurse Educator Practice

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT The National League for Nursing Core Competencies of Nurse Educators with Task Statements provide a comprehensive framework for preparing new nurse educators, implementing the nurse educator role, evaluating nurse educator practice, and advancing faculty scholarship and lifelong professional development. This article describes how one nursing department uses the core competencies with current faculty and in a graduate program that prepares nurse educators.

AS STANDARDS OF PRACTICE FOR ACADEMIC NURSE EDUCATORS, the Core Competencies of Nurse Educators[C] with Task Statements, published by the National League for Nursing in 2005, inspire excellence and provide a comprehensive framework for the lifelong learning of faculty (1). As such, they can be used by nursing programs in a variety of ways. This article describes how the Department of Nursing at the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota, has used these eight core competencies and 66 related task statements to guide the development of a graduate program that prepares nurse educators and to evaluate nurse educator practice. (See Figure.)

The core competencies are a valuable resource for nurse educators and have the potential to transform nursing education by inspiring excellence in nurse educator practice. It is paramount that these standards of practice are integrated in nurse educator curricula, faculty role descriptions, and evaluation processes. By using the core competencies of nurse educators in intentional and innovative ways, nurse educators are empowered to shape their own practice and advance the education and lifelong learning of all nurse educators, thus transforming the future of nursing education. Further, the competencies can be used to influence public policy efforts affecting nurse educators and nursing education and to identify scholarship and research priorities related to the nurse educator role (2).

Figure. Core Competencies of Nurse Educators

CORE COMPETENCIES           DESCRIPTION

Competency I: Facilitate    Responsible for creating an environment
Learning                    in classroom, laboratory, and clinical
                            settings that facilitates student
                            learning and the achievement of desired
                            cognitive, affective, and psychomotor
                            outcomes.

Competency II: Facilitate   Recognize responsibility for helping
Learner Development and     students develop as nurses and integrate
Socialization               the values and behaviors expected of
                            those who fulfill that role.

Competency III:             Use a variety of strategies to assess and
Use Assessment and          evaluate student learning in classroom,
Evaluation Strategies       laboratory, and clinical settings, as
                            well as in all domains of learning.

Competency IV:              Responsible for formulating program
Participate in Curriculum   outcomes and designing curricula that
Design and Evaluation of    reflect contemporary health care trends
Program Outcomes            and prepare graduates to function
                            effectively in the health care
                            environment.

Competency V: Function      Function as change agents and leaders to
as a Change Agent and       create a preferred future for nursing
Leader                      education and nursing practice.

Competency VI: Pursue       Recognize that ... role is
Continuous Quality          multidimensional and that an ongoing
Improvement in the Nurse    commitment to develop and maintain
Educator Role               competence in the role is essential.

Competency VII:             Acknowledge that scholarship is an
Engage in Scholarship       integral component of the faculty role,
                            and that teaching itself is a scholarly
                            activity. …