Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

A Mixed-Method Study on the Socialization Process in Clinical Nursing Faculty

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

A Mixed-Method Study on the Socialization Process in Clinical Nursing Faculty

Article excerpt



Aim. To explore the socialization process from staffnurse to clinical faculty member and identify an emerging theory of this process. To identify characteristics essential to the clinical faculty role and the areas of role strain experienced by clinical faculty.

Background. Nursing faculty, including clinical faculty, are the greatest area of need in today's nursing shortage. Their retention requires socialization to the role.

Method. In this mixed-method study, 10 clinical faculty shared their experience of transition from staffnurse to faculty in focus groups or interviews and completed the Nursing Clinical Teaching Effectiveness Inventory and Role Strain Scale.

Results. Statistically significant correlations were found between responses to both instruments. Five stages of an emerging substantive theory on socialization of clinical faculty were identified.

Conclusion. There is a process of socialization to the role of clinical faculty member. Administrators and course coordinators can take specific actions in facilitating successful transition to the role.

Key Words Clinical Nursing Faculty - Qualitative Research - Role Strain - Socialization

FINDING AND RETAINING BOTH CLASSROOM AND CLINICAL NURSING FACULTY ARE MAJOR CHALLENGES FOR NURSING DEANS. In unpublished data, the 2009 National League for Nursing (NLN) Annual Survey determined that 81 percent of nursing schools had at least one faculty vacancy. The nursing faculty shortage is expected to increase dramatically because of the aging of faculty and the high numbers expected to retire in the coming years.

One solution to the clinical faculty shortage is moving staffnurses into academic roles. This transition can sometimes be a difficult one because of a "cultural dissonance" between the roles (Schriner, 2007). McDonald (2010) notes that new clinical faculty often go from being expert clinicians to novice educators.

Clinical faculty face the challenge of teaching critical thinking skills to nursing students, but possessing strong clinical skills does not necessarily translate into strong teaching ability (Schriner, 2007). Faced with this discrepancy and presented with many new responsibilities, clinical faculty often experience role strain. Anxiety and confusion have been found to accompany the movement from the clinical arena to academia (Dunham-Taylor, Lynn, Moore, McDaniel, & Walker, 2008).

Expert nurse clinicians who move into the academic setting often find that they are insufficiently prepared for a role that includes supervising students' clinical skills, evaluating their knowledge and actions, providing feedback, and assigning grades for clinical work (Anderson, 2009; Siela, Twibell, & Keller, 2009). Several have noted the need for guidance, support, and socialization of new faculty (Cangelosi, 2006; Cangelosi, Crocker, & Sorrell, 2009; Davidson & Rourke, 2012; Hessler & Ritchie, 2006; MacIntyre, Murray, Teel, & Karshmer, 2009).

The purpose of this mixed-method study was to begin to generate a theory encapsulating the socialization process of new clinical nursing faculty. Such a theory might guide administrators and faculty mentors in helping novice instructors during their transition. Also, this study sought to determine what characteristics might be necessary for effective clinical faculty and whether new clinical faculty experienced role strain.

The study explored the following research questions: What are the social processes and phases of transition to the role of clinical nursing faculty? What characteristics of their role do clinical faculty perceive as vital? What levels of role strain do clinical faculty experience?

Li terature Review Mobily (1991) explored role strain in fulltime tenure-track university nursing faculty using a questionnaire she developed (the Role Strain Scale) and found that the majority reported some degree of role strain; a substantial number reported moderate to high levels, mostly due to role overload and inter-role conflict. …

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