Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

From Bedside to Classroom: The Nurse Educator Transition Model

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

From Bedside to Classroom: The Nurse Educator Transition Model

Article excerpt

R E S E A R C H

ABSTRACT

Aim. The purpose of this qualitative study was to generate a theoretical model that describes the social process that occurs during the role transition from nurse to nurse educator.

Background. Recruitment and retention of qualified nurse educators is essential in order to remedy the current staffnurse and faculty shortage in the United States, yet nursing schools face many challenges in this area.

Methods. This grounded theory study utilized purposive, theoretical sampling to identify 20 nurse educators teaching in baccalaureate nursing programs in the Midwest.

Results. The Nurse Educator Transition (NET) model was created from these data. This model identifies four phases in the role transition from nurse to nurse educator: a) the Anticipatory/Expectation Phase, b) the Disorientation Phase, c) the Information-Seeking Phase, and d) the Identity Formation Phase.

Conclusions. Recommendations include integrating formal pedagogical education into nursing graduate programs and creating evidence-based orientation and mentoring programs for novice nurse faculty.

Key Words Mentoring - Novice Faculty - Nurse Educator Orientation - Transition

RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF QUALIFIED NURSE EDUCATORS IS CRITICAL TO ADDRESS THE CURRENT FACULTY AND STAFF NURSE SHORTAGES IN THE UNITED STATES, YET NURSING SCHOOLS FACE MANY CHALLENGES IN THIS AREA. Today, novice nurse educators enter the academic setting with far less formal preparation for teaching than their colleagues did a generation ago. Few have formal preparation for teaching (Zungolo, 2004), and orientation programs for new faculty widely vary among postsecondary institutions (Morin & Ashton, 2004).

Prior to 1970, most master's degree programs in nursing were centered on preparation for nursing administration or education (McKevitt, 1986). However, in 1969, the American Nurses Association (ANA) issued a statement calling for graduate programs to shifttheir focus toward clinical specialization and "the preparation of nurse clinicians capable of improving nursing care through the advancement of nursing theory and science" (ANA, 1969, p. 2). The result was a rapid paradigm shiftin graduate nursing education.

According to McKevitt (1986), there was a significant decline in the number of graduate programs offering nursing education as a primary area of study between 1979 and 1984. A survey by Oermann and Jamison (1989) of 92 nursing graduate programs found that only 11 percent of these schools offered a major in nursing education at the master's level in 1989. During the 1990s, only 4 percent of nurses enrolled in master's programs were pursuing degrees to prepare them for a faculty role (National League for Nursing [NLN], 2002).

Transitioning into Academic Nursing Since the movement toward clinical specialization in graduate nursing education began, researchers have written about the difficult transition from nurse to nurse educator. Citing a lack of preparation for teaching, Esper (1995) described the struggles that nurse clinicians face when they find that the academic setting values different skills and accomplishments than the clinical setting. Locasto and Kochanek (1989) used Kramer's theory of "reality shock" to describe this role transition, suggesting that new nurse educators experience a "honeymoon phase," a "shock and rejection phase," and a "resolution phase" as they adapt to their new role.

More recently, qualitative inquiries have sought to describe the experiences of both novice and expert nurse educators in an attempt to identify strategies to improve recruitment and retention. Siler and Kleiner (2001) and Scanlan (2001) interviewed novice and experienced nursing faculty members about their transition to academia. Participants in both studies described the academic environment as unfamiliar, with a lack of guidance and orientation. Scanlan concluded that this unstructured environment forced novice educators to learn to teach by "trial and error on the job" (p. …

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