Certified Nurse Educators as Nursing Advocates

Instructor: Tara Schickel

Tara has taught staff nursing courses and has a master's degree in public health.

Nurse educators have a strong influence on others when it comes to the perception of nursing. This article will describe the ways nurse educators can enhance the positive view of nursing with both nursing students and those outside the profession.

Bringing About Change for the Better

As a nurse educator, you are in a unique position to bring about change for the better, change that can influence not only the nursing profession, but also the way people view nurses. We are going to discuss Nancy, a nurse educator, and how she works to bring about positive change within and for our profession.

Leading Students to Become Professionals

As a nurse educator, Nancy has a responsibility to lead her students in becoming strong, competent nurses. Leaders have a strong influence on others. During her work with nursing students, Nancy will not only teach them the skills of nursing, she will also influence their behavior as professionals, their attitudes towards themselves and their commitment to the profession. Imparting an empowered view of nursing to her students is one of the most important elements Nancy can provide as an educator.

Advocating for the Profession

In her professional life, Nancy will have a lot of contact with those who are not in nursing. It is her duty as a nursing leader and educator to act as an advocate for the profession. Being an advocate means bringing understanding on behalf of the nursing profession to those outside the field. Many non-nurses only see small segments of nursing and do not truly understand the many roles of a nurse. Nancy can demonstrate the importance of nursing by explaining the various ways nurses function in society. Nurses act as advocates on behalf of patients to ensure patients understand their care options. Nurses provide care with compassion by treating the patient as a person instead of a disease.

Enhancing the Visibility of Nursing and its Contributions

Nancy is fortunate to be in the role she is in. Her role gives her a great deal of opportunities to enhance the visibility of the nursing profession and its contributions. She can do this in multiple ways:

Nursing Programs

  • Teach students that nursing is more than hands-on skills
  • Emphasize the compassion, patient advocacy, and critical thinking that goes into care

Colleges and Universities

  • Serve on committees outside the nursing department
  • Collaborate with other departments in research endeavors that emphasize what nursing brings to the table

Local Communities

  • Volunteer at health fairs
  • Speak at career days
  • Present the nursing profession to civic groups, community clubs

States and Regions

  • Present evidence based practices at conferences

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