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Professional Development for Certified Nurse Educators

Instructor: Tara Schickel

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

This lesson will describe various ways nurse educators can develop themselves professionally. The topics discussed will include the importance of maintaining clinical knowledge, being surrounded by supporters, engaging in life-long learning, and participating in training opportunities.

We Must Not Get Stuck!

Do you work in the profession of nursing education? Many of us who have journeyed into this field of work find it extremely rewarding and fulfilling. However, there is an important trap we need to avoid; the trap of becoming stagnant in our own growth and development. As those who serve and educate other nurses, it is easy to allow our own development to lapse. Students appreciate educators who keep up with the latest research and knowledge of how to best educate and teach in this ever-changing profession. This lesson will describe some ways that Sally, a nurse educator, develops herself.

Don't Get Too Far-Removed from the Bedside

Sally is a nurse educator who teaches in the classroom and the clinical setting. In order to ensure her students get the best experiences when they go to the clinical unit to practice, she has taken a PRN job on that unit, which allows Sally to work when she is available. It is not full-time, so it gives the flexibility of choosing the frequency of work and the shifts. As a result of working on a unit, Sally knows the workflow and the types of patients they typically receive. She has also built relationships with the nursing staff, and knows the nurses who enjoy working with students and are capable of teaching. Having this knowledge allows Sally to keep updated on bedside care, but also provide her students with solid clinical experiences. Nursing students place a high amount of value on instructors who currently work in bedside care.

Even We Need Support

Sally has a lot in common with other nurse educators. She needs the support of other teachers in her local area who understand the challenges and rewards of teaching. Sally seeks this support by belonging to a local chapter of the Association for Nurses in Professional Development (ANPD). These nurses gather on a regular basis to share ideas about how to be more effective educators. Sally makes the most of this support by volunteering for committees within the chapter and offering to lead some of the meetings. If you are in an area that does not have a local ANPD chapter, the national organization can offer help in starting one.

There are many other professional organizations that are beneficial to nurse educators. The Professional Nurse Educators Group (PNEG) hosts national conferences and provides year-round support for nurse educators. The National League for Nursing (NLN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) are wonderful groups that provide support, education, and networking for nurse educators.

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