Role Modeling in Nursing Programs

Instructor: Bethany Lieberman

Bethany is a certified OB/GYN nurse who has a master's degree in Nursing Education.

In this lesson you will learn about the functions of a Certified Nurse Educator. You'll also learn how educators can serve as role models to promote positive professional behavior for nursing students.

Having A Bad Day

A large crash was heard at the nurse's station. Jennifer (a student nurse) just got off the phone with a physician and appeared to be so frustrated with her encounter that she slammed the telephone onto the receiver and tossed her patient's medical record to the floor. The hustling and bustling staff came to a halt as all heads turned in Jennifer's direction to see what the commotion was about. ''What are you looking at?'' Jennifer hissed to the nurses who'd turned in her direction as she stormed off toward the break room.

Nurse Educator To The Rescue

Cindy, the unit's Certified Nurse Educator, overheard the gossip from the nurses who had witnessed Jennifer's outburst. She sought out Jennifer to determine whether she could intervene. Cindy found Jennifer pacing the floor of the break room in an agitated state. She explained to Jennifer that her role as a Certified Nurse Educator assigned to the unit is to help nurses function independently with the latest up-to-date skills. However, her job also includes recognizing how social interactions can impact day-to-day interactions on a nurse's unit. Cindy also related that her job as an educator is to serve as a role model. As a role model she demonstrates professional behavior and provides examples of the values and behaviors important to integrate into daily practice. As a Certified Nurse Educator, Cindy wants to promote a positive culture and climate on the ward.

Unprofessional Behavior

Cindy explained that outbursts and rude gestures toward other staff are a form of lateral violence. Lateral violence can be construed as a type of bullying in the workplace and makes it uncomfortable for other nurses to work around you. Most of the time nurses do not realize they are conducting themselves unprofessionally until it is brought to their attention; an effective solution involves raising awareness so that corrected behavior can occur. Cindy states that she would like to take Jennifer 'under her wing' and help her. Jennifer agrees and feels that she is up to the task.

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