unit based educators

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    We are currently looking into growing unit based educators to handle the staff education, training, etc. Is anyone using this model in their practice setting? Who does the unit based educator report to? Are they required to be masters' prepared? Is there a job description and evaluation tool specific to the role? I would appreciate any info you can share.

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  2. 13 Comments...

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    Hi Syb and welcome to All Nurses. I am a CNS in adult health and interviewed at a hospital which uses the unit-based CNS as the educator. It seemed to work well for them and the staff nurses liked a "go-to" person who would locate the evidence-based practice and best practice info and then return the info to the staff nurse.

    I found this at at the Massachusetts General Hospital site:


    The VA is also on the forefront of using unit-based CNS's to provide education:

    "Nancy Chang, RN, MS
    Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator
    Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    Washington, D.C.
    Exceptionally strong organizational, leadership, and clinical skills serve Nancy Chang well as she evaluates clinical nursing practices and develops new clinical protocols and performance improvement processes on multiple medical/surgical units, the dialysis unit, community-based outpatient clinics, and the call center. She has collaborated with informatics nurses in developing a new progress note template for improved documentation of care for patients on dialysis."


    Norwood Hospital (again in MA) seems to use this model too:


    Hopefully via some of these resources can point you in the direction of some people that might provide more information for you.
  4. 0
    Thanks for your reply!
    I was actually interested in staff based unit educators. We are looking to 'grow' staff or seek out ones who have demonstrated interest in staff development and education to serve as our point people on the units. I was wondering if it was common practice for this staff to be masters prepared or BSN prepared? Also, is there a job desciption or evaluation tool for this staff based educator position? Thanks for your input.
  5. 0
    Hi Syb! I work as an NP in a SICU setting. Because of that, I have frequent interaction with staff nurses. This SICU is a 42-bed unit with certain sections dedicated to traumas, transplants, vascular surgery, orthopedic surgery, and cardiothoracic surgery.

    Because of the size of the unit, we have a CNS and a number of unit educators that are not MSN-prepared. The unit educators are BSN nurses with high seniority. I work in the cardiothoracic surgery side of the SICU where the unit educators work under the CNS and plan educational check-off's for staff nurses in skills such as epicardial pacing, changing LVAD controllers, hand-pumping LVAD's during a code, etc. There are similar educators for the other sections of the SICU.

    I think this model works best for the nurses because the unit educators are senior nurses who happen to know a lot about our unit and the procedures commonly performed by the nurses there. Hiring more CNS from other hospitals will also work but then, they may not be familiar with the peculiarities of our unit and may need to be retrained.
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    My hospital uses a model similar to the one described by PinoyNP. Our units have one Master's prepared CNS/Staff Development person who reports to a central Staff Development Department ... but then also BSN-prepared unit-based Education Coordinators who do a lot of the day-to-day education. Those Ed. Coordinators make posters on new products, changes in policies, etc. and report to the unit management. The CNS/Staff Development specialists take a larger view and create new programs, oversee programs, etc. and serve as a resource/mentor for the Ed. Coordinators.
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    I have an interview for a CV Educator tomorrow for the CV service line (Open heart & Cath Lab.) The job was posted as a CNS position, (I'm a BSN, CCRN) but I got the interview based on my experience in the field and a hefty recommendation from a doc who will be working there. I'm a little concerned because there is no job description, and the CNO seems to want me to tell them what needs to be done. I'm just glad to spread my wings and step back from the 12 hour bedside stuff. Wish me luck.
  8. 0
    Good luck.
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    Our hospital did this for a few years and the staff liked it. However, the Educators were 'asked' to pick up responsibility for many other educational and Human Resource needs throughout the hospital. Not only did their job become unmanageable, but when budget crunches hit, their department felt it first. One by one, they accepted other positions as they became available. The hospital is trying to fill their shoes but the word is quickly spreading that the Educator role in our hospital isn't valued by administration and it's security is questionable.
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    I'm a unit based educator for Med-surg. I am BSN prepared but plan to return for my MSN when my daughter gets older) I have @ 200 nurses on my units. I have two main jobs; educational classes and managing orientation of new hires. Other responsibilities include yearly competencies, CPR and ACLS instructor, JCAHO committee, Pain Expert (new program), Code Blue committee, Products, updating policy and procedure, orienting travel nurses. Although I'm not considered management, I have the job of counseling new hires and writing action plans when there are problems with their performance. There's more, but I can't think now! I would be glad to share any information with you about our program.
  11. 0
    Welp, got the job offer. After staff training is complete (is it ever?!), it will turn into a primarily management role (probably over stepdown ICU.) I'm concerned re: $$. The offer is not much over what I'm making as a staffer, and it is salaried so I won't get shift diff/overtime. Any advice? They really want me so I feel that I have some bargaining room, but don't want to seem greedy. But I've been a nurse long enough to know that big raises don't come along that frequently. I have no clue what the other nurse managers make at this hospital, and salary.com seems pretty low. (Much lower than my staff position.) Any suggestions?

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