Do you think a nursing instructor should have acute care experience? - page 2

Please help: I have a nagging question regarding becoming a nursing instructor. Do you feel that nursing instructors should have acute care experience? My experience is in geriatrics and community... Read More

  1. by   gerinurse10
    Hi Vicky: just curious do you teach in a college setting? I do tend to sell myself short because I haven't stepped foot in a hospital. I know my strengths but just don't have much to compare them too. I'm hoping that when I start my classes it will open my eyes to a variety of nurses with different backgrounds. I have alot to discover and can't wait to start. If you do teach in a college setting what is a typical day for you? What kind of hours do you work? I have researched a bit around Connecticut for salaries. They average 43k-50k with MSN. 9-10 mo contracts. Looks like one would be responsible to teach 12-15 credits per semester. Is this the norm. Thanks for any info.
  2. by   VickyRN
    Quote from gerinurse10
    Hi Vicky: just curious do you teach in a college setting? I do tend to sell myself short because I haven't stepped foot in a hospital. I know my strengths but just don't have much to compare them too. I'm hoping that when I start my classes it will open my eyes to a variety of nurses with different backgrounds. I have alot to discover and can't wait to start. If you do teach in a college setting what is a typical day for you? What kind of hours do you work? I have researched a bit around Connecticut for salaries. They average 43k-50k with MSN. 9-10 mo contracts. Looks like one would be responsible to teach 12-15 credits per semester. Is this the norm. Thanks for any info.
    One of the toughest OB teachers we had at this school had never set foot in the hospital setting. But you better believe we learned our stuff! And she was competent enough in the hospital clinical setting.
    I teach in a small cc in NC (ironically, the same cc from which I graduated 8 yrs ago). Before I became a nursing instructor, I had been in a variety of settings in the hospital, ranging from delivering babies to taking care of very sick cardiac patients in a level III ICU. Still, even with all this varied experience, I have had to be very versatile in my new role and have held clinicals in settings in which I was not very familiar (such as on a PEDS floor or in a PEDS longterm care facility). I learned quickly to "fly by the seat of my pants" and learn right along with my students.
    Two of our newest instructors have a strong home health and/or hospice background. Another had been an administrator for years, but not out of touch with practice on the hospital floor. All this variety in background has enriched our program and we all have been performing well in the clinical setting. We are learning to celebrate our collective strengths, not dwell on our differences and/or weaknesses.
    Salary issues: NC cc have some of the poorest salaries in the nation. (I am making $10 grand/ year LESS than what I was making as a staff nurse in the hospital.) This is an unfortunate fact, but I try not to dwell on it. I try to think on the positive factors of my job (which are many and rewarding) and be thankful.
    In terms of work, be prepared to put in a LOT of hours for your first three years, not just in preparing the lectures, but also in thoroughly learning the material that you are presenting. After the first three years, the workload does become easier.
    I hope this helps . Again, if this is in your heart, GO FOR IT! We need good nursing instructors.
  3. by   gerinurse10
    Thanks Vicky for the info. It's nice to hear that instructors do have varied backgrounds. Now that I think about it one of my best instructors was one who only had L&D experience but taught us a great deal on a medical floor. So thank you and I am definitely going for it!
  4. by   athomas91
    all of our instructors were REQUIRED to be working at least part-time in the field in which they were teaching (ie: Med surg teach - worked med-surg...etc...) they were only allowed to teach part time in order to fulfill this requirement...
    and more importantly than them all having acute care- i found this to be much more realistic and beneficial to us as students - rather than having an ICU nurse teach us about L&D....just my 2cent
  5. by   fergus51
    I had an ICU nurse for my postpartum rotation. I remember I wanted to do my assignment on the breastfeeding troubles one of my patients was having and she was trying to get me to do it on a baby with a cardiac condition. The only thing was, I had never seen the baby since it was in the NICU. I think she was just so thrilled to hear a familiar word that she couldn't control herself
  6. by   Agnus
    Quote from gerinurse10
    Please help: I have a nagging question regarding becoming a nursing instructor. Do you feel that nursing instructors should have acute care experience? My experience is in geriatrics and community health for about 10 years. I would like to teach community health, gerontology, health assessment, fundamentals of nsg. What would you think if your instructor didn't have acute care experience?
    Given that you will be teaching in the area where you have experience I see no problem. Our part time psyc instructor who's experience was only in psyc taught in the fundamentals class (with another instructor) and was clinical instructor in fundamentals

    Fundamentals should not be a problem. It is after all fundamentals. And you have experience in that by virtue of your geriatrics experience.
    I am sure you do health assessment every day in your work so you are qualified in my book.
    I would prefer an instructor have experience in the area that she teaches and you seem to fill that bill.

    It probably would not be apropriate to teach critical care or some such since your experience lies in a different area.

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