Do you think of "Nursing Education" as a nursing specialty? - page 2

This month's survey Question: Do you think of "Nursing Education" as a nursing specialty? Please take a minute to take answer our survey and please feel free to reply to this topic to post any... Read More

  1. by   llg
    Quote from missmercy
    ... It is so exciting to be involved in a profession where there are so many chices, so much to learn and share with others. It is OK with me if you don't want to consider what I do a speciality -- but please, don't start down the slippery slope of calling it something other than nursing. I am a Masters prepared nurse who trains others nurses to be the best they can be: cutting edge technology, current research, new techniques -- while my pt care hours are less than what they used to be (yes, still work out on the floors some),what I do directly affects the level of quality care that the patients in this facility receive.... that's nursing care, nursing education ... that's nursing. IMHO
    This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I wrote a paper as part of my doctoral program called, "Real Nurses." It dealt with the issue of whether or not nurses who were not in direct patient-care roles are "really nurses" or not. I made the case that we are real nurses. We use our nursing knowledge (sometimes combining it with other knowledge) to serve the patients in a variety of ways -- sometimes acting as clinical consultants to staff nurses, sometimes developing new policies and procedures, sometimes improving the environment of care, sometimes teaching direct care-providers, etc. All of things require a knowledge of nursing processes -- and to be done well, they require an advanced level of nursing knowledge.

    Because they require nursing knowledge and are done for the purpose of serving the patient, I believe strongly that roles such as educator, manager, researcher, etc. can be included as a part of "real nursing." The key is -- and this is important -- that the person fulfilling the roles needs to maintain a nursing perspective. To the extent that the nurse practices from the philosophical and theoretical perspective of nursing, he/she stays "a nurse." To the extent that the nurse practices from the philosophical and theoretical perspective of another discipline, then he/she is practicing that other discipline.

    It was the importance of a "nursing perspective" that ended up being the focus of my dissertation. It breaks my heart to see some nurses abandon their nursing perspective (and weaken the discipline) as they integrate knowledge from other fields into their practice. But I see many others maintaining that nursing perspective as they explore other fields and bring that knowledge into their practice. That's one of the things that all the nursing theory and philosophy stuff that so many students hate is all about -- the establishment of a nursing perspective strong enough to maintain its integrity as we explore other fields and are influenced by them.

    Thanks for your post. It made me think, revisiting some issues I hadn't focused on for a while.

    llg
  2. by   VickyRN
    Quote from fergus51
    Honestly, I have never considered it a specialty probably because I don't consider it nursing. It's a completely different job.
    Although I appreciate your perspective, I must state that I respectfully disagree. To be a truly great nursing instructor, one must be the BEST from two distinct areas: the BEST bedside nurse (often in a variety of clinical settings) and the BEST instructor (which often takes years of practice, education, and constant self-evaluation).
    When that clinical nursing instructor takes a group of nursing students up to the clinical floor, that nursing instructor better know her stuff His/her very license is on the line as all 6-10 students are operating under it! The students are also looking to the instructor as a role model--the instructor's clinical knowledge and skills must be current, the instructor must possess awesome critical thinking skills, the instructor must be an expert negotiator and diplomat, and the instructor must be professional at all times (the students watch the instructor carefully, modeling his/her attitude, responses, etc.).
    It is an awesome responsibility and never can be taken lightly.
    Especially with the associate degree nursing instructor, one must be a jack of all trades and be extraordinarily flexible--in my case for instance, I hold clinicals on a general medical-surgical floor in a small community hospital, on a pediatric floor (complete with children on monitors) in a large teaching hospital, and on a cardiac surgery stepdown unit (also in the large teaching hospital). If need be, I can also step in and hold clinicals on the postpartum floor and in the newborn nursery.
  3. by   VickyRN
    llg, thanks for stating so eloquently what is also near and dear to my heart.

    Quote from llg
    This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I wrote a paper as part of my doctoral program called, "Real Nurses." It dealt with the issue of whether or not nurses who were not in direct patient-care roles are "really nurses" or not. I made the case that we are real nurses. We use our nursing knowledge (sometimes combining it with other knowledge) to serve the patients in a variety of ways -- sometimes acting as clinical consultants to staff nurses, sometimes developing new policies and procedures, sometimes improving the environment of care, sometimes teaching direct care-providers, etc. All of things require a knowledge of nursing processes -- and to be done well, they require an advanced level of nursing knowledge.

    Because they require nursing knowledge and are done for the purpose of serving the patient, I believe strongly that roles such as educator, manager, researcher, etc. can be included as a part of "real nursing." The key is -- and this is important -- that the person fulfilling the roles needs to maintain a nursing perspective. To the extent that the nurse practices from the philosophical and theoretical perspective of nursing, he/she stays "a nurse." To the extent that the nurse practices from the philosophical and theoretical perspective of another discipline, then he/she is practicing that other discipline.

    It was the importance of a "nursing perspective" that ended up being the focus of my dissertation. It breaks my heart to see some nurses abandon their nursing perspective (and weaken the discipline) as they integrate knowledge from other fields into their practice. But I see many others maintaining that nursing perspective as they explore other fields and bring that knowledge into their practice. That's one of the things that all the nursing theory and philosophy stuff that so many students hate is all about -- the establishment of a nursing perspective strong enough to maintain its integrity as we explore other fields and are influenced by them.

    Thanks for your post. It made me think, revisiting some issues I hadn't focused on for a while.

    llg
  4. by   fergus51
    I don't mean to imply that nursing instructors aren't excellent nurses who serve patients and I would NEVER try to imply they aren't valuable experts.

    I just think teaching someone to do something is not the same as doing it. I had nursing instructors who were excellent nurses, and I had others who were excellent instructors and some that were both. If I am honest, I had some instructors who were lecturers, not really any different than a history professor, so I made the distinction. I also didn't consider my history teacher to be a historian.... To be a good nurse educator, you obviously have to possess specialized knowledge, and that's true of every area of nursing. I guess I see nurse educators in the same way as I see nurse managers, nurse researchers, nurse legal consultants and nursing informatics nurses (as an essential part of the profession, but a different animal).
  5. by   fergus51
    Quote from llg
    To the extent that the nurse practices from the philosophical and theoretical perspective of nursing, he/she stays "a nurse." To the extent that the nurse practices from the philosophical and theoretical perspective of another discipline, then he/she is practicing that other discipline.

    llg
    I think this is the root of how my opinion formed and you state it very well. Some nurse educators remain nurses, others take on the educator role and leave nursing behind.
  6. by   llg
    Quote from fergus51
    I think this is the root of how my opinion formed and you state it very well. Some nurse educators remain nurses, others take on the educator role and leave nursing behind.
    It's so satisfying to have someone else understand what you are trying to say. Thank you!

    llg
  7. by   purplemania
    As an educator I have to stay abreast of new developments, new medications and new practices and be able to teach both the veteran nurse and new graduate in the same classroom. This job is as hard as working on the floor, but in different ways.
  8. by   fergus51
    Quote from llg
    It's so satisfying to have someone else understand what you are trying to say. Thank you!

    llg
    LOL! :chuckle You're very welcome. You put what I felt into words better than I could have I thank you for that.
  9. by   Mars
    Quote from Wintrsday
    I voted "no" that nursing educators are not specialists and let me tell you why, most of those who are hired to be nursing educators (I am talking about those who teach staff nurses in the hospital setting) have no specialized training whatsoever. The nurse on our unit who is a nursing educator got the position solely on the fact that no one else applied. The same can be said of other units in our hospital, there are no certification programs required, no special classes or training, only that they have a BSN. For the two nurses who teach clinicals for the college, no special liscensing or training were required, again only a BSN. One is a nurse I have great respect for and am very happy to have teach our next generation of nurses, she is knowledgable, caring and gives great care to our patients. The other I have very little respect for, I hate to follow as the nurse after her, she does not give good care, and she is teaching the next generation of RN's?
    Just because an individual is not a good educator doesn't mean it is not a speciality practice. In fact just the opposite is apparent. Just being a nurse does not a nursing educator make.

    As for the very good educator- In the BSN program I attended there was a very heavy emphasis on education of patients, families and co-workers. I feeel blessed that we received so much instruction in education as I feel that has greatly enhanced my own nursing practice.

    There is a whole body of information and research on how to teach, how to do it effectively, how to evaluate the results, and how to be a great instructor. Yes, unequiviocally it is a speciallity.
  10. by   liza tamkin
    I agree that there is lots of research and courses which people can take to learn how to teach/instruct effectively but it doesn't matter how much research etc a person reads or how many courses a person attends I still don't view it as a specialty in nursing we are all called to be educators some of us are better than others. I think it is time to stop breaking every component of nursing down into a specialty and bring back the holistic nursing and holistc patient care get back to basics and lets just be great all round nurses!!!
  11. by   Panthress
    It is more a a Teaching Speacialty than a Nursing specialty
  12. by   errnwith3kids
    Nursing education is definitely a specialty. It isn't something you can just do; you must have extra education (a MSN- the same as all specialty nursing- NPs, CRNAs, CNMs, and CNSs). The difference is the specialty of clinical experience, which educators do not necessarily get. However, I can tell you after my 2 years doing my MSN I dare someone to tell me I am not a specialist compared to my peers. I have a tremendous amount of education and have worked hard to gain the knowledge to teach.
  13. by   midwiftippitoes
    Quote from VickyRN
    Although I appreciate your perspective, I must state that I respectfully disagree. To be a truly great nursing instructor, one must be the BEST from two distinct areas: the BEST bedside nurse (often in a variety of clinical settings) and the BEST instructor (which often takes years of practice, education, and constant self-evaluation).
    When that clinical nursing instructor takes a group of nursing students up to the clinical floor, that nursing instructor better know her stuff His/her very license is on the line as all 6-10 students are operating under it! The students are also looking to the instructor as a role model--the instructor's clinical knowledge and skills must be current, the instructor must possess awesome critical thinking skills, the instructor must be an expert negotiator and diplomat, and the instructor must be professional at all times (the students watch the instructor carefully, modeling his/her attitude, responses, etc.).
    It is an awesome responsibility and never can be taken lightly.
    Especially with the associate degree nursing instructor, one must be a jack of all trades and be extraordinarily flexible--in my case for instance, I hold clinicals on a general medical-surgical floor in a small community hospital, on a pediatric floor (complete with children on monitors) in a large teaching hospital, and on a cardiac surgery stepdown unit (also in the large teaching hospital). If need be, I can also step in and hold clinicals on the postpartum floor and in the newborn nursery.

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