Dear Instructor...

  1. when i was 19, i attempted nursing school. after 3 months in the program, i felt overwhelmed, sick, tired, and crazy!!! it seemed that the instructors in that program had very little understanding of what it took to be a "good" nursing instructor. they had very little empathy for their students, they had very little time to "listen", and they seemed almost clueless as to what we were going through.

    flash forward to 2008 and 30 years old. after teaching elementary (and loving it) for the last 5 years, i had the opportunity to enter a second degree bsn program through texas tech health science center in odessa, texas. the year i quit teaching, i received an award for teacher of the year. i knew that sincerely caring about your students and their success had a major impact on their learning outcomes. letting the students know that you are human and that you too have made mistakes makes them more likely to admit their mistakes and learn from them rather than trying to cover them up out of fear.

    apparently, the instructors from my program had already mastered the art of caring about their students before i came along. the instructors in this program are out of this world! they are very down to earth people that understand your stress over finishing papers, passing tests, paying your bills, etc. they invite us to come in or call whenever we need them. they provide us with their cell phone numbers and tell us to call whenever we need something (and we do without hesitation!). i think this is called "holistic teaching" when you not only teach your students, but you sincerely care about them as a whole person.

    when i think back to the instructors from my first experience, i never got to know the real people behind the teacher. i think this prevented me from being honest and open with them when i felt like things were just getting too overwhelming! i didn't feel like i could confide in them because it seemed that they were always in "gotcha mode".

    so, instructors, the next time you go to visit your students at clinicals or sit down to give them a test, invite the students to stay after class and drink a cup of coffee and talk about what's on their mind or sit down with the students outside of class and ask what they think could be changed about the program to make it more student friendly. also, don't be afraid to share your mistakes and let them know that you are human too. i think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results!

    this is just a little suggestion from a fellow teacher and current student! one of the best ways to become a better teacher is to become a student again.
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   cursedandblessed
    My first semester instructors were wonderful people. My peds/maternity instructors were the most loving caring people anyone would ever want to met. To the instructors who make it all a wonderful experience, we really do appreciate you.
  4. by   fiveofpeep
    yeah I seriously think I wouldnt have been able to emotionally survive nursing school if it werent for my amazing clinical instructors to balance out the bureaucracy and really crappy lecture instructors.
  5. by   classicdame
    I agree, being a student helps you as a teacher. I also think some immature students blame the instructor for their own failings. Good teachers, of any sort, are a blessing to society.
  6. by   Daytonite
    knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
    martin h. fischer

    wisdom begins at the end.
    daniel webster
  7. by   KAYBDT6
    Kwoledge is power. I give kudo to all my instructor expecially my Med surg instuctor. She is such an ANGEL!!! Some good ones deserve to be praise and honored.
  8. by   ImMrBill3, RN
    I've had a mix, mostly excellent. With the tough ones or the less organized ones I tried to concentrate on my learning first and their ideas of what was important second. I have done very well in a BSN program. My fellow students have been the best support and assistance (them and
  9. by   cursedandblessed
    i found one of my first rotation instructors yesterday on campus and she gave me such a huge hug. it was really great.
  10. by   Sarah Hay
    Wow. I wish my instructor would take a chill pill. You know, nursing instructors are ALWAYS RIGHT ... but the other day my professor said that you gain fluid intelligence by increasing your intake of fluids. -sigh-

    :redpinkhe Sarah Hay, SN
  11. by   Nursetastic
    Quote from Sarah Hay
    Wow. I wish my instructor would take a chill pill. You know, nursing instructors are ALWAYS RIGHT ... but the other day my professor said that you gain fluid intelligence by increasing your intake of fluids. -sigh-

    :redpinkhe Sarah Hay, SN
    We had a Child Health instructor tell us that thyroid stimulating hormone is released by the thyroid gland . That was right after the lecture in which we learned about the Islands of Langerhands and Diabetes mellinus . Thank goodness we are a rather intelligent group of students and simply laughed these off, as we have become quite accustomed to her mispronunciations and misguided information. Then we quickly thanked our Adult Health instructor for being the glue that has held our intelligence together all these months .
  12. by   suanna
    I would add that please treat your students as adults- not children. Students in a BSN program are at least in thier earily to mid 20's if not older. Condescension and belittling is disrespectful and counterproductive. If you want to have them develop an affect of an educated health care professional then start by treating them as such- your MSN dosen't impart deification! (maybe a PHDRN does- most of my instructors haden't gone that far). If you rstudents cannot behave as adults then don't treat them like children- kick them out! I don't want them working with me as a nurse, and there are plenty of other students hoping for a place in the program.