Qualities of a good nursing instructor?

  1. I have been a nursing instructor for less than a year and would like to get some input from nursing students. I want my students to enjoy their psychiatric mental health rotation while they learn. I would like to know from students what instructors can do to make their education a positive experience.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   GPatty
    Be kind...
    Be understanding...
    Remember what it was like to be in their shoes, not knowing too much and expected to remember everything!
    Good Luck to you!
    Julie
  4. by   essarge
    I agree with Julie. I would also like to add that an instructor needs to add a human side to it. Tell stories of their experiences and DON'T READ THE LECTURE NOTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. by   NurzofFaith
    I had my pysch rotation last fall, we do it during our next to last semester.
    I went in not knowing what to expect clinically. I have taken courses before that discussed mental illness but had never seen it in reality.

    I had an awesome instructor and will share the qualities I found important.
    Be fair, be realistic in your expectations of your students and their reactions to this area of medicine. It is hard to understand that these patients are ill, as they present as healthy in appearance, which is so unlike anything I had seen thus far.

    Be willing to listen to the students, use constructive ways to teach them this subject. We learned a lot through case studies..these were all real life too...only the names had been changed. Be willing to share your experiences.

    Do not comprimise on professionalism, some students will take any comprimise and run with it! Demand professionalism, and confidentiality. We actually had an issue with this, a few of my clinical classmates had a problem with loose tongues and unfortunately the instructor had to babysit, which hurt my experience. Expect the students to KNOW the meds, we have to be prepared.

    I agree with all the posts above. I think a relaxed but professional environment will encourage expression amongst your students. Encourage them to journal to you personally even..commenting to them. I loved this one on one my instructor took for just me and my thoughts on this clinical area.


    I hope this helps some. I walked away with so much, I think it took an open mind and an open heart.

    Channa
  6. by   berry
    I will graduate in July I have encountered quite a few different styles of teachers. My advice

    1. Is demand professionalism and when you lay down a rule or a deadline stick to it. I know everybody complains about the harda##es but they also respect and enjoy the class more or at least I do (maybe because I started the professional part of my program a week after I left active duty)

    2. Don't bs an answer admit you don't know it and get back to me later or better yet tell me to research it and left you know what I found out.

    3. Short answer questions on the test at least half of it. I know the multiple choice NCLEX style application questions will prepare us for the big test but I know too many people who are going to guess themselves into a BSN. Short answer will give them and you a true idea of what we know and how well we can apply it.

    4. Don't just read to me for 4 hours I bought the book and have the notes.

    Just some of my likes and dislikes

    But no matter what you do somebody will be cursing you at the end of the day
    Good luck
  7. by   zacarias
    Great thread!

    The most important thing to me is for a teacher to VALIDATE what the student says. If a student makes a comment, even if it's wrong, to at least validate it and say something like "I understand your line of thinking" or "I see where you're coming from" and then continue. This shows to the student that no matter the accuracy of their understanding/comments, the teacher DID listen to them. I can't tell you how many times I say a comment that I'm very sure is correct and the teacher never validates it and makes me feel very stupid. Just a tip.

    Z
  8. by   StudentSandra
    originally posted by berry
    i will graduate in july i have encountered quite a few different styles of teachers. my advice

    1. is demand professionalism and when you lay down a rule or a deadline stick to it. i know everybody complains about the harda##es but they also respect and enjoy the class more or at least i do (maybe because i started the professional part of my program a week after i left active duty)

    2. don't bs an answer admit you don't know it and get back to me later or better yet tell me to research it and left you know what i found out.

    3. short answer questions on the test at least half of it. i know the multiple choice nclex style application questions will prepare us for the big test but i know too many people who are going to guess themselves into a bsn. short answer will give them and you a true idea of what we know and how well we can apply it.

    4. don't just read to me for 4 hours i bought the book and have the notes.

    just some of my likes and dislikes

    but no matter what you do somebody will be cursing you at the end of the day
    good luck
    excellent points berry, especially # 1, there is nothing i hate more than busting my butt to get an assignment finished then see others turning it in days later. (lol berry, must be that military side)

    be human, read your students faces, if you see something really upsets them, find out why. i haven't had a psych rotation yet, but last semester when we were going over the basic psycosocial material, we were discussing suicide, my instructor noticed i got very quiet (not my norm) on break she came to talk with me. so when dealing with sensitive topics let the students know if they have any "ghosts" to talk with you about it before going to clinicals.

    i am very lucky, i'm in a small program, less than 60 students for both levels, 3 wonderful full time instructors & 2 part time that assist with campus labs & test review.

    good luck cindy, you have the hard part down, you already care about your students. feel free to send me a pm if you would like.
  9. by   marieoct62
    I think everyone has some really good ideas on what a student would like to see in their instructor.
    I Can Tell that you will be a wonderful one just by the fact that you are posting this question out here for students to look at. This shows that you genuinely care about how to get the best educational experience to your students!

    I think the most important things are:
    Remember what it was like to be a student.
    Treat each student as an individual and get to know them, make yourself available to them if they need to see you in private.
    And most of all Constructive Criticisms, Students want feedback and want to know if they are doing something wrong the first time but in a gentle manner.
    Good Luck!
  10. by   CountrifiedRN
    I haven't done a psych rotation yet, but one of the things I really liked was having a constructive pre and post conference. Our clinical instructor from last semester gave each one of us a chance to discuss our pt and our plan of care. (we were able to use a private conference room, which helped a great deal). Then the whole group would ask questions, and provide constructive criticism. It really helped when, say, one of your interventions was not achieving the desired result. Sometimes someone looking at it from a fresh perspective can suggest changing something that you would not have thought of.

    Some of the students in other clinical groups said they really did not go over pt care during their conference time, they focused on skills. Once they heard how our conferences were organized, they felt that they would have benefited from that type of discussion.

    I think it is great that you are seeking info to make the best possible experience for your students. As others have said, that in itself shows that you are a caring person, and caring people make the best teachers!
  11. by   jobear
    You are one of a kind. It's nice to know that you want to make a difference. Psych nursing is difficult to teach because at times it is not measurable. Clear, concise objectives would probably make all the difference in the world. My instructor used NCLEX books to teach from. I think the NCLEX books made the class more fluent, as well as her real word examples that she would slide in as we were going over a particular topic. Thanks for asking, your going to be one of the best. Stef
  12. by   cindyc139
    Thank you so much for the input. I remember what it was like to be a nursing student. Of course that was thirty years ago and I would never treat a student the way that we were treated. I want my students to enjoy their psychiatric rotation and most importantly learn the power of therapeutic communication.

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