Nursing Academia We Need New Blood! - page 4

The average age of academic nurse educators in the u.s. is 55.5 years. Meanwhile, the average age at which nurse faculty members retire is 62.5 years. it is not surprising, therefore, that at least 40% of currently-practicing... Read More

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    Quote from mindlor
    haha I am 47 but by the time time I am prepared educationally and experientially to teach nursing I will be well into my 50's. However, like many of my contemporaries I have an extreme Peter Pan complex LOL

    As many have said, pay and benefits are the central issue here....if schools want dynamic younger teachers, they are going to have to pay up. Things will not improve as you are hoping until that occurs.....

    Why should someone become an adjunct and work for peanuts when they can go make 100G per year practicing.....?
    A fellow Boomer who never wants to grow old! We Boomers will redefine aging and the entire phenomenon of retirement. I personally like the idea of the oxymoron "working retirement."

    I agree with you on all points. In terms of increasing salaries or incentives for nurse educators, don't see this happening in the near future. In fact, we are trending the other way. Our salaries are frozen or being reduced, our benefits are being cut while we are paying more for them, and our workloads are increasing, all due to dire state budget issues. However, I am still very grateful to have a job I love and I feel I am making a difference in my students' lives.

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  2. 2
    Quote from VickyRN
    In terms of younger faculty, I would like to see nurses just two or three years out of our BSN program start taking courses towards a career in nursing education. Right now, this is rare - only see a select few. Most want to becomes NPs or CRNAs.

    Hi VickyRN,

    2-3 years out of a BSN program may be too soon (unless the nurse has already has years of experience in another nursing degree and has been working in the specialty the nurse is teaching).

    Nursing is based heavily in critical thinking and strong communication skills, both which may take years to master from novice. For example, in the operating room, a nurse cannot sit for the CNOR exam unless the nurse has 2 years of experience in the OR. The nurse would then be considered an competent in the OR. In theory, from passing this test, the nurse qualifies as an OR expert. In reality, this expertise further develops for years to come, as in any specialty. At what point is an individual quailified to teach? What do you think?
    Last edit by linguine on Nov 29, '11
    Altra and VickyRN like this.
  3. 1
    Yes yes I hear you

    Sadly though it seems to me that the younger folk coming up are a little less altuistic and a little more materialistic than many of us boomers. These young folk want the lexus, the 4000 sq foot house and the finer things in life. It is the "me" generation.

    So, for the foreseeable future the bulk of nurse educators are going to be boomers with a few young folk thrown in here and there. The other problem is that many of the less reputable private nursing programs charge big bucks and are able to pay much more than public programs...

    So, we are seeing a brain drain in that direction as well....sadly
    VickyRN likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from linguine
    Hi VickyRN,

    2-3 years out of a BSN program may be too soon (unless the nurse has already has years of experience in another nursing degree and has been working in the specialty the nurse is teaching).

    Nursing is based heavily in critical thinking and strong communication skills, both which may take years to master from novice. For example, in the operating room, a nurse cannot sit for the CNOR exam unless the nurse has 2 years of experience in the OR. The nurse would then be considered an "expert" in the OR. In theory, from passing this test, the nurse qualifies as an OR expert. In reality, this expertise further develops for years to come, as in any specialty. At what point is an individual quailified to teach? What do you think?
    Good point and good question. According to Benner's theory, it can take 3 to 5 years to reach the "proficient" to "expert" status in just one area of nursing. What I would like to see is our graduates start to take courses towards an eventual degree of MSN-Nursing Education, while they are 2 to 3 years out. That way, when they graduate (another ~ 2 years later), they will have sufficient clinical and critical thinking expertise in at least one practice area. As novice nurse educators, they will still need another 3 to 5 years to become proficient in teaching.
  5. 3
    Quote from mindlor
    Yes yes I hear you

    Sadly though it seems to me that the younger folk coming up are a little less altuistic and a little more materialistic than many of us boomers. These young folk want the lexus, the 4000 sq foot house and the finer things in life. It is the "me" generation.

    So, for the foreseeable future the bulk of nurse educators are going to be boomers with a few young folk thrown in here and there. The other problem is that many of the less reputable private nursing programs charge big bucks and are able to pay much more than public programs...

    So, we are seeing a brain drain in that direction as well....sadly

    Where does technology fit into this?

    Educational institutions should invest more in technology (computers, PDA devices). Courses that are lecture or discuss based could be facilities via internet. This strategy could reduce tuition cost, engage students in a different context and provide more flxibility to the faculty (versus monetary compensation.)

    As someone has mentioned already.. some instructors rely heavily on power points. This issue is more of a style difference than technological problem. My favorite lectures in school were all online--mainly because I could pause the voiceovers and takes notes. If we had any questions, we can post them on the class discussion board, call, e-mail or visit the office hours of our professors. Having the lectures online did not make me (can't say for other students) less engaging, but rather, more engaged with the material as the pace provided more time to think and reflect. The quality of animations nowadays are vivid too.

    The higher educational institution in America has become one of socialization than academics. One benefit of online learning is that the focus is more one (academics) than the other it seems (assuming the students does not have all the social media sites open while studying.)
    hope3456, nursel56, and VickyRN like this.
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    Quote from linguine
    Where does technology fit into this?

    Educational institutions should invest more in technology (computers, PDA devices). Courses that are lecture or discuss based could be facilities via internet. This strategy could reduce tuition cost, engage students in a different context and provide more flxibility to the faculty (versus monetary compensation.)

    As someone has mentioned already.. some instructors rely heavily on power points. This issue is more of a style difference than technological problem. My favorite lectures in school were all online--mainly because I could pause the voiceovers and takes notes. If we had any questions, we can post them on the class discussion board, call, e-mail or visit the office hours of our professors. Having the lectures online did not make me (can't say for other students) less engaging, but rather, more engaged with the material as the pace provided more time to think and reflect. The quality of animations nowadays are vivid too.

    The higher educational institution in America has become one of socialization than academics. One benefit of online learning is that the focus is more one (academics) than the other it seems (assuming the students does not have all the social media sites open while studying.)
    Excellent points. Through the use of technology we can potentially teach more effectively and more efficiently with fewer instructors. Millennials, particularly, love technology and often demand PowerPoints, the use of YouTube videos, question-and-answer sessions, small group discussions, and other multimedia modes to learning. One thing that doesn't work well with Millennials is requiring them to sit quietly and listen to a lecture for more than 20 minutes at a time. Their attention drifts quickly and they get antsy. To facilitate their learning, they need more stimulating and engaging methods of teaching.

    In terms of online courses versus brick and mortar schools, not every student has the self-discipline, self-direction, and organization that is required to be successful with the online modality. These students need face-to-face personal interaction and the stimulation of a classroom of their peers. In undergraduate prelicensure nursing programs, many subjects (such as foundation or assessment labs) have to be taught face-to-face and hands-on. Also, prelicensure nursing programs are very faculty-intensive, in that clinicals are restricted to no more than 10 students per one instructor.
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    A couple of things that aren't necessarily related to each other:

    1. Putting things online doesn't always make things cheaper. In fact, it can be more expensive. I teach online and it is very time consuming for the instructor and can be quite expensive for the school if it is done well. Experts in the field are very quick to point out that there is not always a cost savings when moving things online.

    2. I agree that there are too many nursing schools. But before someone responds about the number of students being turned away, consider these aspects of the situation:
    a. Many of these schools are small, and therefore, very inefficient. They each need a library, a learning lab, administrators, faculty, buildings, etc. If these small schools were closed -- or consolidated into one big one -- the resources could be shared, resulting in a major cost savings. Instead of them each looking for a part time, adjunct peds instructor ... they could pool the money and hire a full time pediatric instructor and pay him/her a decent salary with full benefits. It would be a win-win-win situation for the school, the instructor, and for the students.

    b. While some very qualified students have trouble getting into nursing school because the schools can't find enough clinical slots ... a lot of those slots are taken by schools who have very low admission standards. I talk to some students who are barely articulate and go to schools with bad reputations ... but there they are, occupying slots that could be used for more qualified students. The "industry" needs a good "shake out." We should all support our Boards of Nursing when they try to sanction and/or close down poorly performing schools -- of which there are many. That would make room for the good students.

    c. Schools are often UNREASONABLY slow to change their ways. There are ways to address the limited availability of clinical slots and faculty -- and they all just shake there heads and say something like, "Oh, but that would require we change the way we do things. We can't do that. Making changes in just too hard and there are too many committees that would have to approve." If schools really want to solve the problems, they can do it ... but they will have to learn to be responsive to a changing environment and stop being entrenched in their old-fashioned ideas about nursing education. For example, not every student NEEDS the exact same clinical experiences in all the specialty areas. Reserve the most difficult experiences to get for those students really interested in those specialties, etc.

    As I have said many times before ... schools can fix this problem if they really want to. Schools find the money for sports stadiums, for law professors, for computer science professors, business and economics professors, etc. -- and pay faculty in other disciplines more money than nursing instructors all the time. But most pay nursing faculty on the same payscale as the humanities and social sciences faculties -- where people who only have Master's Degrees are grad students working on the PhD's who are getting tuition reimbursement as well as their salary and who are happy to have a job in their field that gives them valuable experience while they are in school. Nursing is not in the same situation. It's compensation needs to be looked at through a different paradigm.

    When nursing schools start considering their issues with new paradigms, they'll find plenty of possible routes to take to solve their problems. But as long as they are using the paradigms of the 1950's and 1960's, they will be out-of-sync with reality and unlikely to make much progress.
    mystory, hope3456, cfaith, and 2 others like this.
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    I'm someone who's young and interested in eventually teaching. If accepted, I'll start my MSN in education next summer. However, because I'm expecting tuition reimbursement from my employer, I'll be expected to remain there for several years. Teaching may have to be done as a part time position, and to be honest, I'm not sure I'd be fully qualified since my experience is solely OR. I've never worked anywhere else, and there aren't many schools out there that offer OR as a class/clinical. (Wish there were, but that's another post)
    hope3456 and VickyRN like this.
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    I don't have any hard data to prove the point, but it seems to me that nursing, more than any other profession I'm familiar with, has a chasm-like disconnect between the academic world and the "real working nurse" world. It isn't a matter of age. It's a matter of perceived connections between what is taught in school and the reality of work, considerably dampening the enthusiasm people might feel for teaching otherwise. It's really striking to read the amount of animosity many working nurses feel toward "the ivory tower". They seem to feel academia is insular, intransigent and dogmatic to the point of exasperation (not my opinion!)I think more people are attracted to a job by the thought "I want to be one of them than they are "I want to shake things up".

    Those brave few educators/faculty members who post here really need to don the triple-thickness fireproof suit to venture their thoughts. To be honest, it really upsets me to see - because I've gotten to know them as people and they are trying to do their best to explain the relevance of their education in the middle of a noisy room full of dissenters. I don't have a study, citations or footnotes to "prove" this -- I readily admit it. I just don't hear it from other disciplines. Just my .002
    MandaRN94, hope3456, and VickyRN like this.
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    llg thanks for this comment.
    "While some very qualified students have trouble getting into nursing school because the schools can't find enough clinical slots ... a lot of those slots are taken by schools who have very low admission standards. I talk to some students who are barely articulate and go to schools with bad reputations ... but there they are, occupying slots that could be used for more qualified students. The "industry" needs a good "shake out." We should all support our Boards of Nursing when they try to sanction and/or close down poorly performing schools -- of which there are many. That would make room for the good students."

    It was the lack of being able to screen students and the inablity to dismiss students like this which lead me to leave teaching nursing after nearly 13 years. The individual students such as those you discribe are now who I deal with as a nurse educator in orientation. I too believe myself to be young! I'm only 46 now and left the CC system some 100 years ago. I took a lower paying job just to escape the stress and long hours. I feel as if I broke even.

    Best of Luck to all Educators out there!
    nursel56, llg, and VickyRN like this.


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