Nursing Academia We Need New Blood! - page 6

by VickyRN Asst. Admin

13,451 Views | 59 Comments

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 hope3456
    Upon further thought - I came back to this site to ask WHAT CONSTITUTES A NURSING STUDENT WHO 'DOESN'T BELONG IN NURSING?' How does one define such a student and how should they be 'weeded out?' Who should be the one to decide this? Who has the 'highest likelihood of success?' Failing students with out a good and consise reason is grounds for discrimination lawsuits.
    Of course it is difficult to devise a system of grading that is fair. But let's face it, that's one of the important functions of a school of nursing. It is the school's job to attempt to teach the student -- and then evaluate whether or not the student has learned the material and will be able to perform adequately in practice. That's why new graduates are not allowed to take the NCLEX until an approved school "endorses" them. When you pay your tuition, you are not only paying for the teaching ... you are paying for the credential the school offers -- the endorsement from the school that says you have have mastered the material.

    If a school does not evaluate student performance and prevent poor performers from getting a license, then the school is not doing its job.

    Here are a few examples of what I mean when I say a student should be flunked out of a nursing program:

    1. Students who are so inarticulate that they struggle to carry on a conversation with me. They can't organize their thoughts, ask questions, explain their own ideas, etc. They speak only in phrases and a collection of grunts and meaningless sounds.

    2. Students whose reading level is not at a high school level -- much less at a college level. They can't read a simple policy or procedure (or set of directions) and understand what they are being told to do.

    3. Students whose math skills (and logical reasoning ability) is so poor that they can't do basic intakes and outputs -- much less med or IV calculations.

    4. Students whose maturity and sense of responsibility is so minimal that they don't do homework, prepare for class, etc. -- and they don't feel any sense of responsibility for meeting the patients' needs. They just do what seems fun to them.

    I am very qualified to make decisions about student progression. I have taught undergraduate students, RN-BSN students, and MSN students. However, I have spent most of my career working in Nursing Professional Development. I've coordinated orientation programs and other staff development programs for 24 years -- trying to take new grads and turn them into functioning professionals. Yes, I'd say I am very qualfied to evaluate the prospects of a nursing student and making judgments about whether they should receive a passing grade for a course or not.

    But unfortunately, some schools won't give failing grades because they want the student to take more courses and pay more money. Other schools are concerned about their acceptance/retention numbers. But I say ... If they have a problem with poor performance and/or attrition, they should revise their admissions criteria and improve the quality of their teaching. Don't just keep low admission standards and them pass the students to the next level regardless of their performance level.
    MandaRN94, mystory, nursel56, and 1 other like this.
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    Ilg - I'm beginning to think that even those "for profit" schools are overlooking issues that they were not in the past. I went to a for profit LVN school many years ago. We had a small group, with some real diverse characters (I mean that in a good way). One of the students was a really sweet person who alluded to but didn't specify prior health problems. All she said was that she wanted to be a nurse because of the wonderful nurses who had taken care of her.

    She was intelligent, but I'd say she just seemed "off" in a lot of small ways that created a worrisome picture. When she talked she shook visibly, glanced all over the place instead of making eye contact, and other nervous mannerisms in the classroom, before we started our clinicals. She wasn't poorly groomed, but her clothes never fit right. The instructors worked with her for several months, but after a few weeks of clinical they let her go from the program. We all felt horrible about it but we knew that despite her intelligence and kind nature she couldn't have functioned effectively as a nurse.

    I believe they refunded all of her tuition money and suggested she may try again at some future point.

    It sounds like by what you are saying they would've let her finish and then be crushed when she couldn't sustain employment as a licensed nurse. We hear for profit schools bashed pretty often here, but I have to say they were not always like that.
    VickyRN likes this.
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    I want to be a nursing school class and clinical instructor, but I can't afford the pay cut. I really enjoyed teaching new nurses at work and also teaching the students that would come for clinical to the units I worked on.

    Just as others have said, the pay is too low and many of the positions are part time. Some are full time hours, but only during certain times of the year and with no benefits. Others have pay that is too low. I can make much more money working no overtime on the floor of the local hospitals than most of the faculity at the local colleges and universities make teaching nursing classes. If I could make the same money as a nursing school instructor as I could working on the floor, I'd do it.

    Also, the school where I went for my ADN had some awful instructors for clinical and also a couple for the classroom parts that were pretty bad. They didn't enjoy their jobs and couldn't teach. Yet, the school had quite a bit of difficulty finding replacements for them. My BSN program was much better in that respect.
    VickyRN likes this.
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    I have to agree with some of the previous posters about not teaching due to the higher level of education loans and there is no good end result. I know with the budget cuts at most community colleges it would be difficult to pay student loans like hospitals do if you work for them for set amount of years. Perhaps colleges could do the same by paying half of the loan? In all the years that I've been in the medical field, I have yet to meet 1 person who said: I want to be a Nurse so I can teach... I only see a solution to the nurses retiring or set to retire-- yet can't due to economic reasons -- perhaps they would be more inclined to teach? Is teaching more difficult than actually nursing? I wouldn't mind teaching -- but then again, I don't know what it entails...
    VickyRN likes this.
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    Quote from 45whenimdone
    I have to agree with some of the previous posters about not teaching due to the higher level of education loans and there is no good end result. I know with the budget cuts at most community colleges it would be difficult to pay student loans like hospitals do if you work for them for set amount of years. Perhaps colleges could do the same by paying half of the loan? In all the years that I've been in the medical field, I have yet to meet 1 person who said: I want to be a Nurse so I can teach... I only see a solution to the nurses retiring or set to retire-- yet can't due to economic reasons -- perhaps they would be more inclined to teach? Is teaching more difficult than actually nursing? I wouldn't mind teaching -- but then again, I don't know what it entails...
    In asking which is more difficult (nursing versus teaching) - comparing apples and oranges. Both are different (though similar) professions with different skill sets and different stressors. I teach full time in a large baccalaureate nursing program, but also maintain a part-time clinical practice (med-surg and ER). I enjoy both the teaching aspect and the clinical practice aspect. In my opinion, the teaching job is more stressful, though I enjoy teaching immensely. Nursing education is definitely not for the faint of heart.
    joyouter likes this.
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    I am 36 years old and just graduated from Drexel University with my MSN in Nurse Education. I am starting my 2nd semester as a nurse educator and absolutely LOVE it!!!

    Because of my current nursing job I have elected to not teach full time, but I think that the beauty and flexibility of adjunct is little known. I have my full time job as the nurse educator in the OR (another way my MSN paid off in the work place!) and then I teach clinicals as an adjunct. This is a nice diversion from my regular work and gives me that interaction with students that I really enjoy. I hope that by being adjunct and working in the OR, I keep myself from burning out in either area.

    The OR is physically demanding and because of that I do hope to eventually turn to more teaching as I get older but I would encourage anyone who is considering it to go for the MSN in nurse education. OK, I am about 40k in debt, but the amount I make in my few clinicals that I teach easily pays my student loans and then some. I stay involved in other areas of nursing that I wouldn't have anything to do with otherwise and stay on my toes with current research and changes. My mind is constantly going, always learning and expanding. I got to help a student survive his first experience with a patient who died during clinical-it was priceless and I got to be there for it. In a nutshell, it took a few years and some extra debt, but it has been totally worth it and is instantly paying off. I am happy to talk to anyone who is considering it.....
    VickyRN likes this.
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    I have a masters in Nursing and in adult education plus years of floor experience and staff development in a hospital. But the local college only offers entry level salary since I have no college teaching experience (except clinical instructor). No way I would consider that, although someone calls almost every year asking me to apply. Really, people??
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    Classicdame....I got lucky and found a for-profit school that desperately needed a medical assisting instructors which gave me classroom adult teaching experience. I agree with you though...that is another problem that is rarely addressed but needs to be...it is a Catch 22- no one will hire nursing instructors without teaching experience but you can't get that experience unless you have had experience!!!?? Definitely another barrier....

    rbs105
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    Several nursing schools in my area of the country do hire "green" clinical instructors - usually in the role of a part-time adjunct. The large university teaching hospital that partners with our college of nursing has a "Clinical Education Partnership" program in place to help nurses on staff (who would like to teach nursing students) transition to a part-time clinical instructor role.
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    My Master's degree is as a GNP but d/t health issues and I have a minor in nursing education, i went into teaching. My first day I was given PPTs and said "here teach" i had no practical experience. I am still new at this (only 2 years). Because of my MS, I have some short-term memory loss. I have taught health assessment once, last year, I don't remember all the fine details from last year. The lab coordinator and the theory coordinator disagree on content and I am put in the middle. There are about a quarter of the students that feel i am their personal whipping boy "This isn't fair...that isn't fair,,,,rules i have nothing to do with. the cruelest cut of all,one of the articles you reference says average teacher makes $65 thousand a year. i make $47 thousand for 10 months, no dental insurance and many of my meds have either a $25 or $40 dollar copay( on 20 daily and 2 weekly meds) Whats wrong with this picture?
    Thank you for listening


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