After spending only a year and a half in academia on a full-time basis, the faculty-to-faculty incivility, major faculty overload, and faculty layoffs has diminished my dreams of being an academic nurse educator on a full-time basis. I resigned from my assistant professor job with the job offer of becoming a statewide nurse consultant for my state's Office of Public Health in the continuing education department; however, a $16 million dollar budget cut has this position on the chopping block. I recently applied for a staff development coordinator position at a local hospital in which I used to work. I have a Master of Nursing degree and am a certified family nurse practitioner. I am also currently pursuing my PhD in Nursing Education at Capella University. The job wants a minimum of 5 years in education with experience in curriculum development. Due to the numerous amount of internal and external applicants, I feel like my chances of landing this job are slim. I know that I can take a staff educator course through Indiana University, but how else can I gain experience in staff development? Teaching CE courses? I know these jobs are hard to come by and just want to know what will give me an advantage. Meanwhile, I plan to return working as a nurse practitioner in a school-based health center and possibly create a more formal orientation program for nurses in school health. A curriculum course is included as a requirement in my PhD program, but I thought about taking a continuing education course on curriculum development as well. I also plan to teach as an adjunct faculty in an online RN-to-BSN program. Any other suggestions?
P.S.- llg, you also offer wonderful words of wisdom. please feel free to comment!
Jan 3, '12
Hard to say. Depends what your market requires. Staff Development involves more than what you would learn in teaching CNE. Consider the National Nursing Staff Development Organization (NNSDO) website. You would have to pay for the CNE but it is at least applicable to the practice. If you can locate courses on creating nurse's portfolio's, adult learning principles, learning and teaching theories, budgeting for education---things on that line would be of help. GOOD LUCK!!!
Jan 3, '12
I'm not sure how I missed this thread ... but I did. This is the first time I am seeing it. I'm sorry I missed it and didn't respond sooner.
How did that possible job offer go? Did you get it?
If not ... It sounds to me as if you are doing several good things, ans2680. The only thing I can think of to do differently is to get back into working at a hospital that is the same or at least similar to the type you want to work in doing staff development. Your Nurse Practitioner job is not helping your chances to make a the switch into the staff development specialty. To make the switch, it would help to demonstrate your expertise in in-patient care (even if it is only per diem) and make the professional connections through networking that will support your selection for a staff development job.
When hospitals are hiring staff development instructors to teach nurses in a hospital, they are most likely to hire someone they know ... and/or someone who is knowledgable about current hospital practice ... and/or knowledgable about staff development. Working as a Nurse Practitioner in a school doesn't demonstrate any of that -- unless you are applying to teach school nursing.
Jan 3, '12
Agree with llg (as usual!).
I can really relate to the OP's need to escape academia.... been there done that for a very brief interlude before I realized that workplace education was where I really belonged. I really admire my colleagues who manage to stick it out.
My current position is with a large healthcare organization - the only path into entry-level clinical education is by becoming a very expert clinician... most have specialty certifications. As educators move along the path (unit-based to service line to leadership), "education" knowledge & skills become more and more important & the focus of the position shifts from "instructor" to "educator". Essential KSAs for career advancement: education theory (srsly), education & HR law, curriculum design, instructional systems design (various modalities including online) and heavy-duty business & management. FYI, I got very little of this in my MSN program even though it was focused on education. That's why I chose an EdD rather than staying within nursing when I was ready to move ahead with my education.
Education leaders are at a disadvantage in healthcare because our departments are typically very tenuous, non-revenue-producing & at risk of being considered superfluous to the organization whenever they need to cut costs. Our challenge is to demonstrate how much we add to the bottom line of the organization & best way to do this is by having well-prepared educators. In most of our facilities, the minimum requirement for most educator positions is an MSN.
I usually advise staff nurses (who aspire to education) to work hard at building their clinical expertise & become certified in their specialty. They also need to gain visibility by becoming actively involved in organizational activities such as task forces, special projects, etc. And of course, volunteer to teach inservices & serve as a preceptor for orientees -- anything you can do to impress your clinical manager, because he/she is usually the person who hires unit-based educators. When a position is available, they want to fill it with someone who is a role model for new staff; high-energy, competent, dependable with a very positive attitude.
Best of luck to you
Feb 12, '13
It's been over a year since I've been on here. Needless to say, I did not get the staff development job offer and ended up working as a Family Nurse Practitioner at a primary care clinic for the entire year of 2012. It was a year of HELL. I accepted another job and the safety issues and poor pay forced me to resign. Stopped work on my PhD to resume work on DNP. At this point, I am burned out with the nursing profession....PERIOD. After five years of horrible job experiences (verbal abuse, financial instability, etc.), I really just want out. Thanks for the reply and I'll have to figure out what my next move is...
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