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How does a nursing instructor spend their day?

Educators   (3,316 Views | 6 Replies)

1,526 Profile Views; 40 Posts

Okay, so here is where I am. I'm one semester through a nurse educator MSN and I'm beginning to wonder about what sort of future I've actually signed up for. As I delve deeper into the program I am starting to notice a distinct lack of emphasis on anything resembling actual instruction of students. They're spending an unholy amount of time and effort gearing me up to work with nursing theory and generate theories of my own. They're also spending a lot of time preparing me to conduct research and get published. Theory and research, theory and research. Oh, and get published on your own time so you can give glory to your institution.

There's decidedly little about actually working with students and fostering the next generation of nurses.

So I'm starting to question if this is the right path. What the hell will I actually be doing all day if I follow this path? I don't really give a damn about theory and feel that it is mostly the excrement of people who can't hack it at actual nursing work. I understand the value of research, but I don't personally care to engage in it nor spend any time at all writing painstaking lit reviews for the pleasure of APA nazis. Will I be expected as an educator to spend a lot of my time devoted to these things which I don't want to spend my life doing? Will not engaging in research and not trying to get published be a detriment to my career and making decent money? My nurse educator education so far seems to be doing jack all to prepare me to educate anyone. Is that because education won't really be the main focus of my career if I follow this path?

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random_nurse12 has 16 years experience and specializes in Critical Care.

60 Posts; 1,331 Profile Views

My program consisted of base classes like you describe (research, theory, etc.) and then the education core was curriculum, instruction, program evaluation, etc. The most important class for me was obviously the practicum, where I was able to work one-on-one with a nursing faculty member both in clinical and didactic courses.

I am currently FT nursing faculty. The entire time I was in grad school, I worked as an adjunct clinical instructor. If you are able to find a position teaching clinical, I would highly recommend it. I am also in a position where I assist with the interviewing process for new faculty. There are many people with MSNs and no teaching experience, or their MSN did not have an education focus. The transition can be difficult, but if you are willing to learn and go through a difficult first year, it is completely possible.

There are some institutions that will expect you to write and produce research. These also will require a doctorate degree within a few years of hire. These are obviously the large research-focused universities.

Community colleges and non-research focused institutions, both private and public, will not be so focused on you publishing or engaging in research. They are much more focused on teaching students and the practical aspects of nursing education. I spend my time writing lectures and designing my course, writing exams (so much time doing this), taking students to clinical, grading clinical paperwork, evaluating students, and writing simulations. Honestly, I would have zero time to conduct research or publish papers, even if that was my desire. I am extremely busy in this job and it is the hardest job I have ever had.

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poopylala has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Burn ICU.

97 Posts; 4,480 Profile Views

Thanks for the clarification :) I want to teach in the future but don't want to focus so much on research!

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SitcomNurse has 22 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics and Quality Improvement,.

272 Posts; 7,400 Profile Views

Well, I have been doing it only for a year, and I can tell you in for my MSN, the focus initially was on theroy, and then my ability to remember how to be a nurse on the floor(clinical skills) then it got into teaching the adult learner and the psychology of how people learn. I love it. I spend my day with a little research, reviewing best practices for nurses, teaching those best practices, helping to update policy and procedure in a cohesive and clinically pertinent manner. I get to have coffee with people who are struggling, while we review on a 1:1 basis what the stumbling blocks are. I get to adjust my work schedule, i get to see all the shifts and assist with CODE calls. I get to have 6 colleges come through my facility all different learning levels....CNA, LPN, RN, NP, Dental, Leadership, Internship..... and they pay me for it. And I get to put my own spin on it to make it fun. When is the last time you saw a classroom full of people laughing while you taught them about ALS? Thats how I spend my day.

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poopylala has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Burn ICU.

97 Posts; 4,480 Profile Views

That's exactly what I want to do!

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SitcomNurse has 22 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics and Quality Improvement,.

272 Posts; 7,400 Profile Views

I wish you the best of luck. Its the best challenging position I have held, and that includes starting a Nursing Rehab program at my facility. I love it. I hope you will too.

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244 Posts; 4,667 Profile Views

"I don't really give a damn about theory and feel that it is mostly the excrement of people who can't hack it at actual nursing work. I understand the value of research, but I don't personally care to engage in it nor spend any time at all writing painstaking lit reviews for the pleasure of APA nazis"

I really hope this is just frustration about your education choice and not how you actually feel. Nursing theory is the basis of our profession...without it we are just a vocation. As an educator you need to truly understand the value of evidence based practice that comes from researching theory.I am not saying you have to enjoy research but you have to be able to respect those who do this and contribute to nursing with their PhD.

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