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barb4575 4,402 Views

Joined: Dec 28, '00; Posts: 179 (4% Liked) ; Likes: 24

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  • May 16

    For me, it is easier to develop the course from scratch and continue to improve it each semester. It usually takes two years to get it where I want it, but that depends on the course too. It is a great deal of work to go this route, but it makes the course "mine" and this is the most effective system for me.

    If I am lecturing about material that I have had to relearn or learn for the first time, I lecture to my husband so he can ask questions. He actually performs better on my exams than many of my students due to all that he has learned. We enjoy doing things together regardless if it is work-related or not and it has gotten him interested in another career as well...not nursing, but health care-related.

    The first two years I taught at the baccalaureate level, I allowed educational technology to intimidate me. Sometimes now, I realize that faculty can go overboard with this technology too. Keep it simple. If an old-fashioned teaching method is effective, why change it? In my nursing educator experience, there are very few educators who are high tech. My husband has helped me in this area more than any nurse educator. Don't allow it to intimidate you; the computer will not blow up if you select the wrong button or link.

    If the material is very difficult, I will provide them with my notes, but this is rare as I found that they don't do the work of learning in this manner. I never teach without some type of visual aid as most nursing students are visual learners. I do believe that much of nursing education is about entertainment and I do attempt to use humor in my class. I am very structured and tell them exactly what I expect of them in writing and verbally---students do appreciate this type of instructor too.

    Set the standards for classroom behavior, placing this in writing and reviewing it the first day of class. Then, have them sign and date this contract. I love it when a student attempts to tell me, "you never told me this before". Then, I can pull their signed contract out and show every time.

    Study guides are useful and I do require them to do some of those as assignments and turn them into me for credit for their hard work. I use them as a quiz grade. I believe in quizzing them frequently-some unannounced and some announced. This will keep some of them on top of their reading before my lecture. Yes, some never will read and they have to accept the consequences. Offer extra office time to all students, but continue to highly encourage those that are not performing well to come to your office. If they are failing, require it. This alone can get them motivated to do better so they don't have to go to your office. Set office hours and adhere to that schedule. I have done so much outside of class and office hours that it can burn one out quickly.

    Stick to adult learning principles and this is my greatest challenge as an educator. I have been accused by more than one faculty member that I do too much for the students. I recall my days as a student nurse like it was yesterday and I wish I would have had the assistance that I provide to my students.

    Role model professional on time to class and clinical without exception. This is one issue that upset me greatly during this past year. Students reported that faculty just would not show up, yet they expected the students to behave differently than they had...if you inform the students that you are going to do something, do it. Keep notes for yourself to ensure that you do what you say. Also, allow early morning planning for the day at home where you are not disturbed.

    Integrity is a core value in nursing and be consistent. If a student does not show that they are honest, take the necessary steps to discipline them and always report this to the Dean with documentation. Remember that the Dean must be reminded to follow up on these issues. I have had students that I personally did not think belonged in nursing due to violating the core value of, I hear about those nurses and they are still doing the same thing. It is worth standing up for these values with the Dean, but yes, it is her/his final decision on what action should be taken.

    Be cautious what you write to students, faculty, and the Dean in e-mails. This avenue of communication can be misunderstood so easily. When angry or upset, don't send any emails.

    Above all else, care deeply and intensely about your students as if they were your patient/client, because they are just that...if you don't enjoy teaching, do all of the faculty and students a huge favor, quit! Not all nurses make effective educators, in fact, in my experience most are not effective. The few that are effective are exhausted due to having to back up and teach what other faculty did not. Realize the importance of what you produce and take responsibility for it. Monitor them very closely in clinical and prepare for clinical. I would make assignments the day before and it took me hours to review those charts. We are responsible for the students and all of those patients, so take this leadership role seriously.

    Good luck and if I can be of further assistance to any educator, I will. Just PM me. My first mentor was a God send to me. Vicky is right on about horizontal violence in nursing education. It is actually worse than in nursing practice because it is well-hidden. Trust one or a few only until you can further assess the faculty group. Realize that the faculty are the ones who need to share and discuss private student me, students are not the ones to share this with and if you are in a weak faculty group and this happens, it will only make you very unhappy.