Desired Characteristics of Effective Nurse Educators - �My Ideal Nursing Instructor� - page 2

As nurse faculty, we constantly strive to be the most effective instructors that we can be. The effective nurse educator, whether operating in the clinical setting or classroom, must demonstrate... Read More

  1. by   harleyridingirl
    My favorite instructors so far have been enthusiatic. I actually felt like they really wanted me to learn and were happy when it was evident I was "getting it". The older women that had been nurses for years "have seen it all, done it all and know who I am". That's not true. I've been working since I was 15, owned my own business, raised my children, have grandchildren and made straight A's to get into nursing school. Some instructors treat us like young children who need to be reminded to behave. Why not treat us like the hard working students we are? Nursing is the hardest thing I've ever done in school and as a life long learner at 51 that says a lot. I think instructors should treat students with a little more respect because we worked hard to get in or you wouldn't have picked us. We don't know much but that's what we are counting on you to do, teach us. We want to learn. We want to do it right. There is so much stress to be perfect and some are struggling just to pass. Some people just dismiss us because we are nursing students but just think, we may be your nurse some day!
  2. by   bthsp
    SO RIGHT
  3. by   ToxicShock
    Thank you so much for posting this! I've really been thinking a lot about becoming a nursing instructor (in addition to doing bedside nursing and/or CRNA - lots of stuff I'm interested in hehe) and I'm happy to read that a lot of the desirable traits are ones that I have - or at least hope I do! And if I don't, I now have an excellent resource here!
  4. by   nurseynurse36
    But what do you do when you try to encompass those traits and then feel that your not a respected as you want to be? The students seem to want to dictate their opinions about tests and dates for completion and cut you off when speaking. A whole lot of whineing at times. Ohhh this is so much work but you said is what I hear often. Is it that way for all nursing classes? I find that I must slip back into the traditional evil instructor in order to regain control. Each time it bothers me greatly, but I don't want the students to think that they are in control or to have them think that I am going to do their work for them.
  5. by   harleyridingirl
    I have one instructor that is happy and fun and relates stories about illnesses with patients she had which helps us remember what to do and how the disease progresses. Everyone LOVES her but she is firm when it comes to reviewing test questions. But let me say, her test questions are usually straight up. We have a few instructors that throw in those questions that you can't answer or it's one tiny sentence in a chapter of 60 pages. Nursing school IS a lot of work. I don't know how the people that work or have kids at home do it. I personally have no life. It's school, studying, studying, studying. I carry a book with me at all times incase I get stuck in traffic or have to wait for 5 mins somewhere. This is a lot to learn in two years and people's lives depend on us knowing it ALL BY HEART. Yes, there are the whiners. I'm tired of them too but for some reason they don't seem to whine so much to the happy teacher. We actually asked for her to pin us in December when we graduate because she's our favorite.
  6. by   edowhitetop
    These are things we all know, but you did a very good job of putting them all together in one place. Thank you.
  7. by   merrywhiterose
    I had a clinical instructor that couldn't stand to have students her age (about 45?) or older. She would put them down and try to fail them. She was definitely age discriminating. Too bad she's still a clinical instructor! Eventually she'll pick on the wrong person and get sued.
  8. by   fswilliams1001
    Thanks "Vicky" for this timely submission. It reminds us of the things that matter most to adult learners. As I completed my own instructor evals, I utilized these thoughts in submitting my feedback. Look forward to seeing you soon!
  9. by   VickyRN
    Quote from multicollinearity
    To get back on track with the topic of your thread, I've said here on the board before that my top desired quality in a professor is that the professor demonstrates and communicates positive expectations for his or her students.

    What I mean by this is the professor acts, speaks, and telegraphs an attitude that he or she expects and assumes achievement from students. I love it when I have an instructor who has this attitude/demeanor, etc. Students generally tend to fulfill these expectations. (Of course the opposite is true as well - when an instructor seems to have negative expectations and students meet those expectations in response.)
    This is called the self-fulfilling prophecy (or Pygmalion Effect). An individual will often live up to whatever expectations that a parental-type/ authority figure (including teachers or employers) have of the person, whether good or bad.

    However, this is not written in stone. People are still able to rise above the negative expectations, and, as adult-learners, should be able to do so. Current adult learning theory places the burden of education on the student, the learner. In other words, adults are ultimately held accountable for their own learning. When all is said and done, adult learners are responsible for the grades they have earned and for their own successes and failures in their program of study. The instructor is the facilitator of the learning process, the "guide on the side," rather than the "sage on the stage."

    Despite the prevailing adult learning theory, the "self-fulfilling prophecy" is a captivating phenomenon that shows how complicated and multi-dimensional the learning process can actually be. The teacher's persona, interactions with, and expectations of learners can have tremendous bearings on a student's success or failure.

    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
    What Teachers Expect They Generally Get (I noticed most of this "self-fulfilling prophecy" research involves pediatric learners. This would make a fascinating research topic for adult learners.)
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jul 2, '09
  10. by   VickyRN
    Quote from nurseynurse36
    But what do you do when you try to encompass those traits and then feel that your not a respected as you want to be? The students seem to want to dictate their opinions about tests and dates for completion and cut you off when speaking. A whole lot of whineing at times. Ohhh this is so much work but you said is what I hear often. Is it that way for all nursing classes? I find that I must slip back into the traditional evil instructor in order to regain control. Each time it bothers me greatly, but I don't want the students to think that they are in control or to have them think that I am going to do their work for them.
    Difficult question. It is still possible to encompass these traits, but be firm and set a respectful tone in the class. One way to do this is to address potential problems in the syllabus (for instance, no talking in class while the teacher is lecturing or cell phones turned off; no texting allowed; no disruptive behavior). Our university has a "Disruptive Student Policy" (which I go over in painstaking detail during the first class period). If a student is disrespectful to the instructor, that student can be asked to leave the classroom. All it takes is one instance of asking a student to leave, and the rest of the students will usually fall into line. So, it is possible to be authoritative, and have order and respect, and still exert a positive, caring persona.

    If you notice you are having most of your problems during the test review, then change the way you conduct the test review process. One thing that we have tried successfully in our college of nursing, is to post the test with answer keys in prominent places in the classroom (during the test review) and give the students 15-20 minutes to look at the tests in groups before any questions are allowed. Only after this process is completed are students allowed to question specific items on the test, and this is done in an orderly chronological fashion. This has put an end to most of the bickering.

    Hope this helps
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jul 2, '09
  11. by   VickyRN
    Quote from bthsp
    wow vicki--where were you when i went to nursing school--which I may add I just graudated june 19th--my instructors are nothing like in what you wrote--mine degraded-demoralized--picked--laughted at you--talked about you--Iam amazed I lasted in the program,because there were plenty of times I wanted to quit..Its nice to know there are caring educators in the nursing profession
    I'm sorry you had such negative experiences in nursing school. I can assure you, not all instructors are that way. Congratulations on your recent graduation and I wish you great success in the wonderful career of nursing
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jul 2, '09
  12. by   VickyRN
    Quote from fswilliams1001
    Thanks "Vicky" for this timely submission. It reminds us of the things that matter most to adult learners. As I completed my own instructor evals, I utilized these thoughts in submitting my feedback. Look forward to seeing you soon!
    Thank you. Look forward to seeing you soon, also. Looks like it is going to be a very busy fall!
  13. by   VickyRN
    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    Wonderful post as usual, Vicky. The only thing I would add is one of the first things my teacher taught me in LPN school -- meet people where they are, as they are. If you've got a student who has more than basic knowledge in one area of an RN program (EMT, Paramedic, LPN, ICU tech, whatever), please, please teach to keep that person engaged.

    And also realize that just because a student may have had a lot of experience in one area, they may not have that same level of experience in another; because of where I work, I can deal with cardiac problems, read strips, etc.; I have to, it's my job -- we laugh and say some weeks, we're "Codes R Us." That doesn't mean I will have the same level of experience or confidence when I do a rotation in OB/GYN -- I'm ACLS, not PALS certified. I know what normal "abnormal" values are common in a dying CHFer or COPDer, but I'm going to be sweating bullets next semester, where we do babies. My youngest patient out in the world was a 9 year old, and I hovered on that kid like a Chinook helicopter.
    This is excellent advice for a clinical instructor - approach student learners on an individual basis. Find out which patients/ clinical experiences most suit the individual student. As for classroom instructors, they need to teach at the lowest common denominator and proceed from there ("line upon line, precept upon precept").

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