Analysis of the Academic Nurse Educators Role (ANE)

Analysis of the ANE Role

Nurse educators are vital professionals to nursing faculties and the nursing profession. They influence the quality of education and nursing practice; thus, their preparation is critical. Interviews are integral methods used to gain insights and correct first-hand information that helps enhance knowledge vital for decision-making. Interviewing a nurse educator can improve their understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a nurse educator and help nursing students with personal and professional development during the transition to the role of an A NE. This presentation focuses on an interview with a nurse educator and explores their roles and responsibilities in and outside the nursing faculty.

Roles of the Nurse Educator

For this assessment, I interviewed a nurse educator whose roles span clinical and classroom teaching. The nurse educator is also a vital professional in the state curriculum development board and has a long experience. The nurse educator develops the course curricula. He is an important contact person in curricular development. Like many non-nurse educators, he also evaluates students learning, progress, and outcomes. They assess students’ performance and provide constructive feedback to enhance improvement and promote professionalism. He oversees clinical practice and lab work. He instructs students in clinical practices and follows their progress akin to classwork. He also supervises clinical practices and research projects by the students. In addition, the nurse educator advises students through their practice by assisting them in scholarly and extracurricular activities. Students require assistance writing grants proposals, research participation, course, and program.

Nurse educator uses their advanced skills, knowledge, and experience to guide these students through their learning process. Other significant roles of the educator are developing the curriculum, evaluating current courses and programs to ensure they meet all professional and regulatory standards and suggesting improvements. The nurse educator’s significant roles are teaching Evidence-based Practice and Nursing Research in Advanced Practice. The two courses impact nurses and develop their skills and knowledge in performing research to improve the profession. Nursing research affects clinical practice and nursing education. The educator works in the classroom and clinical practice environments and oscillates between clinical practice and classwork, which weighs equally on him. Some roles require him to lecture in nursing conference workshops, hence performing roles as a communicator, collaborator, and professional development. He also works for the state hence the diversity in the work environments. However, most of her professional practice scope is within clinical environments and classrooms.

Responsibilities and their Relationship to Nurse Educator Roles

The nurse educator facilitates learning by instructing students, serving as a role model, assessing performance, and following up on student outcomes. They provide information and learning materials such as books, sites, simulations, and any additional information that could benefit their students. The instructors communicate with learners and other stakeholders and collaborate with all other professionals to achieve the required outcomes. They also act as role models to students, and their behavior is reflected in the students in the classroom and clinical practice. The nurse educator plays the role of an educational advocate. Nurse educators perform roles such as curriculum development and patient education. They evaluate curriculums and other educational policies to ensure they favor students and meet the set educational objectives. As educational advocates, educators participate in disciplinary and research committees where they support their students. They also evaluate technologies and learning methods to ensure learners receive a high-quality education.

Impact of the Interview on Perception

The interview has changed my perception of the roles and responsibilities of a nurse educator. I now understand that these roles go beyond classroom and clinical instruction to facilitating learning. The nurse educator also has other roles in the institution besides instructing and evaluating students. Their activities in the institution also influence students’ learning. The nurse educator’s role spans nursing education, clinical practice, and research and is not limited to the course or courses they are assigned. Nurse educators’ conduct, such as professionalism, personality, and relationship with students, also impacts outcomes and enhances their roles. As an educator, the roles should be reflected in all my activities, including my extracurricular and social life, as a role model with good professional conduct.

Students learn by being instructed and observing nurses and their educators perform roles, as proposed by the social learning theory. Thus, their nurse educators’ conduct and non-verbal cues, including dressing, attitude towards their roles, and nursing practice, should be well curated to match the nursing profession’s values. Nurse educators must be well educated and love the profession to succeed to impact the relevant skills, knowledge, and attitude towards the nursing profession. I have gained more respect for the roles and responsibilities, and the interview has also increased my understanding of these roles and responsibilities, which will help inform future decisions regarding my professional practice.

Roles of An Academic Nurse Educator

Role in Ensuring Safe and Quality Patient Care in Academic and Practice Settings

An academic nurse educator ensures safe and quality patient care in academic and practice settings. Nurse educators ensure that nursing students get access to vital information to enhance quality decision-making (Sherwood & Barnsteiner, 2021). Sherwood and Barnsteiner (2021) note that quality and safe care delivery begin with the quality of education nurses receive. They also ensure students understand concepts by evaluating their work, determining their weaknesses and implementing corrective actions, and ensuring that students who proceed to the next level before clinical practice have the necessary skills and knowledge. Nurse educators also evaluate and develop practice standards (Kim et al., 2019). These standard procedures are developed for students’ use and help them carry out standard nursing procedures ensuring asepsis and quality care outcomes. Besides, nurse educators continually evaluate and improve these procedures to ensure they accommodate changes in practices, such as technological advances. Kim et al. (2019) note that nursing education has shifted focus to ensuring quality and safe care delivery; thus, nurse educators have a role in supporting and maintaining the shift. The nurse educators also oversee clinical practices and dictate the preferred activities (to enhance specific necessary skills) with the help of the clinical preceptors to ensure nursing students deliver quality and safe care. Thus, nurse educators play vital roles in promoting quality and safe care delivery.

Roles within the Parent Institution

The nurse educator has various functions outside the nursing department. He advocates for the students when they are involved in disciplinary issues. These include examination irregularities and other discipline issues. He assesses students’ and departmental needs and reports them to the school administration, which helps with organizational learning. The nurse educator is also involved in administrative functions for the school. He collaborates with other lecturers in other courses and disciplines, builds partnerships with them, and improves their work in teaching/ instructional methods. The educator is also an executive member of the research and innovation center of the university and thus influences evidence-based practices in the university. Therefore, the nurse educator also plays a vital role in the parent institution besides her roles in the nursing department.

External Stakeholders Vital to ANEs

Nurse employers and nursing professional bodies and associations are two crucial stakeholders in the roles and responsibilities of an ANE. Anathan et al. (2020) note that professional bodies and associations are responsible for shaping and supporting the nursing profession, dictating their roles and responsibilities, and ensuring quality education and professional standards. These bodies also outline professional conduct, acceptable behavior, and attitude. These professionals’ bodies also screen requirements for professionals to play leadership roles. They determine the lowest level of entry into education and hence regulate the quality and skills of nurse educators. They also work with the parent institutions to ensure that nurse educators meet the set standards and that the education delivered meets the set education regulatory standards.

Nurse employers, mainly the various state health and human services departments, are other vital external stakeholders. These employers facilitate employment by dictating the various requirements for various roles. For example, a nurse educator at the bachelor’s level must have at least and Master of Science in the area of teaching. The state also dictates the extracurricular roles in and out of the facility. Most nurse educators enter into contractual terms with the schools while employed by the state. The state thus dictates these requirements to the facility/ institution, which then implements them at hiring and recruitment. Nurse employers also plan and implement continuous professional education.

Strategies to Facilitate Communication

The are various strategies that nurse educators can use to facilitate communication with external stakeholders. Technology has been one of the best interventions to facilitate communication. Most of these professional bodies have portals through which they communicate with their employers. These portals are password protected and allow professionals to access general information accessible to all professionals and personal information from these professional bodies. These portals also provide a central point for educators to access vital services such as license registration and renewal and registration for state-led activities such as workshops. Other technologies, such as emails and social media groups, have been used to enhance communication with and from these stakeholders, improving communication and collaboration (Laurenza et al., 2018). Thus, technology utilization is a vital strategy for improving communication between the preceptor and the external stakeholders.

Social-educational activities are also a good strategy for increasing communication. Activities such as workshops, conferences, and seminars bring together many professionals in the state, nation, and internationally. The presentations and information shared are a good source of communication on issues such as new evidence-based practices, research findings, and new policies and regulations (Negrin et al., 2020). Professional bodies use the opportunities to spread vital information using present professionals to their respective institutions. Professionals are also allowed to air their concerns based on the themes or topics of the activities. Negrin et al. ( 2020) note that nurse educators can attend these seminars, conferences, and workshops and utilize them to air their concerns and pass-on vital information to the professional body. Thus, technology interventions and social-educational activities are vital in communicating with these professions.

ANE Roles in Facilitating Interprofessional Collaborative Efforts

The ANE has significant roles in facilitating and developing interprofessional collaborative efforts. An overarching role of nurse educators is preparing students to work in interprofessional teams. The educators teach them the strategies, importance, and participatory efforts in interprofessional efforts (Liu, 2020). In addition, the ANE participates in interprofessional work such as curriculum development and incorporating non-nursing disciplines such as entrepreneurship and data management into teaching. These non-nursing disciplines help facilitate collaborative efforts required in change development and implementation. Healthcare and learning institution changes affect professionals variably, and the perspectives of these professionals are vital to informing the change process and ensuring change interventions are acceptable and achieve the desired results (Liu, 2020). Thus, nurse educators play vital roles in facilitating the development of interprofessional collaborative efforts.

Challenges Facing Nurse Educators

From the interview, it was clear that nurse educators face many challenges, including overload and burnout due to faculty shortages, lack of learner interest and effort, and integrity of online learning processes. The major problem identified is the nurse educators’ shortage, which then births many other problems facing nurse educators. Nurse educators shortage increases the workload for the existing educators, increasing the risks for burnout, turnover, and poor education practices that translate to poor care outcomes. The shortage increases the number of students an educator instructs and the number of students they must follow up with in clinical settings. The instructor thus spends much time instructing, evaluating, and assisting students despite having other roles. Nursing educator shortage is one of the problems contributing to nursing staff shortage and poor-quality outcomes because fewer staff in faculties can only educate a few nurses. Drennan and Ross (2019) note that globally, only a few advanced practice nurses opt to teach, contributing to the worsening nurse educators’ shortage.

Wendler et al. (2021) note that 89000 qualified students were turned from faculties in 2018 due to the shortage of nurse educators. As mentioned earlier, the nurse educators’ shortage and under-resourced faculties are the leading contributors to the nursing staff shortage. Evans (2018) note that most nurse educators are aging, and the number of younger population educators to replace them is declining gradually. In specific areas such as research and gerontology, there are few nurse educators, predominantly undergraduate nurses. Negrin et al. (2020) note that the nurse educator shortage is a significant factor contributing to fewer specialists in nursing. Fewer nurse educators discourage and limit nurses’ educational advancement. Janse van Vuuren et al. (2018) note that nursing education can enjoy the significant benefits of nursing education from interventions such as nursing simulations; the educator-to-student ratio interferes with the applicability of these interventions. The researchers also note that high-fidelity simulations are vital technologies that can help promote student confidence, skills, quality care delivery, and improve patient safety but require a nurse educator to have a small group to teach them effectively (Janse van Vuuren et al., 2018).

Strategies to Manage Nurse Educators shortages

Nurse educators shortage is a challenge facing educators, and strategies to manage the problem should be developed to manage it and its consequences. The state and federal governments, professional bodies, and faculties should support strategies implemented to help manage the nurse educators’ shortage. These strategies employed to manage the problem include nurse educator scholarships. Ramirez et al. (2022) note that providing scholarships directly incentivizes nurses to enroll and train as nurse educators. Scholarships also help nurses willing to train as nurse educators to do so without much hustle. Financial incentives such as good salaries and other benefits and scholarships have been the leading government and other stakeholders’ interventions to manage the current nurse educator shortage.

Creating more standard practices, such as limiting face-to-face class hours and the number of students a nurse educator can handle, is also an effective strategy for managing the nurse educator shortage problems (Janse van Vuuren et al., 2018). Online education enhances learning efficiency and reduces educators’ need to travel and move from room to room to meet their students. Some units, such as critical care nursing in undergraduate, require expertise and can be taught by nurses while maintaining their clinical jobs. Offering part-time opportunities for clinical nurses can help manage the roles. Most specialized nurses want to retain their jobs in clinical practice, and offering them part-time opportunities while maintaining their jobs can help manage the nursing shortage problem (Negrin et al., 2020). Part-time nurse educators can maintain focus on their clinical practice while still ensuring delivering the much-required skills. Faculties employ most educators on a part-time basis; hence hiring clinical nurses will be an acceptable step in helping reduce the nursing shortage.

Some faculties are under-resourced, reducing the capacity for preparing nurses and nurse specialties. Increasing the capacity for training more nurse educators can help manage the nurse educator shortage (Ramirez et al., 2022). Few faculties train nurse educators due to resource strain and other factors. Increasing the resources for training nurse educators can help improve the nursing shortage by ensuring that faculties produce adequate educators. These discussed strategies used alone can be effective and more effective when implemented together. The nurse educators’ shortage affects staff shortage and also affects the quality and safety of care.

Reflective Analysis

Teaching, Scholarship, and Service

As an ANE, I will direct all efforts toward instructing and evaluating student learning. I will participate in institutional activities such as faculty roles and seek to be a full-time nurse educator to have and perform faculty roles. I will also participate in workshops and conferences in nurse education to showcase my skills and learn from the experts in nurse education. I will also participate in institutional research and enroll in short courses focusing on improving nurse educator skills to ensure they are updated and produce the desired outcomes. In addition, I will endeavor to advance my education to higher levels to ensure relevance and increase my opportunities. I will also ensure my advancement lies in the field of my expertise, which will enhance my practice while making my skills more competitive. These interventions will thus help incorporate teaching, scholarship, and service into my roles and transition into an ANE.

Ethics, values, and cultural norms

Ethics, values, and norms are vital to any profession, and professionals must be familiar with and adhere to them for effective professional practice. I will review the ethics, values, and cultural competencies required for a nurse educator outlined in the Nurse Educator Core Competencies, familiarize myself with them and practice them with my students (Fitzgerald et al., 2020). Understanding them will be the first step in implementing them. More so, I will evaluate my ethics, values, and cultural norms to determine any needs for change and alignments with those of nurse education. I will also ensure my ethics, values and cultural norms align with the mission, vision, and value statements of institutions where I apply for job opportunities to avoid mismatch and adaptation problems. The step will also help align with the 8th core competency for nurse educators, which is “to function within the educational environment” (Fitzgerald et al., 2020). Frequent self-evaluation based on the Core Competencies for Nurse Educators will help determine areas for improvement (Fitzgerald et al., 2020). Hourani and Litz (2018) note that self-evaluation is a critical strategy in professional development and aligning performance standards with institutional requirements. In addition, I will practice these ethics, values, and norms in available nursing simulations to improve my understanding and reinforce the practice during the transition period.

Academic Environment Facilitating the Transition of an ANE

The academic environment that will best facilitate my transition to the ANE role is the Virtual environment. Blended learning is also preferable for transitioning to the ANE role. Virtual learning environments promote autonomous learning and reduce the need for physical appearance, while clinical learning enhances mastery in skills learned best through performing. Virtual environments allow nurse educator flexibility, leaving them with more time to focus on their social life, education advancement, and other roles (Nwabude et al., 2020). The environment also facilitates accessible communication with other professionals and thus enhances professional development. The environment will also facilitate distance learning, where I can instruct and evaluate students in other states without geographical limitations. Nursing education is slowly transitioning with an increased familiarity with virtual learning; hence, the environment will play a vital role in promoting my transition into an ANE (Nwabude et al., 2020). The environment will also support my education and advancement, improve my clinical experience and, thus, promote my transition into the role.

 

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