Characteristics of Effective Nurse Educators
Klopfer, Bethany C.
Piech, Emily M.
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Session presented on Sunday, September 18, 2016: The purpose of this study was to evaluate what essential personal and professional characteristics needed to produce effective nurse educators. Considering the rise of open nursing faculty positions, and the fact that most nursing educators are over the age of 60, many nursing programs face an increasing shortage of quality professors. It is necessary that in order for the profession of nursing to thrive recruitment must be made of a younger generation of registered nurses interested in higher education. Starting early in the development of a specific set of characteristics may enhance their ability to be effective in the classroom. By using quantitative study guidelines and collecting data at the ordinal, interval, and ratio levels, a clearer picture of the most and least important qualities became clear. Online surveys sent to local nursing program faculty provided feedback on both demographic information and essential nurse educator characteristics. With the use of Patricia Benner's novice to expert framework, effective nurse educators were defined by having at least five years of teaching experience. Additional inclusion criteria were holding a minimum of an MSN and teaching either associate's degree or bachelor's degree students. Nurse education administrators were excluded from participation. The survey itself allowed the research subjects to categorize a series of both professional and personal characteristics from one to five with one being the least influential to their success as an educator and five being the most influential. Fourteen professional qualities and seventeen personal qualities were evaluated including characteristics such as fairness, leadership and practical skills, humor, humility, and compassion. At this time the results of the study are pending, but we anticipate a more complete understanding of the data in July. When this data is available it will be statistically analyzed to determine which characteristics were deemed most and least influential in relation to being an effective nurse educator.