Nurse education – the role of the nurse teacher

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Abstract

Aim

To explore and analyse the role of the nurse teacher.

Background

This paper examines the issue of clinical credibility among nurse teachers which has been ongoing for over a decade. The move of nurse education from colleges of nursing to the Higher Education Institutes was seen in 1992. Since then, nurse teachers have been faced with the need to juggle the roles of teaching, administration, research and clinical support for students. Nursing students within these Higher Education Institutes require more than the traditional theoretical classroom teaching. Nurse teachers have a role beyond this in encouraging students to link theory with practice, and practice with theory. Therein lies a challenge for nurse teachers to ensure they remain credible within the clinical setting and continue to provide education and support, which is firmly grounded in both practice and theory.

Method

The authors have critically reviewed the evidence related to the role of the nurse teacher in an attempt to identify key concepts and ideas, assumptions, supporting examples and the implications for their role.

Conclusion

The role of the nurse teacher, it would appear, is a dynamic one that needs to engage actively the needs of the student. Nurses therefore need to be dynamic in their approach in order to respond to both local and global demands and ensure that students become competent, professional, knowledgeable and caring in their approach.

Relevance to clinical practice

This paper demonstrates the complex and ever changing role of the nurse teacher. This paper attempts to help nurse teachers understand the complex nature of their role.

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