Friday, November 23, 2007

Current Focus on Nurse Faculty Preparation

Current Focus on Nurse Faculty Preparation

The nursing faculty shortage and recurrent nursing shortages have renewed interest in promoting nursing education as a career. However, when new PhD faculty or master's-prepared NP faculty are recruited into nursing education, there are distinct problems. In a study of nursing doctoral (EdD, DNSc, and PhD) students, Hudacek and Carpenter[1] reported that PhD students "did not perceive the doctorate to be preparing them for roles as educators, practitioners, or administrators." These programs do not traditionally include curriculum development; evaluation or instructional design; preparation of lesson plans/teaching strategies; measurement and evaluation of student learning; or how to chair a committee, participate in a self-study for accreditation, or chair a faculty meeting.

For these reasons it seems misleading, if not unethical, to tell graduates of research-intensive PhD programs that they are prepared for a career in academia. NPs recruited for precepting and assisting with NP education are also unprepared for this role. Learning how to teach while also trying to develop a research program is an unnecessary barrier to junior faculty. Evaluating student learning without knowledge of appropriate evaluation methodology and strategies does not produce fair and valid decisions about student progress.

Ketefian and colleagues[2] considered international doctoral education in nursing. They pointed out that qualified nurses don't find academic careers attractive because of salary levels, the heavy faculty workload, and the "struggle to balance" career and family needs. They suggested that other roles of the faculty need to receive attention in doctoral education.

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