University of Pittsburgh, USA
Laurel Anderson-Miner has been teaching in the academic setting for four years. She has been educating students in the Clinical Setting for over 20 years with Nurse Anesthesia students. Upon engaging in her Doctoral degree, she became interested in retention strategies and the transition period to academia. Her dissertation research combined these interests into a basic qualitative study seeking the positive aspects of the transition period from Clinical Nursing into academia at the Baccalaureate level. The results of her study are of interest to Nurse Educators, administrations, and anyone interested in creating a positive environment for novice Nurse Educators. The results also suggest retention strategies that could be employed to create a positive environment for novice Nurse Educators.
All aspects of the nursing profession have been affected by the international nursing shortage. Many vacant nursing faculty positions have been filled with clinical nurses lacking formal preparation to teach. The stress of transitioning to the nursing faculty role has been emphasized in the scientific literature. A basic qualitative study was designed to discover the positive aspects of the transition period, which may enable retention strategies in the academic nurse educator role. A sample of eight nursing faculty members who successfully transitioned to the baccalaureate nurse educator role was interviewed using semi-structured techniques. Findings revealed four common themes: mentoring and support, collaboration, camaraderie, and the positive aspects of the nursing faculty role. Mentoring and support contributed to the professionalization to the academic role. When experienced nursing faculty members encouraged collaboration with novice nurse educators, the novice could focus on course management, rather than course development, in this early transition phase. Socialization to the professional academic role was facilitated through camaraderie among faculty members and nursing students. Finally, flexibility in scheduling, having independence, and giving back to nursing through teaching were the positive aspects of the role. The findings of this research have implications for clinical nurses moving into the academic role, for nursing faculty departments seeking positive environments, and for those novice nurse educators who have successfully transitioned to the professional role and are seeking retention in the position. Recommendations for future research include using a mixed methodology to include the perceptions of the transitioning faculty members. As well, seeking a more diverse sample of nurse educators is warranted. Future studies should also address whether any associated factors contributed to the described positive experience, such as the nurse having previously been a student nurse preceptor and the type of clinical experience of the nurse before moving into the academic role.