Role Of The Rn As An Educator

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Role Of The Rn As An Educator

Role Of The Rn As An Educator


The nursing shortage crisis needs to be corrected. Exciting students about nursing is definitely a challenge, however, there are many things that can be done to assist in correcting this crisis. The hospital administrator and the nursing staff can work together to explore and implement ways to recruit nurses. Nurse educators play a vital role in educating and training new nurses, as well as to advance experienced nurses through continuing education. Nurse education is an occupation getting increasing national attention because of a shortage of qualified applicants, which in turn exacerbates the nursing shortage throughout most of the First World nations.

Types of Nurse Educators

Nurse Educators come in several varieties and can be found in multiple settings.

LVN/LPN Instructors

Experienced registered nurses with a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree or higher may instruct programs for licensed vocational or licensed practical nurses. LVNs/LPNs graduate from one-year vocational programs and practice under the supervision of an registered nurse. Their scope of practice is more limited than an RN and as a general rule typically includes simple hands-on tasks that do not require evaluation or decision-making.

RN Instructors

Registered Nurses holding a Master in Nursing (MSN) or higher degree may instruct registered nursing students in an academic setting. This may be part of a two-year certificate program or a four-year BSN. Both degrees lead to the same RN licensure, although today the BSN is often preferred by medical facilities and may command a higher wage. These instructors are found at community colleges and universities with nursing programs.


Experienced RNs help induct and train new graduate nurses coming into hospitals and other medical facilities. Preceptors are vital to assisting new RNs transition into hands-on practice in a medical facility, and in their discipline or area of expertise, such as medical, surgical, oncology or emergency medicine.

Graduate Instructors/Professors

RNs with Doctorate of Nursing Science (DNS) or Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees instruct master's and doctorate-level programs. DNPs in particular often instruct programs for nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwife and clinical nurse specialists.

Role of RN

One of the first things that can be done is to educate the public on who the nurse actually is. Nursing staff and administrators need to start with the client. Since almost all hospital employees wear scrubs, it is important to identify to the client who the nurses are as opposed to the housekeeper, dietary, the aids, the unit secretary, etc. Show the client your badge and show them where to look for the name and license designation, and explain that nurses are RNs and LPNs, and that the nurse or doctor is best qualified to answer their questions about medications, treatments or procedures. Explain to the client that the aid will be assigned to help with getting to the bathroom, taking vital signs and things like that, while the nurse will be giving their medications and consulting with the doctor about ...
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