April 28, 2003

Program trains nursing faculty on fast track

By Tia Webster

Creative efforts by administrators to recruit more students into nursing are helping to ease the nursing shortage. But now, the state of Georgia and the surrounding region need additional faculty to accommodate the rising enrollment at nursing schools.

In response, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is introducing a new program aimed at preparing expert clinicians—in less than three months—to teach at academic institutions.

A survey last year by the Southern Regional Education Board Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing affirmed the need for long-term strategies and short-term solutions to the nursing faculty shortage. Based on the responses of the nursing institutions represented, approximately 10 percent of the total nursing educator faculty was lost to retirement or resignations during the 2001–02 academic year. And, of the almost 4,500 full-time budgeted positions reported by the responding institutions, 8 percent were unfilled during the same time frame.

Emory nursing administrators designed the innovative Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute—a post-master’s certificate program—in response to the pressing need for nursing educators. The fast-track course offers master’s-prepared clinicians an efficient program to become trained educators through a teaching practicum that builds on participants’ clinical knowledge and ensures they learn the techniques to deliver educational materials in a skilled and effective manner.

“Faculty in nursing programs are a special breed of nurse,” said nursing Professor Helen O’Shea, who will direct the program. “They are, first, expert clinicians able to master clinical situations; and, second, skilled educators who are adept at the design of courses, utilizing various teaching and learning strategies and selecting appropriate ways to evaluate learning and skills acquisition.”

Participants in the 2003 Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute may complete all or part of the program. Upon completion of the entire sequence, participants will earn 12 graduate-level academic credits (nine semester hours in the summer and three semester hours in the fall). This year’s program is limited to 25 participants.

Classes will be held in workshop format at Emory from June 9–20, followed by online activities and assignments until Aug. 1. The participants will conclude with a “preceptorship” at their employing agency or institution from September to December.

During their preceptorships, they will participate in both classroom and clinical instruction under the direction of a faculty preceptor, who will provide guidance, critique and support.

Funding for the 2003 Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute will be provided by the nursing school, the Georgia Student Loan Repayment Commission for qualified students and the schools and employing institutions of the participants.

To be eligible, participants must have a master’s degree in nursing with clinical specialization. Preference is given to those affiliated with a nursing education program in Georgia.

For additional information on the 2003 Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute, contact the nursing school admissions office at 404-727-7980 or via e-mail at admit@nurse.emory.edu. Scholarship information is available through the Georgia Student Loan Commission.