Nursing Education & Faculty Role Overview

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Dr. Joan Such-Lockhart walks potential students through the different degree and certificate options available at Duquesne University in the Nurse Educator and Faculty Role program.

Webinar Participants: 

  • Joan Such Lockhart, PhD, RN, AOCN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN – Clinical Professor
  • Sonia DePina – Enrollment Advisor
  • Nicole Reid – Enrollment Advisor
  • John Hall – Enrollment Advisor
  • Staci Bell – Enrollment Advisor


Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar today will be an overview of the nursing education and faculty role program and a deeper dive into the different programs within this area that we offer here at Duquesne University. this is Sonia De Pina one of your enrollment advisors for Duquesne’s online nursing programs i am also joined by Nicole Reid, John Hall and Staci Bell. Today we are joined by Dr. Joan Lockhart.

Dr. Lockhart is a professor at Duquesne in her currently the nurse education and faculty role program coordinator. Dr. Lockhart before we begin our discussion about the nursing education program do you mind telling us a little bit more about yourself? Sure I’d be glad to as you said I’m a professor at Duquesne University I’ve been here quite a while and right now I oversee the nursing education role track the nurse education master’s track. my prior experience has been in nursing education both in staff development or the educator who is engaged in teaching new employees in a health care organization and also in the diploma School of Nursing and at Duquesne and I was the former associate dean for academic affairs here at Duquesne for about 12 years. My background is also I was clinical specialty in oncology nursing primarily had neck cancer so I’ve been involved in a lot of activities both in teaching taught in all the programs that we have at Duquesne as well as clinical sites involved engaged in research and publications and different types of scholarship and service activities.

Thank You Dr. Lockhart we have a few questions for you about the nursing education program. Duquesne offers a few different programs that allows nurses to specialize in their education in order to become nurse educators. Our MSN program, our post-masters certificate and/or new concentration that allows students within the MSN, DNP or PhD programs to take their education a step further in nursing education with that being said Dr. Lockhart do you mind speaking a bit about the new concentration that is now available for for students in these programs.

I’d be glad too and as you mentioned it’s a specialization because preparation at the graduate level is at a specialty preparation so you’re right we have the Masters in nursing education track within the MSN program so that’s the master’s degree so obviously those would be folks that have a bachelor’s degree a Bachelor of Science and nursing or bachelor’s degree and then be able to complete the Master of Science and nursing program here at Duquesne but for those folks who are already are in the master’s program perhaps in our forensics or nurse practitioner program or for folks from the outside who have master’s degree or doctoral degrees PhDs DNPs or under currently enrolled in those programs we have two options one is they could take the specialty courses that because the MSN program has a set of specialty courses at the end of the program towards the end of the program and those 15 credits if the student completes those 15 credits than they earn a post-masters certificate in nursing education.

The other opportunity is a nine credit concentration, Masters in nursing education concentration in this case in which those same students could take nine courses and those nine courses those nine credits rather those nine credits are composed of three three credit courses one of the courses give them a foundation in learning theory the second course is a foundation in teaching strategies developing a teaching lesson plan assessing a learning need developing the plan for it implementing it and then evaluate learning outcomes as well as engaging in designing simulation and hopefully for the future for them to be involved in simulation in their practice settings and then the third focus is on regular development, program evaluation as well as assessment and testing so that’s where students get an opportunity to develop a test much like the NCLEX requirements of NCLEX-RN examination so those are the three primary courses. And those three courses provide them with a foundation for one of the eligibility options to sit for the Certified Nurse Educator certification offered by the National League for Nursing.

Thank You Dr. Lockhart now in regards to the nursing education if you can focus in on that concentration we do have a few questions that we would love for you to answer. What are what are the responsibilities of a nurse educator in an academic setting as well as a clinical setting?

That’s a good question, in general, faculty in an academic setting or nurse educator in an academic setting is engaged in teaching, scholarship, and service those are usually the three main areas of a person’s role as a faculty member. But it may vary by the person’s preparation so that person may spend more time teaching the scholarship or maybe their their their work is assigned by their employer negotiated to have more scholarship emphasis than teaching depending on what they’re why they were hired and what that role is designed to be. We look at teaching and that usually is what people think of most often is the nurse educator that would be involving teaching in the classroom face-to-face with students, it may be teaching online in an online course or might be a combination of those two a little bit of face-to-face sessions and a little bit of online sessions. That teaching is also applied or engage the educators are engaged in teaching I should say in the clinical laboratory a skills laboratory that schools have where they’re also involved in high fidelity human simulation or some type of simulation in that lab. Helping students walk through some of the critical thinking and their thinking skills and problem-solving skills and clinical judgments thinking they need to do in a safe environment prior to them entering the clinical site. So the other part of a teaching role besides classroom laboratory is the clinical site, so faculty are often involved with working side-by-side with students and in mentoring them and guiding them as they actually apply what they learned in the classroom in the lab to the real clinical setting with with real patients in order to provide quality safe care.

So that’s in general the role of a nurse educator there are educators that are in other settings such as healthcare organizations, hospitals and those are professional nursing development specialists or staff development specialists. Those clinical educators also engaged in some of those things that they’re focusing more on the nurse and other health care professionals who are employees of that organization and making sure that they are also familiar with the organization’s and prepared to provide safe quality care. Thank You dr. Lockhart from your expertise.

What is the most important trait that a nurse educator must have? That’s an interesting question because I’m not sure if it’s a trait but I guess is you have an interest in helping people learn and shaping actually what you’re doing at one of our most recent graduates that who’s graduating this semester had said you don’t realize but as an educator as a faculty member as an educator you’re preparing nurse’s for future work force, you’re preparing folks to take care of patients and provide that safe quality care so it’s a huge responsibility but you have to enjoy and want to do that in want – it with habit. And a lot of times folks who have come into the nursing education program have done so because they really liked their experience in learning at the bachelors level and also have some good memories as a faculty member so that they feel is their role model and still mentors them today. So I think it’s that all nurses are educators so when you’re prepared as a registered nurse part of your role is education and most times as a clinical nurse when caring in – as an employee in a healthcare setting you’re providing education for patients and families communities. You also do some peer-to-peer education, your a preceptor perhaps for some newly licensed nurses that just graduated and employed by your healthcare organization so all our ends to some extent have been educators but not in this formal sense.

Thank you do nurse educators within the hospital still work with patients Dr. Lockhart? Yes for the most part yes and I think it depends on that person’s position but many faculty have a faculty practice and depending on their role or their preparation at the Masters level of that that may vary the types of clinical practice. So if you’re a nurse practitioner you need to do that as well you have a faculty practice day so that you need to do that in order to keep current.Wonderful what draws students most to this specialty? I think as I mentioned before with draws the most is that they have some experience like as I said as a registered nurse in the practice setting with maybe a newly licensed nurse or a nurse that’s experienced the half that is transferred to a different specialty they’re not a new nurse but they’re new to that specialty and engaging in that one-on-one, facilitating that learning process, and helping them socialize to the role and they’ve had a good experience they liked what they did they liked the outcomes they liked the feedback they received. But also that they had a good experience themselves as they were engaged in their learning throughout the years.

Thank You Dr. Lockhart. One of the questions I’ll be asking it’s basically referring to you right now what’s your favorite aspect of teaching nurses in an online setting? An online site as I said I’ve taught at all different formats so there’s positives in all those in all those approaches but I think probably the most rewarding is when I see someone that I’ve taught being recognized for their teaching, being recognized for that their role as a professional nurse, gaining the recognition and advancing and seeing the fruits of say the fruits of my labor just having them be successful makes me feel good. I guess just as much as when I as a practicing nurse when I see a patient do well whether that whatever degree of wellness means to them that that gives me those types of rewards the same thing is with teaching. Online it’s just a different delivery system but it’s still that relationship and I think with online although I have relationships with students no matter if I taught them face-to-face or you know all those all those different venues, but I think with online you maintain and just having the advantage of technology you have that advantage of keeping in touch over a long time no matter where, they are in a different country, different state it doesn’t matter. It they feel like they’re right here next door but they may be in a whole different country.

Wonderful. Where should students look for a preceptor for their nursing faculty role practicum courses. Well in our program there’s two practicum to practice I should say the last one is the one that you just mentioned the nursing faculty role practicum and I just finished that this semester and the students were really really excited with how they realize how much they learned and I think how they when they were mentored by their preceptor how much they they know they’re new they’re inexperienced nurses clinically they know they’re new and the educator role but how much they like it and they feel comfortable in it and they saw their they saw their growth, I guess over the over the semester. What I usually advise students to do for this course for the nursing faculty role practicum is to you want to have a nurse that at least has a master’s degree, so at least a master’s degree is a given but it might be a good idea to look at the setting where that where you may find those nurses.

So if you know a nurse and you’re very so very comfortable with your he or she then you may want to go that route but but if not maybe we’ll get a setting like a university or college settings that you want to aspire to, you want if you want to be a future employee or you admire their mission and their offering so that you then look within that organization for a preceptor. Because what happens a lot of times is if you’re only only time to have a bird’s-eye view of an organization and see if you like it because the organization has to like you to employ you over time over you know the period of time, but you also have to feel comfortable with the mission and the vision of that that organization and that environmental climate and how they treat students and how students feel so that when you’re in that setting that’s a good opportunity for you to have your foot in the door show your strengths and to shine and then if you’re interested in applying to that institution but in that organization later that you already have a heads up and people know you I think is an advantage.

The other settings nurses also have the opportunity students also have the opportunity to work in healthcare organizations in an education department so it’s the same thing it’s also nice bird’s-eye view to see another organization where see how if you feel cut like that environment you like that practice environment and learning environment says it’s a I think wasn’t a lifetime opportunity but the other practicum the advanced role practicum is one that’s earlier. Because the nursing education and based on accreditation standards as well a nurse educator has to have a clinical specialty should emphasize that clinical specialty that specialty area at a graduate level as well as the educator role so that that first practicum is booked for those same opportunities in the clinical nurse so you’re not focusing on the nursing education role but you’re focusing on expanding and and building upon your strengths and specialty, so if you’re an oncology nurse and you’re used to be most comfortable with surgical oncology you may decide to work in a chemotherapy infusion center or bone marrow transplant center or something like that so expands what you already have a building on your strengths. Wonderful Thank You

Dr. Lockhart now our final question here and I with this area it’s just a matter of just getting insight for someone who is looking into the nurse education program what would you recommend or suggest as they try to determine which if the program is the right fit for them. Good question and again this is what I try to do here at Duquesne is when folks apply and want more information I talk with them but also I connect them with current students or recent graduates so that they could give their private perspective of their experience here at Duquesne and in the educator role. So it’s a good idea to get some inside insider information about how they felt and you know not everybody wants to be a formal nurse educator although if you’re a faculty member you you do need to have those competencies those core competencies as a faculty so some folks have that preparation and formal classroom some don’t so having these gives you a heads up on a head start on being a strong educator.

I think you know one of the things I think is always good to look at is to look at the National League for Nursing list of core since these nurse educators and they list a competency so read through that to see does that interest you in terms of the role because they talk about in those competencies facilitating learners, learning of others and that’s what we said the primary role is. Also helping with their development and socialization using assessment and evaluation skills curriculum design program outcomes evaluation of those be a leader a change agent scholarship and all those things that we mentioned before. That’s the role and that’s the competencies that you develop so if you interest you have some strengths of those where you need to develop those strengths as a good nursing education is a good role for you.

Perfect thank you Dr. Lockhart for joining us and providing us with a wonderful overview to the nursing education program at Duquesne. For those watching if you’re interested in becoming a student at Duquesne or learning more about our online nursing programs please get in touch with one of the enrollment advisors and we would be happy to help you. Thank you for watching and have a wonderful day. Thank you.