Certification for Educators In Nursing Education

Nurses Educator 2

Nursing Educational Certification Programs

Certification for Educators In Nursing Education

Nurse Educator Certification,Why Educator Certification Is Necessary In Nursing,Nursing Education Certification Programs In Nursing Education,Responsibilities of Nursing Educators.

Nurse Educator Certification

    Nurse educator certification is defined as voluntary, periodic certification for academic nurse educators (National League for Nursing INLNJ, 2012, p. 1). Academic nursing education is a specialty area and an advanced practice role within professional nursing (NLN Certification Commission, 2012, p. 4). This practice discipline has a defined practice setting and demonstrable standards of excellence (NLN, 2008), and projects a level of expertise that demonstrates the holder is highly qualified for the practice of teaching.

Why Educator Certification Is Necessary In Nursing 

    Nurse educator certification advances the science of nursing by creating a means for faculty to demonstrate their expertise in this advanced practice role. The research conducted during the development of the certification delineated the full scope and practice of academic nursing educators. Likewise, it is the only professional credential that recognizes excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nursing educator (Ortelli, 2008).

    In the initial publication on research related to the core competencies (Halstead, 2007, p. 13), a task group used the competencies and related task statements to organize the existing body of research on nursing education and discovered gaps in the research literature. Using the core competencies as a framework for relating new nursing education knowledge is an essential step in the advancement of the science of nursing education.

    The certification core competencies are being used by faculty to organize promotion and tenure documents; Additionally, graduate programs have used the competencies as the framework for curricula specializing in nursing education (Kalb, 2008). Subsequently, the identification of the core competencies has given the science of nursing education a model and has made excellence in the practice of nursing education quantifiable

Nursing Education Certification Programs In Nursing Education

    The NLN developed the certification program in 2005, which was patterned after certification programs in advanced clinical practice. The NLN Certification Commission administered the first examination in 2005 at the annual Summit. In 2013, the historical events surrounding the development of the Academic Nurse Educator Certification Program were documented (Nick, Sharts-Hopko, & Leners, 2013).During this process of developing evidence, the NLN identified eight core competencies in the practice analysis:

(a) facilitate learning

(b) facilitate learner development and socialization

(c) use assessment and evaluation strategies

(d) participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes 

(e) pursue continuous quality improvement in the nurse educator role

(f) function as a change agent and leader

(g) engage in scholarship

(h) function within the institutional environment and the academic community (Ortelli, 2006). 

    A more recent practice analysis, in 2010, revealed very minor changes to the task statements and core competencies (NLN Certification Commission, 2012, p. 41, thus providing validity and reliability to this evidence-based list. These competencies, infused with education and pedagogy. are characteristics Hagler, Poindexter, and Lindell (2014) acknowledged as necessary for successful nursing faculty members.

    To become certified, candidates take a computerized examination that is offered throughout the United States through a third-party computer testing service. Eligibility requirements include holding a master's or doctoral degree in nursing with:

(a) a major emphasis on nursing education

(b) 2 years of experience as a full time educator (NLN, 2012, p. 3).

     The pass rate for the certification examination has consistently been around 84% (Ortelli, 2008), slightly higher than exemplar clinical certification pass rates (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 2012) and similar to nurse practitioner pass rates (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, n.d.). Candidates who pass the rigorous standardized examination use the certification mark Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) after their name: Certification is valid for 5 years; Similarly, recertification is granted for 5 years by demonstrating currency in academic teaching practice in addition to meeting requirements for continuous professional development.

    Interest in the CNE credential has been demonstrated by nurse educators in all career stages, as well as by those who teach in all program types (Ortelli, 2008). As the number of CNES continues to increase, countless research opportunities exist that will assist maturation in the practice of nursing education.

Responsibilities of Nursing Educators

    Nurse educators have a professional responsibility to demonstrate excellence in practice by creating a learning environment where students thrive while impacting the science of nursing, leaders focusing on identifying the impact of certification on student success indicators will contribute to nursing science and the validation of this certification programs. Determining differences in teaching environments between certified and non CNES will provide continuing evidence for best practice. 

    And, as the demographic characteristics of nursing students change, tracking modifications in tasks embedded within each core competency is necessary for the certification to remain relevant.There is a need to document the effect of certification on success indicators of departments, such as changes in cohesion, scholarship, philosophies of teaching, and socialization efforts. 

    Determining the impact of certification on individual faculty maturation, such as role fulfillment, promotion and tenure, salary differential, and role expansion, continues to be important. Research documents professional benefits experienced by certified clinical nurses (Fitzpatrick, Campo, Graham, & Lavandero, 2010). It is important to investigate the benefits realized from becoming a CNE. 

    The NLN understands that not all nurse educators implement all eight competencies in the course of their duties factors such as the mission of the institution, academic preparation, and type of program all affect how broadly these competencies are practiced (Halstead, 2007, p. 13 , NLN Certification Commission, 2012, p. 13) Ascertaining which tasks and related competencies are the most and least practiced would help nursing departments or professional nurse educator organizations tailor faculty development programs. With certification standards now set, there is an evidence-based, detailed, systematic role identified for US nurse educators.

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