Educator Preparation and Impact of Technology In Nursing Education

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Impact of Technology In Nursing Education and Educator Preparation

Educator Preparation and Impact of Technology In Nursing Education

Preparation for Educator Role In Nursing,Technology Changing How and What We Teach.

Preparation for Educator Role In Nursing 

    The faculty shortage is not only in terms of sheer numbers of educators to teach nursing students. The shortage also includes faculty with knowledge and competencies to carry out their roles. 

    Because of the shift of master's programs years ago to preparing advanced practice nurses instead of nurse educators, many individuals currently in teaching roles or considering faculty positions have not been prepared for the role of educator. 

    To develop innovations and use new technologies in teaching, faculty need to know how to teach; Otherwise, they cannot make careful decisions about how to use these new methods in promoting learning outcomes. 

    More graduate programs are now offering nursing education as a track, individual courses to prepare faculty, or a post-master's certificate (Oermann, in review). This trend is important because of our need to prepare nurses for future roles as faculty and to further develop the knowledge and competencies of current educators. 

    Courses and programs such as these can be offered through distance education to prepare faculty in regions without graduate nursing programs or where the schools of nursing lack resources to prepare for this role. Web based courses developed in modular format can be packaged to meet individual needs of schools and health care settings for teacher development. 

    For example, modules on clinical evaluation can be used for faculty development in a nursing program or as continuing education for individual faculty or educators in clinical settings.Even if prepared as educators, faculty need strong mentors to foster their development as expert teachers and scholars. 

    Many schools have strong mentoring programs for faculty research and scholarship, but mentors are equally important for developing expert teaching skills, particularly in schools that use technology to deliver their educational programs and in teaching. 

Technology Changing How and What We Teach

    Technology has changed the way we teach nursing at all levels and will continue to have an impact on how we deliver instruction and promote student learning. With technology we can build flexibility in the program, allowing students to learn when convenient for them and often in a setting of their choice, providing individualized learning opportunities, and creating simulated experiences that students would not have available in the clinical setting. Any time, any place learning will continue to be requested by students.

    Technology also leads to more global schools that can provide high-quality education to an international student body. This is a developing market for nursing programs, particularly those with existing technology to deliver courses to students and nurses in other countries. 

    Billings and colleagues (2003) described a collaborative effort between her school of nursing in the United States and the Institute of Health Sciences and Nursing in Malaysia to offer a Web based course to prepare nursing educators for faculty and staff development positions in Malaysia. For countries without language and technology barriers, this market will be easier to develop. 

    Educational technology, though, requires faculty expertise not only in the technology itself but also in how to use it effectively in instruction. Most faculty will not be able to keep up with new developments in educational technology, particularly in schools with missions other than education. 

    Administrative expectations that demand faculty expertise in using technology in their courses present challenges for faculty whose skill levels may be limited (Chaffin & Maddux, 2004). Faculty need experts in technology who serve as consultants to help them make decisions about what available technology would benefit students in a course regardless of how that course is delivered. 

    Schools of nursing need to make careful decisions about allocating resources for technology because without use across the curriculum, the costs are not warranted.Technology not only affects the way we teach but also influences what we teach. As new technologies are introduced into health care, students need to understand their use either for their own practice or to prepare patients for upcoming procedures and treatments. 

    The rapid changes in technology in health care make it difficult for some nursing faculty to keep the curriculum current and prepare students for using technology in clinical practice. Partnerships with clinical agencies, task forces that include clinical experts, and similar arrangements provide a mechanism for faculty who are not involved in clinical practice to keep current with new technologies that students should learn about or develop some level of expertise in.

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