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DNP Role and Its SynthesisChapter Writing

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¶ … nursing roles in the nursing field today. One of these roles is being a nurse educator. Below is an essay discussing the roles of a nurse educator and the usage of DNP for the role.

Below is a discussion of nurse educator roles in the nursing field as well as the place of DNP in it.

Feigenbaum, E. (n.d.). Role of a Nurse Educator. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from

Greenwood, B. (n.d.). What Are the Duties of a Nurse Educator? Retrieved January 19, 2015, from

Henritz, E. (n.d.). Nurse Educator Role & Competencies. Retrieved January 19, 2015, from


Nicole, A. (n.d.). What Is a Doctorate of Nursing Practice? Retrieved January 19, 2015, from


Nurse Educator Job Description. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2015, from


The Nurse Educator as an Advanced Practice Role. (2006, August 20). Retrieved January 19, 2015, from


Nurse Educator. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2015, from http://nursinglicensemap.com/masters-in-nursing/nurse-educator/


Nursing is one of the most lucrative jobs in the job market today. Nurse educators work in this field and their role is education of nurses. The need for more advanced practice nurse (AVPN) has been triggered by the changes in the healthcare delivery system (The Nurse educator). Clinically, the various roles are given definite names like clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse anesthetist and nurse midwife. Initially, the roles of these positions was the provision of physician support or replacement, response to evolving structures of reimbursement as well as containment of costs (The Nurse Educator). With time, APN values can now be found at several levels of healthcare delivery. While the advanced clinical practice concept is integrated in the roles, the wider advanced practice concept in nursing ought to be applied in other facets of nursing like the nurse educator (The Nurse Educator).

No clear definition is available for advanced practice nursing. However, on looking at the tenets, the nurse educator roles and responsibilities emerge (The Nurse Educator). The terminology used, 'Advanced Practice', gives light to the roles of nurses in the field. The advanced level is differentiated from basic functions by way of specialization, advancement and expansion. An advanced practice nurse:

maximizes nursing knowledge usage makes contributions to professional development functions as an agent of change and leader.

They play a big role in the training and education of new nurses, and also advancing the skills of continuing nurses as they take continuing education (Feignbaum). The field of nursing education is getting more attention nationally given the small number of qualified people applying which results in a shortage of nurses in a majority of the First World countries (Feigenbaum).

There are a variety of nurse educators and they can be found in various places like LVN/LPN Instructors. Registered nurses who are experienced and hold a bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree or a higher degree may teach licensed vocational programs or licensed practical nurses program (Feigenbaum). LVNs or LPNs, in their practice, are usually supervised by a registered nurse following their graduation from vocational programs that typically take one year. The scope of the practice is limited and they engage in tasks that are hands-on and that usually do not need decision making or evaluation (Feigenbaum).

RN Instructors: RNs are instructed by RNs who are holders of master's degree in nursing (MSN). The program could be a certificate program - two years - or a BSN program that lasts for four years. The two groups both get an RN license but the BSNs are preferred by health centers and may get better pay (Fegenbaum). The instructors are at nursing programs in universities and university colleges.

Preceptors: RNs with more experience help in the induction on new nurses graduating from school. They assist the new nurses accustom themselves with their practice in medical facilities and also in their areas of expertise like medical, oncology, emergency or surgical medicine (Feigenbaum).

Graduate Instructors/Professors: Registered nurses having Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctorate of Nursing Science (DNS) instruct students taking their masters or doctorate degrees. DNPs particularly instruct nurse practitioner programs, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse midwife (Fegenbaum).

They make sure that the students they instruct are prepared for an evolving environment in healthcare (Greenwood). They ensure that the programs at their places of work are designed according to rules of the state concerning the sector. Further, they also evaluate how effective the programs are and make revisions when needed. Nurse educators instruct formal programs and continuing education programs targeting graduate nurses (Greenwood). They teach in the classroom and also deliver services in clinical environments like nursing homes, clinics and hospitals. Most learning institutions have clinical labs in which the students can learn basic tasks like the administration of medicine, dressing changes and other skills that are more hands-on while being supervised by the nurse educator (Greenwood). On mastery of the needed skills, they are taken to real life settings in which they are requested to carry out nursing tasks under the supervision of the doctor or nurse educator. The supervisor continues to instruct as they perform the set tasks (Greenwood).

The learning experience is always tailored to the needs of the student. She may, for instance, couch a student who is anxious to insert a catheter for the first time and also give a confident or experienced student a challenge that will aid in improving their skills (Greenwood). The goal of the educator is choosing of learning opportunities that assist students build their strengths and rise above their limitations. Nurse educators give feedback to the students so that they can work on improving their practice. They also have other duties and responsibilities especially in the academic environments they work in (Greenwood). They carry out research and make presentations about their findings in conferences for nurses. A majority of them are active in professional organizations or are leaders in the field of academics (Greenwood). They might also carry out peer reviews so as to ensure quality management. The educators also have to ensure that their clinical skills are maintained and some might have part-time responsibilities in health facilities (Greenwood).

Skilled nurse educators are able to recognize changes in their field of work both locally and nationally. They develop courses that reflect these changes and revisions are continually made so as to ensure that their students or institutions are not left behind by these changes (Henritz).The development of curriculum that allow the incorporation of such changes is their responsibility. Since it is important to meet Joint Commission (JCAHO) standards in any health facility, nurses must work hard to ensure the standards are met. The nurse educators have a responsibility of ensuring that their instructions reinforce these standards and tell their students about any changes that have taken place (Henritz). Members of staff are able to give the best care possible to the patients when they are aware of the expectations of the Joint Commission.

Because a nurse educator has the fundamental responsibility of ensuring that he is a role model in his field of practice and also guide their students appropriately, they need to be well versed with the intricacies of nursing and should possess the answers needed for the field (Henritz). Besides the provision of nursing education in the formal settings, the educator must avail himself or herself to answer student's questions regarding the field (Henritz). The educator should have the ability to answer questions regarding the protocols of his facility. So as not to be left behind in their practice, a nursing educator must take professional and personal development seriously and also participate in continuing education (Henritz). A big part of his job is maintaining the necessary skills to learn, digest and apply as well as instruct students in the field in the ever evolving nursing field and so allow the students to be competent and current as they deliver their duties and responsibilities.

What is the place of DNP in nursing education? The Doctorate Nursing Practice is obviously an advanced degree and affords Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) an opportunity to further their education and so enable them practice the skills they have in policy, education as well in research (Nicole). The APN's Master degree prepares a nurse fully for clinical practice while the DNP gives him the skills they require to better the health care standards they supervise.

The DNP qualification adds massive value to the nursing practice. It ensures that APNs are prepared for roles that need advanced knowledge and so allow them to participate in increasing patient care quality as well as treatment designs (Nicole). Lisa Astalos Chism writes on the website of The Advance Nurse Practice that DNP enables nurses to be proficient in information technology, synthesis and integration of evidence-based practices in health care. They will also ensure successful collaborations across the field. DNP holding nurses might still retain their healthcare roles. They tend to have higher pay than non-DNP holders (Nicole). If they do want to hold executive offices, the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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