Nurse educators need to have excellent communication skills, be creative, have a solid clinical background, be flexible and possess excellent critical thinking skills. They also need to have a substantive knowledge base in their area(s) of instruction and have the skills to convey that knowledge in a variety of ways to those who are less expert.
Nurse educators need to display a commitment to lifelong learning, exercise leadership and be concerned with the scholarly development of the discipline. They should have a strong knowledge base in theories of teaching, learning and evaluation; be able to design curricula and programs that reflect sound educational principles; be able to assess learner needs; be innovative; and enjoy teaching.
Those who practice in academic settings also need to be future-oriented so they can anticipate the role of the nurse in the future and adapt curriculum and teaching methods in response to innovations in nursing science and ongoing changes in the practice environment. They need advisement and counseling skills, research and other scholarly skills, and an ability to collaborate with other disciplines to plan and deliver a sound educational program.
Nurse educators who practice in clinical settings need to anticipate changes and expectations so they can design programs to prepare nurses to meet those challenges. They need to be able to plan educational programs for staff with various levels of ability, develop and manage budgets, and argue for resources and support in an environment where education is not the primary mission.
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