Though a nurse educator is removed from the life of a superhero such as Spiderman, they do have something in common.
When Peter Parker realized he had an extraordinary power that was given to him to make a difference in the world as a superhero, he realized that he had to decide how he was going to use that power.
In the same way, every nurse educator also has power, the power to influence the next generation of professional nurses.
Therefore the iconic quote from the first Spiderman movie in 2002 as Peter’s uncle shared the following that also has relevance to each nurse educator (click YouTube link for the actual scene!)
“With great power, comes great responsibility…”
You Have Great Power as an Educator
Use this pyramid to illustrate the real power that you possess. As a nurse educator, you are at the top of the pyramid. As you recognize the power, you possess and embrace the responsibility to integrate educational best practice into your teaching you then influence the green row of the pyramid which is your nursing department.
As you implement the paradigm shifts from the Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation by contextualizing your content to clinical practice and emphasize clinical reasoning your influence is going to spread in your program.
Who does academia influence?
The nursing students that you teach! They represent the yellow base of the pyramid.
As your students begin to develop the skill of clinical reasoning and think more like a nurse and use the knowledge they were taught they will graduate and be a member of the nursing profession; and be better prepared for practice.
As a new generation of Nursing students are taught to care and act like a nurse by refusing to engage in uncivil and bullying behaviors, they know what a true professional looks like, and will be the needed change for the next generation, and you had a part in this!
Do Your Students Realize they also Have the Power?
To make the power that you possess as an educator practical, let me suggest the following action steps:
- Embrace your responsibility to be a transformational change agent. Nursing education needs to emphasize preparing students for practice. Emphasize clinical reasoning, and you will help your students not only be better prepared for the NCLEX®, but also professional practice
- Do not allow student response or resistance to active learning keep you from doing what is needed. Students are not expert nurses. They are novice nurses who have no idea what it means to be a professional nurse. Student feedback when given needs to be considered, but it does not override educational best practice. Resist any effort or attempt to lower the bar of learning in your program or spoon feed adult learners.
- Step out in spite of your fears. Every educator has a fear. Is that fear holding you back? Identify that fear then share it with another colleague. Two is better than one, and the support of another can help you overcome the challenges of doing things differently and overcoming the fear of change in academia.
- Encourage and exhort your students regularly about the great power they will soon possess. To think or not to think like a nurse can be a matter of patient life or death.
RELEVANT Past Blogs
Learn more! The following past blogs provide additional background on today’s topic!
- It’s All About the Patient: An Open Letter to Nursing Students
- Make a Difference
- A Crisis in Competency: Why Students are Not Prepared for Practice
What do you think?
Have you embraced the great power you possess? How have you used it for good?
Comment below and let the conversation begin!
Keith Rischer – Ph.D., RN, CCRN, CEN
As a nurse with over 35 years of experience who remained in practice as an educator, I’ve witnessed the gap between how nursing is taught and how it is practiced, and I decided to do something about it! Read more…
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