A 2021 Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN) article noted that high-quality nursing education and nursing professional development is critical to keeping up with the rapidly changing health care environment. As the nation’s population ages, the demand for health care services is increasing. With one million out of approximately three million registered nurses being older than 50, about a third of the current workforce is expected to retire within 15 years. Training new nurse educators to guide, instruct, and inspire the next generation of nurses is vital to society’s health and well-being.
Nurse educators value nursing professional development and believe it is vital to improving patient care standards, especially when educating and training the next generation of nurses. However, the overall nursing shortage in both academia and clinical settings has nurse educators stretched thin. The issue is that nurse educators do not have time to update their knowledge and skills. Having easy access to nursing professional development helps nursing professionals update their knowledge and skill levels to maintain high standards of patient care.
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Nurse educators are expected to possess the skills to advance quality and address emerging healthcare needs. The need for continued nursing professional development and skills development in the face of rapidly changing technology is an enormous task for nursing educators. The lack of opportunity and time to update their knowledge and skills was the most frequently described frustration for clinical nurse educators. This also contributes to the rising levels of nursing burnout as it contributes to nurse educators’ acute and chronic stress levels. Hospital systems and other healthcare providers should look for ways to continually educate their existing workforce, nurse educators, and faculty on the latest practices and technologies.
The answer to this challenge for nursing educators lies in innovation, perseverance, and resilience. The nurse educator could benefit from utilizing online learning programs developed by qualified subject matter experts. These learning programs can be used to update not only their own knowledge and skills but to also provide access to a catalog of courses to meet the training needs of nursing professionals on the frontline. Access to this type of technology would allow nurse educators to focus on other tasks required by employers while easing the burden of content development and delivery.
It can be challenging to push for change; however, many healthcare facilities now recognize the need for innovation to reduce the nursing shortage and attract qualified nurse educators and staff. Partnering with CareerSmart® Learning can help. With a large catalog of courses and accreditations from many professional licensing and certification organizations, CareerSmart® Learning has all your training needs covered.