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Role of the Nurse Educator


As the profession of nursing becomes increasingly complex, nurses assume greater responsibilities in the areas of clinical practice, education, and the advance of nursing science (Krouse and Holloran, 1992, pp. 62-64). A changing face of the broader society drives change in nursing (Loveridge, 1991, pp. 46-47). In turn, the changes in both society and the nursing profession demand innovation in nursing education.

In the future, administrators of nursing education programs will be required to be more creative in the areas of staff development and motivation, as more complex tasks become a part of increasing workloads in the face of a shortage of professional nursing educators (Bachman, Kichens, Halley, and Ellison, 1992, pp. 29-33). Nursing education administrators will be required to address the task and personnel problems, while simultaneously wrestling with challenges to the professional autonomy of nursing (Smeltzer and Vicario, 1988, pp. 68-71).

The nursing education administrator of the future must be prepared to deal with such problems as improved work design, staff development, and exercising professional autonomy while, at the same time, assuming greater responsibilities for the conduct of research to advance the profession (Tonges, 1992, pp. 27-32). Staff development for nursing education institutions in the future, however, cannot deal only with competency in practice and skill in research, but must also address the development of a nursing culture that will permit the professional nurse to remain effective in an increasingly complex society (Benedum, Kalup, and Freed, 1990, pp. 32-35; Ramirez, 1990, pp. 14-17).

The administrators of nursing education institutions, therefore, must possess and be able to use special qualities of leadership (Morath, 1993, pp. 75-80). One issue in this context involves the relationship between the leadership...

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