The perceived roles of nurse educators in the context of a provincial nursing college
Duma, Buyisile Maureen
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Nurse educators play a crucial role in the nursing profession, as they are concerned with the important task of preparing responsible, efficient, competent and knowledgeable nurses; and also with the task of strengthening nurses as independent and critical thinkers not just for now, but for the future. Within the South African educational environment, and more specifically, a nursing college in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the roles expected of nurse educators are numerous, and in some cases part from the facilitation of learning in the college and the clinical area, they are also expected to teach subjects outside of their areas of expertise. Although the provincial nursing college, as the context for this study, provides unique and challenging opportunities for theoretical and clinical teaching and learning, the environment and the relationship between the stakeholders seems to be questionable, and needs improvement from all stakeholders to be more conducive for learning. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the perceived roles of nurse educators in the context of a provincial nursing college. A qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design served as framework for this study. Data was collected by means of focus-group discussions, with samples selected from two populations of stakeholders with first-hand experience of the expected roles of nurse educators. The first participating group consisted of seven nurse educators, and the second participating group consisted of twelve nursing students. The focus of the focus group discussions was based on the participants’ ‟experience of how they perceived the current role of nurse educators” in a provincial nursing college in the KwaZulu-Natal province. The findings of the research resulted in five (5) main and seventeen (17) sub-themes from the participating nurse educators, and four (4) main and eleven (11) sub-themes from the participating nursing students. The participants in this study perceived the current roles of the nurse educators within the provincial nursing college as those of mentor, support-giver, teacher and facilitator, collaborator and scholar. The nurse educators also viewed their current roles as including managerial and administrative tasks. These findings were integrated with relevant national and international literature to culminate in conclusions, limitations and recommendations of the study. The concluding statements served as a basis for the recommendations to nurse educators, nursing education, nursing education management and nursing research. These recommendations include the advice that nursing education within the provincial nursing college should be viewed and treated as a scholarly activity. Cooperation, teamwork and collaboration also came to the forefront as essential for the sustainability of nursing education within the provincial nursing college context. Role conflicts also came out as an integrated and essential part of understanding and developing the current role expectations of the nurse educator in the provincial nursing college context.
- Health Sciences