Tapping into the Internet matchmaking trend, Ohio nurses interested in part-time teaching positions and nursing schools beefing up their faculty ranks are connecting online through the Deans’ Roundtable Faculty Initiative. It is a joint venture between the Cleveland Clinic and Northeast Ohio nursing schools.
“It’s a win-win for clinicians as well as the nursing program,” says Diane Jedlicka, RN, PhD, CNS, chair of the nursing division at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio. “[Clinicians] keep their original job and teach part time.”
The school of nursing hired one full-time professor and two adjunct professors through the roundtable. “It’s an innovative approach,” Jedlicka says.
The online tool lists open faculty positions and a course description, as provided by the schools. Nurses create a profile on the database at www.TeachNursingNow.com. Anyone can access the listing or post a profile.
The online tool matches openings with nurses who have the appropriate skills and experience. Nurses must have at least two years of relevant clinical experience and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing to teach in a clinical setting, and they must have a Master of Science degree in nursing to teach didactic courses. The schools can contact the nurses or vice versa.
“It has turned out to be an amazing success,” says Joan Kavanagh, RN, MSN, education director of nursing education and professional practice development at Cleveland Clinic.
Schools of nursing have filled more than 100 faculty positions as a result of the initiative, which began in 2005. In summer 2007, the Dean’s Roundtable Initiative expanded the faculty pool by opening the database to nurses from other hospitals. Most of the nurses had never taught at the college level before.
Heather Von Glahn, RN, BSN, a nurse at St. John West Shore and MetroHealth Medical Center Stroke Rehabilitation in Cleveland, had long considered teaching. But she says she never would have pursued it without the match program, which eliminated the need to prepare a resume or contact colleges. She now teaches clinicals for Cuyahoga Community College on a telemetry floor at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland.
“I love it,” Von Glahn says. “I want to go back [to school] for my master’s in nursing education.”
Preparing Nurses to Teach(From left) Leslie Jones and Kathryn Helfrich shared insights about the most effective teaching practices of clinical educators during “What Do Students Want?” at the Dean’s Roundtable Faculty Initiative Boot Camp in August.
Cheryl McCahon, RN, PhD, a member of the Dean’s Roundtable Cleveland Clinic before her death, developed a newsletter filled with educator tips. Kavanaugh and Maureen Talty, LPN, programmer analyst for the database, wrote the first one, and subsequent newsletters were written by deans and faculty members at other schools.
A faculty “boot camp” also was established at the Cleveland Clinic Administrative Center in Beachwood, Ohio. The boot camp helps nurses learn best practices for their new roles. Instructors from the participating schools teach the eight-hour program, which covers Board of Nursing laws pertaining to teaching and the instructor’s role and responsibilities, such as information that must be provided to students, choice of assignments, and rules governing student supervision. More than 200 nurses have attended the sessions, which occur in January and August.
“We go over everything from how you set up a clinical day to what you do in pre- and post-conference,” Kavanagh says.
The boot camp also includes a Dean’s Roundtable, and nursing students are invited to talk about what they want from their instructors. Kathryn Helfrich, a sophomore in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told this summer’s participants she likes teachers who take a tough-love approach. She looks to her instructors to give guidance, praise, and criticism to help her learn and grow.
Jessie Maumburudze, a recent graduate of the Huron School of Nursing at Huron Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic facility, told attendees she found a good orientation to the unit to be most helpful. She suggested new teachers get to know the personalities of their students and treat each student uniquely, much like how nurses approach their patients.
Staff nurses from clinical sites also are invited to the roundtable. Susan Beam, RN, BSN, nursing manager of urology & gynecology at Cleveland Clinic, recommended instructors contact a member of the management team several days before arriving with students and plan for the students to shadow a nurse to get a feel for how the floor functions. This will help ensure the students participate as part of the unit team.
“We are giving them the whole picture of the kind of communication needed on the floor,” Kavanagh says.
The Dean’s Roundtable features a national speaker once a year and invites every nurse in the database to attend. In May, Patricia Benner, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco, will be the keynote speaker, presenting her latest research in nursing education. Nurses can register to attend at www.TeachNursingNow.com.
More than 400 nurses have completed a profile for the database, and another 150 have started a profile. About 95% of the positions filled are clinical, but schools of nursing also have hired faculty to teach online courses, nurse informatics classes, and skill labs.
About 56% of the nurses in the database hold a BSN, and 44% have earned an MSN. About half have attended the boot camp. Seventy-six percent of the nurses hired as faculty members responded to a survey to evaluate the program, and results indicated the faculty role had improved their critical thinking and time-management skills, made them more proactive, and energized their careers.
“It’s been a success on many different levels, not just filling the adjunct faculty positions,” Kavanagh says. “We are cultivating a whole new crop of folks who will become educators.”