Students (and Pros) Need Your Opinion

  1. First some background, I have been and LPN since 1996, worked in a Pediatrician's office for 6 years and in LTC for a year. Graduated from RN/ADN in May working in a PCU in a large suburban hospital since July. I remember all my clinical instructors and my primary clinical nurses with fondness (alright, some with shudders). I really enjoy working with students and have considered going into teaching at some point. Yesterday, at work the clinical instructor of the LPN program (yes, the one I graduated from but she doesn't know me outside of my current clinical practice) offered me a position as a clinical instructor (part time, so I can keep my position as staff on the PCU). I LOVE working with the students, really look forward to "student days" but I hesitate due to my own inexperience. I have been in this clinical area since July, full time. My own clinical practice has expanded behind even my own expectations ( and they where VERY high). I took this position so that I could learn a ton in a short among of time and I have. I am fully versed in trachs, feeding tubes, dressings, IV's, blood draws, communication with collaborative health care areas, sudden changes in pt's condition and acting quickly on my own instincts. I guess I should add that I am a "nontraditional student", (alright, I'm old) so I am kind of an "over achiever" and seek any and all experiences for myself and the student I may be working with. I also know when I need help and who I need to ask if I'm not sure. My question is, if I agree to this position do I do a disservice to the students I am working with just based on my own short clinical history? I am really interested in this position but I am very worried that I may not yet be qualified. Hence my question, would you want me as your clinical instructor? Should I take this offer? Your honest input would be appreciated.
    •  
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    In all honesty, Connie, although I have no doubt you will make an amazing clinical instructor in time, as a student I would personally want a clinical instructor who had been an RN a little longer than 8 months, even with your prior LPN experience.

    I'm basing this on my own experience. After a full year in a very busy big-city med-surg ICU, I knew there was still a lot I hadn't seen and done yet. And I wasn't a particularly slow learner or anything, it's just that some experiences only come with time. It was another year after that before I started regularly precepting students and experienced RN residents.

    Ultimately it's up to you, of course, and only you know whether you're ready or not. Good luck, and remember whatever you decide, it's a compliment to your skills and professionalism just to be asked.
  4. by   Ortho_RN
    My clinical instructor that I have this semester has only been doing clinicals for 2 semesters... She has just been nursing for the most part, but had even had to quit that recently for health issues.... There are some things that aggravate my group, mainly b/c she is new and hasn't caught the groove.. But she also doesn't have that I have been doing clinicals for 10yrs attitude and treats us students equally and doesn't yell and scream like some of my former instructors...

    I think that fact that you want to HELP people learn would make you a great clinical instructor.... Everyone has to start from somewhere.. Im sure first time will be a test for YOU and the students.... I think you should go for it... How will you know if you don't do it??

    And also one of the first semester clinical instructors only had 6months of actually nursing under her belt when she started teaching and she is great...
  5. by   Rapheal
    You seem to have a very broad and detailed base of knowledge on the nursing procedures that you will be teaching. That coupled with your great attitude would make me think that you will be a good instructor. I say go for it.

    I am most impressed with your love of teaching and your desire to help the students. As we know, nursing school is very hard and the attitude of the instructor plays a major role on how the student feels about the experience.
  6. by   RNConnieF
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am really torn, I have had (as has the program who asked me to be a clinical instructor) a clinical instructor who has never even heard of such strange things as AIDS, Universal Precautions, nurses without caps AND(God forbid)married nurses in pants. One of the clinical instructors currently in the program graduated from a diploma program in 1943 (no I'm not kidding) and has not been an active clinical member since 1968. When I look at her I think I must be better, but I still wonder if I am skilled enough. Thanks for your responses, gives me more to think about.
  7. by   Bonnie Blue
    I think you would be a great instructor. Does your hospital have a preceptorship class or instruction? I think if you can precept a new grad, you can certainly teach. Also check around with other programs and see what they expect from their instructors.

    I used to teach myself. It can be nerve-racking but you get into a groove and it gets better.
  8. by   RNConnieF
    Thanks Bonnie,
    I've been precepting new nurses since I came off on orientation myself, albeit, without any formal training, I was just told I was orienting "the new nurse". I never questioned my ability to do it until now. My big worry is that I would be doing a disservice to the students I work with. Thanks for your input, I needed it.
  9. by   cactus wren
    Originally posted by RNConnieF
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am really torn, I have had (as has the program who asked me to be a clinical instructor) a clinical instructor who has never even heard of such strange things as AIDS, Universal Precautions, nurses without caps AND(God forbid)married nurses in pants. One of the clinical instructors currently in the program graduated from a diploma program in 1943 (no I'm not kidding) and has not been an active clinical member since 1968. When I look at her I think I must be better, but I still wonder if I am skilled enough. Thanks for your responses, gives me more to think about.
    After reading about that one...How could you have any doubts???You will be just fine, and I think someone who has recently"been there", would be an asset. Youe memories of what was good, and what was bad is fresh in your mind...And I bet you have heard of UP, Aids, ...Does she still wear her cap???
  10. by   NRSKarenRN
    are you aware of the pa sbon requirements for lpn educators?

    subchapter b. practical nurses
    21.192. faculty qualifications.
    http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/04...1/s21.192.html

    (a) the qualifications of the nurse director or nurse coordinator shall be as follows:

    (1) graduation from an approved school of professional nursing.

    (2) current registration as a professional nurse in this commonwealth.

    (3) a baccalaureate degree, preferably in nursing, with experience in the areas of nursing, nursing education and educational administration. the nurse director or coordinator shall give evidence of ability to provide leadership and shall have a specific plan for completing work towards a master's degree with evidence of consistent effort toward completion of the plan.

    (b) the qualifications of the instructors shall be as follows:

    (1) graduation from an approved school of professional nursing.

    (2) current registration as a professional nurse in this commonwealth.

    (3) a baccalaureate degree, preferably in nursing, with additional preparation for teaching appropriate to the teaching of practical nursing.

    (4) experience and skill in the practice of nursing.

    (5) nursing experience involving direct patient care or teaching experience within 2 years of employment. faculty and instructors shall give evidence of maintaining expertness in clinical and functional areas of responsibility.

    (c) the employment of less qualified instructors. faculty or instructors with less academic preparation may be employed if qualified personnel is not available provided that less qualified faculty and instructors shall function under the direct guidance of a fully qualified faculty member and shall give evidence of continuing their academic preparation.

    originally posted by rnconnief
    ...i really enjoy working with students and have considered going into teaching at some point. yesterday, at work the clinical instructor of the lpn program (yes, the one i graduated from but she doesn't know me outside of my current clinical practice) offered me a position as a clinical instructor (part time, so i can keep my position as staff on the pcu). i love working with the students, really look forward to "student days" but i hesitate due to my own inexperience. i have been in this clinical area since july, full time. my own clinical practice has expanded behind even my own expectations ( and they where very high). i took this position so that i could learn a ton in a short among of time and i have.... your honest input would be appreciated.

    your above reply shows that you meet most of the sbon requirements. since you have practiced 6 years as lpn you are well qualified to understand this role and teach it's clinical skills since you practiced at this level and are now an rn. what type of position are they offering you? part -time clinical instructor to observe and teach during clinical rotations-- should do just fine as mostly guiding practice taught in classroom. or is it to teach theory classes? you might not have enough depth/experience to do this.

    if it is a semester long contract, why not try it? i would think you would be starting in summer or sept and by that time will have one year rn experience. if you do decide to take the position, i would suggest that you stipulate in your contract having an assigned mentor to guide you. also, see if an online course or summer course in teaching is available. otherwise head back to the library for a book on teaching nursing practice.....anyone here have a good book recommendation?

    since you will be keeping your other position, you will be continuing to sharpen your rn skills. this might just be your entree into nursing education. your students will be lucky to have someone still enthusiastic about nursing and this will give you the imputis to go for bsn.


    i am fully versed in trachs, feeding tubes, dressings, iv's, blood draws, communication with collaborative health care areas, sudden changes in pt's condition and acting quickly on my own instincts. ... i also know when i need help and who i need to ask if i'm not sure. ... should i take this offer?
    yes!
  11. by   Tweety
    You were offered the job. They wouldn't have offered it if they didn't think you had the experience and the qualificiations. Why are you even questioning that?

    If you want it, go for it!!!! You'll be awesome!
  12. by   karenG
    just my tuppence worth- didnt someone once say that those who dont want a job are the best at it? sorry, cant remember the exact quote but thats the gist of it!

    I too am a clinical teacher and have always been scared of not knowing enough- especially when faced with really bright students(mine are post reg) so I just have to keep ahead of them and know my stuff! Its great fun and I enjoy it, watching them develope the skills they need and the joy they feel when it all goes well! so yes- go for it. they must think you can do it- or you wouldnt have been offerred the job! right person, right time, right place! good luck!!

    Karen

    edited cos I cant spell!! if I could spell, I'd be truly dangerous!
  13. by   RNConnieF
    Thanks, knew I could count on everyone here to provide plenty of food for thought. NRSKaren, you are incredible!! Thanks for the info on qualifications. One of my concerns is that I am not a BSN yet, I am in school and will finish 12/05. The instructor who approached me assured me that as long as I am in school it would be OK. The position is as a part time clinical instructor, providing direct hands on supervision of students in the clinical area. You hit the nail right on the head when you said that I am not qualified as a classroom teacher. karenG, (there appears to be something in the name ) that's EXACTLY what I'm afraid of, not knowing enough to be a step ahead of the students. I also realize that this is an excellent way to assure that I improve my own clinical knowledge- a big plus for accepting the position. I have to thank all of you for allowing me to "think out loud" here, hubby is less that receptive on this topic. He has been a teacher at the same school for almost 25 years and for whatever reason, isn't inclined to discuss my potential employment at "his" school. He DOES tell me to go for it, that I am a "natural" at teaching (the same thing the clinical instructor said to me when she first approached me), but he isn't willing to listen to me during the process of thinking this thru. I think I'll contact my LPN clinical instructor and get her opinion too. Thanks again to all here for the input.
  14. by   semstr
    Connie, go for it!!!!

close