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TODAY news for Thursday, November 2, 2006

School of Nursing news

Two nursing professors pass new nurse educator exam

During this past summer, two faculty members from the School of Nursing attended and passed a new nurse educator exam that was developed by the National League for Nursing (NLN).

Jan Nick, PhD, RNC, associate professor of nursing, and Patricia Pothier, PhD, RN, associate professor of nursing, are now only two of seven nurses in California who have completed the certified nurse educator examination (CNE).

The exam was three hours long and consisted of 160 questions taken on computer.

In 2003 the National League for Nursing conducted a survey and asked more than 3,000 nurse educators and deans/chairs of nursing if they felt nurse faculty need a special set of educational skills to do their job effectively. Ninety-two percent of faculty indicated they viewed the role of nurse educator as needing a special set of skills, and 80 percent could envision benefits from certification. So then in 2005, the NLN conducted a practice analysis and again polled nurse faculty and administrators regarding activities they are involved in on a day-to-day basis as full-time nurse educator.

The NLN recognized that there was a special set of skills needed by expert nurse educators.

The academic nurse educator certification program was developed to recognize excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator.

Before sitting for the certification exam, you have to meet certain criteria such as meeting experience requirements, and licensing requirements. For the nurse educator certification, eligibility to write the exam includes an MS or doctoral degree in nursing, and five years full-time employment as educator.

There are six areas of knowledge competency that are tested. Nurse educators need to know how to facilitate learning; facilitate learner development and socialization; use assessment and evaluation strategies; participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes; pursue continuous quality improvement in the academic nurse educator role; and engage in scholarship, service, and leadership.

According to Dr. Nick, 300 nurse faculty have earned their certification. Only seven faculty in California have earned this certification, including Drs. Nick and Pothier. Faculty who pass the exam can now use the initials CNE after their name.

Dr. Pothier has been with the School of Nursing since 1985 and teaches nursing courses at the graduate level. Dr. Nick, who has been with the School since 1998, teaches obstetrical and neonatal nursing and nursing research.

By Dustin R. Jones, MA

TODAY news for Thursday, November 2, 2006