The Impact Healthcare Educators Have on the Quality of Nursing Care


What role do educators play in the development of professional society? That is a question that can keep teachers up at night if they aren’t careful. People naturally wonder—do professionals, healthcare or otherwise, build their own success, or are they a product of the educational system from which they emerged?

While there is no easy answer to that question, it is safe to say that educators play a transformative role in the lives of their students. When it comes to healthcare, how is that role shaping patient outcomes?

In this article, we will take a look at how healthcare educators are impacting the entire system.

Educators are Great Gatekeepers

“Gatekeepers,” is not what most people would first assume the world of nursing needs. There are shortages all over the country. All over the world, as a matter of fact. Do we need teachers guarding the door saying things like, “You might be happier in education?”

Maybe we do. Nursing does have a major staffing issue, but the shortage isn’t only caused by a lack of candidates. It owes mainly to an incredibly high level of turnover. More than half of all new nurses leave the profession entirely within five years.

That’s unsustainable. Educators who can recognize the qualities most conducive to a good nurse are an asset to the profession. Their job as gatekeepers, of course, is not to boot aspiring nurses from the program. It is to contribute to a curriculum that naturally weeds out people who might otherwise have gotten through, only to quit soon thereafter.

Educators, conversely, may also recognize qualities in students that might make them great candidates for niche nursing positions. At the undergraduate level, all students receive approximately the same education.

However, a good teacher may recognize students who would be a great fit for specific jobs. This person might like psychiatric nursing. This person might like neonatal nursing. This person would be an excellent nurse practitioner.

By understanding and communicating with their students, nursing educators can help connect them with career paths they never would have previously thought of.

This is an awesome thing for the aspiring nurse and the patients they will one day treat.

Educators Usher in New Eras of Healthcare Technology

The world of healthcare technology evolves constantly. Sometimes, these changes are enormous. The advent of electronic health records. The rapid adoption of telehealth services. Other times, change is more gradual. The slow inclusion of new patient monitoring technology.

In all cases, nurses learn more about these developments at the hands of healthcare educators. Nursing programs throughout the country are keeping their fingers on the pulse of medical tech breakthroughs. It’s important work, passing on this understanding to a new generation of nurses, or training veterans on it.

And of course, for nursing educators to adequately pass this information on to their students, they must first fully understand it themselves. To that end, educators in this field— and, for that matter, any other— must commit to a lifetime of learning.

Other Roles Nursing Education Plays in the Future of Healthcare

Teachers aren’t the only ones shaping the future of healthcare. University recruitment departments also play an important role in ensuring that the next generation of nurses is ready to meet the world’s needs.

Healthcare shortages are bad across the board but there is a particularly pronounced deficit of minority doctors and nurses.

This is unfortunate for many reasons. Healthcare jobs tend to significantly higher than average salaries, which consequently means that minority job candidates are currently missing out on a high-paying, fast-growing industry.

Diverse hospital staff also tend to achieve better outcomes than those made up only of people belonging to a majority group.

Studies have consistently found that doctors and nurses often struggle to communicate with—and consequently provide adequate care for—patients who come from backgrounds that are different than their own.

That doesn’t mean that white doctors should only see white patients and black doctors should only see black patients. It does mean that care teams—the network of many people a patient will see during their stay at the hospital—should represent a wide range of cultural backgrounds.

College recruitment departments can help facilitate this by broadening their outreach. Making a special point to talk with minority students about their nursing programs when they visit high schools.

In doing so, they will not only grow the field of nursing and provide opportunities to people who might not otherwise have had them, but they will also contribute to better minority patient outcomes.

Conclusion

Educators play a cornerstone role in the development of society. Even as technology improves and AI develops to the point that it could seemingly replace any and all of us, teachers will have more work than they know what to do with.

Technology cannot replace educators because their job isn’t just to pass along information. It’s to connect with other humans. Understand their students, and make little adjustments to their lesson plans to help each person succeed.

The relationship between teacher and student is particularly important in the world of healthcare. Incoming nurses are entering a difficult field—one that many people walk away from. Good educators play a critical role in preparing their students for what is ahead and helping them thrive in their careers.

Are you interested in becoming a nursing educator? To get started, you will need your BSN and a graduate degree related to nursing education. Education careers are a great way to give back to your profession and help prepare the next generation of nurses.

 


With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.


Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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