At some point in your educational career, you had that teacher. The one who pushed you past your comfort zone and inspired you to keep learning and growing. Now, as you prepare to walk the stage to earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, it will soon be your turn to pay it forward to the next generation as a nurse educator.
We recently spoke with Chamberlain MSN Educator Specialty Track Professor Dr. Becky Sisk, to gain her insight into next steps for new and soon-to-be nurse educators. With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Dr. Sisk shares her advice below:
1. Start Job Hunting during your Practicum
By the time you start practicum, you should be looking to see what job opportunities are available in your area. During your practicum, have a positive attitude and show that you are eager to and capable of teaching students. Finding a job is about finding the right people, so show them how you would be a great fit for the position.
2. Find a Mentor
If you’re a new educator, get a mentor. Sometimes recent graduates have questions and don’t know who to ask. Your mentor will be the person who leads you in the right direction and makes you feel more comfortable in your new position.
3. Networking Now Could Lead to Future Opportunities
Join professional organizations with local chapters. For example, if you’re a critical care nurse, I’d encourage you to join the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN) and volunteer for activities, go to conferences and attend events where you can meet up with people in the profession. When I’m at networking events, I always keep my eyes open for nurses with the potential to be educators.
4. Emphasize your Accomplishments
Emphasize your professional accomplishments, even if they’re modest. If you’ve participated in health fairs or given presentations at community organizations, make sure to include them on your resume. Include any awards you have received in the workplace, as it shows your ability to accomplish your goals and be successful. You should also emphasize your clinical ability by adding any certifications you have.
5. Make Time for Self Care
Make sure to pursue your passions and hobbies outside of teaching. Whether you’re dedicated to a weekly yoga class, love to bake, or are part of a book club, it’s important to have an outlet. This profession can take a lot of time and effort, since as educators we’re constantly wanting to improve what we do. Don’t try to be perfect. You need to take the time to take care of yourself.
6. Come Prepared
The students are on your side, so take a deep breath and relax. Be creative, loosen up, have some fun with it. If you’re inexperienced, rehearse. Always be prepared. The better you know your topic, the easier it is to present in front of a group.
If you’re a new nurse educator, we encourage you to take Dr. Sisk’s advice: Find a mentor, perfect that resume, and remember, you can do this!
Have you considered becoming a Nurse Educator? Learn how our Master of Science of Nursing (MSN) Educator Specialty Track could help you reach your goals.
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By Chamberlain University
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