Two Days Navigating Clinical Teaching Provides Lifelong Knowledge for Nurse Educators

7 January 2013

Clinical instructors and educators shoulder a huge responsibility to support, coach and evaluate nursing students as these students put their classroom learning to the test with real patients in health care settings.  Addressing the limited educational opportunities for novice clinical instructors and educators in nursing, The Centre for Professional Development presented a comprehensive two-day workshop on The Foundations and Scholarship of Clinical Teaching.

Designed for clinical instructors and nurse educators, December 11 and 12, 2012 drew a crowd of both novice and expert nurses looking to further hone their skills in this field.  This unique format of spending two intensive days to deepen their understanding of the theoretical foundations of clinical nursing education, and then apply them in a role-playing environment really cemented the workshop for attendees.

“The opportunity to practise what we had learned throughout the day in a simulation was valuable and engaging,” said Jo Forbell, a Nursing Practice Leader from Toronto East General.  “Watching the presenters role-play a clinical example and then having some of us try on the role of clinical instructor in the same play, gave us the chance to interact and test the new skills we learned that day.”

The role-playing portion, a new addition to the course, was the highlight for many who had the chance to practise their communication approaches with a struggling nursing student. Allowed to think out and apply response strategies towards a complex student situation, away from the real-life, immediate demands of clinical teaching, attendees enjoyed the opportunity to create thoughtful and effective answers.  Working closely to devise plans for handling various student-teacher scenarios, the information shared by participants and course instructors provided a comprehensive base to further enhance the student experience during a clinical practicum.

“Our students are a delight to teach,” said Dr. Kate Hardie, senior lecturer for Bloomberg Nursing and course instructor for The Foundations and Scholarship of Clinical Teaching.  “We want to provide them with the best clinical instructors, which we can do when we engage our nurse educators with theory, practice and examining the components of effective teacher-student relationships.”

Enriched with proven strategies on how to best work with and guide students, the nurse educators in attendance left the course with the means to provide the best guidance and feedback to a new generation of nursing students.