College and university faculty who teach and advise students on basic and graduate degree programs in nursing are nurse educators or academic nurses. Faculty may give lectures to several hundred students in large halls, lead small seminars, or supervise students in laboratories. They prepare lectures, exercises, and laboratory experiments; grade exams and papers; and advise and work with students individually. In universities, they also supervise graduate students’ teaching and research. Faculty members are expected to keep up with developments in their field by reading current literature and participating in professional conferences. Faculty members consult with government, business, nonprofit, and community organizations. They also do their own research to expand knowledge in their field. They perform experiments; collect and analyze data; and publish their research results in professional journals, books, and electronic media. Most faculty members serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with the policies of their institution, departmental matters, academic issues, curricula, budgets, equipment purchases, and hiring. Some work with student and community organizations. Department chairpersons are faculty members who usually teach some courses but have heavier administrative responsibilities. Clinical faculty members provide clinical supervision of students.
Requirements vary with level of position; college faculty and deans usually need a doctorate (PhD, EdD, DNSc, DNP); these individuals serve as the top administrative officer of the academic unit for full-time, tenure-track positions in 4-year colleges and universities; instructors and clinical faculty most often have educational preparation at the master’s degree level. Certification is available from the National League for Nursing.
CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED
■ Strong interpersonal and communication skills
■ Motivational and mentoring skills
■ Knowledge of teaching/learning and/or management principles and practices
■ Ability to make sound decisions and to organize and coordinate work efficiently
■ Time management skills; ability to work independently and manage a large number of diverse projects
■ Research and publication skills, especially for faculty at professorial ranks in colleges and universities
■ Ability to manage a flexible schedule; faculty usually teach 12 to 16 hours per week, and for faculty and committee meetings. Most faculty establish regular office hours for student consultations, usually 3 to 6 hours per week. Faculty devote time to course preparation, grading, research, graduate student supervision, and other activities.
RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS