Spring 2006
Healthy Times

New nursing program to fill growing need for nurse educators

Nursing class lecture

University of Detroit Mercy's McAuley School of Nursing will address the nursing shortage in Michigan by preparing nurses for teaching with its new graduate track. Upon completing the track, students will earn their Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Education with a Clinical Nurse Specialty Option.

"The program's unique structure prepares students with a clinical specialty area so they will be eligible to sit for the Clinical Nurse Specialist certification in addition to being prepared as a nurse educator," says McAuley School of Nursing's Associate Dean Judith Lewis. "When we surveyed the nursing schools, we found that the faculty needed to be prepared at an advanced level in a clinical specialty; therefore, we included the specialty within this program."

Lewis helped develop the program upon surveying alumni, undergraduates, nursing school administrators and hospital administrators. Her findings revealed a critical need for master's-prepared nurses to fill faculty positions as a large majority of nursing college instructors retire. In fact, according to a Michigan Center for Nursing survey, only 4.7 percent of Michigan's registered nurses work in education.

While nursing colleges seek qualified faculty, hospitals are also anxious to hire nurse educators.

"Hospitals need people who can plan and evaluate programs in a hospital setting, develop curriculum for continuing education and use technology in education," says Lewis, who adds that she has heard from students specifically seeking a nurse educator program.

Nursing class discussion

Students, who earn this degree, can take the National League for Nursing's Nurse Educator exam­ination after they complete two years in a faculty role.

The new graduate track is inter­disciplinary as well. Students will take two courses within UDM's College of Liberal Arts and Education. These courses include Curriculum and Instruction in Adult Education and Program Planning and Evaluation.

By creating the Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Education with a Clinical Nurse Specialty Option, the McAuley School of Nursing is doing its best to provide the necessary programs to assist the nursing profession as it faces a personnel shortage.

Already, 20 graduate students have inquired about the program. Beginning this fall, students will be able to take the classes on a full-time or part-time basis. Additionally, there are plans to make the courses available online for next year. For more information about the program or its informational meeting to be held in May, contact Jenny Duncil at 313-993-2455 or e-mail her at dunciljl@udmercy.edu. Details about the program can also be located on the following website: http://healthprofessions.udmercy.edu/nursing/nursingeducation/.

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