Nurse educators in Australia: High job satisfaction despite role ambiguity

Jan Maree Sayers, Yenna Salamonson, Michelle DiGiacomo, Patricia Davidson


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the nurse educator role in Australian hospitals, including their practice and performance standards.

Methods: A cross-sectional, online survey of nurse educators employed in acute care hospitals in Australia was administered over a three-month period. The survey comprised established and researcher-developed scales, and a single open-ended question. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was analysed using a general inductive approach.

Results: Nurse educators who were more likely to fulfil nurse educator competency practice domains had master’s degrees in education, defined professional development needs, and met regularly with their managers. These educators also had higher levels of job satisfaction. Participants identified that role ambiguity and role confusion adversely impacted nurse educator role expectations, responsibilities, and job satisfaction. Despite this, the majority of educators intended to stay in their role for the foreseeable future.

Conclusions: Role ambiguity influenced professional identity and job satisfaction, highlighting the need for clarification of nurse educator roles. These findings suggest the need for review of the nurse educator role and incorporation of professional and educational requirements and practice competencies. Ongoing role monitoring is recommended to identify the effects of role change.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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