The evolving role of a clinical instructor in an integrated undergraduate nursing curriculum

Amanda O'Rae, Jennifer Langille, Aaron Li, Kara Sealock, Gayle Rutherford


Undergraduate nursing curriculum is changing to keep pace with the healthcare system. As a result, nursing faculties must consider innovative approaches to clinical instruction. In 2010, one nursing faculty transformed the traditional sessional clinical instructor role into a Nursing Practice Instructor role in order to facilitate the integration between theory and practice in both on and off campus settings. This descriptive qualitative study involved conversational interviews led by Nursing Practice Instructor peer-researchers to elicit the perceptions of how roles have changed from that of a sessional instructor. Eligibility for participation included all Nursing Practice Instructors who previously held a role as a sessional instructor in the same faculty. Data Analysis was done using a content analysis approach where themes within each guiding question were identified and then compared for congruency and further interpretation. Participants felt that there were differences between the sessional Clinical Instructors and Nursing Practice Instructor roles and expectations and as a result of this change, they were more invested in their teaching role based on their ability to integrate the curriculum, the opportunity to engage in the faculty, and contribute to student learning in a more significant way. Overall, the Nursing Practice Instructor role has initiated changes in how clinical instructors are employed and supported, contributing positively to the outcomes associated with an integrated, context-relevant curriculum, and ultimately, fostering future nurses with the ability to make a difference in the healthcare system.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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