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Nurse educator role needs fresh look: researchers

Recent research suggest a review of the nurse educator's role is needed, an Australian academic has said.

Dr Jan Sayers, deputy director of research in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney, said there was room for setting up a national forum of key stakeholders to establish a strategic agenda and some direction for the nurse educator role.

In a study Sayers led, researchers found nurse educators had higher levels of job satisfaction and were more likely to fulfil competency practice domains if they had defined professional development needs and met regularly with their managers. They also found role ambiguity and confusion adversely affected workers' professional identity and job satisfaction.

“Regular discussions between the educator and their manager about their work, the goals they have and the support they need are absolutely fundamental to their professional accountability, their job satisfaction and their retention as educators in the workforce,” Sayers said.

Dee Maguire, a nurse educator with Western Sydney Local Health District, said when the role of the nurse educator is not completely understood, the education becomes reactionary.

“[There] needs to be a shared dialogue and a shared vision where [managers] can really see what educators bring to the fore.”

She added it's also important that educators are concrete about what they are doing and their vision.

Click below to hear full interviews with Jan Sayers and Dee Maguire.

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