Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Edward Garten

Abstract

Adjunct faculty members make up a growing proportion of nursing school clinical faculty in the United States due to a nurse educator shortage in higher education. Many of the nurses hired as clinical faculty members have years of experience providing patient care, but they lack experience in clinical instruction and assessment. At a state community college in the southeastern United States, nursing students have expressed dissatisfaction in their course evaluations with inexperienced faculty in clinical programs. The experiences of both nursing students under the guidance of novice clinical instructors and clinical faculty were examined in this case study. The National League for Nursing's (NLN) standards for practice for academic nurse educators served as the conceptual framework for this study and was used to develop research questions related to clinical practice and assessment. Data were collected from 9 students and 6 clinical nursing faculty members who participated in anonymous, open-ended electronic questionnaires regarding use of the standards in instruction and assessment. Student clinical experience collective evaluations from 3nursing programs across the state were also used for data collection and analysis. Data were coded and themes were identified and verified through triangulation. Themes were inconsistent with the NLN standards and included no formal orientation, no preparation for the clinical instructor role, use of subjective instructor evaluations, and lack of instructor feedback. Results were used to develop a professional development program to prepare novice clinical instructors for the clinical environment according to the NLN standards. This study may result in positive social change by improving clinical experiences for nursing students in community colleges, resulting in better patient care as they assume their roles in the larger medical community.