APN Role in Teaching

APN Role in Teaching
An advanced practice nurse (APN) serves a critical role in today’s health care sector by educating patients, students, staff and other learners. Patient education is an important part of managing patient care to achieve optimal outcome. Patients gain an understanding of their health status, disease processes, treatments, dietary/lifestyle modifications and health promoting behaviors. This enables patients to be an active participant in their health care decisions. In addition, APN’s educate or teach staff by assisting them in developing the knowledge and skills essential for providing care, keeping them up to date with advances in clinical practice, and mentoring/precepting nurses in the practice setting-improving the quality of patient care (Joel, 2013). This role of APN’s also extends to nursing students as they teach and guide their learning in the practice setting.
APN’s should be well versed with the concepts of learning and teaching in order to teach patients, staff, students and others. This helps APN’s in making educational decisions. Teaching process includes assessment of learning needs, planning, implementation and evaluation (Joel, 2013). However, the process is not always linear. APN’s should possess predominant qualities of effective learning like expert knowledge, clinical competence, teaching skills, positive relationships and personal characteristics. APN’s should be able to decipher not just the learning needs, but also the learner’s readiness to learn. This is achieved through questionnaires, pretests and observations. Assessment phase is the most crucial phase as it defines the course of action the APN has to take. Once assessment is complete, different teaching mechanisms can be inherited to impart the knowledge. The group sizeis an important factor. When educating patients or staff/students, an APN has to be innovative in determining the teaching method. The teaching method can include lecture, discussion, clinical conference, case study, multimedia, self-directed instructional methods, demonstrations, and simulations. After teaching evaluating whether the learner has comprehended the knowledge imparted is important as well. APN’s have an important role in educating patients, staff and students. Nurses in advanced practice are well prepared for their role as an educator with their extensive knowledge base, expert clinical skills, and strong communication skills (Joel, 2013).
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/MastersEssentials11.pdf
Joel, L.A., (2013) Advanced practice nursing: Essential for role development. (3rd Ed.). Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. Pp 327-346
Penn, B., Wilson, L., Rosseter, R., (2008) Transitioning From Nursing Practice to a Teaching Role.OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing; Vol (13/ 3). Doi:10.3912/OJIN.Vol13No03Man03

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