1. Section Editor(s): Davis, Charlotte BSN, RN, CCRN

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In every sector of healthcare, we must embrace our role as educators, sharing new evidence-based practice (EBP) research, mentoring our fellow nurses, and improving our patients' clinical outcomes. By developing the skills needed to be a successful educator, you can change the clinical unit climate and increase workplace satisfaction as your peers begin to view you as a valued resource. It's projected that 42.8% of clinical nurse educators will retire within the next 5 years and nearly three quarters (69.7%) of them will retire within the next 10 years. This provides an opportunity for other nurses to refine their abilities as educators to benefit the clinical unit, organization, and community.

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By the year 2020, 90% of all nursing interventions will be EBP driven. Educating your colleagues can be an exciting experience as you convey research data that support the latest changes in clinical practice. Innovative procedures and medical devices require nurses to be educator champions in our clinical work areas. Often referred to as super-users, champions educate healthcare team members on how to perform a new intervention or procedure, or complete the detailed steps of safely utilizing a recent medical device. Many organizations welcome clinical nurses to become trained on how to deliver presentations, classes, and course content for new procedures. Consider volunteering to be an educational leader in your clinical area.


As you become empowered as an educator, you'll hone your communication skills to fit the learning styles and generational uniqueness of your student group. Millennial nurses often prefer course content delivered in an electronic format, such as a web-based course or on an e-reader, whereas baby boomers tend to prefer information that's delivered in a live classroom setting, with printed reference material available for later review. Some nurses are visual learners, preferring data delivery via charts, algorithms, or slide presentations; others are tactile learners, applying information best when they physically perform an intervention.


To expand your educator role into the community, consider joining forces with community organizations, such as youth group centers, religious institutions, schools, community outreach centers, and senior centers to host a wellness seminar. Remember to utilize your critical thinking and communication skills as you convey complex healthcare topics to community groups. Tailor your content to the group's educational level. For example, replacing clinical words such as "pulmonary" and "cardiovascular" with "lungs" and "heart" helps the layperson better grasp the concepts.


You'll gain an immense sense of professional growth, enhanced workplace satisfaction, and renewed excitement about the nursing profession when acting as an educator. Attending nursing conventions, pharmaceutical presentations, or returning to school to attain an advanced degree can provide a starting point to develop educational topics that you may want to present to your peers. This can also provide an opportunity to expand your knowledge base and polish your networking skills, broadening your access to information and content delivery forums.


Share your passion for the nursing profession with others by revealing your inner nurse educator, leading your clinical unit, organization, and community to optimal patient outcomes and success!