1. Oermann, Marilyn H. PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Article Content

As you begin the academic year, it is time to think about your scholarship as a teacher. We build evidence for teaching in nursing and knowledge about best practices through the scholarship you do as a nurse educator. Scholarship of teaching is inquiry about student learning and development and about teaching that you disseminate. This dissemination is critical-for your teaching activities to be considered as scholarship, they need to be public for others to review and critique.1 Sharing your scholarship spreads new ideas and, ultimately, is how we build evidence in nursing education.


Scholarship of teaching in nursing includes studies you conduct, but this is a narrow view. Scholarship also includes new programs, courses, learning activities, teaching methods, simulations, evaluation strategies, tools and forms, and initiatives in your school that you evaluate and share with others.2 Nurse educators in every type of nursing program can engage in the scholarship of teaching, but it has to be planned.


How can you develop your scholarship?


1. Start by reflecting on your own teaching and assessment practices. What is going well, and what needs to be improved? To be a scholar, you should be willing to assess your own teaching and interactions with students and should be open to trying new approaches.


2. Think about every new course, innovative learning activity, teaching method, assignment for students, simulation, and evaluation strategy that you develop as a potential scholarly project. Turn your committee work and products into scholarship.


3. Search the literature as your next step. You should learn what has been written already about the area of scholarship you are considering. If you are working with a team of faculty, identify someone to do the literature search. Designating individuals to be responsible for each phase of a scholarly project makes it easier to complete it.


4. Think about evaluation at the beginning of a project, not when it is completed. You may need a baseline assessment of students or faculty or a description of the current course or context before you implement something new. Search for valid and reliable tools to use rather than developing your own, and set as a goal to evaluate outcomes beyond student and faculty satisfaction.


5. Talk about your scholarship with colleagues. Consider establishing a scholarship of teaching group in your school to bounce off ideas and get meaningful feedback about potential projects. If there is no one in your school interested in your area of scholarship, seek out faculty in other schools of nursing.


6. Plan for dissemination when you develop your new teaching approach or initiative, when the committee starts its work, and when you begin other projects and initiatives. Make a list of the information you may need at the end so you collect and save it.


7. Become a champion in your school for the scholarship of teaching. Be the faculty member who identifies projects for scholarship and leads the faculty group through to dissemination.



The articles in this issue of Nurse Educator represent scholarship that the authors generated from the work they did as faculty members in their own schools of nursing. This academic year, turn your teaching into scholarship.




1. Shulman LS. From minsk to pinsk: why a scholarship of teaching and learning? J Scholarsh Teach Learn. 2000;1(1):48-53. [Context Link]


2. Oermann MH. Becoming a scholar in nursing education. In: Oermann MH, De Gagne JC, Phillips BC, eds. Teaching in Nursing and Role of the Educator: The Complete Guide to Best Practice in Teaching, Evaluation, and Curriculum Development. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Springer; 2018:379-395. [Context Link]