Three Nursing Education Viewpoints: The Administrator, Educator, and Student
Written by Amber Sanchez, MSN, BBA, RN
Undergraduate Program Coordinator/Nursing Instructor, Rogers State University
PhD Nursing Student at Oklahoma City University
Published: May 2022
As a nurse administrator, nurse educator, and nursing student, I have the unique experience to see through the lens of an administrator doing everything in their power to successfully facilitate a nursing program, of an educator employing all strategies to successfully engage and teach students, and of a student seeing what it truly takes for my expedition and all those involved that help make it happen. As the Undergraduate Program Coordinator/Nursing Instructor at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma, the last three years have been eye-opening. Alongside any new revelations and my certainly busy administrator and educator schedule and after speaking to several fellow nursing educators, I am now in the second year of a PhD program in nursing at Oklahoma City University.
The Nursing Education Accreditation Conference was helpful in providing connections with others in the nursing education realm and finding commonalities among the different programs throughout the country. The ability to discuss concerns and discovering that multiple nursing educators and administrators had the same experiences was supportive, giving hope and light back into a trying past couple years. Conversations led to problem-solving together and determining correct actions that have moved our nursing programs forward.
Recently, our nursing program at Rogers State University transitioned from an associate to the baccalaureate degree. This transition, which took place in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, was taxing. Then adding on the Next Generation NCLEX, we definitely desired any guidance we could acquire. The accreditation conference provided many great resources and an ability to feel that you were among colleagues who were on the same lake, if not even in the same boat. Speakers, participants, posters, and vendors were all helpful; information was easy to find, and connections were easy to make. With discussions of current events, site visit expectations, active learning styles, student concerns, concept-based curricula, simulation guidelines, updated best practices, available resources, and the new NCLEX exam, the ability to talk those ideas through with peers was insightful. Learning about current practices in the variety of lecture, clinical, lab, and simulation helped to review current practices in the program and ensure we are providing top-notch education in preparing our nursing students for the realm of nursing today.
On the other side of being a current graduate nursing student, it was enlightening to see nurse administrators and educators from all over the country come together to discuss the how, what, when, where, and who of nursing education. Frequently as students we do not always see what the educators and administrators are doing to prepare and aid us on our wonderful expeditions. We certainly do not understand the grueling hours, days, and months that can go into writing a Self-Study Report. As I inundated myself in this process in nursing education the past three years, I can appreciate the ability to learn at the accreditation conference with others who are interested in the same area of preparing our future nurses.
You may be reading that first paragraph again wondering what I was thinking tackling these three varied academic quests. As nurses we are lifelong learners, whether that be as students or in our educator or administrative roles supporting the next generation of nurses. Having the opportunity to be involved in the nursing future (as busy as it may be), I would make this decision again. Thank you to the ACEN for providing a conference where nursing educators can connect, converse, strategize, and innovate into the nursing education future.
Amber Sanchez, MSN, BBA, RN, is the Undergraduate Program Coordinator/Nursing Instructor for the traditional BSN program at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma. She is also pursuing her PhD at Oklahoma City University. Sanchez previously attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University for her MSN, Northeastern State University for her BSN in nursing and business administration, and Tulsa Community College for her ASN in nursing and liberal arts. Sanchez can be reached at [email protected].