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NLN Publishes Vision for Doctoral Preparation for Nurse Educators

Fourth Cohort of NLN Jonas Scholars Named

Doctorally Prepared Educators Needed to Lead Curriculum Change, Develop Models of Cost-EffectiveEducation, and Prepare a Workforce to Meet the Needs of a Reformed Health Care System


Washington, DC, November 19, 2013 — Asserting that the future calls for new ways to value the complex role of the nurse educator, the National League for Nursing today released the latest entry in the NLN Vision Series. Said CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, "With A Vision for Doctoral Preparation for Nurse Educators, the National League for Nursing continues to actively promote the need for nurse scholars that have discipline-specific pedagogical knowledge and skills."

Endeavors designed and implemented by the NLN over the last two decades have focused on a core belief that the role of the nurse educator is complex. As noted in the vision statement, "For both the faculty role in an academic setting or a professional nurse development role in a practice setting, we expect the successful educator to be an expert practitioner, possess the pedagogical knowledge of a skilled educator, and be engaged in either knowledge generation or knowledge translation….In practice disciplines like nursing, it is especially important that educators and practitioners alike be able to evaluate and demonstrate links between educational outcomes and patient care quality. This is a particularly challenging task in a health care system that is experiencing multiple stressors and undergoing rapid change."

"A Vision for Doctoral Preparation for Nurse Educators" addresses the call to action from the IOMs 2011 publication, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, to address the critical need for more doctorally prepared nurse educators to advance the science of nursing education, design educational systems that implement efficient and cost-effective programs of learning, and lead in the improvement and redesign of the health care system.

Summed up NLN president Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, "Without doctorally prepared nurse educators to lead educational reform, we risk producing a nursing workforce that is not ready to provide accessible and affordable care to diverse populations in multiple settings. Nurse educators who understand and implement discipline-specific pedagogies are the vital link to a future of excellence in nursing."

"It is interesting to note the concurrent concerns about doctoral education in other fields as well," said Dr. Malone. "In We Must Prepare PhD Students for the Complicated Art of Teaching in the November 12 online edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, former Harvard president Derek Bok writes, [quality] instruction will surely be slow to arrive without a faculty trained to bring to its teaching the same ample store of background knowledge, the same respect for relevant data, and the same questioning, innovative spirit that professors have long displayed in carrying out their research. "

"A Vision for Doctoral Preparation for Nurse Educators" concludes with a series of recommendations for: the nursing profession; for all doctoral programs; for doctoral programs preparing nurse educators for deans, directors, and chairs of nursing programs; and for the National League for Nursing. To read the complete text, click here.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick at 202-909-2483 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 39,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies.