| Washington, DC — Frontline health care workers have been deservedly heralded as heroes during the nearly two-year battle against COVID-19 while, less visibly, nurse educators have made possible nurses’ delivery of everything from lifesaving emergency services to end-of-life care. Nurse educators and programs are primarily responsible for the preparation of a diverse, culturally competent, and outstanding nursing workforce for the national and global communities.
In recognition of the essential role of nursing education during the pandemic, and in celebration of its historic and continuing inspiration to nurses everywhere, the National League for Nursing has announced 2022 as the Year of the Nurse Educator.
“The pandemic highlighted just what is at stake when nursing resources are stretched too thin, particularly for people of color and underserved communities,” said NLN Chair Kathleen Poindexter, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, interim associate dean of academic affairs at Michigan State University, College of Nursing. “As we celebrate the achievements and contributions of nurse educators and nursing education during the Year of the Nurse Educator, we will hopefully inspire more nurses to consider this rewarding career track.”
“We know that one of the major obstacles to reversing the shortage of nurses is a lack of nurse educators and spots available for qualified applicants to nursing programs. There can be no better response to the critical shortage of nurses than to encourage more nurses to earn the requisite advanced degree to enter nursing education, and for master’s and doctoral-prepared nurses to join the ranks of National League for Nursing Certified Nurse Educators, the badge of expertise in this specialty area of practice,” said NLN President and CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN.
Throughout the Year of the Nurse Educator, the League will spotlight the pride that nurse educators experience teaching in a variety of academic and clinical settings. These range from major research universities connected to cutting-edge teaching hospitals, to community college and diploma pre-licensure programs, to innovative models of primary and preventative care in marginalized, impoverished communities. The League will feature what and who inspired people to go into nursing education, and how their students help keep them fresh to meet new challenges.
To bring this timely initiative to life, the League has created a wealth of dynamic content and opportunities for recognition in the coming months:
• #BeyondANurseEducator social media campaign to promote and amplify the vital role that nursing education plays in advancing the nursing profession and patient care and in creating healthier communities; to be launched in National Nurses Month, May 2022, and continuing until the NLN Education Summit in September 2022. The campaign will include monthly recognition of nurse educators, with nominations solicited from students and nursing and academic leadership. Selected nurse educators will be asked to reflect on why they became nurse educators and what being a nurse educator means to them.
• Nurse Educators of the Year Award, up to five award winners chosen from the monthly nominees, to be presented at the 2022 NLN Education Summit.
• Specially designed Year of the Nurse Educator online badge for participating schools of nursing to display on their websites.
• Dedicated Year of the Nurse Educator website featuring campaign content and resources.
• Ongoing features of personal stories of success and inspiration, direct from nurse educators, shared through eblasts, social media, video testimonials, and NursingEdge podcasts and blog posts.
• Promotion of the NLN Certification for Nurse Educators and League membership.
The certification campaign will help increase the number of master’s and doctoral-prepared nurses and nurse educators who take the exam. The certification credential may now be earned in three distinct categories: one for academic nurse educators, CNE®; one for academic clinical nurse educators, CNE®cl; and the newest credential designed for novice nurse educators, CNE®n, for those with fewer than three years’ experience teaching.
For more information, visit NLN.org.