From novice to expert to novice again: stories of novice nurse educator testing experience
Relatively few nurse educators receive the formal pedagogical training needed to smoothly transition from the clinical nurse role to the nurse educator role (Cooley & De Gagne, 2016;, especially as it relates to the evaluation and testing of student learning. The lack thereof creates a dissonance between clinical practice and academia (Cooley & De Gagne, 2016; Murray, Stanley, & Wright, 2014). Such dissonance often leaves the nurse educator in unfamiliar territory (Cooley & De Gagne, 2016) teaching and testing by trial and error (Schoening, 2013). The transition from clinical nursing practice to academia is well documented in the qualitative nursing literature. An essential component of learning to be an educator is learning how to teach effectively and prepare useful student assessments. However, an extensive search of the literature revealed inadequate available research regarding how novice nurse educators learn the complex task of writing as well as the implementation and analysis of a valid, psychometrically sound exam. All questions used in this narrowly focused study were designed to elicit the personal experience, i.e., the story, of the expert-clinician-turned-novice-nurse-educator specific to the creation, administration, and analyses of exams during the first year of full-time teaching in an associate degree nursing (ADN) program. Findings from this study point to the need for nurse education to develop an academic standard of care that would enhance nurse educators and provide great benefit for students. The information provided by this study may help the nursing profession as a whole and nursing education programs specifically to provide better mentorship and guidance for novice nurse educators.