The clinical instructor program: improving self-efficacy for nurse educators
Clinical teaching is foundational to undergraduate nursing education. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the development and consequent introduction of an online program called the Clinical Instructor Program (CIP) is helpful in improving feelings of efficacy for nurse clinicians who have experience in clinical teaching or who are new to the role of clinical instructor. Toward this purpose, four research questions were addressed: feelings of self-efficacy before and after CIP participation, understanding of the clinical instructor role, knowledge of instructional content, and understanding of instructional strategies. Thirty-five clinical nursing instructors, both experienced and novice took a pretest, the Self-Efficacy Toward Teaching Inventory (SETTI), to measure feelings of efficacy before program participation. Novice instructors had no prior teaching experience; experienced instructors had one year of experience. Participants responded to the same test items after completing the CIP. The CIP modules and SETTI were offered through a web-based system where participants could take the pretest, review the modular series, and respond to the posttest. Both groups demonstrated significant improvement in self-efficacy and understanding of role, validating the CIP as a model for clinical instruction. Experienced instructors showed a more appreciable improvement than did novice instructors in the four areas of self-efficacy, role, understanding of content and understanding of strategies. Overall scores showed that the novice instructor scores improved 89% after CIP participation. The experienced instructors showed a greater improvement of 98% in feelings of efficacy following CIP participation. Although this data does not permit statistical measurement, findings suggest that the CIP has significant value for the education of nurse educators. This claim clearly warrants further study. Further research is needed on how best to modify the CIP to facilitate mentoring, support, and foundational knowledge for the novice instructor.