Teacher, Teacher: Certified Nurse-Midwives and Nurse Practitioners Go Back to School to Learn to Teach
From April 1993 to November 1996, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing created and implemented a nine-month faculty education project to prepare certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners for clinical and classroom teaching.
The training program featured:
- Three five-day workshops at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Ongoing training with "mentor teachers" at students' home institutions.
- The project established a nine-month teacher education program for certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners.
- Forty-eight certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners received post-Master's teaching certificates. Participants were a culturally diverse group of men and women from 38 universities in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided an unsolicited grant of $392,418 to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to support the project.
State and national studies during the 1980s and early 1990s documented the utility of increasing the numbers of certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, according to faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Nurses in expanded roles have demonstrated their ability to promote health and self-care in others, as well as to assess for risk status and treat common conditions in personal health.
Although educational programs for certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners had slowly expanded, the demand for their graduates continued to outstrip the supply. One of the major barriers to increasing the number of qualified certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners was the lack of qualified faculty willing and able to teach new practitioners both in the classroom and in the clinical setting. Many certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners were interested in teaching but lacked adequate preparation for this role.
This project established a nine-month teacher education program for certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The objectives were to:
- Provide certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners with clinical and classroom teaching skills.
- Increase the number of faculty prepared to teach others to provide for the primary health care needs of individuals within their communities.
During the academic year, students attended three five-day workshops over a nine-month period at the University of Pennsylvania campus.
During the remainder of the year, students met and studied with "mentor teachers" at their home universities, who were linked by computer to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing faculty.
During the grant, project staff:
- Developed the curriculum, and organized it around three five-day sessions:
- Session 1: Classroom teaching.
- Session 2: Clinical teaching.
- Session 3: Selected professional issues and other topics suggested by participants.
- Recruited candidates from established certified nurse-midwife and nurse practitioner programs in the Northeast. In addition to being a certified nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner, eligible candidates had:
- At least a Master's degree in the health field.
- Current or pending employment as a faculty member, or the potential to become a faculty member, in a nurse-midwifery or nurse practitioner Master's-level educational program with both classroom and clinical responsibilities.
- A designated certified nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner mentor-teacher at their home university.
- A demonstrated commitment to teaching.
- Developed computer hardware and software to link the program to the educational site of each candidate.
- Conducted formal and informal evaluations with students and mentor-teachers. (For results of a September 1996 survey of program participants, see Findings. For changes in the program in response to a June 1995 faculty retreat, see Lessons Learned.)
The project team:
- Established a nine-month teacher education program for certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners. The nine-month curriculum was divided into three sessions and covered:
- Principles of clinical and classroom teaching.
- Teaching methods for adults.
- Constructing tests.
- Evaluating clinical and classroom performance.
- Special topics in professional education and practice based on students' interests.
- Some 48 students received post-Master's nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner teaching certificates in May 1995 and 1996. Participants were a culturally diverse group of men and women from 38 universities in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
In a report to RWJF, the project team reported the following findings from a September 1996 survey mailed to program participants:
- Some 91.6 percent of students from the 19941995 class and 89.4 percent of those from the 19951996 class reported that the program helped them to meet their original objectives.
- All (100 percent) of the students from the 19941995 class and 94.7 percent of those from the 19951996 class said the program helped them to prepare for their role as teachers.
- Almost three quarters (72.8 percent) of students from the 19941995 class and 52 percent of those from the 19951996 class said the program met their expectations in regard to their teaching role.
- Some 83.3 percent of the students from the 19941995 class said they had made major academic contributions to their home universities during the program's first year.
- Informal and formal evaluations were important in guiding the staff to make needed changes to the teaching program. Project staff made logistical changes to the program based on student feedback. For example, some prospective students said the Monday-to-Friday class schedule would force them to use up too many vacation days. In response, project staff changed the on-campus sessions to run Wednesday to Sunday. (Project Director/McHugh)
AFTER THE GRANT
With the end of RWJF funding in fall 1996, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing began to charge $5,000 tuition for students enrolled in the program, plus the cost of accommodations and travel. Between 11 and 18 students participate annually.
"The cost of the program prohibits some excellent candidates from enrolling," according to Kate McHugh, director of the Teacher Education Program.
In addition to certified nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, the program enrolls students from a cross section of nursing practice and other backgrounds. These have included a health science nurse-librarian, a nurse practitioner specializing in urology and graduate nursing students specializing in pediatrics. Although many teach at the graduate level, others focus on educating future nurses at the associate-degree or baccalaureate level.
GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION
Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse-Practitioner Faculty Development Project
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Philadelphia, PA)
Dates: April 1993 to November 1996
Kate McHugh, C.N.M., M.S.N.
(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)
Thompson JE, Kershbaumer RM and Krisman-Scott MA. Educating Advance Practice Nurses and Midwives: From Practice to Teaching. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2001.
Krisman-Scott MA, Kershbaumer RM and Thompson JE. "Faculty Preparation: A New Solution to an Old Problem." Journal of Nursing Education, 37(7): 318320, 1998.
Regional Training Center for Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse Practitioner Faculty. Teachers' Training Manual. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Spring 1994.
Report prepared by: Eve Shapiro
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Michael P. Beachler