Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Nursing--Study and teaching; Teacher effectiveness;


A primary goal of professional education is to prepare practitioners who can provide quality care essential to the well-being of individuals and society. An essential component of professional education is a practiced-based experience. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the qualities of clinical nursing educators who were recognized by peers as being expert clinical practitioners. This study was exploratory and non-experimental. A qualitative approach was used. Through observations and interviews, beginning descriptions and explication of dimensions of expertise of clinical nursing educators were achieved.

The population for this study was selected from nursing faculty of 10 private baccalaureate nursing programs in one Midwestern state. Only full-time faculty involved in clinical nursing education as part of their faculty role were chosen. A sample of six teachers was chosen from three of the nursing programs that responded to the survey. All of the participants had a minimum of five years teaching experience.

Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and observations. The participants were observed in a variety of settings including community agencies, client homes, hospitals, and laboratories. The settings reflected a diversity of acuteness, and urgency. The constant comparative method was used in analysis and interpretation of the data. Whereas many unique factors influenced the personal attitudes and histories of the participants, four commonalities emerged. From a thematic analysis of these data four major attributes were identified as representative of expert clinical nursing education: commitment, integration, intuition, and reflection.

All of the participants sustained their commitment to teaching by on-going, personal and professional growth, facilitated by change and challenge. Knowledge components were integrated in relation to the resources and demands of the settings observed and maintained by knowledge development and experience. The expert practice of these clinical educators was characterized by intuitive links between ability to read situations and ways of responding. Reflective thinking nourished their sense of mission and belief in the educational process.

This study provided rich descriptions of the beliefs and practices of six experts in clinical nursing education. These descriptions can provide a structure for viewing clinical nursing education through participant reflection and performance in practice. The study demonstrated that commonalities can be identified among clinical nursing educators across diverse specialized settings.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Roger Sell, Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (x, 268 pages)



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