The nurse educator role in the acute care setting in Australia: Important but poorly described

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2011, 28 (4), pp. 44 - 52
Issue Date:
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Objective The purpose of this paper is to describe the nurse educator role in the acute care setting in Australia. Method A literature review using Ganong's (1987) method of analysis was undertaken. Computerised databases were searched for articles published in English between 2000 and 2008 using the key words: 'education', 'nursing', 'nurse-educator', 'teaching methods', 'clinical', 'outcomes health care' and 'Australia'. Information was summarised to identify issues impacting on the nurse educator role using a standardised data extraction tool. Results The search strategies generated 152 articles and reports. The review identified that the nurse educator role is fundamental in supporting clinical practice and integral to developing a skilled and competent health workforce. Conclusion Confusion in nursing roles and role ambiguity contribute to the challenges for nurse educators in acute care. The absence of a national, standardised approach to role description and scope of practice in Australia may adversely impact role enactment. Further discussion and debate of the nurse educator role in Australia is warranted.
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