Frontline healthcare workers have been deservedly heralded as heroes during the battle against COVID-19. Less visibly, nurse educators have made possible nurses’ delivery of everything from lifesaving emergency measures to palliative care.
Beverly Malone, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
President and CEO, National League for Nursing
In recognition of their essential role and in celebration of nursing education’s historic and continuing inspiration to nurses everywhere, I am proud to announce 2022 as the Year of the Nurse Educator.
The pandemic highlighted just what is at stake when nursing resources are stretched too thin, particularly for people of color and underserved communities. We know that among the major obstacles to reversing the shortage of nurses is a shortage of nurse educators, which in turn limits the available spots for qualified applicants to nursing programs. There can be no better response to this vicious cycle than to encourage more nurses to earn the master’s degree required to teach in pre-licensure programs and for master’s and doctoral-credentialed faculty to become Certified Nurse Educators, the badge of expertise in this advanced specialty area of practice.
As much of nursing education, like education at all levels, migrated online out of necessity during the past two years, a fortunate consequence has been increasing opportunities to earn advanced degrees entirely online by accredited programs and institutions. We anticipate that such programs will free nurses from the burdens of lost income, crushing student loan debt, and having to move to a distant campus, thus making it easier to pursue a master’s in nursing or education.
Throughout the Year of the Nurse Educator, the National League for Nursing and our partner organizations are spotlighting the pride that nurse educators experience teaching in a variety of academic and clinical settings: major research universities connected to cutting-edge teaching hospitals, community college and diploma pre-licensure programs, and innovative models of primary and preventative care in marginalized, impoverished communities.
To bring you this free, downloadable online educational content, the campaign has created a dedicated Year of the Nurse Educator website: YearofNurseEducators.org. Throughout the year, you will find posted personal stories from veteran and novice nurse educators, sharing what and who inspired them to go into nursing education and how their students help keep them fresh to meet new challenges. You will also learn from students about the mentors who have made a difference in their lives, as they nominate these special people for a monthly recognition program.
In addition to the website, the campaign will feature #BeyondANurseEducator, a social media initiative to be launched in May, in conjunction with National Nurses Month; the Nurse Educator of the Year Award, which will be awarded up to five deserving honorees; and regular e-blasts, video testimonials, blog posts, and podcasts on the NursingEDge.
Please join me and my colleagues in saluting our dedicated, hardworking heroes in nursing education — and get inspired to join our ranks. A future nurse will thank you today. And their patients and families will thank you tomorrow!