College of Nursing launches Teaching Certificate for Nursing Educators 

The College of Nursing is excited to offer a new post-graduate certificate program for nursing educators starting in fall 2021. To address the need for more nurse educators, this certificate was designed to help new and seasoned nurse educators engage in excellence in teaching and learning. Nurses with graduate degrees and existing faculty at schools of nursing can complete this certificate on a part-time basis in two and a half years through online synchronous and asynchronous offerings. 

The Teaching Certificate for Nursing Educators is designed to develop faculty-nurse educators who are prepared in educational theory, pedagogy, curriculum, instruction and evaluation, and who can also leverage advancing technology and evidenced teaching practices. The mission is to help address the shortage of nursing faculty-educators throughout the United States by easing the transition for advanced practice nurses to nurse educator. As the number of schools requiring faculty to be Certified Nurse Educators is expected to grow, this program will serve those professionals who do not have preparation in teaching. 

“This certificate is a great opportunity for advanced practice nurses to gain the experience necessary to transition into higher education by giving them the tools to become the best educator possible,” said Dr. Kris Thomas Dreifuerst, Ph.D. program director and associate professor who teaches in the certificate program. “The Midwest lags the rest of the country in developing nurse educator programs. This certificate looks to address that concern, offering opportunities for active nurses making a career transition and current faculty looking to remain in step with an industry that is moving to a new way of teaching and testing.” 

This certificate program uses modern innovative approaches and evidence-based practices for its curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation in face-to-face and online environments at all levels of nursing education to meet the needs of today’s students. The approach emphasizes context, experience, reflection, action and evaluation that naturally supports a holistic focus on nursing and prepares students for employment as nurse educators in a variety of academic environments. 

The curriculum includes education theory and learner-centered teaching; assessment and evaluation of learners and programs; and teaching in classrooms, online environments, skills laboratories, simulation centers and traditional clinical environments. Students will develop and utilize best teaching practices; create learner-centered nursing education curriculum; develop and utilize best assessment and evaluation practices; and utilize innovative technology effectively and strategically.