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Wanted: Lecturer to guide the next generation of student nurses

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In the third of her series of advice columns, Susan Hughes of the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line explains how to help shape the next generation of student nurses by becoming a nurse lecturer.

If you’ve enjoyed helping students get experience in a particular area of practice, or found developing professional knowledge in a specialist area rewarding, becoming a nurse lecturer could offer you the opportunity to make sure the next generation of nurses are competent and confident in the practice setting.

Nurse lecturers are responsible for the delivery of both pre- and post-registration teaching in higher education. As well as playing an essential role in planning, developing and evaluating course modules, the position usually includes being a personal tutor to students.

If developing professional knowledge sparks your enthusiasm, a lecturer position may also give you the chance to be involved in research. Keeping up to date National Service Frameworks and government policies, as well as reading and reviewing research papers, enables you to transfer this knowledge into meaningful links between education and practice.

There are some professional requirements: you will need to be on an appropriate part of the NMC Professional Register, and have worked full-time (or the equivalent part-time) in areas where students were gaining practical experience.

A masters degree qualification would also be helpful- if you do not have one, you will be expected to work towards this in post. Having undertaken research in your particular field of expertise and previous teaching experience will also be useful - any evidence of gaining professional knowledge will improve your application.

As far as qualifications to teach are concerned, you will need to complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching (Higher Education). These are sometimes compulsory for new staff on permanent contracts, but could be done alongside your lecturing work. Many higher education institutions may prefer candidates to have completed or nearly completed a PhD.

It’s important to show that you’re clinically credible and competent, so hands-on-care is crucial to the role. Most lecturers combine the role with work in a clinical setting, not least of all to maintain the NMC PREP (Practice) Standard. Some NHS trusts will also offer honorary contracts to lecturers and there are opportunities to become a lecturer practitioner, employed by an NHS trust.

Run by the Careers Advice Service and sponsored by NHS Careers and Skills for Health, the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line provides careers information, advice and guidance to support people working in healthcare. The friendly, trained career coaches can also give you constructive feedback on your CV and help assess your skills.

If you are interested in developing your career, call freephone 08000 150 850 from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I am currently a VSO volunteer lecturing mental health psyciatric nursing Bsc in Malawi. I also teach clinical officers in sociology of mental health/illness, biomedical ethics & community metnal health for a new degree programme in clincal psychaitry & mental health. There is 1 psychiatrist for 13 million population & the Bsc in mental health nursing is only in its 3 rd intake, so far we have graduated 24 students. I would love to continue student teaching when I return to the UK but am told my experience with VSO will count for nothing is this true? I have been here 3 years & have a wider experience in teaching than I would have ever got at home, from cirriculum development, exam vetting with both universities to writing an HIV/Aids policy for my college!

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  • i would like to know the job opportunities

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