From healthcare provider to healthcare educator: Strategies for effective transition
This study attempted to identify effective strategies for healthcare providers transitioning into educational leadership roles. The study employed a mixed method research design. The population was selected from colleges and universities, nationally, which sponsored selected healthcare training programs. Healthcare faculty were chosen to participate based on the following criteria: (a) their respective institution was regionally accredited and healthcare program accredited by the appropriate specialty agency, (b) their respective institution was of a college or university status, and (c) their respective institution sponsored five or more of the selected healthcare training programs. Via an online questionnaire, quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Results showed that healthcare educators transitioned into their positions based on their devotion to their profession/desire to promote it and the satisfaction they received through teaching. These two factors also influenced healthcare educators’ decisions to remain in academia long term. Data demonstrated that clinical work and academic experiences, previous theoretical educational training, and support from colleagues were the most helpful components of their transition into education. Factors which hindered the transition from healthcare to education included an insufficient background in educational theory/practice, lack of mentoring, lack of orientation, and excessive workload. New healthcare educators explained that they were least prepared for activities such as student assessment, instructional design/delivery, administrative responsibilities, counseling/advising, learning environment management, and dealing with conflict. Data revealed that new healthcare faculty were provided with mentoring opportunities, college in-service activities, and general orientation sessions; however, data further revealed that the educators believed better mentoring, additional educational courses, and more thorough orientation would have been more beneficial during their transition. Effective healthcare educators were described as being prepared with the appropriate level of knowledge/skill, demonstrating excellent communication skills, being sensitive/responsive to students’ needs, exhibiting professional behavior, and being motivated. Implications of this study related to recruitment of appropriate individuals who would remain in education long term, and thus could (a) improve the competence and success of students, (b) improve patient care, and (c) alleviate the healthcare educator shortage.
Quality of education