Nursing is one of the oldest professions of the modern world; however, it has evolved tremendously over the years. Today, nursing has become an expansive field that encompasses numerous subfields. Regardless of how many areas emerge in nursing or how much change technology integration brings into nursing practices, the basic aim behind the profession is to provide care to sick people. Staff nurses are an integral aspect of nursing and work tirelessly to ensure that patients receive proper services.
Staff nurses are the first-level professional nurses serving in medical facilities. They are qualified nurses who have undergone training, possess an understanding of nursing, and work alongside other healthcare practitioners. Staff nurses’ responsibilities can be very wide or specialized; it depends on their role as nurses.
Staff nurses working in NICU have defined roles and require specialization. In contrast, staff nurses’ duties related to patient care include assessing the needs of patients and devising plans accordingly. They keep a close watch on patients’ conditions, provide comfort and maintain safety for patients.
Staff nurses are actively involved in clinical nursing education and support undergraduate nurses for professional practice. Although not all staff nurses want to be associated with teaching, most are likely to stay in touch with learning and teaching. Their positive influence helps nursing students grasp nursing education and equip them with skills needed for professional exercises. Nursing is a constantly evolving profession. Individuals must be flexible and have an appetite to learn to excel in the field. As educators, staff nurses must be enthusiastic and empathetic to impact students and develop a productive future picture.
Degrees set the path for a future career. Aspiring nurses often find themselves in a dilemma while choosing their professional degrees. They draw comparisons and question msn vs dnp before zeroing down on one. Since staff nurses understand nursing, they can help nurse students choose one for their future. Staff nurses may not be working as teaching staff, but they often fill the shoes for faculty members in their absence.
Staff nurses can greatly influence undergraduate nursing education. Below we are listing some points to shed light on the role of staff nurses in undergraduate nursing education:
- Empower Students by Assigning Patients to Them
Staff nurses work alongside students, gauge their understanding of nursing practices and assign patients to provide care. They give students confidence but equip them with the required skills before sending them to a battlefield. Staff nurses devise learning objectives, keeping nursing students’ levels and patients’ needs in consideration. When students are shown trust, they are more inclined to perform professionally and seek to make their mentors proud. When students see that educators have assigned patients to them, they put in the effort to perform productively. Staff nurses let students practice what they learn as they understand practice will polish their skills and prepare them for professional nursing.
- Supervise Students
The days of masters taking young people on as apprentices and teaching them skills are long gone. Today, in the modern world, the relationship dynamic has changed into mentors and mentees. Staff nurses guide students, supervise them and instead of providing them with answers, let them come to their conclusions through evaluations. They realize that patients may have different needs and nurses often have to tailor their services accordingly. Although staff nurses give their students a certain level of autonomy, they do not let their guard down when students are at work. Supervising students enables them to intervene in time if they feel their students require any assistance.
- Participate in Clinical Teaching
Staff nurses are involved in in-person teaching and are there to assist them in their times of need. They are equipped with technical skills and understand the importance of e-learning and online education’s feasibility. Still, staff nurses participate in clinical teaching and educate undergraduate students nurses in an on-location environment. They teach them how to identify patients’ issues, provide them with the knowledge to understand and solve their problems and give them skills to provide patient care.
- Establish Strong Partnership with Students
Educating is a two-way process where students should be receptive to what they receive. Staff nurses’ role is of utmost importance in undergraduate nursing students’ education. They establish a pleasant environment where nursing students are given the liberty to ask questions, learn through peer learning, make assumptions, and experiment to refute or prove their theory. Staff nurses maintain a cutting-edge classroom, keeping up with the modern educational and healthcare standards. Staff nurses may use various techniques to educate students about complex nursing terms to bolster nursing students’ learning experience.
- Stay Abreast with Healthcare Trends
Healthcare is ever-changing as medical experts’ studies, emerging diseases, and their cures give new dimensions to it. Moreover, technological advancements continue to bring new tools and equipment that help nurses perform their tasks. Staff nurses keep themselves updated and learn new ways of dealing with patients. They understand that the upcoming era, where undergraduate nurses will perform in their professional spheres, will be more technically advanced. They need to develop technical smartness to survive. Most staff nurses are willing to learn, and they strive to teach the same to their students.
- Evaluate Students’ Performances
Staff nurses do not grade students’ exams or award degrees. Still, they closely watch student performances and evaluate them based on their performance. They assess students on their experiments and conclusions that they derive while dealing with patients. Staff nurses give students a chance to handle real patients and get a flavor of professional nursing. They create an environment that enriches students’ learning and helps them succeed.
Nursing is a dynamic career. No longer are nurses recognized as doctors’ helping hands, as they have established their position. They are the unsung heroes who work effortlessly to help patients on their path to recovery. Staff nurses are an integral component of nursing and can play an active role in nursing education. While they cannot help advanced nursing degrees students, they can assist undergraduate nursing students in getting an insight into the field. They guide students and often participate in in-service education programs to keep themselves updated with nursing knowledge. Staff nurses’ contribution to undergraduates’ nursing education is meaningful and influences them to pursue nursing.