Nurse Educators’ Experiences Regarding Subject Competence at a Nursing College

  •  Gugu Ndawo    


Nursing colleges, when faced with the difficulty of obtaining suitable candidates for vacant teaching posts, often assign the remaining nurse educators to teach in the understaffed areas even though they lack expertise in that particular subject. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the experiences of nurse educators regarding their subject competence and to make recommendations to facilitate effective teaching and learning at a nursing college. A qualitative, phenomenological research design was used and a total of 20 nurse educators who complied with the inclusion criteria were recruited through purposive sampling. Audiotape recorded phenomenological, individual interviews were conducted and the collected data were analysed using Tesch’s protocol of qualitative data analysis. Ethical considerations were adhered to and trustworthiness was ensured. The three themes that emerged were that participants experienced: (1) incompetence, (2) inadequate didactic facilitation skills, and (3) defence mechanism. It is therefore recommended that nurse educators be empowered first in the subject they must teach to improve their self-esteem and teaching skills and as a result, are enabled to facilitate meaningful learning.

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