Nursing School Offers New Nurse Educator Certificate Program

The University of Maine School of Nursing this fall launched a new Nurse Educator’s Certificate Program, which is expected to help ease the shortage of nurses by producing more nursing clinical instructors in Maine.

The school also has received a Maine Department of Labor Health Care Sector grant of nearly $80,000 to offset tuition and other expenses for the first 10 nurses enrolled in the program.

The students are registered nurses with either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing who are interested in becoming nursing instructors, according to Ursula Pritham, recently retired assistant professor and former graduate program coordinator in the school.

The funding is part of the Department of Labor’s initiative to increase the supply of nursing clinical instructors, and to help eliminate the waiting lists for admissible nursing students in the tri-county area of Penobscot, Hancock and Piscataquis counties. The first cohort will complete the certificate program by Feb. 1, 2013.

The new program will increase the pool of qualified nursing clinical educators to serve the growing enrollments in baccalaureate nursing programs at UMaine and Husson University in Bangor and the associate degree program at Eastern Maine Community College.

The grant reimburses students accepted into the program for tuition, fees and mileage reimbursement for clinical and practical experiences in areas hospitals, in addition to faculty compensation.

The UMaine nursing school has previously and will continue offering a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on nursing education. The curriculum for the nurse educator’s certificate program will be built upon two established courses, NUR 512 Curriculum and Course Development and NUR 514 Field Experience in Nursing Education. A new course, NUR 513 Measurement and Assessment in Nursing Education, will augment the program. The new certificate program focuses on the principles of teaching and learning, curriculum design and assessment of learning outcomes.

Nancy Fishwick, director of the UMaine School of Nursing, praised associate professor of nursing Ann Sossong for her role in developing the program and recruiting 10 nurses who will benefit from the DOL grant.

Contact: Ann Sossong, (207) 581-3427