Tips from TSE: Assess competency of staff educators

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, May 1, 2009

Assessing the clinical competency of healthcare professionals is, arguably, the center of attention for many managers and educators. Staff development specialists are responsible for developing clinical competency programs and assisting with their implementation. But what about assessing the competency of staff educators?

Barbara A. Brunt, MA, MN, RN-BC, director of nursing education and staff development at Summa Health System in Akron, OH, conducted research for the purpose of identifying and implementing a competency program for staff educators. Brunt identified 72 competency statements and placed them in a framework according to Benner’s novice-to-expert continuum. Brunt is quick to point out that educators are not expected to achieve all 72 competencies. “The reason I used Benner’s framework was to group competencies according to level of experience. A new educator certainly can’t be expected to achieve advanced competencies.”

Brunt began implementing the competencies in 2004/2005 and says that her staff members tell her that use of these competencies make sense. They believe that the competencies provide structure and consistency for the performance evaluation process.

Editor’s note: This excerpt was adapted from the May issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!

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