While watching the Rose Parade on television on New Year's Day, I saw for the first time a public service announcement by Johnson and Johnson that shows a nurse saving someone's life, then caring for a newborn in a different location, and finally helping an accident victim in yet another locale later that day. It's then revealed how this one nurse could be in all of these places: "through the nurses she taught." She's a nurse educator, and she'd taught each of the nurses who were actually present during these events.
Watching this led me to think about all the wonderful nurses I've met, taught, and worked with—as a student, clinical nurse, faculty member, nursing education administrator, and patient—in my almost 64 years of nursing.
Nursing faculty members are in limited supply these days, and many of our teachers are reaching retirement age. We need to attract more nurses to teaching. This announcement is a good start toward recognizing the importance of nurse educators, but it's even more important to ensure that the salaries of nursing faculty are competitive with the pay of those working in clinical settings. Progress has been made, but more is needed.
Rosalee C. Yeaworth, PhD, RN