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Ideal Clinical Roles of Nurse Lecturers in Nigeria: A Review of the Literature

Omisakin FD

Introduction: The search for a clinical role for nurse lecturers is highly contentious in terms of its nature, extent and purpose. Nurse Lecturers wish to maintain clinical contact and maintain clinical competence, but in reality no consensus exists as to its meaning. There is a need for empirical research to address the question as to what the ideal role of the nurse lecturers should be in the clinical setting.

Purpose: The aim of this integrative review was to examine clinical role of nurse lecturers, explains how they performed this role in order to describe the ideal role of nurse lecturers in the clinical setting drawing on empirical data.

Material and method: An integrative review of the literature was undertaken. The Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL), Science Direct databases, and the Google search engine were employed in the literature search using the key words: “clinical educators”, “clinical nurse lecturers”, “clinical nurse educators”, “practice educators” and “lecturer practitioners”. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were set. Question guiding the review was: (1) what are the ideal clinical roles of the nurse lecturer?

Results: The review identified overarching themes that demonstrate how nurse lecturers exemplify their various clinical roles and explicate the themes: ‘link lecturer’ role; clinical supervisory role; clinical practice role; supportive role; clinical academic coaching role; and clinical educator role.

Conclusion: This review describes the nurse lecturer’s roles in the context of clinical nursing education and how they enact those roles. The clinical roles of nurse lecturers need to be properly recognised both by academic institutions and practice areas. The establishment of guidelines recognized and agreed upon by service and educational managers will serve as a framework which nurse lecturers can use to establish their own clinical role in the practice setting in Nigeria.