As a 25-year nurse educator, I recently had a conversation with a former nursing faculty member and Dean in my first nursing degree program. With our reunion conversation, we chatted about where we both were in the trajectory of nursing education and life. My admiration and respect for her began in the classroom, lab, and clinical arenas. Later, she would become the person who opened the door for me to enter nursing education. This Dean and mentor taught me, encouraged me, coached me, and cheered me on with every professional milestone.
Our journey began in the pre-licensure nursing program, progressed to the moment I called her to inform her I had officially passed the NCLEX® exam, and it extends even today. For any nursing educator, the priority is always the students – I have been the recipient of this feeling of prioritized attention during my entire nursing education journey. My hope is I have, in turn, reciprocated that nurturing, caring, and guidance to my students.
Nursing education is dedicated, challenging, and intense work. From the moment a student enters the admission portal, through coursework, laboratory settings, clinical arenas, evaluation, and rigorous assessments, the nursing faculty member holds the thread a student must follow. We see the road and we know the twists and turns required to exit a nursing program. And, we also see the path to completing the NCLEX successfully.
“For any nursing educator, the priority is always the students – I have been the recipient of this feeling of prioritized attention during my entire nursing education journey. My hope is I have, in turn, reciprocated that nurturing, caring, and guidance to my students.”
The responsibility that nursing faculty take on is no small feat. In an already demanding job to meet student and program needs, the pandemic threw a curveball that made the nurse educator role much harder. In a quantitative study conducted with nursing faculty, participants shared they experience double or triple the number of hours required to teach and support students compared to previous semesters.
In addition to other impacts of the pandemic, the shortage of nurse educators has been magnified—data collected from the 2020 AACN Faculty Vacancy Survey revealed there were over 1,400+ vacant positions in 2020. In short, the current critical nursing faculty shortage means less qualified applicants are admitted to nursing programs and workforce demands remain unmet.
HESI Compass, a complete NCLEX prep solution geared up and launched commercially during an unforeseen global pandemic. Alongside other objectives and outcomes, one solution HESI Compass aims to provide is to decrease the faculty burden and workload related to NCLEX prep. Coupled with the rich Saunders Online Review Course and predictive HESI Exit exams, HESI Compass also includes a live nurse educator to assist students on the path to NCLEX success.
During the past year, in many of my conversations with nursing faculty, the weight of resetting the nursing student experience during a pandemic and ultimately, preparing students for NCLEX has felt nearly impossible. Without knowing the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the student academic journey, deans, directors, and faculty express anxiety and uncertainty related to students’ predictive performance on NCLEX. To shoulder some of the faculty burden, HESI Compass provides an opportunity for nursing faculty to pass the baton to a trusted partner, curriculum solution, and a live nurse educator coach.
Regarding nursing student NCLEX preparation, from my vantage point, I have observed and heard how HESI Compass Coaches have filled the gap and supported nursing students and the role of nursing faculty in the following ways.
- Competent, caring resources devoted to specialized support for students at the end of an intense nursing education curriculum.
- Seasoned nurse educators and partners working alongside and assisting faculty and students.
- Consistent, collaborative, communicators providing status reporting regarding student performance.
- Respected relationship builders coaching through difficult content, providing accountability checkpoints and expectations.
- Available, efficient responders to student questions and direct messages.
- Expert guides through content review, assessments, and personalized study plans.
- Facilitators through prompts, reminders, time management strategies, and success techniques.
During a critical point in the student’s journey and an uncertain time in nursing education, in a welcoming environment, HESI Compass Coaches fill the gap and extend support to nurse educators and students.