Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology


Nurse educators need to be well-prepared with essential competencies, to prepare nurses for their future in health care. Nurses who are recruited to teach, must meet at least minimal competencies and be provided appropriate resources to assume their roles in academia. The recently published National League for Nursing (NLN) Core Competencies for Nurse Educators (2005) identify the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for both novice and experienced faculty.

This research study explored faculty's perceived attainment of these competencies utilizing Benner's Novice to Expert theory as a framework. It examined several areas of interest related to nurse educator competency, years of teaching experience; years of nursing experience; college and program type; levels of education; and rank. It also examined formal college coursework and professional development faculty utilized in developing their competency. Three research questions guided this study. They were: (1) At what level do nursing faculty rate their competency for each of the National League for Nursing Core Competencies and task statements based on Benner's Novice to Expert theory?; (2) To what extent and in what ways is there a relationship between nurse educators' perceived attainment of the NLN Core Competencies and their levels of education and professional development?; and (3) To what extent and in what ways do demographic variables (type of program, years as an educator, college type, and years of nursing experience), influence a faculty member's perceived level of competency?

This study utilized a non-experimental on-line survey to identify nurse educators' perceived attainment of the eight NLN competencies and task statements. Responses were received from 288 nurse educators in the 11 Midwest states, representing faculty with various degrees and ranks, from all college and program types. The results of this study verified the importance of formal education, professional development and years of experience in competency attainment. Nurse educators, especially those who have completed national certification, play a key role in preparing future generations of nursing students for successful nursing careers. Utilizing the NLN Core Competencies as a template for providing orientation; identifying necessary continuing education; and tracking professional development, might well encourage faculty towards mastery of these competencies.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access