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Nurse educators are positive role models

Nurse educators are positive role models

Ms Tiisetso Mofokeng, a nurse educator, recently completed her master’s degree study, titled: Discovering presence as part of nurse educators’ role modelling at a public nursing college in the North West province.

At the onset of Ms Mofokeng’s study, she argued that if nurse educators model presence to nursing students, there will be an improvement in the quality of care to patients when nursing students are placed during their clinical training and once they go to work when they have completed their nursing programme. The purpose of her research was thus to explore and describe nurse educators’ modelling of presence to nursing students at a public nursing college in one of the more rural provinces of South Africa.

Ms Mofokeng applied an interesting research design, namely qualitative ethnographic research. She shadowed four participants, each over a period of two days during their work as nurse educators, followed by informal reflective conversations with each participant. She kept a journal of her impressions during this time. Ms Mofokeng and a team of co-coders analysed the data, looking for participants’ embodiment of “being there for” and “being with” the other (nursing students) in the fullness of their humanness.

It was apparent that participants modelled presence to some extent to nursing students despite facing various challenges in their work every day. They modelled presence by being dedicated and innovative in the difficult nursing education setting of the public nursing college, maintaining a professional educator–student relationship, using specific teaching–learning strategies based on shared values, and allowing themselves to be guided by principles that resemble presence. These findings bring clarity on what nurse educators at a public nursing college model to nursing students regarding being “a good nurse”, namely: being professional, being facilitating, nurturing, caring and compassionate, and being purposeful.

Ms Mofokeng is in the process of writing a scientific journal article on her research, and she wrote a chapter in our upcoming book on presence. Her dissertation will soon be available at the North West University’s library.

We acknowledge the financial support provided by the North West Department of Health, towards Ms Mofokeng’s study.

We wish Ms Mofokeng all of the best in her career ahead, and thank her for her valuable contribution to our understanding of presence.

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