Nurse educators: Introducing a change and evading resistance

Mahmoud Salam, Khalid S. Alghamdi


Nurse educators play a pivotal role in strengthening the nursing workforce by designing, implementing, evaluating and revising nursing educational programs. A brief overview from published literature and expert opinions showed that nurse educators are in continuous attempt to introduce changes to the nursing processes for the sake of improvement. This editorial emphasizes the facilitating role of nurse educators in introducing these changes and describes some change management strategies to evade resistance. Resistance is a leading implication of any change that can take the form of either foot-dragging or sabotage. Change management strategies constitute of interdependent processes and variables, therefore it could be a bit complex. Educators may implement an empirical-rational strategy, as nurses are usually willing to accept a change if it is justified and if its benefits are explained. Another approach could be the normative re-educative strategy which is driven by the socio-cultural norms, where educators take into account the impact of change on the work culture (values, attitudes, skills and relationships among staff). The power-coercive strategy is a circumstantial and time efficient approach where educators can utilize the nursing managerial influence to impose the change, but is often associated with a higher chance of resistance. Planning a comprehensive change plan is challenging and educators must be prepared for unanticipated resistance. Nurse educators are required to be innovative, flexible and knowledgeable to select and implement an effective change management strategy.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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