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Educating Nurses for Maryland's Future


Glossary


Academic ranks
Titles of faculty positions in colleges and universities; four levels are commonly used including instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor; faculty move through academic ranks based on their level of teaching excellence, scholarship, publications, and service.
Adjunct faculty
An expert in a special field appointed to give instruction on a part-time or discontinuous basis; an individual whose primary employment is not at a college/university. Often this is an experienced registered nurse who takes a part-time teaching assignment at a college or university.
Assistant professor
Academic rank for a faculty member who has been awarded a doctoral or professional degree or equivalent, exhibits commitment to teaching and scholarly or professional work of high caliber, and participates in college/university affairs at least at the department level.
Associate degree (AD)
Also called Associate of Science Degree (ADN); nursing degree offered by a community college; typically take 2–3 years to complete. Graduates are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN and apply for licensure as a Registered Nurse. Courses in nursing, anatomy & physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology & other social and behavioral sciences as well as supervised clinical experiences are required.
Associate professor
Academic rank for a faculty member who meets the requirements for appointment as an assistant professor but also has a national reputation as a scholar or professional, shows a high degree of teaching proficiency and commitment, and demonstrates public, professional, or college/university service beyond the department.
Asynchronous online learning
Course materials are available via distance/online learning but learners use them at a time that is convenient for them rather than all being online at the same time.
Baccalaureate degree
Undergraduate college degree that takes four to five years of study and generally requires 126 to 132 college credits. May be referred to as a Bachelor’s degree. Two types of bachelor’s degrees are awarded, Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS).
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Undergraduate college degree, focused on subject matter requiring more credits that are directly linked to the major. Coursework is centered on mastering the technical and practical facets of a field. Bachelor of Science degrees are usually offered in technical and scientific areas like computer science, nursing, mathematics, biochemistry, and physics.
Certification
A process indicating that an individual has met predetermined standards of excellence; National associations may control the process and development of certification examinations conducted by their specialty interest groups.
Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
A CNA helps patients/clients with healthcare needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). A CNA may also be known as a Nursing Assistant (NA), a Patient Care Assistant (PCA), or a State Tested Nurse Assistant (STNA). Each state also has its own scope of practice for CNAs.
Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
A registered nurse with advanced education at the master’s or doctoral level who has completed a specialty certification exam; provide health services to women including family planning, gynecological checkups, prenatal care, during labor and delivery, and postpartum.
Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
A registered nurse with advanced education at the master’s or doctoral level who has completed a specialty certification exam; provides anesthesia services and oversees care during surgery and other medical procedures.
Certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP)
Term used to describe a nurse practitioner who has been granted a license by a State Board of Nursing to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). For example, Jane Smith, CRNP is licensed to practice as a nurse practitioner. This does not indicate a specialty area. Jane Smith, CRNP, FNP-BC is licensed to practice as a nurse practitioner and is a Family Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified.
Change agent
An individual or group of people that initiates, promotes and manges change within an organization.
Clinical experience
A core component of nursing education in which students participate in supervised learning sessions in real world health care environments giving them the opportunity to put what they've learned in the classroom into practice.
Clinical faculty
An academic appointment made to an expert who provides practical instruction and application of practical knowledge. Often a registered nurse who engages in instruction of nursing or other health professions students. May receive the titles of clinical instructor, clinical assistant professor, clinical associate professor, and clinical professor, at increasing levels of accomplishments.
Clinical Preceptor
Expert who works with students and new nurses as a mentor, guide, coach, or as an extension of faculty to support achievement of specific learning outcomes. Models safe patient care using evidence based practice. Guides new nurses in adapting to the culture of the healthcare unit and organization. Preceptorship does not come naturally and requires formal training available through nursing schools and healthcare organizations. May or may not be compensated for their services. This is not an academic appointment.
Clinical simulations (high and low fidelity)
An educational model of a phenomenon or activity that allows learners to rehearse behaviors and critical thinking without placing clients or institutional resources at risk. Simulation replaces or amplifies real patient care with guided experiences that mimic situations that professionals may encounter during their daily work or during extraordinary circumstances. Simulations may be conducted using interactive audio or video, specially designed simulators, or real people acting out predetermined scenarios. Simulated experiences may be followed by group discussions, debriefings, or more traditional forms of pedagogy. Fidelity refers to the degree of realism e.g. high fidelity is “as close to reality as it can be”.
Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
A registered nurse with a master's degree who oversees the integration of care for patients using evidence-based practice. Use of "CNL" also requires passing the associated certification examination.
Community health nurse
Responsible for helping keep various community health issues such as HIV, teen pregnancy, influenza, obesity, and substance abuse under control. Work in health centers offering treatment and education; Focus is on preventing common health problems.
Constellation Group Mentorship
Mentees have more than one mentor. A multi-generational range of mentors provide guidance on specific areas; a mid-career faculty member can mentor on teaching strategies; a late-career faculty member can advise on scholarship.
Curriculum design
The purposeful, deliberate and systematic organization of instructional blocks within a class or course. In other words, it is a way for teachers to plan instruction. When teachers design curriculum, they identify what will be done, who will do it, and when.
Curriculum development
Creation of courses to meet a specific set of outcomes. Includes creating a syllabus, lesson presentations, course materials, assignments, tests and assessments.
Distance learning
A method of educating students who may not be physically present at a college or university classroom and courses are delivered via the internet. A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc.) are used synonymously with distance learning. Synchronous sessions (all learners are online at the same time via videoconferencing/chat or other connections) and asynchronous (course materials are available via distance learning but learners use them at a time that is convenient for them).
Doctoral degree
Highest level of formal education; includes PhD, EdD, DNP, DNS; typically requires 3-4 years of study beyond a master’s degree with a culminating scholarly project or research.
Faculty
One who teaches in an academic environment typically a community college, 4-year college or university.
Graduate education
Also called postgraduate education; involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates. Includes masters and doctoral degrees.
High Reliability
A term defined as consistent excellence in quality and safety. It is defined as an organizational culture that is focused on achieving error-free performance and safety in every procedure/process every time.
Holistic review
A college admissions strategy that looks at the whole applicant (background, qualities, skills, and potential for success) alongside traditional measures of academic achievement (grades and test scores). It is designed to assemble a diverse class of students.
Instructor
Title for a faculty position, commonly the rank for new faculty. Requires a minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent, with completion of most or all of the requirements for a doctoral degree or equivalent. Expected to demonstrate effectiveness primarily as a teacher.
Lab/laboratory
Campus-based experiential learning involving manikins and task trainers. Students practice various skills to become proficient, e.g. drawing blood, changing bandages while supervised by faculty.
Learning Facilitator
One who guides nurses through the learning process. They plan, guide and manage individuals or a group to ensure objectives are met using their own knowledge and abilities.
Licensed practical nurse (LPN)
One who provides basic medical and nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). Must complete an accredited practical nursing program which takes about one year to complete. These programs are most often taken at technical or community colleges. Courses usually combine academia in nursing, biology, and pharmacology, in addition to supervised clinical experiences.
Licensure
The granting of a legal permit verifying that the individual meets standards for practice as established by the state licensing laws. In most instances the initial license is granted upon successful completion of an examination administered by the state examining board of the specific profession or vocation, and annual re-registration is required to maintain the license e.g. licensure as a registered nurse.
Master of Science (MS)
Formal education after a bachelor’s degree; programs vary in length from 1-3 years; focus may be in a nursing specialty, nursing education, administration/leadership among others.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Formal education after a bachelor’s degree; programs vary in length from 1-3 years; focus may be in a nursing specialty, nursing education, administration/leadership among others.
Mentor
A person who acts as guide and adviser to another person, especially one who is less experienced; a person who offers support and guidance to another; an experienced and trusted counselor; a patron, a sponsor.
Mentee
A person who has a mentor; the person guided or tutored by a mentor.
Mentorship
Mentorship has been defined as: “an interactive, interpersonal process between a dyad of expert and newcomer” (Goran, 2001, p.120). Merriam-Webster (n.d.) defines mentorship: “The influence, guidance, or direction given by a mentor”
NCLEX-RN
National computer adaptive examination required of all registered nurses seeking licensure. Requires taking up to 265 questions and completing with a passing score.
Nurse educator
Global term describing one who teaches nurses and/or future nurses; may work in a college or university or within a hospital or healthcare organization; generally requires a master’s degree or higher.
Nurse practitioner
A registered nurse educated at the master’s or doctoral level who has taken a specialty certification exam; also called an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and mid-level practitioner/provider. Assesses patient needs, orders and interprets diagnostic and laboratory tests, diagnoses illness and disease, prescribes medication and formulates treatment plans.
Nurse Residency Program

The Nurse Residency Program (NRP) focuses on new entry-level nurses as they transition into practice. The evidenced-based curriculum incorporates three key areas:

  • Leadership
  • Patient outcomes
  • Professional development

Online learning
A method of educating students who may not be physically present at a college or university classroom. Online education is one option for delivering courses through the internet. A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual classroom etc.) are used synonymously with distance learning.
Professional nurse
Also known as registered nurse who focuses on both “doing” and “thinking” skills. A bachelor’s degree is the recommended educational preparation for employment as a registered nurse.
Professor
Title for a faculty position; highest of all academic ranks; a professor meets the requirements for appointment as an associate professor, and, in addition, has a distinguished record of accomplishment that leads to an international or, as appropriate, national reputation in his or her field.
Program evaluation
A systematic process of academic program review and analysis; includes a cost-benefit analyses, measuring effects on student learning, and providing recommendations to help improve program design and implementation.
Research nurse
Role and responsibilities varies with employer; may be responsible for studying diseases, help create and improve new medications and other treatments. May organize, oversee, or assist in clinical trials, often involving new medications or treatment methods.
Simulations (high and low fidelity)
An educational model of a phenomenon or activity that allows learners to rehearse behaviors and critical thinking without placing clients or institutional resources at risk. Replaces or amplifies real patient care with guided experiences that mimic situations that professionals may encounter during daily work or during extraordinary circumstances. Simulations may be conducted using interactive audio or video, specially designed simulators, or real people acting out predetermined scenarios. Simulated experiences may be followed by group discussions, debriefings, or more traditional forms of pedagogy. Fidelity refers to the degree of realism e.g. high fidelity is “as close to reality as it can be”.
Social determinants of health
Conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. SDOH are grouped into 5 categories: economic stability, education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood/built environment, and social/community context.
Staff development
A branch of education providing activities to promote professional and personal growth of employees within an organization. Learning activities may be voluntary or mandatory.
Synchronous online learning
All learners are online at the same time via videoconferencing/chat or other connections.
Teaching faculty
Term used in North America to describe those who teach in colleges and universities; also known as professors of various ranks, instructors and/or lecturers.
Tenure
Give (someone) a permanent post, especially as a teacher or professor; Tenure is granted to a teacher after a trial period and gives protection from summary dismissal.
Tenure track
A type of academic appointment that is indefinite in length; can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances, such as financial insolvency or program discontinuation.
Tuition reimbursement
A program through your place of employment that allows you to take classes towards a degree, and your employer will pay you back for the classes you take.
Undergraduate education
Level of education wherein a student completes their first degree, usually named a bachelor's degree.

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