Caring in nursing education: The role of the educator
The purpose of this study was to discover the perception and demonstrating of caring by nurse educators towards nursing students in the classroom setting. A phenomenological hermeneutic design was used to elicit and express this experience. The questions guiding the study were: 1.) What is the perception of caring by the nurse educator in the nurse educator to nursing student relationship? 2.) How is caring demonstrated in the nurse educator to nursing student relationship? Thirteen experienced nurse educators teaching both undergraduate and graduate-level students discussed their perceptions of caring for students in the classroom. A classroom was defined as a face-to-face modality in a synchronous format during a set time of instruction. The philosophical underpinning was based on the work of Paul Ricoeur and included both structural analysis and phenomenological interpretation. The structural analysis unearthed three salient elements within the nurse educator’s world: the students’ nature, the context of the classroom, and the degree of support from the university. The phenomenological interpretation revealed the following themes: embodied caring, why we care, developing a rhythm of caring, influences on caring, and caring communication. Implications for nurse educators is the discovery that caring is based in a shared humanity. Caring for students is a decisive action that also models desired behaviors. Nurse educators can create safe and optimal learning environments that are relational, professional, and able to uphold the standards of the nursing profession.