Teaching Excellence: What Great Teachers Teach Us

Document Type




Format of Original

6 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Professional Nursing

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2009.01.020


Given the shortage of nurse educators, we sought to better understand teaching excellence because it is crucial for developing the next generation of nurses. A grounded theory approach was used. The sample included 17 respondents, thought to be excellent teachers, from universities across the United States. Consenting respondents were asked, “What do you do to bring nursing to life with your students?” Using line-by-line coding and the constant comparative method, five major themes emerged: (a) engagement, (b) relevance, (c) student centeredness, (d) facilitation of learning, and (e) dynamic process of becoming an excellent nursing educator. We found that the core category, engagement, included the faculty being (a) current and knowledgeable, (b) being clear in communication of objectives/outcomes, (c) being student centered, (d) being able to draw all students into active questioning and learning so that the process of discovery is enjoyable, and (e) using multiple strategies in teaching the content. The process of becoming an excellent teacher involved “change from ‘instiller’ to ‘facilitator’ and laid the foundation for continued development of my teaching self.” Those beginning to teach or seeking to improve their teaching may find the results enlightening.


Journal of Professional Nursing, Vol. 25, No. 5 (September-October 2009): 267-272. DOI.