Evaluating and Developing Supplemental Clinical Faculty Competency

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:00 PM

Jennifer Titzer, DNP, RN1
Gina L. Schaar, DNP, MSN, RN2
Constance F. Swenty, DNP, MSN, RN2
Marilyn Ostendorf, DNP, MSN, RN3
(1)Undergraduate and Graduate Nursing Program, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN, USA
(2)College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN, USA
(3)Nursing, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN, USA

Evaluating and Developing Supplemental Clinical Faculty Competency



 Due to the shortage of nurse faculty, employment of clinical experts as supplemental clinical faculty is essential. As a result, nursing programs are challenged to offer strategic development and evaluation methods which address the unique needs of the supplemental clinical faculty. In order to support students’ learning needs and program outcomes, it is essential that these faculty are provided ongoing professional development.  To create a supplemental clinical faculty development program, assessment of their challenges and needs is necessary.  Data from the initial supplemental clinical faculty evaluation and initial development workshop are presented.




Focus groups and online surveys were used to identify the challenges and educational needs of supplemental clinical faculty, which include adjunct clinical faculty, clinical teaching partners assigned to dedicated education units, and clinical teaching associates used in a senior nursing internship course.  The supplemental faculty’s ability to assess student learning and the benefits and challenges the faculty experience were evaluated.  The focus group discussion involved open ended questions eliciting participant feedback.  The online survey questions mirrored the focus group questions; however, they were scored using a Likert scale.  This data was then used to develop an initial educational workshop for supplemental clinical faculty. 


Fifteen supplemental clinical faculty attended the focus groups and 18 completed the online surveys.  The results from the online surveys indicated that over 90% of the supplemental clinical faculty felt confident in their ability to address student issues and provide feedback.  The participants were confident in their ability to coach student critical thinking.  Despite this level of confidence, 23% of the online respondents felt more training and education would help them better meet the needs of the nursing students.  Focus group responses suggest supplemental clinical faculty need more tools to better evaluate the level of students.  They felt it was difficult to differentiate between the expectations for the less experienced students.  In addition, the supplemental clinical faculty felt the course specific clinical evaluation forms were ambiguous and lacked consistent guidelines for assessing student outcomes.  This feedback supports the need for further formal development workshops for supplemental clinical faculty specifically addressing the leveling of student performance and fostering a greater understanding of the clinical evaluation metrics.


Common practice in many undergraduate nursing programs is to utilize supplemental clinical faculty; however, current literature regarding ongoing development of these individuals is limited.  Ongoing supplemental clinical faculty development is necessary to ensure successful attainment of program and student outcomes.  This pilot study is an initial step in identifying and addressing the unique needs of clinical experts placed in the role of supplemental clinical faculty.