Yesterday I had an interview to become a clinical instructor for one of the local universities. During the interview, the Dean of the College of Nursing asked me why I wanted to get into education, since my resume appeared that I have been on a track for leadership for some time now. My answer was in two parts, both were the truth, but I will expand on one them now.
The first part of my answer was because I needed the extra money to help pay for graduate school. I am trying not to take out any more student loans to pay for school and use cash, scholarships and my employer’s tuition reimbursement to pay for as much as possible. This is the same school where I will be attending graduate school and one of the benefits for being a clinical instructor is that for every rotation you teach, not only do you get paid, but you get paid at a higher rate, and you receive one free graduate level class up to three free classes. That is a huge benefit, so between the free classes, the money I make for teaching and my tuition reimbursement, I will be able to pay my entire tuition without a dime coming out of my pocket if I teach just two rotations per year.
The other part of the answer I gave her was that for several years I have been trying to decide whether I wanted to focus on education or leadership. I really do enjoy teaching, and I thought this would help me focus my energy one way or the other.
What I didn’t tell her was that I actually love teaching. I have always been the first one to volunteer to take students or precept a new nurse. I have always wanted to take what I learned from my previous instructors and preceptors and pass that on to the next generation of nurses. I learned a lot from those that taught me, I learned how to be a great nurse and how to encourage others to be great, and I learned how to be a bad nurse and mentor…both have made me the preceptor I am now. And I think I am pretty great.
By the way….I got the job!