Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Lynne Cohen

Abstract

Government, industry, enterprises and the community expect the Vocational and Educational Training (VET) system to provide up-to-date educational programs that provide pathways from school-based learning to the higher education facilities such as universities and to employment opportunities. Reforms in the VET sector over the past ten years have had a significant impact on the work of staff employed in the area. Educators now operate in more competitive markets and face increased demands for higher quality and more relevant training programs from clients. Understanding and keeping up with the changes and working in new and more flexible ways have been major challenges for the VET workforce. The current literature review focuses on the effects that the changing expectations have had on the roles and work of VET practitioners and particularly on nurse educators. This review explores the changes in both the health and VET environments, identifying factors that contribute to the challenges 'and barriers that teachers' face. Higher education is critical to the intellectual, social and cultural development of the country, and has an essential role in the creation of human capital by advancing scholarship and cultivating intellect. However the rapid changes demanded by both vocational education training (VET) and health industry sectors in particular, places nurse educators working in this environment in a unique position. Not only do the demanding organisational changes risk stifling innovative educational practices, but puts nurse educators themselves at risk of increased occupational stress and burnout. Using a social construction approach, this study investigated the experiences of nurse educators working within the VET sector. Findings indicate whilst nurse educators were less aware of the broad systemic organisational change issues, they did perceive organisational inequity in their job roles influencing job satisfaction and feeling of frustration. Further research is needed to further explore dimensions of nurse educator challenges, specifically those related to personal well-being and coping mechanisms to the challenges reported.

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