UBC Graduate Research

An integrative review of the role, challenges, and facilitators of clinical nurse educators in labour and delivery units Michaela, Popa


The role of hospital-based Clinical Nurse Educators (CNEs) is multifaceted and complex, with many regular organizational functions relying on their presence and support. The nursing teams depend on CNEs for various aspects of their nursing work such as professional development, clinical support, and policy development. Despite their essential role to the functions of nursing within healthcare, the activities of CNEs are understudied and their role frequently misunderstood. Furthermore, current literature focuses on the role of the academic CNE, demonstrating apparent disregard for the unique role of the hospital-based CNE. The lack of empirical focus on hospital-based CNEs adds to their role ambiguity, effectively limiting their indispensable organizational support, and contributing to their job stress. The aim of the Scholarly Practice Advancement Research (SPAR) Project is to identify, review and synthesize the literature pertaining to the role of a hospital-based CNE and to identify elements of the role, and its challenges and facilitators. I used an integrative review method to critically examine the limited evidence available to illuminate the complexity of the CNE role and to identify ways to support CNEs in the successful enactment of their role. Themes representing role components, challenges, and facilitators were identified. The role components were: professional development and clinical support of front-line staff members, clinical competency, leadership and collaboration, and mentoring evidence-based practice through research utilization. Challenges include: role ambiguity, inadequate orientation to role, lack of credibility due to minimal visibility on units, and insufficient time to maintain clinical competency, and appraise research. Facilitators that can minimize these challenges include: creation of clear role descriptions within organizations, establishment of a formal orientations, increased presence on units, and time for maintaining clinical skill competency, as well as undertaking research appraisal. These facilitators can improve the job satisfaction and retention of CNEs as well as front-line nursing staff members.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International