As Tracey alluded to in her posting, the nurse educator work force is aging in the United States, with the average age being in one's 50s. One of the reasons that I went into nursing education (about 25 years ago) was because although I loved patient care, I found that I could not maintain my own standards. There was so much to do and not enough time to do it, and I felt that I was short-changing my patients at times. When I became a clinical instructor, I found that with the help of my 10 students, the patients received excellent care since they had a lot more time than the staff nurses did. I knew they were doing the care appropriately, too, because I would not permit them to do otherwise.
In the United States, there is a big push for nurse educators to have a doctorate. I have been to several seminars where this is discussed. There is a lot of grant money available to assist nurses to return to school. One issue I have with this, though, is that many of these nurses have limited or no experience. Many have graduated from their basic nursing education but have been unable to find jobs, so they have returned to school. I met one student who had just graduated a few months earlier with a Bachelor's Degree and was going straight through for his Master's and then PhD. His plan was to get a teaching job right away. My concern is that although I respect and applaud the desire to return for higher education, how can one teach others when one has NO personal hands-on experience? Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon in their part of the world?