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A MODEL FOR ORIENTATION AND MENTORING OF ONLINE ADJUNCT FACULTY IN NURSING EDUCATION

K. Brannagan, M. Oriol

Loyola University New Orleans (UNITED STATES)
The trend of utilizing adjunct faculty to meet the demands within schools of nursing has increased over the last 30 years, particularly within online programs. Although adjunct faculty usually offer a high level of expertise in a particular area of nursing, adjunct faculty often lack teaching experience and in-depth knowledge of program and university protocols, philosophies, and procedures. A model for preparing and mentoring online adjunct faculty is presented—Online Adjunct Mentoring Model (OAFMM). Full-time faculty who regularly teach a course are paired with a mentor adjunct faculty who have similar professional backgrounds. The model includes 1) a clear definition of the role of both the adjunct faculty and mentoring faculty; 2) recruitment of adjunct faculty who possess appropriate technical skills, practical experience, and teaching experience; 3) a comprehensive online orientation for adjunct faculty including information related to university programs and mission, university policies and practices, pedagogical principles, technical skills and concepts, communication and engagement skills, and available support services; and 4) the creation of the mentor-mentee dyads, communication, expectations, and program and course information. The role of the Adjunct Faculty Coordinator involves directing each step of the process, including the three-week online orientation and the preparation of full time faculty as mentors. Universities that invest in the preparation and ongoing support of all faculty will realize the benefits through students satisfaction and retention, faculty engagement, and faculty retention.