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Will my experience as an RN and a preceptor give me the credentials I need to be an adjunct professor, or should I take college teaching courses?

Wednesday December 4, 2013
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Dear Donna,

I am an ARNP working in a hospital setting and am interested being an adjunct professor. Universities seem to want college teaching credits. Do I need to invest time into getting some more college experience or will my RN experience and being a preceptor give me the credentials I need to be an adjunct professor?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Dawn,

I'm not sure if you are applying to advertised positions or making direct contacts with institutions. But if relying on classified ads (both in print and online), you have to take the stated requirements with a grain of salt. They often state their ideal but are willing to interview and hire those who are qualified in other ways as long you have the right credentials, which you certainly do.

Don't hesitate to make direct contact with colleges, whether you see an advertised position there or not. Ask to speak to the dean or assistant dean of the nursing program and express your interest. Connect with them and find them on LinkedIn and Twitter. Every college has varying needs and requirements, so it’s a good idea to check with several of them.

Since networking is a very effective way to get a job, use all of your contacts to get the word out about the type of job you want.

Attend local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org) or any nursing association, even as a guest if not a member. Face-to-face networking is a very powerful tool when looking for a job. Have business cards made with your name, credentials and contact information, and exchange them with those you meet so they can contact you, and so you can contact them
as well.

Additionally, do some informational interviewing
(www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with those doing adjunct work. Find these nurses by asking around and looking on college websites, social media sites, etc. When there's something you want to do, it makes sense to rub elbows with those already doing it. The more contacts you make in the industry you want to work in, the better your chances of finding a job.

Best wishes,


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.