Permanencies and Ruptures in the Training and Professional Performance of Professors in Nursing: Res...

Luciane Sá de Andrade, Marlene Fagundes Carvalho Gonçalves

American Journal of Nursing Research

Permanencies and Ruptures in the Training and Professional Performance of Professors in Nursing: Research with Students and Alumni

Luciane Sá de Andrade1, Marlene Fagundes Carvalho Gonçalves1,

1Psychiatric Nursing and Social Sciences Department, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Abstract

This study has the objective of analyzing the faculty training provided by the Nursing Degree with a Teaching Diploma through the perspective of students and alumni. The participants of the research were students and graduates of the Bachelor’s Degree with a Teaching Diploma in Nursing Course of the Ribeirão Preto campus of the University of São Paulo – EERP/USP. Data obtained through portfolios, reports and interviews – with a theoretical basis – allowed the construction of the following thematic units: Opting for a Teaching Diploma, Reframing of faculty training, Construction of teaching knowledge, Balancing health care and education, Derivations of faculty training, Faculty professional practice, Clashes in faculty practice. The meaning attributed to the course by the students and the professional practice of a professor nurse suffers constant confrontation with the proposals the Course offers for the training of these students. The web presented in the reports allows for a student training in two areas: nurse training and faculty training, in a more articulated manner, since the very beginning of the course. The course brings about the training and the possibility of new performance as faculty. However, this is not automatic. The two aspects of healthcare and of education are present during the Course in question. The participants point out the importance of a faculty training that goes beyond activities related to the act of teaching, such as, for example, social relations, establishment of bonds or, in the case of these graduates, the way they will lead the nursing team. People interviewed in this study pointed out the limitations of the jobs in technical schools, which use methodologies that are not always compatible with those they learned in their courses. There are difficulties in being professors, due to fatigue, the feeling that classes are not generating results, and frustrations regarding expectations related to being a faculty.

Cite this article:

  • Luciane Sá de Andrade, Marlene Fagundes Carvalho Gonçalves. Permanencies and Ruptures in the Training and Professional Performance of Professors in Nursing: Research with Students and Alumni. American Journal of Nursing Research. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2015, pp 41-47. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajnr/3/2/3
  • Andrade, Luciane Sá de, and Marlene Fagundes Carvalho Gonçalves. "Permanencies and Ruptures in the Training and Professional Performance of Professors in Nursing: Research with Students and Alumni." American Journal of Nursing Research 3.2 (2015): 41-47.
  • Andrade, L. S. D. , & Gonçalves, M. F. C. (2015). Permanencies and Ruptures in the Training and Professional Performance of Professors in Nursing: Research with Students and Alumni. American Journal of Nursing Research, 3(2), 41-47.
  • Andrade, Luciane Sá de, and Marlene Fagundes Carvalho Gonçalves. "Permanencies and Ruptures in the Training and Professional Performance of Professors in Nursing: Research with Students and Alumni." American Journal of Nursing Research 3, no. 2 (2015): 41-47.

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1. Introduction

Faculty training is still a major issue in Brazilian Education. When talking about faculty training in areas of vocational training, such as Nursing, the issue only seems to get more complex. For this reason, studies are made necessary to clarify and discuss the faculty training process, opening the area for new proposals and advances.

In Brazil, we have the Bachelor’s Degree with a Teaching Diploma in Nursing. Its purpose is the training of qualified professionals in the Nursing field that are also qualified to teach, both in Professional Education – with the training of Nursing technicians, currently the largest number of workers in the area – and in Basic Education – such as Health Promotion in the school system. Thus, the Teaching degree focuses on these two main areas: nursing (aid) and education (professional education and basic education).

Although a parallel exists between disciplinary knowledge and pedagogical knowledge in Teaching degrees in general [1], courses in general are still more in tune with the training of faculty nurses, proficient in the Nursing care area and also in acting as faculty in basic education and professional education in nursing.

This study uses as a theoretical basis the historical and cultural approach [2, 3], who reveals a concern with the integration of individual, social and cultural aspects involved. This approach defends the idea that learning is the result of an active interaction between the subjects with the object of study, and the effect that the subject has on the object of study is mediated by the Other.

Through this understanding, we seek to analyze the faculty training of the nurse professor from the perspective of students and alumni of the Nursing Course with a Teaching Diploma.

The questions that led to this research are as follows: how does the process of the faculty education occur parallel to the nurse training? How do the students and alumni see the different processes of education presented by the Bachelor’s Degree with a Teaching Diploma in Nursing? How involved are the alumni with faculty activities?

Finally, this study has the objective of analyzing the faculty training provided by the Nursing Degree with a Teaching Diploma through the perspective of students and alumni.

2. Methodology

The participants of the research were students and graduates of the Bachelor’s Degree with a Teaching Diploma in Nursing Course of the Ribeirão Preto campus of the University of São Paulo – EERP/USP.

The first group had 16 students from the course mentioned, and the following items were analyzed: 1) portfolios – description and reflection of the experiences of each student – produced in the second year class of “Health Promotion in Basic Education”, with small groups, including the pedagogical cycle of: immersion in the practical field of the profession – basic education school; provisional summary; search for a theoretical foundation; new summary; and evaluation; and 2) reports regarding each student’s school life and training, made at the beginning of the course and at the end of each school year about the “Trajectories in the initial training process: a study with undergraduates in nursing”.

The second group had 14 alumni of the same course, who concluded the course in 2010, and represent 39% of the graduating class. Semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed for this research.

The research material has been approved by the Ethical Committee, and everyone involved were informed of the objectives of the research and signed a Term of Consent to authorize the use of texts requested during the research and the analysis of the material produced during school life (first group) and the interviews made (second group).

3. Results and Discussion

Data obtained through portfolios, reports and interviews – with a theoretical basis – allowed the construction of the following thematic units: Opting for a Teaching Diploma, Reframing of faculty training, Construction of teaching knowledge, Balancing health care and education, Derivations of faculty training, Faculty professional practice, Clashes in faculty practice.These units will be specified and discussed below.

3.1. Opting for a Teaching Diploma

To think about the faculty training of a nursing student, we should first understand the reasons that led the student to choose teaching. This choice for a Teaching Degree may have been made for different reasons, as can be observed in the following reports:

Report 1 (upon entry) – Student 15 – I chose a Teaching Diploma because I want to help in training new professionals; nursing is an area to be widely taught and widely learned. I love my profession and being able to help it to become more accepted in society and to have a better perspective is a privilege!

Interview – Alumnus 3 – I like to explain the ins and outs of things, I liked teaching, during my internships in [name of school], the students were always saying ‘come to teach us, we are going to finish the basics…’, so I like to teach […].

They also contemplate the idea of better job opportunities:

Report 1 (upon entry) – Student 6 – I opted for the Teaching Diploma, because it is a course that provides job opportunities, both in hospitals and in the educational areas.

Interview – Alumnus 13 – I saw the Teaching Diploma and I thought about the opportunity, of health care teaching, instead of only doing a course… more technical, more professional, without the Teaching Diploma.

It is also an option for those that found it a good alternative to other courses, especially Medicine:

Report 1 (upon entry) – Student 7 – [...] I was approved in Nurse Teaching and failed Medicine, however I’ve realized both courses walk hand in hand. I feel today that my greatest desire is “caring” for others, leaning to guide, educate and even motivate people to seek a better life. A Teaching Diploma got me what I wanted, caring through education.

Another justification for opting for the course is the interest in studying in the University of São Paulo, no matter the course:

Interview – Alumnus 2 – I came to the course already thinking ‘I’m going to have the Bachelor Degree and the Teaching Diploma too’, which are two areas in one single course, […] also it was an easier way to get in the university than with other courses. I wanted to get into USP above all else.

The period was also another matter highlighted by them, since the Course was during nighttime.

Interview – Alumnus 3 – [...] but I went after the Teaching Diploma more because of the schedule. I could do two things, because I had to work and wanted to study, and it was an opportunity of graduating without having to stop working.

Another point revealed by interviewees was the lack of knowledge of it being also a teaching course:

Interview – Alumnus 4 – At the time I didn’t know the difference between Bachelors and Teaching degrees. I thought they were complementary, and that was at that time, because I didn’t really know much about Teaching Diploma, didn’t really know a lot about Nursing, I was just starting in this field, so at the time I thought one would supplement the other and that could be interesting.

The various ways the students opted for the Teaching Diploma indicate confusion, difficulty and reasons that reveal situations that will influence the way they deal with new experiences in the Course.

The meaning attributed to the course by the students and the professional practice of a professor nurse suffer constant confrontation with the proposals the Course offers for the training of these students. Using this as a basis, new concepts, transformations and new significations are brought to life. Thus, it is clear the importance of knowing the shocks that happen in the factual space of the Course [4].

3.2. Reframing of Faculty Training

Upon entrance to the Course, students start to understand the role of a nurse professor:

Report 3 (end of the 2nd year) – Student 7 – [...] I confess to having some difficulties to understand the role of a nurse in school, but with time I was able to mature my view and better understand the importance of promoting basic health and how a nurse can make a difference in a child’s life. A student with a Teaching Diploma has the opportunity to acquire a good foundation to teach health care, which allows for a better quality of life for people and a positive feedback for the improvement of health care for society as a whole.

Portfolio (course presentation) – Student 16 – [...] Some students here already have some experience as educators, but for me this will be a big challenge, for I have never imagined myself as a teacher. I hope to overcome this. [...]

The work of giving new meaning to the faculty activity grows and assumes various characteristics, according to the student’s experience in the Course. This new perspective is something particular to each student – according to student 7: “I confess to having some difficulties to understand the role of a nurse in school, but with time I was able to mature my view” – this new meaning can take the form of overcoming one’s personal shortcomings. As student 16 pointed out: “Some students here already have some experience as educators, but for me this will be a big challenge, for I have never imagined myself as a teacher. I hope to overcome this.”

Acquiring new meaning comes with practical studies that start as soon as the course beings and brings about demands and reflections of what being a professor means, his/her role and the many possibilities of actions, as pointed out by student 16:

Portfolio (cycle 1, temporary summary) – Student 16 – [...] However, the doubt of not knowing how far we can go, which partnerships to seek support from, as nurses and educators in the promotions of health care… it can cause us to be overworked without reaching our objectives, something that raises the theme: what is and what is the purpose of promoting healthcare in Basic Education (history, what it is and how to apply it to the school system).

Reference [5] shows that initial training of professors has traditionally been composed of pedagogical courses linked to the bachelor’s curricula. The authors defend the idea that this practice is erroneous, pointing out that “To think about faculty training today one must go beyond offering a teaching diploma some pedagogical courses after you get your bachelor’s degree” (p.2). The web presented in the reports allows for a student training in two areas: nurse training and faculty training, in a more articulated manner, since the very beginning of the course.

Reference [6] defends, based in a historical and cultural approach, the importance of “turning science into learning material and that means not only knowing the logics of the content to be taught but also the ways that students learn”. Faculty training, thus, gains space in the course and in the minds of students who seek to understand the teaching process, by understanding what they want to teach – health care or nursing – and the method of student learning, “based on their cognitive, emotional and linguistic processes, etc., the characteristics of students and their socio-cultural context and the organizational forms of pedagogical and didactic situations” [6].

3.3. Construction of Teaching Knowledge

Texts and reports produced by student 7 show the construction of knowledge based on the various activities done in school, reflection over the results obtained, difficulties faced and challenges met, displaying the training of a student into a professor:

Portfolio (cycle 3, immersion) – Student 7 – In this immersion day, they proposed to us programmed presentation activities, in which we could present ourselves to students and do an activity that would allow them to do the same to us. Another programmed activity was the ‘doubt box’, for students to put topics, subjects or doubts in the box. The group dynamic was as follows: students had to say their names and, with the first letter of their names, they had to choose something they really liked about; we, EERP students, did the same. The activity was valid and most of them participated, but I noticed some students resisted in participating, either because they were ashamed or because they didn’t take it seriously. Soon after the group dynamic, we distributed the pieces of paper so they could share their doubts and assured them that names were not necessary. We were successful in this activity, all students were willing to participate. These activities, I, [student 9] and [student 13] did with 6th grade D and we could observe the class was very disorganized. The students talk a lot and most don’t even stay in class, though we noticed that didn’t happen with the geography teacher, who was able to keep them in order and interested, with almost all of them keeping their eyes locked on the teacher and performing the exercises in their books. The teacher was very able to establish “bridges” between new knowledge and knowledge that the kids already had, for example, movies that they all knew, making the subject more interesting and relatable. I really enjoy this sort of class that uses the knowledge the students already have to construct and consolidate new knowledge. This active methodology makes the student more pro-active in public speaking, feeling more self-confident because they already learned things outside of school and searched for knowledge we consider scientific in existing theories and books, […] Being in a school environment is affording me rich experiences for my own growth and evolvement of my learning curve as a student of the Teaching Diploma in Nursing course, because it is teaching me much more than didactical knowledge to deal with students. It is also improving my skills as a group coordinator and as a part of the group. [...]

Report 3 (end of 2nd year) – Student 7 – This year was very important to my training as a nurse professor because I was able to better learn the role a nurse plays in the school system, the impact in the social life of the students and its reflection in the community. The presence of a nurse is very important in the school, since it promotes health, welfare and awareness of students in regard to their roles in society, that is, their duties and rights. […]

The experience of students proposing educational activities to a group of students in basic education contributes to the process of them becoming professors. The experience itself, allied with the observations of professor’s actions, was considered successful by student 7 and related to the construction of knowledge regarding docentship, abilities and the identity of the professor himself.

According to [7], the background of the professor is constructed through three types of learnings: experience, knowledge and educational. The author highlights the experience as one of the challenges of the courses, which allows the students to assume a new role – and their whole experience as students – to become professors. Their actions, in this condition provided by the course, amplify the experiences, allowing the students to become professors through both experience and theoretical constructions.

The course brings about the training and the possibility of new performance as faculty. However, this is not automatic, as can be observed by the interview with the following graduate:

Interview – Alumnus 14 – I can only do this [classes with active participation by students] because I myself had this experience, because if I hadn’t, I would be only doing classes with blackboards and [Power Point], ‘look, this is done this way, for that is that way and for this one here it is done this way’. In nursing we have this ‘see, this is the problem, and this is the nursing prescription, this is the nursing systematization’.

Their actions are measured by the real conditions of the work, by the school culture that has already been established in technical schools, which is often a barrier to the differentiated pedagogical practice.

For [3], the whole learning process happens through concrete social relations. The students’ experience in the real professional field comes as an important element for the constructions and the exercises of articulation that happens between theoretical and practical training of the faculty – carried out during the Course –, but that continue to represent challenges for the him/her to become professor..

3.4. Balancing Health Care and Education

Through the reports of those involved, there seems to be the understanding that the two aspects of healthcare and of education are present during the Course in question.

Report 3 (end of the 2nd year) – Student 3 – In this year the course made me reflect about the pedagogical training and how to deal with it inside the health care system. The same way that we understand the health care practice, we also learn and understand that the education fits and covers a lot of questions, and that health care is an integral part of education.

Interview – Alumnus 2 – It was really well divided, meaning that there was not less or more of Education and Health Care, so I think the division was very fair; we had a lot of experience in the Education and, in the same way, a lot in the area of Health Care.

Another alumnus points out that the Education was the Strong point of the course:

Interview – Alumnus 3 – The Education area was a strong point of the course, I think that we were well prepared, better prepared to be Faculty than to be Nurses. The educational aspect was the strong point, the best part of the course, and it was well worked.

These questions lead to a disassociation between contents of knowledge and the didactic and pedagogical procedures, both of which must be part of the process of training professors [8]. The question has been a complex part of the history of faculty training, and the challenge has always been to articulate these different aspects. For the author, such disassociation can only be faced by considering the faculty as “a real phenomenon, that is, something that happens effectively within schools” [8].

Reference [1] introduces the idea of a studying theory for the development1, which also discusses the relationship between course knowledge and the pedagogical knowledge. For the author, the school must “assure the means for students to acquire knowledge and, so, to develop a theoretical and conceptual way of thinking and acting”. Therefore there is no point of thinking about a “speculative knowledge that is disconnected from reality” [1]. The great question presented by the author is that specific contents – in this case health care/nursing – should be the structure of the pedagogical knowledge in question. “Without this double determination, it would be impossible to attempt an alignment of teaching contents and pedagogical training” [6].

In addition to questions regarding knowledge/course content, there is another, in faculty practice, that is related to the lack of experience in the nursing professional field, which brought about difficulties in dealing with some aspects of Nursing education, as can be observed in the following texts.

Interview – Alumnus 7 – I was afraid to go there and teach my students the process of airways suction, so I had to ask for help. I think I was afraid to use the wrong materials or even to choose the wrong sequence for the practice… The professor was excellent and then I started to learn more and to feel more like a nurse to lecture classes, but it always seemed like I was being superficial, even lecturing a class.

Interview – Alumnus 4 – Look, lecturing a class, I don’t know, there are moments that are hard. I like teaching a lot, but I think I need to be more mature, but it is something I like a lot, it is a cool job […] For example, the student that wants to measure your knowledge, wants to know measure his own knowledge against you, and tries to diminish your class, […] sometimes there are situations that I haven’t experienced yet on the labor market, more critical situations that might give me more experience to be a Nursing professor […].

This aspect refers to the knowledge introduced by [7], already discussed previously, but through another point of view. We can highlight, based on the words of these alumni, that the knowledge from experiences in the professional field is also important regarding the way the faculty will handle the contents to be taught.

3.5. Derivations of Faculty Training

The participants point out the importance of a faculty training that goes beyond activities related to the act of teaching, such as, for example, social relations, establishment of bonds or, in the case of these graduates, the way they will lead the nursing team.

Report 2 (end of 1st year) – Student 1 – Some courses, especially in the Humanities area, have showed the importance of having a theoretical basis when dealing with human beings, be it teaching or working in hospitals. Seminars taught them to speak in public and to elaborate presentations. Another important factor was learning to establish bonds, interpersonal relations, living with their clients, which allowed for the beginning of a professional posture.

Interview – Alumnus 7 – Since I already have this experience in the classroom, this practice is also useful tom my work, to make my employees to question, to think about what they are doing, and that is a subjective issue. It is not something that can touch or see, you are not taking care of diabetes, of hypertension, you are taking care of the people who carry these diseases.

The faculty is strategically important when changing the health care system. Thus the need to improve the training of nurses.

Interview – Alumnus 14 – I think that the pedagogical training that I received during the course, be it in basic education, be it in professional training, was presented in a very critical way, with the main objective of awakening in us, of bringing us, to “look, I am here, I have accepted this type of work. And now, what do I do? What I need to do to get it well done?

Interview – Alumnus 14 – And I believe that my role as a nurse, by the way things are going, that things happen in our life, the improvement of the health care system, that I believe happen through the faculty, so I think that the role of the nurse in the improvement of (SUS) has to do with the faculty.

The contribution of the faculty can be seen through new eyes when one understands that appropriating pedagogical knowledge means also appropriating the mental processes involved in learning. From a historic and cultural point of view, the social environment and the creation of pedagogical conditions may lead students to “control the methods socially developed so they can deal with the world of objects and transform it” [6]. It seems that this is something that happened with those participating in this study. They felt progressively more responsible and capable of dealing and transforming the working world they belong in.

3.6. Faculty Professional Practice

Regarding the future professional practice, the students in question brought with them expectations created by the experiences provided by the Course, specially the internships:

Report 6 (end of the 5th year) – Alumnus 4 – Regarding the educational internships and the faculty practice, they both provided amazing learning, especially in relation to sharing certain knowledge and making it significant for other people. This is how I felt in several moments. In addition there were organizational and postural aspects that are part of preparing a class, the methods and strategy choices you make and the way you present yourself in class, choosing the best terms, the language itself. These have provided us a very interesting background, I feel safe, even to accept lecturing a class in technical education. Moreover, the close contact, the creation of lasting bonds, the trust and the dialogue established with the wider population to discuss health care and also SUS, with the purpose of strengthening and bringing it closer to its users, the application of health care in the health units, be it USF or hospitals, longer contact with classes and students from technical education and the learning I have gathered during these year, and for all these things and others that I leave this school satisfied with my school performance.

On the other hand, some of the graduates interviewed started their professional lives as teachers in technical courses.

Interview – Alumnus 2 – I lectured some classes as well, they lacked professors, so I stayed a while giving a course in a technical school, doings things on my own. Sometimes you ask a colleague that was also in the same class with you, so we helped each other along, structuring class, schedules, class plan, things you don’t even see out there we learned in that school.

For [9], technical courses are welcoming the newly graduated professors, and it is frequently an initial option for them, since it does not usually require experience to be accepted as a faculty member of a nursing technical course. The authors believe that the technical education absorbed the second largest contingent of graduates in their first and second jobs (14.2% and 12% respectively). After assistant and administrative positions, the third job mentioned more often in the three first jobs was that of faculty member, with a higher number in high school. Another research [10] corroborates these data, highlighting that high schools were the third positions graduated occupied more frequently (6,8%).

The fact that the nurse has also a Teaching Diploma becomes a differential when seeking a job in the world of technical schools, as can be observed by the following excerpt:

Interview – Alumnus 4 – But what the employment market needs is professionals with a Teaching Diploma, the labor market in São Paulo has opportunities for these professionals.

Interview – Alumnus 11 – Today you no longer work in schools if you don’t have it [Teaching Diploma], you can have the experience and they might even hire you, but the schools will demand from you immediate enrollment in a course with a teaching diploma.

Going beyond these questions, faculty training has shown itself as being essential for a graduate to work as a professor. This was shown when graduates had the opportunity of working in technical courses.

Interview – Alumnus 2 – In hospitals the teaching diploma is not important, but for this school I went to teach at, having a Teaching Diploma was essential, for if I hadn’t the Teaching Diploma, I wouldn’t have been able to teach, but in the hospital sector, I see no difference, not even with the Master’s Degree.

Interview – Alumnus 5 – I got prepared to be a faculty member, so I enjoy the faculty, I feel good when lecturing a class, I feel good working there, at the same time, it bothers me, […] I don’t get paid by class and I don’t want to get paid by class, that’s not the question, I would like to be in a school that would embrace me as a teacher, allowing me to contribute with other faculty members.

The reality is that professors who have more experience with a technical school job have a specific technical formation and are not prepared to be a real faculty [11] and, currently, a professor with differentiated background in the faculty life will meet other professors that refuse or do not have conditions to perform a differentiated pedagogy. People interviewed in this study pointed out the limitations of the jobs in technical schools, which use methodologies that are not always compatible with those they learned in their courses.

Interview – Alumnus 5 – We have what we call the professor facilitator, something I like. When you get there the best thing professors can teach you is, “… oh we have all this, we believe in this as well, but do what you think it’s best for you, so you can do what you have to do…”. So you go and work in a class with more show and tell or you go work in a class based on constructivism when it is possible and so on and so forth.

Interview – Alumnus 4 – Some professors have been working for twenty, thirty years, and I am just beginning, I recently graduated. The older ones are complicated to deal with, they have another view of how a class should be lectured, a vision so very different from what we learned in the university. And trying to make it work is difficult […] and there are some methodologies that you try to apply and you find yourself blocked, so there are these difficulties.

Reference [10] points out the necessity of establishing a new structure for knowledge when a nurse enters the labor market, because he/she will have to face the culture already in practice at the institution he will now work. Reference [12] learned with the alumni from a nursing course that there are contradictions between the reality of the work environment and the scenario created by the graduates regarding their profession during their training. For these authors, the aspects that prove bothersome to graduates from nursing courses are connected to the distortions found in the objectives and the work conditions of the institutions that have hired them.

In a study with faculty members from technical education, [13] found that faculty experience reveals an ambiguity “that shows that the faculty practice is enjoyable, but at the same time, wearing”.

3.7. Clashes in Faculty Practice

Students already predicted, through their experiences with practice and internships, the difficulties they may face when being part of a school’s faculty.

Report 6 (end of the 5th year) – Student 9 – The supervised internship for professional education allowed us to reconfirm the process of teaching/learning during the practice at school. I learned what means ‘teaching’ in all its aspects and scopes – we must teach going beyond what the course provides. It is necessary to involve the school as a whole. The school has a lot of good aspects but also some management difficulties and students have some learning difficulties.

Changing the role of the professor is not always welcomed by the students of technical schools, for many of them are used to traditional methods.

Interview – Alumnus 14 – When you want to prepare something, you have some students that don’t understand that the class is providing knowledge. They want the thing in an easy way. I had students that said to me: ‘Professor, instead of you giving us case studies for us to think about them, why don’t you provide us with a multiple choice exercise, because then it is easier for us to answer and it is easier for you to grade.’

Another point observed, and mentioned previously, was the difference between training with active methodologies and the context work demands in the schools after they graduate, which does not favor the use of these types of methodologies.

Interview – Alumnus 13 – I evaluate, I see, I try to adopt them, make it really active. It is what I talk about as a professor. I remember my own professors always telling me, ‘guys, group discussions is not only about gathering a group of people’. There is a basis to be worked with, but I see that there are times that you don’t have the support of the institution itself and this makes it a little overwhelming, even though it is always a challenge.

The presence of the nurse in basic education, besides to his performance in technical education, is one of the focuses of the course. Tough there is both disposition and excitement from the students regarding the training (first reports follow bellow), the graduates point out that the opportunities to work in this area are few.

Report 5 (end of 4th year) – Student 6 – The supervised internship in Basic Education supplied us with significant learning of how to be a nurse with a teaching diploma, someone who can act in Basic Education, promoting health care. Moreover, it was possible to establish lasting bonds with students, professors and staff, to get to know the reality the school faces and to carry out educational activities aimed at promoting health care. Lastly, I see that the work of a nurse with a teaching diploma is extremely important in basic education schools, since this professional can promote health care in schools.

Report 3 (end of 2nd year) – Alumnus 15 – Another reality that can be observed was the immersion in basic education, something that creates a new field and new knowledge to the nurse, I think that the school could be a new field we can enter as nurses.

Interview – Alumnus 7 – When I went through a Basic Education internship, I was very dedicated and noticed that a Nurse is an important professional in that context. It could be a good thing, but there is not space there for us.

Interview – Alumnus 8 – I really liked basic education… but in Brazil we still don’t have nurses in public schools. They could have these professionals to carry out several health care programs. Why not? The nurse has a background of specific knowledge, humanistic knowledge in college. That is important. And, in private schools, the nurse is restricted to first aid post or for aiding hurt kids[]

Thus, the question regarding the labor market for nursing professor has another problem that impairs the accomplishment of plans established by students.

According to the alumni there are difficulties in being professors, due to fatigue, the feeling that classes are not generating results, and frustrations regarding expectations related to being a faculty.

Interview – Alumni 13 – We have a training that includes educational methodologies and the importance of education that are important for the work in the classroom. However sometimes you are tired, because it is not easy, the lecture is always different. Sometimes it is the lecture you dreamed about, the way you planned it and made come true, but in other days you can no achieve that and you have to accept it.

Lastly, lack of appreciation and adequate payment, issues present in the words of the graduated interviewed, has lead the nurse to face faculty as a secondary activity.

Interview – Alumnus 14 – As I told you about the financial part, a lot of the times the professor that has a smaller salary than the students of the technical course will have. That raises the professional question for the nurse, whether to face faculty life or having multiple class schedules or as a side job, that is, he is not going to have time and the necessary dedication for it.

In the study [9] the lowest average of payment for nurses was found for the vocational education. The problems faced in this faculty world, this activity ends up being seen as a secondary one.

Being part of a faculty requires a complex network that demands consistent training and also conditions for its practice, because “it is necessary to admit that the faculty work conditions, at the present political and social context, favors alienation” [14].

From a historical and critical point of view, education is the “mediation within the global social practice” [15]. As a social practice, education is filled with historical and social conditions and is also crossed by work conditions under which the nurse professor does his/her job. A critical-reflexive education will not lead the student or the faculty member automatically to an adequate pedagogical practice and that is due to professional conditions, since these are built according to the economic and political context. In the case of docentship in technical education, the context requires little specific training for the performance of the job in its recent history; the lack of a professorship plan career; the low wages provided; the lack of importance given by public health care and education policies for the professional training in the middle level health care; the lack of conditions for adequate faculty performance [13]. On the other hand, the lack of consistent pedagogical training creates obstacles for a strong pedagogical practice [11, 16].

4. Final Considerations

In the search for elements to evaluate faculty training, we sought data from students under training, but also sought to balance it with data related to the real pedagogical practice of alumni from the course.

The analysis of the material gathered indicate mismatched information, difficulties and motives that lead the students towards the Nursing Teaching Diploma course, highlighting situations upon which the new experiences contemplated by the Course can lean on.

The meanings attributed by the participants – students and graduates – to the course and their own professional practice as a nurse professor collides with those proposals the course brought into the training, that were the basis for new concepts, transformations and new meanings.

Keeping pace with transformations and new elaborations of meanings made by the subjects in the specific context of the professors training courses allowed a better understanding of this process, which may result in improvements to the courses, as the professors have a clearer view of the students’ perception, and also meanings and perceptions they will use to evaluate new elements, according to the objectives of the course.

Ultimately, what it means to be a professor nurse is a concept built day by day, by the experiences that came before the training, by the training itself that continue to changed, enlarged with new aspects, as the training meets the demands of professional life as the students grow into professors and step into their professional roles, that is, they become part of a context with new meanings.

By the perspective that contemplates the individual who transforms and is transformed by the physical, social and cultural reality and has a training based on the social reality, a new possibility opens for questioning the reality, which circumscribes and limits the subject, and yet still can be transformed.

Acknowledgement

Support: CAPES 024/2010 - Pró-Ensino na Saúde and CNPq - Universal 14/2013.

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