• Ignite

Supporting Educator Confidence in Nursing Education

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

Do you appreciate your qualities? Do you feel that you can rely on your own abilities? Certainly we have all witnessed what it looks like to see someone brimming with confidence, but feeling it, especially when it comes to one’s capacity to be self-assured of their educator strengths, can be challenging.


Over the years we have both facilitated countless patient-centered group programming sessions focused on self-esteem. As you may know, we have shared years of our careers supporting pediatric and adult populations struggling with mental illness. While self-esteem and self-assurance differ, they share many connections. In writing this post, we are reminded of the times we have guided discussions on the ease of giving and receiving external compliments and the struggle of embodying those same characteristics and owning them. Sometimes it can feel as though everyone else can see your strengths, but why can’t you, right? Likewise, it may seem easier to see your peers’ strengths than it feels to see your own. If this sounds like you and you have been struggling to appreciate your educator qualities, try writing some down. List out five of your most valued skills when you are feeling good. Get them down, and then put it away. Next time you feel uncertain of your abilities, get out that list and read it. Think about it, and over time, own it. Remember, you yourself made that list. You can trust it. Believe it!


As we grow, we gain perspective from participating in a variety of engagements. For some, crushing a staff development in-service utilizing new evidence-based knowledge may boost their confidence, while others may feel psyched to roll out the results of a long-term project. Regardless of the scenario, the subsequent feeling of strength and success encourages persistence. What you did helped you and helped others, why not do it again? But what about when the outcome wasn’t as you expected? Again, another occurrence we surely all have witnessed. It takes courage to see where risk meets reward. So, pull out that list, or talk with a mentor, or engage in some self-care, because at the end of the day, what you do matters. It matters so much and you need to keep doing it (so long as it feels right for you!). Remember that your competency has grown for some time now. Each day you are adding new skills to your mental backpack for success. Stick to your values and be patient with yourself.


Note: This post is the first of this season’s focus on confidence, competence, and courage in nursing education. If you have not yet subscribed, consider getting your name on the list, so that you can gain access to The Ignite Letter: A Quarterly Connection, which shares the focus of each season at Ignite. If you have already subscribed, look to your FALL 2019 letter for more info!


Remember to Pause, Reflect, and Plan. Doing so will help you to feel more prepared, thus supporting your confidence. You’ve got this!