Good academic advising is a collaborative effort between you, the advisee, and the faculty member who has been selected as your advisor. Of course, students are ultimately responsible for their academic and personal success, but your faculty advisor can support you in your efforts to realize your full potential. A successful student-advisor relationship is two-sided – you have responsibilities, too – and it will help you to navigate the academic and administrative processes of the College if you understand how this important relationship works. Here’s what you can do to make the collaboration a success.
Think of your advisor as a valuable resource.
Your advisor’s task is to build an effective working relationship with you and to assist you in reaching your personal and professional goals. Your advisor will be a faculty member in your major, and an expert in the field of nursing and healthcare education. He/she is knowledgeable about degree requirements and the standards for your program. He/she will help you plan a course of study that satisfies the degree requirements.
Be open about your time constraints and learning style.Your faculty advisor will guide you in adjusting course loads. Everyone is different, and has different scheduling needs. Talk to your advisor about your personal needs, including work, family commitments and learning style. He/she cannot help you if he/she does not know your needs. Your advisor will use this information to make sure your schedule is the right one for you.
Meet with your academic advisor every semester and more often if needed.Be open and honest about your academic performance and take responsibility for your learning. Talk about specific concerns. In most cases, your advisor will direct you to the available resources that you need. Don’t wait until the end of the semester to talk about areas of concern. By then it may be too late to get the assistance you need.
Ask for what you need.One of the most important roles of an advisor is to empower you to advocate for yourself in all arenas. Your advisor cares about your overall success after you graduate, not just during the time you are a student. Strategies that help you to ask for what you need are vital to that success so listen to the advice of your advisor and practice the important skills you will need now and in the future.
Discuss career paths with your advisor.As you successfully navigate your education you can begin to explore career options with your advisor as well. Remember, he/she was in your shoes once. Your academic advisor will offer advice, suggestions and perhaps even a reference to help you transition from your role as a student to your role as a nurse. Your advisor may be able to assist you in investigating student-nurse internships and clinical opportunities that will enhance your learning experience. During the time the two of you spent in the advisee-advisor relationship, your advisor got to know you as a person—your strengths and weakness, your interests and your capabilities. He/she will use these now to point you toward a career that best fits your wants and needs.
The role of the academic advisor extends beyond course and program scheduling. Advisors can assist the student with virtually all aspects of the academic experience and provide information regarding campus resources, graduation requirements and career advice. As you prepare for your healthcare career—whether as a nurse, radiologic technician, medical assistant, medical coder or in a related field—your advisor is a key person in your life. By building a strong relationship with your advisor, you will put yourself on the path toward success as a student, and ultimately as a nurse.
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