Instructors work hard -- really hard! -- during the school year so a nice, long summer break is well earned. However, it doesn't hurt to spend just a few vacation hours during those three months to brush up on a few new skills.
Here are some ideas to keep you sharp for next year:
Watch a webinar. Webinars are regularly hosted by nursing organizations, publishing companies and vendors as a way to share information and ideas with instructors. Oftentimes you can find a quick, informative webinar for free. For example, we regularly host webinars where we share teaching ideas with instructors during a 20 minute session once a month. Sign up for our webinar mailing list here or, for AACN members check out their extensive webinar listings here.
Read up on a topic that interests you. Never estimate the power of Google, Wikipedia and the internet in general. If you've been aching to learn about a topic that a student brought up last year or you heard mentioned in a conference, look it up! That way, if you ever hear it mentioned again, you'll be able to add to the conversation yourself.
Take a vacation and attend a conference. No one ever said you can't mix work with pleasure. See if your school will sponsor you attending a conference like the Nurse Educator's Conference in CO, the Revolutionizing Nursing Education Conference in Las Vegas or National HOSA in Orlando, FL. Many conferences offer continuing education credits so you'll be able to take care of those while visiting a new location. Because most conferences happen towards the beginning or end of the week, bring your family along and tack on a weekend stay as well, killing two birds with one stone.