Aspiring nurses who want a position as Nurse Educator Jobs must take a more extended, time-consuming, and expensive academic path, but the benefits – significantly higher pay, a less stressful working environment, and career options that don’t involve direct patient care – make it all worthwhile.
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What Is a Nurse Educator?
Registered nurses (RNs) who have acquired advanced nursing degrees that allow them to teach the nursing curriculum at colleges and universities, teaching and assisting in training the world’s future nurses, are known as nurse educators. Nurse educators work as faculty members in nursing schools and teaching hospitals, passing on their priceless knowledge, experience, and skill sets to students, who will eventually become the next generation of nurses. Many nurse educators work in clinical settings besides the classroom and teaching.
The best nurse educators will be exceptional leaders with excellent communication skills and in-depth, comprehensive field knowledge. Nurse educators are responsible for developing, assessing, updating, and implementing new and current nursing education curricula. These educational professionals serve as advisors and role models for the students, guiding them toward becoming successful licensed registered nurses.
Becoming a Nurse Educator
Nurse educators must have excellent communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and a solid clinical background. Furthermore, nursing education professionals must have extensive and substantive knowledge in their area of instruction. Nurse educators must be able to communicate that knowledge to their neophyte nursing students.
Nurse educators should be passionate about lifelong learning, have strong leadership skills, and be dedicated to the scholarly advancement of the nursing discipline. Finally, nursing education professionals should have a solid knowledge base in theories of teaching, learning, and evaluation; they should be able to design curricula and programs that reflect sound educational principles; they should be able to assess a student’s needs; they should be innovative, and they should thoroughly enjoy teaching.
What Educational Requirements Do Nurse Educators Have?
Those interested in becoming nurse educators must complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at a college or university. After earning a BSN, you can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). After passing this exam, the graduate is eligible for registration as a registered nurse (RN).
Once you’ve earned a BSN and become a licensed registered nurse (RN), the next step is to go after an advanced degree to become a nurse educator. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.), or a Doctor of Nursing Practice are all examples of advanced degrees (DNP).
MSN university programs are available online as well as in traditional classroom settings. MSN coursework is more advanced than that of bachelor’s degree programs. These post-baccalaureate programs aim to supplement the knowledge gained by nurses during their undergraduate studies.
Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are available for those particularly interested in the academic side of nursing. Students in Doctor of Nursing Philosophy programs are taught not only research techniques and leadership but also public policy. In addition, some universities offer dual MSN/Ph.D. degree programs.
The AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) advises that prospective nurse educators who want to work at high-level colleges or universities should get a doctorate in nursing. If you have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, you are best suited to work as a nurse educator. Nursing Ph.D. programs will strongly emphasize research, whereas DNP programs will intensely focus on clinical practice.
Most employers seeking nurse educators will require applicants to have a nursing license, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and two to five years of clinical experience.
What Certifications or Credentials are Needed?
Individuals who want to become Certified Nurse Educators (CNE) must first take and pass the National League of Nursing (NLN) certification exam.
To be allowed to take the certification exam, you must have the following qualifications:
- A current registered nursing (R.N.) license
- A Doctoral or Master’s degree in nursing with a focus on nursing.
- A doctoral degree or A master’s in nursing and a post-certificate master’s in nursing education is required.
- A doctoral degree or a master’s in nursing and nine or more credit hours of graduate-level education courses are required.
Where Does a Nurse Educator Work?
Nurse educators can be found in various settings that offer nursing classes. Nurse educators are most commonly found in academic settings; however, some nurses work as staff development officers or clinical supervisors in healthcare settings. The following are examples of typical workplaces for nurse educators:
- Healthcare facilities such as hospitals or Long-Term care facilities
- Educational institutions/academic settings such as:
- Community colleges
- Technical Schools
- Trade or Vocational Schools
What Does a Nurse Educator Do?
Nurse educators teach nursing students. They are responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising nurse education programs. Nurse educators are allowed to teach general nursing classes or specialize in pediatric nursing, psychiatric nursing, or nursing informatics. Nurse educators may teach courses as part of formal academic programs leading to a degree and studies as part of continuing education or credential/certificate programs. A nurse educator will be expected to create a new nursing course or update an existing one during their career. As a result, nurse educators are expected to be on the cutting edge of clinical nursing practice.
They must always be current and up-to-date on the latest nursing trends, methods, developments, and technologies. Nurse educators generally continue to work as professional nurses in their fields and participate in the larger nursing community by using various professional nursing organizations. Nursing education professionals must have excellent leadership skills and in-depth knowledge of their area to be effective in their jobs.
The Roles and Responsibilities of a Nurse Educator
A nurse educator’s typical roles and duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Curriculum development
- Creating classes and study programs
- Students’ education
- Student counseling
- Student evaluation
- Individual courses and educational programs are being evaluated and revised.
- encouraging student discussion
- Supervising student clinical practice
- Being a mentor and role model for students
- Documenting educational process outcomes
- Performing scholarly work (e.g., peer review, research, etc.)
- Attending nursing conferences
- Contributing to the academic community through leadership positions
- Keeping clinical competence
- Grant proposal writing
Nurse Educator Jobs Salary & Employment
Nursing education is a highly sought-after profession. As stated by the U.S. Department of Labor, 1 million new and replacement R.N.s will be required by 2020. The AACN says nursing schools turned down nearly 65,000 qualified applicants due to a nurse educator shortage.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says post-secondary nursing teachers are expected to see an increase of 19% in employment between 2014 and 2024, which is an above-average growth rate. Nursing educators and instructors earned an average annual salary of $73,150 in May 2015. This figure, however, is highly dependent on the amount of clinical and teaching experience a nurse educator has and the employment location.
Teachers are paid their annual salary over nine months during the academic year. Summer teaching pay is typically paid separately from the regular school year.
Nurse educators jobs who complete a doctorate and individuals in charge of administrative or leadership responsibilities at academic institutions typically earn higher annual salaries. Additionally, nurse educators can supplement their income by caring for patients.
Nursing schools are quickly moving to offer higher, more competitive salaries to attract more nurses into education because an experienced nurse can make more money caring for patients than teaching.
Due to a severe shortage of nursing educators, government agencies, professional organizations, and some non-profit organizations launched campaigns encouraging young people to pursue nursing education careers.
Nurse Educator Jobs + What You Should Know
Nurse educators jobs teach nursing students. They are responsible for developing, implementing, evaluating, and revising nurse education programs. Nurse educators may teach general nursing classes or specialize in pediatric nursing, psychiatric nursing, or nursing informatics.