If you are interested in sharing your love of nursing with the next generation, a job as a nursing educator could be a great choice for you. Nurses play a critical role in Indiana communities, offering a healing touch to patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices across the state. As a nursing instructor, you have an opportunity to introduce students to this rewarding career and to help strengthen the health care workforce by giving new nurses the skills needed to succeed.
Take some time to look over your options for study and request information from the Indiana nursing schools that offer nursing education degrees. We've compiled a thorough list of schools with MSN and PhD programs that will allow you to become a nursing educator below.
Nurse educators are in demand in the Hoosier State because the nursing pool is expected to grow. Indiana employed about 59,000 registered nurses in 2013, but the number is projected to surge to more than 70,000 by 2018. That is an increase of more than 22 percent during that period, according to the Indiana Center for Nursing. In 2013, Indiana nursing schools turned away more than 2200 qualified applicants because of a shortage of faculty and clinical training sites, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The AACN reported that the state’s nursing schools had 37 faculty vacancies that year. Those kinds of numbers can be discouraging to students who want to enter the profession but can’t find a spot in an accredited nursing school.
That’s where you can make a difference as a nurse educator. As an instructor, your role is to teach students the essentials of nursing care. They need to learn how to assess patients’ health needs, to perform necessary tests, to document treatments, to dispense medications, and to perform many other duties. To share these skills with your students, you will need to have a strong academic and clinical foundation in nursing as well. Most nursing educator jobs require a master’s degree with clinical experience, and some positions may require a doctorate.
Earning Your Nurse Educator Degree in Indiana
In Indiana, you will find many educational options leading to a career as a nurse educator. If you want to study on campus, you can earn a Master in Nursing Education in a traditional classroom setting with other nursing students. If you prefer an online experience, several schools allow you to take the bulk of your nursing courses in a web-based environment. Still other schools allow you to combine on-campus and online classes. Even in online programs, you can expect to be asked to complete clinical hours to give you on-the-job experience in an academic venue. In most cases, these academic paths lead to a master’s degree, but post-graduate certificates in education also are available within the state.
When applying to a nursing educator program, you will need to have an active RN license, an undergraduate nursing degree, and a clean background check. Some schools may ask you to participate in an admissions interview or to write a personal statement. Once enrolled, you can expect to take general education courses, nursing core classes, and specialty education courses. Examples of typical class topics could include nursing ethics, nursing research, exploring student learning styles, assessment and evaluation in nursing instruction, and developing effective curriculum.
Earning a master’s degree typically will take about two years or more if you attend full-time, but it can take longer if you are on a part-time schedule. Some schools require that you complete your degree within a certain time frame if you are a part-time student. A post-graduate certificate in nursing education can be earned in about three semesters. The programs should prepare you to take the Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) exam after completion.
Nurse educators can choose to work in a variety of different settings, including vocational secondary schools, community colleges, hospital-based training centers, university campuses, and continuing education programs. On the job, you will likely spend time supervising students' class and clinical work, moderating discussions, grading assignments, and preparing the curriculum. Many nursing instructors find it is very rewarding to serve as a mentor to future young professionals in their classrooms. When it comes to financial rewards, Indiana’s nursing educators earned about $66,920 annually in 2013 – slightly higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many schools offer individual scholarships for advanced degrees, including those leading to careers in nursing education. The Indiana Center for Nursing (ICN) partners with member schools to provide both undergraduate and graduate scholarships for prospective nurses. To find out which schools are involved in the program, visit the ICN site. Several Indiana hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care employers offer tuition assistance and scholarships. Check with your employer to see if these benefits are available to you.
Listed below are all of the nationally accredited Nurse Educator programs with campus locations in Indiana.