There are 131 health professional shortage areas in North Carolina, and the Health Resources and Service Administration estimate that 189 primary care providers are needed to adequately serve this area. North Carolina has 3239 nurses that have graduated from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, but 2397 qualified applicants were turned away from these programs due to a shortage of faculty and a lack of clinical training sites. Nurse Educators are essential to meet the nursing shortage throughout the state.
To explore your options for earning your Master’s in Nurse Education, peruse the schools below, contacting those that offer the program you are interested in.
There are a number of accredited colleges and universities with graduate nursing programs, and some of these include; Duke University, East Carolina University, Queens University of Charlotte, The University of North Carolina, which has four separate locations and Winston-Salem State University, which has an Advanced to Nurse Educator Track.
Winston-Salem State University offers a Master's degree and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The Advance Nurse Educator curriculum requires 39 credit hours and is taught primarily online, but it also requires 240 hours of supervised education practicum. These students are prepared to teach undergraduate nursing programs for clinical education, staff development in hospitals and complex educational environments.
The criteria for enrollment in this program includes:
- A completed application agreement statement with the $50 processing fee
- Official transcripts from any college or university previously attended
- GPA of 2.7 or greater
- Three letters of recommendation from former professors, current employers or persons well acquainted with the applicant's academic potential
- GRE or MAT scores
- Undergraduate courses in statistics, research and health assessment with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- One year of clinical nursing experience as an RN
- Professional resume
- Submit an admission essay of 800-1000 words citing the reasons for choosing this program, short and long-term goals and your understanding of the advanced nursing role
- International applicants whose native tongue is not English take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and meet the minimum requirements for admission
The Advanced Nurse Educator curriculum for a full-time student is 39 credits and 240 clinical hours. The curriculum includes:
- Advance Health Assessment, Health Promotion & Diagnostic Reasoning
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Theoretical Basis for Advance Nursing
- Advance Pharmacology
- Research and Advance Nursing Practice
- Educational Theories
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Advance Nursing Technologies
- Scholarly Project
- Evaluation Methods in Nursing Education
- Practicum in Nursing Education (144 practicum hours)
- Health Care Policy, Organization and Finance
- Scholarly Project
- Educational Residency (96 practicum hours)
When you have graduated from this program you are eligible to take the Certified Nurse Educator certification exam. If you are a NLN member the fee is $375 and nonmembers pay $475. This accreditation is a mark of professionalism for Nurse Educators, and it lets you and the healthcare community know that the highest standards are being met.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program's primary goal is to prepare experts in specialized advanced nursing practice. The curriculum is individualized and based on your prior education and clinical experience with the assistance of a faculty member. The pathway from the Advanced Nurse Educator to the completion of the DNP program may be completed in three years, which includes two summers or six semesters in all.
Duke University also has a program for a Nurse Educator Certificate. The certificate must be earned within three years of initial admission to the University with the published academic procedures of Winston-Salem State University and the School of Graduate Studies and Research.
The courses for this certificate include:
- Technology for Nurse Educators
- Education Theories
- Practicum in Nursing Education
- Education Residency
- Curriculum and instruction
The College Foundation of North Carolina was funded in 1989 as one of the initiatives to help reduce the nursing shortage, and these NESLP awards are located in the Financial Aid Office located at the universities and colleges. The awards range from $400-$5000, which depends upon the students demonstrated financial need, their educational cost and any other funding the student receives.
The Health Resources and Services Administration has several types of grants and loans for nursing students. Nurse Corps has a federal program that helps to alleviate the nursing shortage. A nurse must work for two years in one of the HRSA areas and this pays for the tuition, eligible fees, other reasonable cost, such as books and clinical supplies, and the nurse will receive a monthly stipend of $1,302 for the 2014–2015 school year. Low income students may also fill out the FAFSA application, which is a federally funded grant program, and this application is located in the university's Financial Aid Office.
Career Outlook for Nurse Educators in North Carolina
The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated the average annual income for Nursing Instructors was $61,980 in May of 2013. Income will also vary depending upon your education, your credentials, your experience and your employer.
Becoming a nurse educator is a challenging, yet rewarding career that will give you a great sense of satisfaction, which includes the respect of your peers, and it helps the nursing profession as a whole. Take a look at the schools listed below and feel free to request information from a number of schools as it will help you make an informed decision on where to further your education!