Nurse Educators – Becoming a Nursing Instructor
If you want to help shape the future of the nursing profession by teaching and guiding its next generation, you are in the right place! Nurse Educators are the key to the future success of the nursing field. America is known to have a shortage of nurse educators brought on by a number of factors. On this page, you’ll learn about why nurse educators are so important, what they do, and how to become one.
If you’re not sure if you’d make a good nursing instructor, take our Nursing Specialties Quiz to see if your personality matches this nursing career!
When you’re ready to find programs, just click on one of the links in the featured school box below, or use the “Schools Near You” quick search box to find additional programs.
Nursing instructors are essential to the profession, and are needed at all levels of nursing education. On this page, you will find programs that are at a Master’s level or above, including basic Master’s of Science in Nursing programs, as well as those that offer a specialty educator track.
There are a good number of Nurse Educator programs available, and all you need to do to begin your research into your options is request information from schools.
What Does A Nurse Educator Actually Do?
The Nurse Educator is responsible for the training and education of nurses, in a number of different settings (universities, hospitals, and others). You could have the opportunity to teach college freshmen in entry level programs, nurses returning to school for advanced degrees, or working nurses in a hospital/health care facility who are interested in expanding their skills.
Nursing Educators and Instructors teach nurses what they need to know, in order to provide safe, effective, holistic care to those in need. It is no small order to fill. A good nursing instructor has a diverse clinical background, with years of experience in assessment, care planning and documentation. A qualified nursing instructor must be able to perform, assist and direct procedures and interventions adeptly, and must additionally convey that knowledge to students in both didactic and clinical settings.
As a nursing instructor, not only must your clinical skills be strong, but you must have the ability to teach others what you once learned and what you continue to learn as your own education progresses. As an educator, you are charged with keeping up to date on the most recent advances and changes within the profession. You will also likely need to continue your education, as most nursing faculty is encouraged to earn a Doctoral degree to be eligible for tenure or leadership positions within an academic setting.
Judith Halstead, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, Past President of the National League for Nursing has said that, “Your entry level degree will most likely not be your last degree.” This is especially true if you plan to become Nursing Faculty, as you will be firmly positioned within the world of nursing academia, which is ever expanding its offerings.
As a Nurse Educator, your primary role will be to teach the next generation of nurses how to be nurses. If your memories of nursing school are recent, you know that this is no easy task. You will be required to present curriculum that adheres to accreditation standards, and you will need to stay abreast of the most recent evidence based practice and nursing research in the field.
While it requires significant effort and additional schooling, deciding to be responsible for educating nursing students is a worthwhile challenge. Teaching nursing can be very rewarding and personally fulfilling, and brings with it the satisfaction that you are helping to transform the future of nursing by providing leadership and professional guidance to students, in addition to basic nursing knowledge.
If you can imagine yourself teaching the next generation of nurses, just think of the lasting effects that can come from sharing your own unique nursing knowledge and experience with others!
How Do I Become A Nurse Educator?
The average mean salary of a Nurse Educator, is just under $75,030 annually, according to the BLS. However, to get to that salary, you first have to get a good education, which can be costly. As a Nurse Educator you would be addressing one of the most pressing shortages in nursing, and can take advantage of a number of scholarships and loan forgiveness programs which were put into place to help address this shortage.
Just like the profession as a whole, there are many entry points to becoming a nursing educator, but for this page, we will focus on those programs that are at a Master’s level or above. Once you have a Master’s Degree in Nursing, you should be qualified to teach at the University or Community College level, affording you a wide range of potential job positions.
The most logical route to becoming a Nurse Educator is to pursue a Nurse Educator track as part of a nationally accredited Masters of Science in Nursing program. Nurse Educator programs are also offered in an online format more frequently than other specializations, so it may be a particularly attractive option for working nurses who don’t have the time for a campus based programs.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are Nine Essentials that guide the curriculum of all Master’s of Science in Nursing programs:
- Essential I: Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities
- Essential II: Organizational and Systems Leadership
- Essential III: Quality Improvement and Safety
- Essential IV: Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice
- Essential V: Informatics and Healthcare Technologies
- Essential VI: Health Policy and Advocacy
- Essential VII: Inter-professional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes
- Essential VIII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health
- Essential IX: Master’s Level Nursing Practice
Most Master’s programs that offer a Nursing Educator Specialty Track additionally provide curriculum components specific to a career as Nursing Faculty, like those below:
- Curriculum Design
- Educational Strategies in Advanced Nursing Practice
- Clinical Nursing Education Strategies
- Educational Assessment and Evaluation
- Educational Residency (Clinical Component)
You can expect to complete 40-60 credit hours to earn your MSN in Nursing Education, as well as anywhere from 200-400 clinical contact hours, depending upon the program design. Many programs offer RN to MSN fast track routes, as well, if you have not already earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
As always, you should also make sure the program meets your personal needs, and check with your local Board of Nursing for any state specific requirements that may apply to your education and future practice after program completion. For a more detailed analysis of the role, you also might want to read this description of the Nurse Educator role from www.nursesource.org.
We at BestNursignDegree.com would like to commend your for your interest in becoming a nursing instructor. Nursing educators are needed at all levels of education within the profession of nursing. Becoming a nurse educator can help remedy a shortage of both nursing faculty and nurses overall, while widening the pipeline of nursing education at the same time. Thank you for your interest in finding a nursing program, and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.