A nurse educator is an RN who has also earned an advanced practice nursing degree which allows them to teach and train future licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) at colleges, universities, and more. Nurse educators have extensive clinical experience, and oftentimes continue working in clinical settings with patients after they've become educators. These nurses fill the role of faculty members in nursing schools as well as teaching hospitals, passing down important knowledge, experience, and skills to their students who will eventually become the next generation of nurses. As a nurse educator, you will plan, assess, update, and execute nursing education curriculum. You will also act as an educational advisor, role model, and as a mentor to your students, helping them along their way towards becoming successful RNs.
Common tasks carried out by nurse educators typically include:
While most envision nurse educators at academic institutions, there are additional settings where they may find employment. The most common settings include:
The path toward becoming a nurse educator is a long and arduous one. Prospective nurse educators should possess exceptional leadership qualities, have great communication skills, and have comprehensive knowledge in their respective field. If you're interested in a career as a nurse educator, you'll need to pursue an advanced nursing degree, have a passion for teaching, and be a lifelong learner.
The educational requirements to become a nurse educator are numerous. After a BSN has been earned, you'll need to obtain an advanced degree in nursing from an accredited university. Advanced degrees such as a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.) will all suffice. Many of these advanced degree types have specializations for Nurse Educators.
If you are especially interested in pursuing a career in the academic side of nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.) may be preferable since these programs heavily emphasize research methods and techniques, leadership, and public policy.
Not only do nurse educators need to be RNs, but they also need to possess some kind of graduate-level degree such as Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN), or a Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (Ph.D.)
To be eligible to take the National League of Nursing (NLN) certification exam you must have the fulfilled the following requirements:
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by the year 2020. However, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nearly 65,000 qualified nursing applicants were turned away from nursing schools last year. How come? Well, many nursing schools simply didn't have enough nurse educators to educate and train students who would like to become nurses. So, for those with the proper training and education, there is no shortage of nurse educator positions that need to be filled.
According to PayScale, the average yearly salary for nurse educators is about $74,591. The exact amount nurse educators are paid depends significantly on factors like their geographical location of employment, what kind of institution they're employed by, what kinds of educational credentials they hold, and how much experience in the field they have. Because nurse educators are usually employed by large organizations and institutions, most who are employed full-time will receive generous employee benefit packages which typically include medical, vision, dental, and prescription insurance coverage. Receiving some annual paid-time off and sick leave is also normal in this profession.