Nurse Educator Salary

Nurse educators, also known as nursing instructors or professors, teach student nurses, new graduates and experienced nurses who are continuing their education, learning new skills or specializing in a different practice area within the profession.

What They Do

A nurse educator facilitates active learning related to nursing education and practice, assessing students’ skill levels both academically and within the clinical area.

Work settings for nurse educators include human simulation laboratories; classrooms in colleges, universities and technical schools; and clinical settings located within all types of healthcare organizations, such as research facilities, hospitals, outpatient facilities, industry and medical centers. Nurse educators develop a curriculum that meets the standards, scope of practice and requirements of the healthcare institution or school. It must be approved by the state’s board of nursing and any additional accrediting bodies.

Keeping current on the latest trends and developments in their field of nursing or area of expertise is a must. This means maintaining an active and unencumbered nursing license, reading relevant nursing journals, attending conferences and communicating with nurses and other health professionals in practice and education. Nurse educators collaborate with colleagues to create and ensure best practices in nursing.

Career Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the general occupational field of postsecondary teachers and instructors is going to experience a faster than average rate of growth over the next few years (about an eight percent increase). The BLS reports that nursing and health specialties teachers are projected to grow much faster than average due to the increased healthcare demands of aging populations, new healthcare technologies and increased access to care due to the expansion of health insurance. The nursing and healthcare specialties educator field is expected to grow over 18 percent over the next few years and will provide much better employment prospects than other fields.

Salary Potential

The BLS reports that nurse educators make an average salary of $86,530 a year.

  • Those who work in colleges, universities and professional schools — employers that often require advanced education and more experience than other settings — may receive an average yearly salary of $86,900.
  • Technical and trade schools that employ nurse educators may pay a median salary of $85,580 a year.
  • Those who work in long-term care settings may make slightly less depending on the geographical area.

The top-paying areas for nurse educators are the District of Columbia ($111,130), Oregon ($109,110) and New York ($102,980).

Education Required

A nurse educator must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a solid foundation of clinical nursing experience. However, most employers prefer nurse educators to have earned a Master of Science in Nursing or doctoral degree. Rivier University offers an online M.S. Nursing: Nursing Education degree that prepares nurse educators to teach in a variety of education and practice settings. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and can be completed in a minimum of two years.

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