Explore Nurse Educator Roles
Nurse educators have acquired high levels of expertise in nursing and are qualified to impart their knowledge and skills to nursing students or continuing education to nurses. Nurse educators can teach and train any level of nurse depending on their own levels of experience and expertise.
In addition to teaching general nursing duties and requirements, nurse educators can also specialize in specific fields of nursing. This can include obstetrics, oncology, pediatrics and more. Nursing educators spend time creating and grading exams, reading papers, evaluating the competency of new nurses to care for their assigned patient population and determining which competencies are needed to ensure direct care nurses are providing a safe, evidence-based quality of care.
Nurse educators must stay relevant when it comes to the latest trends and developments in the field of nursing. This means attending conferences and critiquing research articles published in scholarly journals, in an effort to improve student learning outcomes or better patient care. This can also mean working directly with nurses and healthcare professionals in hospitals or clinics and gaining on-the-ground experience.
Nurse educators are mentors to newer generations of nurses. Nurse educators work in different environments including hospitals, nursing schools, technical schools, universities and colleges.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary nursing educators and instructors make an average salary of $67,480 a year. Those who work at colleges, universities and professional schools earn $75,310. Those who work at technical and trade schools earn $79,930. Nursing educators at hospitals earn the highest salary at $85,790.
The minimum education requirement for a nurse educator is a bachelor’s degree. However, most employers require a master’s degree like a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Education. Graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to ensure quality nursing education and patient care. It’s important to note that prospective nurse educators should pursue a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Larger colleges and universities often require their nurse instructors to have a doctoral degree. Real-world experience in clinical settings is also important to potential employers.
The National League for Nursing grants certification for nursing educators. The Certified Nurse Educators (CNE) designation is a mark of advanced expertise that conveys to employers dedication to nursing education. This certification recognizes high standards and shows that nursing education is a specialty area.