What does a nurse educator do?
Nurse educators develop, plan, implement, and assess nursing education programs and curricula. They typically teach students that wish to become registered nurses or licensed practical nurses and graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in nursing. They also provide continuing education to practicing nurses. Nurse educators provide students with meaningful instruction and supervise clinical experiences. They guide students through instruction and provide insight from personal experiences. Nurse educators help ensure educational programs are high quality and meet the needs of the constantly changing healthcare environment. They also advise students and help them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
What kind of training does a nurse educator need?
Nurse educators must be registered nurses and have previous experience in nursing settings. They must also have a master or doctorate degree in nursing education or other nursing specialty depending on the level of teaching. A bachelor degree in nursing may be sufficient for some positions in clinical settings. Prospective nurse educators learn the essential skills to provide nursing instruction to a variety of students. They learn the learning process, principles of adult education, curriculum development, program evaluation, and student counseling. Most nurse educators gain the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) designation from the National League of Nursing. Nurse educators must keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the nursing field. They continuously complete additional education and training throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a nurse educator?
Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The nursing shortage and increased need for nursing instructors will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be excellent especially for nursing educators with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace nursing educators that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do nurse educators make?
As of December 2009, nurse educators with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $45,496 and $61,511. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $49,294 and $70,834 (2).
A career as a nurse educator is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in nursing and a passion for teaching. Nurse educators must be able to lead others and provide meaningful learning experiences to a variety of nursing students. Confidence, motivation, creativity, and critical thinking are essential characteristics. Nurse educators must have excellent communication skills and be able to interact with many different students and other professionals. They must be able to effectively work as part of a team and show a commitment to lifelong learning.