We have brought you an informative article to help you decide on your field better.
By the end of this article, you will know everything about the Nurse Educator procession, the benefits and career potential it offers, and the requirements to become a Nurse Educator.
We will be discussing the following topics:
- What is a Nurse Educator
- Steps to Becoming a Nurse Faculty
- How long does it take to become Nurse Educator
- Specialized Nurse Educators
- Nurse Educator Careers
So, let’s get right into it!
What is a Nurse Educator?
A Nurse Educator is a person who is a Registered Nurse who has completed their BSN and now wants to enter the world of educating future nurses.
These RNs have to get a master’s degree known as Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN).
The Nurse Educator bridges the gap between clinical practice and nursing school.
They provide generalized knowledge to the next generation of nurses.
They may also have specialization in a few fields, which can become their area of interest for their nursing students.
This master’s degree makes the Registered Nurse capable of teaching and arms them with more competencies.
A clinical nurse working in clinical settings can apply to become a Nurse Educator if they are interested in teaching in academic settings or professional development of nursing students.
Nurses need to go through some tough training to make them capable of dealing with different problems at hand.
This is why they are given clinical practice before being given the degree.
Nurse Educators are facilitators who transfer their knowledge, skillset, and experience to the new generation of nurses.
These faculty members can be teaching at nursing schools or teaching at hospitals.
They get the license to teach after achieving their master’s degree.
A clinical nurse educator gives hands-on, in-depth knowledge about their respective fields.
Besides having in-depth knowledge and experience related to their respective fields, they must also have exceptional communication skills and leadership qualities.
In addition, they are training the next generation of nurses, so they need licensure and experience.
Continuing education to attain an MSN can be done by going to good community colleges, institutes offering nursing degrees, etc.
These institutes enable the nursing staff to become Nursing Faculty.
Becoming a Nursing Faculty by being a Nurse Educator
Many Nurse Educator programs are important in becoming a Nurse Educator. First and foremost, the person should have a nursing degree and strong medical background.
A bachelor’s degree and clinical experience give the person in-depth knowledge about their field.
The Nursing Faculty should have good communication skills and leadership qualities.
The Educators’ work involves a lot of crucial things, like making the curriculum for future nurses.
The Nurse Educator may be employed in a healthcare setting, hospital, university/college, etc., to impart their knowledge to the nursing students.
The Nursing Faculty displays professional development as a role model for the students.
They impart knowledge that is practical as well as academic.
For example, giving outlive medical sessions to deal with a situation or an emergency.
The Nurse Educator equips new nurses with the training needed for day-to-day abilities and knowledge to perform medical procedures on patients.
The Nurse Educator should have critical thinking capabilities to assess the neophyte students as per their ability and area of interest.
The Nursing Faculty should teach, evaluate and learn new things along this lifelong journey.
They should also assess the nursing students based on their instructional abilities.
How well do they follow instructions given by the doctors or people in charge?
Steps to Become a Nursing Faculty
There is a long way that needs to be journeyed before reaching the stage of a Nurse Educator. First, however, we will understand those steps to paint a clear picture for you.
- The first step involves the student becoming a Registered Nurse. To become an RN, the nurse needs to have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
After getting the degree, the person can apply to the state National Council Licensure Examination for RN (NCLEX-RN). They may also need to have some experience before applying for this exam.
- Attain an advanced degree in Nursing. After the bachelor’s, the applicant needs to have an advanced degree related to their field.
A Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly done.
However, you should do the Msn program from an accredited institute to have a greater worth of the degree.
The Advanced Practiced Registered Nurse (APRN) can relate to any specialization like; Nurse Anesthetists, Family Nurse Practitioners, etc.
- Hands-on Experience: this is important for future certification eligibility; Nurse Educators should practice their competencies in real life.
They should start teaching at a university/college, hospital facilities, etc., wherever they find a convenient job.
- Certification by NLN. National League for Nursing offers 2 types of certification, and none of those require experience by Nurse Educators.
The certificates are 1. Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), 2. Certified Clinical Academic Nurse Educator (CNEcl).
- Educational requirements: different states in the US have different requirements for nurses. Some have made it necessary to take up advanced courses every two years.
It is important to keep learning new things and developing their nursing degree.
These steps are the basic ones.
If the person is willing to go further and take up more than one advanced-level degree program, they will still have to follow these steps.
It is also possible for the nurses to take a post-master’s certificate in any other specialization that is not related to nursing.
An accredited institute usually does this.
The institute itself will help the applicant choose a course to bridge a gap in knowledge or expertise.
Doctor of Nursing is the highest program offered in this field.
A nurse can directly go from BSN to DSN without a master’s in a BSN-to-DSN accelerated program.
The requirement is that the person should be a Registered Nurse (RN).
This saves time, money, and resources.
What Does a Nurse Educator do?
The roles and responsibilities of a Nurse Educator are similar to an academic teacher.
They are meant to make the curriculum lecture on various topics, and they may also have to make presentations for their nursing students.
They are required to have clinical experience to guide future nurses better.
They also may be given a case-load, but it is very minimum.
Staff development is also necessary.
The Nurse Faculty should urge to grow and learn more and not stay stagnant in this post.
Where are Nurse Educators Employed?
A Nurse Educator is employed in a different setting.
For example, some may be employed in academic settings, clinical settings, hospitals, old-age home healthcare facilities, schools of nursing, etc.
Are Nurse Educators in Demand?
It is an important question for anyone planning to become an educator.
Is it worth it?
Are there enough job openings?
Is it beneficial?
The answer to all these and many more similar questions is YES!
It is worth becoming a Nurse Educator as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that by 2029, there will be a rise of about 45% in demand for Nurse Educators.
This means almost 1 million more Nurse Educators will be needed all over the United States.
So this is the best time to enroll yourself in an accredited institute offering the degree.
How long can it take to become a Nurse Educator?
It depends on the person. Generally, it can take up to 10 years, starting from the RN program and going up to the DNP.
Bachelors’s program (for RN) is for two years, the master’s program is for another two years, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program can take up to three years.
This all will also have to include experience in between.
Is it a Well-Paid Promotion?
The nurses seeking to become Nurse Educators would want to know about the salary this can yield.
What would be the annual salary?
According to BLS reports, Nurse Educators are better paid than Registered Nurses (for obvious reasons).
A Registered Nurse only has a bachelor’s degree, while a Nurse Educator has a Masters’s degree or a DSN.
It showed in the study of 2020 that annually, a Nurse Educator faculty is paid around $85,000.
Are there, Specialised Nurse Educators?
Like any other academic profession, Nurse Educators also have specializations.
For example, a Diabetic Nurse Educator will impart knowledge to the nursing students only about diabetic patients, details about their treatments, etc.
These healthcare professionals will then become experienced nurses in this particular area only.
Academic Nurse Educators will impart all the theoretical knowledge about specialization, but the students will also need some clinical experience.
The Educator needs to be able to deliver both arenas.
Otherwise, a Practical Nurse Educator will also be needed along with the academic Nurse Educator, leading to higher costs and more time investment for the student and the institute.
Types of Nurse Educator Careers
Some Educators need to be all-rounders; they need academic excellence and practical experience.
In addition, other types of careers can be related to Nursing Educators.
Typically there are three types of careers that a nurse can choose between if they opt to enter the field of Nursing Educators.
- Staff Development Nurse: These nurses train staff for their services in the healthcare community
This training help the staff acquire new skills to get promoted and have more responsibilities.
They may require polishing an existing skill or developing a new skill entirely.
- Clinical Nurse Educator: These Educators give hands-on experience while also giving in-depth knowledge about the practice
They may also teach some experienced nurses when new protocols or practices are introduced.
- Instructional: This type of Nurse Faculty teaches in academic settings
They give lectures and schedule exams for a nursing student to get a bachelor’s degree and become RN.
A Nurse Educator’s role also varies with their career. For example, they may be responsible for assessing the nursing students, or they may be in charge of building new skills.
Most likely, their role consists of assessing their student’s capabilities to make them capable of new responsibilities.
What Else Can You do with Nursing Education?
What other options do you have if you have a nurse education degree but don’t want to take up the Nurse Educator job?
Can your degree still come in handy? Will the Nurse Educator degree be worth it?
- Write a Nurse Education Textbook: Being in the field, the practitioner would know the worth of good textbooks and reliable material.
However, if the Educator is unwilling to teach or has a part-time job, they can write a textbook.
The advanced level of knowledge combined with years of experience can result in a great book.
Most Nurse Writers get a percentage or commission from published books.
- Help Patients by educating them: This is the basic reason this profession exists – to help them.
But here we are talking about educating them about their bodies, their diseases, how they can treat themselves and spend a healthy lifestyle.
Some courses are also given by nurses that involve basic first-aid.
This can help one person, family, or even a larger group.
- Public healthcare: This is somewhat similar to the basic Nurse Educator job
Nurse educators can help their local community or work with organizations like World Health Organization (WHO).
They will enlighten the public about a current virus or disease and how to take care of it, preventions, treatments, etc.
- Make nursing Programs: They can head the nursing department of an institute or a hospital and make programs and curriculums for the nurses.
In addition, they can become a committee member and make programs to help future nurses with their further studies and even their jobs at hand.
- Independent Consultant: Some Nursing Educators may want to work with more than one institute at a time
They can work on a consultancy basis.
They can evaluate the programs of the institutes they are affiliated with and help them make more effective programs for their students.
Nurse Educators are very much in demand in the US.
This means new opportunities are there.
Many nurses are now taking the step forward, and rightly so.
There are many chances of growth for them in this field which is also well-paid.
It is up to you, and you can better decide which area you want to enter. This lucrative option has our vote!
What degree is required for becoming a Nurse Educator?
To become a Nurse Educator, the applicant needs to have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a BSN-to-DSN accelerated program degree. After the degree attainment, they will have to sit for a state exam. This certificate will make them eligible for the post of Nurse Educator.
Can you study online to become a Nurse Educator?
Yes. You can study online, especially now when the pandemic has hit globally, and the only option left is virtual learning. Many accredited institutes offer online courses, which also removes the hurdle of being geographically bound for the student.
Can a Nurse Educator teach nurses only?
The answer is both no and yes. The Nurse Educator can train healthcare staff, but they will have to have a specific career in staff development nurse educator. The Nurse Educator can also help the public by creating awareness by joining community programs like WHO (World Health Organization).
Are Nurse Administrators the same as Nurse Educators?
As the name suggests, a Nurse Administrator focuses more on administrative work. For example, they put together the schedules for nurses, review the budgets and salaries, etc. The Nurse Administrator may or may not be an educator.
How much is the fee for becoming a Nurse Educator?
This depends on the state you are in. As an idea, if the applicant is an NLN member, the fees will be less, around $300. If they are non-members, their fees can be around $400 for the program.