Become a Nurse Educator Now

Nurses’ job does not start and ends with taking care of the sick. They did not only assist you to have a healthy and quality living. As a nurse, you can also venture your career to become a nurse educator. It is a noble career move to not only share your knowledge and skills to your students, but you becoming a great foundation in building a new generation of nurses today. As much as we need nurses to take care of our society, we also need nurse educators to produce a new set of excellent nurses in the future.


What is a Nurse Educator?

Nurse educators are sometimes called nurse teachers, nurse professors or nurse instructors. They are highly trained professional nurses responsible in training students who are aspiring to be nurses in the future. Their teaching responsibilities involve in the classroom and practice setting. This kind of profession is a combination of two vocational jobs; teaching and nursing. As a nurse educator, you impart knowledge and skills to your students to help them become a nurse which will assist in saving lives in the future and also still practice your profession at the same time.


What does a nurse educator do?

We can say that nurse educators are simply the teachers of the nursing students. However, being in this profession takes a lot of passion, skills and broad of knowledge. Their job usually starts on teaching nursing courses inside the classroom. Just like any other instructors of soon-to-be professionals, they also plan curriculum and creating training materials for their students. They assign homework and promote interactive discussions among them. They keep records and graded their students according to their performance.

Similar to a kid who needs someone to guide and teach them, a nurse educator serves as a guardian of their nursing students. Since nursing education is more of evidence-based training, the nurse educator act as a supervisor, assisting their students when they are handling patients and doing nursing duties while on their clinical exposure. They usually demonstrate the correct procedure and explains well the theories and rationales behind those procedures. They collaborate well with other health care professionals to design an effective clinical practice for their students. In my experience when I was a nursing student, I see my nurse educator as my second parent, aside from teaching, she gives some advice regarding on overcoming our limitations, identifying and enhance our strengths.


Benefits of Being a Nurse Educator

Aside from being able to share your knowledge with your students, you are still able to touch the lives of patients thru the presence and labor of your future nurses. Most of the educators feel rewarded whenever they see their students’ development during and after nursing education.

Same with other college professors, these educators able to plan their vacation leaves and get a summer job whenever the classes are off. This what makes this job not so stressful but enjoyable.

There are better job opportunities in being a nurse educator. You can work in any facilities and institutions that offer nursing courses, programs, and certifications. This includes universities, colleges and even hospitals or clinics that accept nursing trainees. It is predicted that by the year 2020, the job growth for this kind of profession will increase up to 19 percent.  The annual wage being a nurse educator is not so bad as what others think. In fact, it is included in the highest paying nursing jobs according to Bureau of Labor of Statistics. The average salary of nurse educators $71,974 annually which varies based on experience and skills. California has the highest annual mean wage for this profession as of 2015.

annual mean wage
High demands for this job results from the shortage of nurse educators that is still going around. According to ACCN’s survey report (2014), the national nurse faculty vacancy rate is 6.9 percent. New York has the highest percentage of nursing faculty vacancies. One of the major cause of this shortage is due to the retiring age of the nursing faculty.  On 2015, the age bracket with the highest number of nurse educators is within 46 to 60 years old, which causes the demands of the nursing educators to be high. And if the demands are still increasing, chances of getting a job for this profession is also high.

employment level


How to Become a Nurse Educator?

Generally, to be qualified as a nurse educator, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. There are five ways to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing which makes nursing education very accessible.

Nursing Education Degrees

 To be a registered nurse, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Upon obtaining your license, it usually required by many employers to gain experience in the field for several years. Years of experience required depends on the chosen field, school or employers. Aside from the basic education and experience that you need to take, it is also recommended that you have to pursue continuing your nursing education. You may take Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) which averaging to two more years of study or proceed to Doctoral degree in Nursing (Ph.D.) which average length of education is 2 to 4 additional years. Both of these programs are offered online and campus set-up.
Generally, to be qualified as a nurse educator, you must earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. There are five ways to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing which makes nursing education very accessible.

educ path

Nurse educators may take the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) Examination offered by National League for Nursing (NLN). The aim of this certification program is to promote an exceptionally advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator. To be qualified in taking this exam, you must have:

  • Currently active license
  • Must have a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing

Sometimes, two years or more employment in a nursing program in academic institutions is also required. The effectivity of the certification is five year and after that, you may apply for a renewal.

There are some scholarships, grants, loans and other financial aids offered to nurses who wants to pursue nurse educator career.  You may apply by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your chosen school or program must have an accreditation such as Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Along with the educational requirements, you must have the traits and skills for you to succeed in becoming a nurse educator. Such of these traits are being organized, analytic, patient, active listener & speaker and compassionate. Along with these skills usually needed in this kind of job are critical thinking skills, accurate decisiveness, able to maintain interpersonal relationships, and planning & goal-setting skills.


Worth of Nurse Educators

As much as we need nurses in our society, we also need nurse educators who will play a vital role in molding the minds of future nurses. What will be our future nurses do in our community in promoting health and quality of life depends on how the nurse educators mold them. This is an exciting part in the life of being a nurse. Always remember, behind those hero nurses are their great nurse educators.






About the author

cherry-ann-vincentCherry Ann A. Vicente was born and raised in Laguna, Philippines. The eldest among her four siblings took up Bachelor of Science in Nursing and became a Registered Nurse in 2009. She was an active volunteer of Philippine Red Cross, an organization which is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. After a year of doing charity works, she started to work in a primary hospital as an Emergency and Staff nurse. A small but terrible one, she used to assist geriatric, pediatric and post-operative patients where most of them are classified as critically-ill patients. She was working in the hospital for almost two years when she got pregnant with his only child. Then she stopped working for a while and focus on taking care of her child.

Currently, she is a freelance writer and a full-time Quality Analyst for an insurance company. Her passion for serving others continue as she signed up in Philippine Red Cross and became a blood donor. She uses her writing talent to widen the awareness of the society regarding the value of Nurses. She may not be working in the hospital now, but by assisting others to their health care concerns, she is still practicing not only her profession but also her vocation to save lives.


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