Accredited Education

Nurse Educator

Nurse educators are best known for teaching clinical and didactic courses to students in nursing schools, and they play a key role in training the next generation of nurses for their future careers. However, some nurses go into consulting and become independent nurse educators, teaching through live seminars, books, CDs, wellness coaching, and other types of training programs, according to National Nurses in Business Association, Inc. Across the board, postsecondary teachers can expect 17% employment growth between 2010 and 2020, and nursing specialties are expected to have more positive job growth since positions are more difficult to fill than other specialties, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers earned an average yearly salary of $67,810 in May 2011, although salaries can vary greatly depending on the size and type of institution you teach at and your level of experience. The job responsibilities of a nurse educator might include:

  • Teaching courses to undergraduate and/or graduate nursing students
  • Planning, implementing, and evaluating nursing curriculum
  • Teaching practical nursing skills to nursing students in clinical courses, such as checking vital signs, inserting catheters and IVs, performing patient assessments, and making diagnoses
  • Conducting research in the nursing field, publishing scholarly work, and participating in academic committees
  • Grading and evaluating a student’s work in nursing courses

Although the doctorate is the preferred degree for nurse educators, a master’s degree is the minimum requirement to serve as a postsecondary nursing teacher. The typical degree path would be a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) followed by a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in nursing education. From here, the student has the option of pursuing either a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Ph.D. in Nursing. Teaching jobs with masters in healthcare degrees alone may be scarce since these degrees do not typically prepare students to teach at the college level. However, the best masters in healthcare administration programs may prepare students for future doctoral study, which could help registered nurses transition from nursing management to a career in nursing education at a four-year institution.

Featured Nurse Educator Profiles