Nurse educators combine nursing and teaching in order to educate the next generation of nurses.
Nurse educators work in colleges and nursing schools and perform many of the same functions as other faculty members. Some of their specific duties include:
Academic Programs – They are responsible for making sure their students are properly prepared for the workforce after graduation. To do this, they create academic programs for their school based on state regulations and change them when needed.
Supervising Students – Along with classrooms, nurse educators also work in clinical settings including nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. Most colleges with nursing programs have clinical labs that allow students to practice basic nursing duties such as dressing changes and medication administration under the nurse educator’s supervision. When students begin their training in actual medical settings, the educator monitors and guides them as they treat patients.
Mentoring – Nurse educators mentor their students whether it’s to help a nervous one insert an IV for the first time or to provide students who are further along in their education with a challenge that will teach them additional skills.
Administration – Nurse educators can advance into administration work and hold the dean position at nursing schools. Their duties include developing nursing programs with input from instructors, setting budgets, securing funding, along with hiring and supervising staff.
Other Duties – Additional duties for nurse educators include performing research and presenting their findings at teaching conferences, performing peer reviews, participating in professional organizations, and maintaining their clinical skills.
Nurse educators begin their education with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon completion, they need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses before enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing program. Classes may include:
Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice – This course centers on the critical components of contemporary nursing knowledge, exploration of the nature of theory development in nursing, and more.
Advanced Nursing Research – Students learn the systematic examination and application of the research process as well as the concept of evidence-based practice and its application and its application to nursing is critically examined.
Curriculum Design and Education – During this course, students learn both traditional and contemporary considerations for curriculum planning and design as it applies to nursing education.
Advanced Pharmacology – This course focuses on pharmacology and therapeutics used in treatments for certain medical conditions that are commonly seen by advanced practice nursing.
Evaluation Methods in Nursing Education – This course explains analysis of testing, benchmarking, and evaluation methods in the clinical practice of nursing in classroom, electronic functions, and seminar, and include evaluation methods to insure competency in clinical areas.
Advanced Critical Care Nursing – Students will learn the advanced concepts related to multi-organ/system function and dysfunction.
Advanced Health Assessment – This course prepares advanced practice nurses to conduct focused and comprehensive health assessments of patients across their lifespan.
Advanced Pediatric Nursing – This course centers on health maintenance and health promotion for children and their families.
The National League of Nurses offers certification to nurse educators who work in the United States. Candidates must have a master’s degree or a doctorate and a minimum of two years full-time work experience on the faculty of an educational institution. The exam consists of 150 questions and it’s administered year round across the country.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job growth for this profession will be around 19 percent by 2020, which is similar to the growth for registered nurses and other healthcare personnel. The salary ranges from $45,040 to $94,720 depending on the nurse educator’s experience, degree level, and employer.
Working as a nurse educator is rewarding, and if it’s a career you’re considering please contact us at Nursing Examiner.