Successful nurses need competent nurse educators. In the U.S. there is a shortage of these professionals due to pay differences between advanced practice MSNs and nursing educators. Many accredited nursing schools and major universities offer nurse educator programs. If you want to contribute to the future of nursing practice, this is the right profession for you!
Job Duties and Career Opportunities for Nurse Educator Graduates
As a nurse educator, you would work for a university, college, or nursing school. Additionally, some nurse educators find employment with hospitals and long-term care facilities, functioning as patient and staff education professionals. Job duties include developing course curriculum, providing educational programs, assisting students with projects, lecturing, clinical teaching, and more.
Nurse Educator Educational Requirements
Some nationally accredited nursing schools offer a nurse educator tract as part of their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. Nurse educator programs are also offered by many online institutions, or as a part of a traditional teaching course. This makes this specialty particularly desirable for working professionals who do not have time for campus-based learning. Be sure to check requirements with the Board of Nursing in your state or the state where you intend to work.
To enter a MSN nurse educator program, you must hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in either nursing or another field. Some programs are direct entry for non-nurses, while others only accept BSN professionals. Most accredited nursing schools require a good score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), an active RN license, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement essay.
Courses of Study of a Nurse Educator Program
Most Master programs for nurse educators focus on teaching the student how to teach. Course content includes educational strategies, use of technology for learning, education policy, curriculum design, learning theory, and legislative issues. To train as a reflective nurse educatory, you usually complete an evidence-based practice project and write a thesis. Again, courses of study will vary from institution to institution.
Nurse Educator Salaries
According to most web sources, nurse educators earn an average annual salary of anywhere from $70,000 to $85,000. While it is not the highest paid advanced practice nurse profession, these nursing professionals find their work its own reward. Because of the active nursing shortage in this field, there are many scholarships and loan forgiveness programs available for students who enter this degree program.
AACN (2013): http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/nursing-education-programs
ANA (2013): http://www.nursingworld.org/
BLS (2013): http://www.bls.gov/
Nurse.Org (2013): http://www.nurse.org/orgs.shtml