Once you complete nursing school, there are a wide range of career paths you can follow. Perhaps you want to work as nurse practitioner or help train the next generation of registered nurses as a nurse educator. If working closely with patients is how you want to put your nursing education to use, a career as a patient educator may be right for you.
Find out about the essential role that patient educators fill in the field of healthcare, and how you can complete nursing school online and earn your Master of Science in Nursing degree.
How Patient Educators Help
When a patient comes to a clinic or hospital with a medical complication or serious health issue, it can be scary for them. Having a professional explain the problem and outline the treatment options can improve a patient’s experience and contribute to good health outcomes. This is exactly where a patient educator comes in.
Patient educators play a key role between patients and the doctors and nurses providing their care. Some of the key duties of a patient educator include:
- Informing patients about their condition and explaining treatment options and possible effects so patients can make informed decisions.
- Developing and executing various treatments and programs to best suit a patient’s needs.
- Providing specialized care plans for patients with conditions such as diabetes.
- Helping families and friends cope with a loved one’s serious health issues.
- Educating patients on self-care to promote optimal health, reduce illness-related complications, and improve treatment compliance.
A patient educator can find a rewarding career in a hospital, clinic, school, or home health agency. To become a patient educator, you’ll need to be a registered nurse with at least a bachelor’s degree, though many employers want a nurse practitioner with a master’s to fill this role. For that reason, many nurses looking to go into patient education seek an RN to MSN degree program.
Many nurses choose to be patient educators and while the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) doesn’t compile data specifically for nurses in this role, the future for nurses in general looks very bright. According to the BLS, registered nurses earn a median pay of $70,000 per year and have a projected job growth of 15% between 2016–2026, higher than the 7% average growth rate for all occupations.1
An MSN Degree Can Expand Your Career
If you want to become a patient educator, a nurse practitioner, a nurse educator, or fill any of the other rewarding jobs in nursing, one of the best steps you can take is advancing your nursing education. At Walden University, you can earn your degree online with the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Whether you’ve recently earned your bachelor’s in nursing school or have been working as an RN for years, now is a great time to gain new skills, advance your education, and make yourself stand out to employers looking for highly skilled nurses.
Walden is an online university that offers rigorous academics with flexible online classes, which makes it an ideal choice for working professionals with busy schedules. Walden’s online MSN program offers eight specializations to help prepare you for your dream job, and it’s led by a top-notch teaching faculty equipped to teach a diverse community of students.
If you’re ready to advance your education and your career, enrolling in online nursing school at Walden is a great way to get started.
Walden University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Expand your career options and earn your MSN degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.