There are a wide range of career paths to choose from after you finish nursing school. An advanced degree, such as a master’s or doctoral degree, can prepare you to become a nurse practitioner within a variety of specializations and job settings. With a master’s degree in nursing, and years of on-thejob clinical experience in patient care, you can become a nurse educator working to teach the next generation of nurses.
A nurse educator can enjoy a rewarding career teaching at a traditional nursing school or an online nursing school, as well as within healthcare settings, such as hospitals. If you’re an experienced nurse looking to begin the next stage of your career, learn more about the vital jobs that nurse educators perform and some of the key aspects of these positions.
Nurse Educators: Training the Next Generation
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for registered nurses in the United States is strong, and by 2026 the field is set to grow by 15%, adding more than 438,000 new jobs1. But who will train this growing field of professionals? Certified nurse educators play an important role in properly teaching our future registered nurses, making sure that nursing school students are prepared after graduation to treat patients in hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and in-home care settings.
To share their professional knowledge and skills with registered nurses in training, nurse educators develop lesson plans, teach courses, oversee students in clinical practice, and act as mentors. With new medical research and changes within public health, nursing educators must stay on the leading edge of nursing education. Whether they’re working in the classroom or in clinical settings, nursing educators ensure that they and their students are up to date on the latest methods and technologies in patient care. Two other popular roles for nurse educators include working as staff developers in hospitals or being experts in clinical education, which involves educating patients.
Beyond their work with students, nurse educators may also conduct research, write published materials and studies, participate in professional organizations, and attend medical conferences.
Nurse Educators Are in Demand
According to the BLS, nursing teachers and instructors earned a mean annual wage of $77,360 in 20172, and employment in the field is projected to grow 16% by 20243. Nurse educator jobs include roles such as professor, clinical faculty member, nursing school dean or associate dean, administrative nursing staff, and more.
Colleges, universities, and professional schools employ the most number of nurse educators, employing more than 31,000 professionals in this field. Meanwhile, general medical and surgical hospitals offer an overall annual mean wage of $89,390, among the highest in the industry. At more than $96,000, the annual mean wage for nurse educators in specialty hospitals is even higher.2
Becoming a Nurse Educator
While a nurse educator must at least be certified as a registered nurse, many have advanced degrees such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). If you have years of experience in nursing and are passionate about training and mentoring our next generation of registered nurses, now may be the time to go back to nursing school and earn your MSN degree.
When you enroll in Walden University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with a specialization in Nursing Education, you’ll learn to design, implement, evaluate, and revise educational programs for nurses. Whether you want to work in formal academic programs to help nurses earn their college degree or a certificate, or if you’re interested in leading informal continuing education programs, Walden can give you the skills and training to become a valued nurse educator.
When you earn a degree at Walden, you can learn how to teach from a team of expert teaching faculty members, all while enjoying the benefits and flexibility of an online nursing school. With accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Walden’s MSN degree program is the perfect choice for practicing nurses looking to take online classes alongside a busy career.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Nursing Education. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
1 Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
2 Source: www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251072.htm