As a nurse, you might remember the stress of managing schoolwork and the people who helped you achieve success along the way. You may have had an exceptional professor who advised you as you completed your degree. Those professionals are nurse educators, and they are quickly becoming one of the most in-demand careers, propelling so many other future health care workers toward their chosen career paths.
Nurse educators have a master's or doctoral degree and can work in academic and healthcare settings in leadership or educational roles. They teach and engage with nursing students as academic educators. They may also create, execute, and review nursing students' and practicing nurses' academic programs. If you are looking to start a new rewarding chapter of your nursing career and want to help guide others to their dream jobs, start by exploring the benefits of becoming a nurse educator.
1. Advance Your Nursing Career
Nursing is a broad career with plenty of pathways and growth opportunities. With so many certifications and degrees available, nurses are constantly learning and advancing. Your experience as a nurse will make you an even better nurse educator, and your role as a nurse educator will open doors for new experiences and successes. If you have a master’s degree, you could work in a variety of settings, including higher education, community-based healthcare organizations, public health nursing and acute healthcare systems. With this new role comes new opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges.
2. Move into an Academic Role
Nurse educators exist at the intersection of nursing and education, enhancing the lives of others with their personal and professional skills. Like nurses, educators thrive off their passion for helping others. Taking on a mentorship role is one of the biggest reasons nurses make this career transition. Access to cutting-edge knowledge, the opportunity to do research, publish articles in professional journals, speak at nursing conferences, and serve as consultants to educational and healthcare institutions, are all advantages of shifting to education.
3. Fill the Demand
Increased demand for qualified nurses means an increased demand for those who train them. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, more than 80,000 candidates were turned down by nursing schools in the United States in 2020, not because they were unqualified, but because there wasn’t room in their programs. Due to a shortage of teachers, aspiring nurses can’t obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees. By becoming a nurse educator, you’re contributing to the advancement of medicine from the ground up.
4. Influence the Next Generation
Reflect on your experience in nursing school. Which teachers stood out to you? Teachers have the power to positively influence the next generation with their guidance, insight and support. As a nurse educator, aspiring nurses will not just learn from you but look up to you as a mentor. Hopefully, they will remember the positive impact you had on their life long after they’ve left the classroom. This is a fulfilling way to better the lives of those around you.
5. Transition with Ease
Starting a new chapter can be daunting but moving into a new role as a nurse practitioner is a surprisingly smooth transition. Just as they help those aspiring to enter nursing, Herzing University has multiple unique educational pathways to help you become the educator you can be. Reach out today to discover all the ways that this career path can enhance not only your life but the lives of so many others — future nurses and the patients they will care for.