There are many different types of nurse educators under two broad categories in nursing education:
- Clinical setting. Many educators in nursing practice work in a clinical environment to train students directly in real-life patient care situations.
- Academic setting. Nurse educators may also teach in a college or university classroom.
To become a nurse educator in either setting, extended experience as a registered nurse and a master’s degree in nursing education will be required to pursue this career path.
Types of jobs you can get in nursing education
Every job as a nursing teacher is unique and features different responsibilities, but the overall goal is the same: to prepare nursing students for the transition from school to a professional work setting.
1. Clinical setting: hospital and clinical nurse instructor positions
Education in a teaching hospital or other clinical environment is often needed in the case of continuing education. Work in a hospital as a nurse educator and you will be responsible for providing clinical education to nursing staff and other healthcare professionals.
Clinical nurse educators are vital to helping a healthcare facility improve processes and mitigate risks to both patients and caregivers.
2. Academic setting: faculty / nurse teacher positions
Nursing faculty teach nursing students in a classroom environment, preparing lectures and academic curriculums to provide foundational nursing education. To work in an academic setting, you will need to hold a master’s degree in nursing. For some positions, you may be required to hold a DNP or Ph.D.
3. A mix of both clinical and academic
Some nurse educators will split duty between a college/university classroom and clinical role depending on an organization’s needs.
Many nurse educators will teach part-time while working in a clinical setting, giving them opportunity to remain sharp, continue building experience in patient care and share their advanced expertise with new nursing students.
Requirements for the job may include:
- Design curriculum to ensure classes meet the state accreditation requirements
- Prepare lectures and lead classroom discussion
- Supervise lab and clinical education
- Provide feedback to students as they work and interact with patients
- Oversee student research and internships
- Aide in research, studies and evidence-based practice efforts
- Review student performance
Potential job titles include nurse educator, nurse instructor, clinical nurse specialist, nurse teacher and many different other variations. Discover the most crucial skills for nurse educators and what it takes to excel on this rewarding career path.