Nurse Educator - How to Become a Nurse Educator

Nurse Educator

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Nurse Educator Job Description


These are Nurses that go into education. A good deal of the instruction given to nurses in training is provided by nurse educators. Nursing experience and advanced training make these teachers ideal for teaching those just entering the nursing profession. 

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Responsibilities

 

Nurse educators are a vital part of the medical community and are responsible not only for classroom training, but also formulate lesson plans, guide their students through clinical work, and evaluate existing nursing programs. In addition to generalized nursing courses, nurse educators will also teach nursing specializations such as pediatrics, oncology, or geriatrics.

Many nurse educators expand their careers to include administrative work, and can also assist in textbook composition and the development of continuing education courses for nurses who are already working.

One of the careers most in demand in the United States, nurse educators are needed now, and in the future, for training the next generations of nurses. The nursing shortage has been exacerbated by a lack of qualified nurse educators; a problem that is being addressed by various public and private organizations, including the Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow Coalition. These organizations help prospective nurse educators advance their education and help provide funding for their education.

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Skills

 

Mental Endurance

Must be able to handle pressure and the demanding work and long hours that comes with their job title.

Stress Management

They must manage the stress and pressure that comes with their job.

Empathy

Being able to relate to people on an emotional level because they are nurses first, and understand what they go through is super important for nurses because they are a primary contact for patients.

Organization

Must be able to situate tasks and documents and multitask because teaching takes a ton of organization.

Communication

Must be able to pass on skills and effectively communicate so people can go on to become Nurses and be good at their job. It's one of the most important skills. 

Patience

Becoming a nurse and advancing in the field takes time, especially if you want to be an educator at a college level after you become a nurse, so it's important to take it slow and easy and save yourself a ton of anxiety.

Detail Oriented

The have a ton of tasks they must perform, so they have to pay attention to every detail involved in their work.

Critical Thinking

Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.

Teaching

You must be able to teach and show others how to do what you know how to do. Your commitment becoming a nurse educator means you take on the responsibility to teach others how to be effective nurses.

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Working Conditions


Nurse educators teach in a range of settings from the clinical, such as hospitals and clinics, to technical schools, nursing schools, and community colleges. Unlike clinical nurses, nurse educators do not work night shifts, and most of the educator’s time will be spent in the classroom. Supplemental instruction will be provided in hospitals, clinics, or laboratories.

Depending upon the teaching situation, nurse educators can work as little as nine months or the entire year. This is a personally rewarding career as the nurse educator is able to see the progress students make as they progress through their studies. In addition to their teaching duties, nurse educators often conduct research on different aspects of patient care and publish their findings in professional journals.

Besides being a career that provides a high level of personal satisfaction, nurse educators also enjoy a salary commensurate with their experience, both clinically and in the classroom. Those educators who work during the nine month academic year are often able to teach over the summer as well. While it is true that the compensation for nurse educators can be somewhat less than that for clinical nurses, the wage gap is being closed as educational institutions bring teaching salaries more in line with clinical salaries.

 


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How to Become a Nurse Educator:


Those who wish to become nurse educators must first of all be a licensed Registered Nurse with several years of clinical experience. Generally, a master’s degree in nursing is required, and those who wish to teach at the university level should pursue a doctorate. Nurse educators who will be teaching specializations will require post-master’s certification.

  

1. Earn an Associate's Degree (2 Years)

 

You can become an RN in three years through a nursing diploma program or associate degree program. Many community colleges offer Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs. Many new RNs will begin their education with an ADN program, then later advance to enrollment in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or master’s degree programs.

During your time you will take general education courses along with Anatomy, Nursing, Nutrition, Chemistry, and Microbiology. An ADN will allow you into entry-level nursing positions. 

 

2. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (1-4 yrs)

 

You should get your BSN since you will need to go on to complete a Master's program. If you want to teach at a university, you will need to complete a Ph.D. program, so this is your first step. 

A conventional BSN program takes 4 years to complete. A popular movement now finds more and more colleges and universities offering students who already hold a bachelor’s in another field an accelerated route to nursing-program graduation. These accelerated BSN programs take between 12 to 18 months to complete. If you already have your RN from an Associates Degree, you can do the RN-to-BSN program in 2 to 3 years, which can open you up to more opportunity and growth. 

 

3. Consider Earning a Master's Degree (2 Years)

 

It's not necessary to get your master's to be a practicing RN, but if you want to become an educator, you do need to get your Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN). With a master's degree, you will learn more about the profession and being learning how you can teach and plan lessons. You may also want to get a post-master’s certificate or degree in education as well as certification for your area of specialty.

There are programs available for an accelerated master’s degree (MSN), which takes about three years to complete. More and more RN-to-MSN and BSN-to-Ph.D. programs are being launched as a way to meet the increasing demand for more highly educated nurses in the workforce.

Another accelerated program is being offered by an increasing number of four-year institutions. These programs, called articulation agreements, are formed in collaboration with community and junior colleges to enable associate degree nurses or bachelor’s degree nurses to effortlessly transition into BSN and MSN programs.

 

4. Consider Earning a Doctoral Degree (4-6 Years)

 

To be a teacher at most universities, you will need to get a Ph.D. This will teach you more about research and policy. You can be involved in both of those things and will write and continue learning all there is to know about the profession. There are many Doctoral Programs available

The programs are designed to prepare nurses as teacher-scholars for academic careers in higher education. They build upon baccalaureate and masters preparation in nursing, through emphasis on research and theory development. As a Ph.D. student, you will focus on the application of nursing knowledge and scholarly inquiry that address professional and practice concerns as they relate to teaching-learning processes in clinical as well as educational settings.

 

5. Earn the Required State Certification

 

Regardless of the type of entry into practice program you attend, all graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam before they can practice as a registered nurse. The exam is administered by each state’s board of nursing. In order to take the test, you must first apply for your nursing license from your state board. Each state is different, so you must check to see if you meet all of the requirements for your state. 

The NCLEX covers the following:

  • Safe, effective care environment: management care and safety and infection control

  • Psychosocial integrity: coping and adaptation and psychosocial adaptation

  • Health promotion and maintenance: growth and development through the life span and prevention and early detection of disease

  • Physiology integrity: basic care and comfort, pharmacological and parenteral therapies, reduction of risk potential and physiological adaptation

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
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The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
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The Best Just Keeps Getting Better Virginia Hospital Center is an independent and progressive, 350-bed not-for-profit teaching hospital in Arlington, VA. Part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, our progressive acute care facility has achieved...
12.05.2016
The Best Just Keeps Getting Better Virginia Hospital Center is an independent and progressive, 350-bed not-for-profit teaching hospital in Arlington, VA. Part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, our progressive acute care facility has achieved...
12.05.2016
This Nurse Educator Position is for the Women & Children departments. Supports patient care and promotes optimal patient outcomes by providing: New employee orientation; unit specific orientation; ongoing inservice education; competency...
12.05.2016
The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
12.05.2016
The Nurse Educator fulfills an essential role on the nursing and clinical education team by designing, implementing, and evaluating high quality, comprehensive education for nurses based on the needs of the nursing staff and overall nursing...
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Oversees, directs, and/or coordinates educational activities for the patient services departments, which includes ER, Oncology, Cardiopulmonary, Surgery, Med/Surg, CCU and OB. Includes but is not limited to development of departmental...
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This position is a registered nurse with demonstrated clinical and instructional expertise who has responsibility for nursing staff development. This position assesses, develops, delivers, coordinates and evaluates learning activities for nursing...
12.05.2016
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Great opportunity to impact the practice of nursing by working side by side with staff to reinforce best practice and increase their skills and knowledge to keep pace with technology and clinical practice changes. Partners with manager, team...
12.05.2016
The nurse educator coordinates clinical education and learning resources for the staff of St. Anthony Regional Hospital with an emphasis on nursing orientation, competency training/validation, online learning, and resource development activities....
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: Under the direction of the Associate Inpatient Unit Director. 1. Supports staff for assigned service. 2. Collaborates with physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers to optimize patient outcomes. 3. Maintains,...
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As the Nurse Educator your essential functions include; Expert level knowledge and skill in clinical specialty. Program development; innovation learning approaches for coordination, facilitation, conduction, and evaluation of...
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The Assistant Nurse Manager is accountable for assessing, planning, directing and evaluating patient care in the area of responsibility. The Assistant Nurse Manager assures adherence to HealthAlliance policies and procedures and supports and...
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