Role of the Nurse Educator
As the current nursing shortage is expected to deepen, one group of nurses is at the forefront of guiding and preparing the next generation of nurses. Nurse educators typically obtain a Master of Science in Nursing with a Nursing Education concentration. They teach nurses and students in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, and as nursing faculty members. Education provided by nurse educators may range from entry-level nursing courses to continuing education to advanced practice education. These nurses enjoy high demand due to the nursing shortage. They also receive higher salaries compared to bachelor’s-educated nurses, receiving a median salary of $72,696 according to Payscale.com. In addition to the pay increase, these nurses can also obtain work in different settings and specialties.The Hospital Nurse Educator
It’s common for many hospital units to staff a nurse educator, who manages the education of the nurses in that particular unit. The educator may identify specific areas of weakness in the collective knowledge of the staff, and organize education to improve their knowledge and practice. They also typically manage the continuing and annual education of their nurses and keep track of completion requirements to ensure that nurses aren’t falling behind and putting patients at risk in their practice
Nurse educators who work in hospitals may also choose to specialize. A nurse who enjoys working in the emergency department or hematology-oncology can also enjoy providing specialized education to nurses working in their preferred specialty after graduating with a master’s degree in nursing education.
Nurse educators also help employees keep track of their own goals and professional aspirations and evaluate how they are meeting their own objectives. The educator may provide guidance to those seeking higher education or additional training, helping nurses to increase their career satisfaction.The Faculty Nurse Educator
Colleges and universities also need nurses who possess a master’s degree in nursing education to teach classes for nursing students. Educators may teach a range of subjects as college faculty, which may include advanced nursing courses, or those for beginning nursing students. As a faculty member, the nurse educator may also have opportunities to be involved in research.
Simulations are becoming an increasingly important component of nursing education. These simulations may involve students playing the role of the patient, or using realistic computerized mannequins. Nurse educators may be involved with orchestrating these simulations, helping students to practice safe patient care. These simulations also help entry-level nurses and nursing students build confidence in responding to and treating patients in emergency situations, which can be intimidating to those who haven’t experienced them in their practice.
Nurses with a passion for education and the nursing profession can enjoy a highly rewarding and in-demand career as a nurse educator through pursuing an online master’s degree in nursing education. Many universities offer master’s degree programs that are completely online, except for a few projects that students complete during times that are convenient for them. Nurse educators get the satisfaction of guiding the current and future generation of nurses, ensuring that they continue to fuel their passion for nursing, and the growth of the profession.
For further reading, check out these posts: Where Can Family Nurse Practitioners Work? and Why Become a Nurse Educator?