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Nursing educators use a unique blend of clinical expertise and passion for teaching to train candidates for careers as Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses. These dedicated professionals work with students in both classroom and practice settings while strengthening the nursing workforce, providing leadership, and serving as role models. Nursing education is one of the top careers for anyone who has a passion for medicine and wants to make sure that the best possible care is being provided in the country’s hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other facilities. If this sounds like a job for you, go back to college and start your career training as a nursing educator.
Job description for nursing education
A nurse educator must design, implement, evaluate, and revise educational and continuing education training programs for nurses. These programs may range from degree or certificate programs to simple continuing education courses. By working in nursing education, you are playing a critical role in preparing future nurses to work in a diverse, constantly changing health care environment.
Nursing education requires an advanced education and clinical training in a health care specialty in order to meet the many demands of the job. On a regular basis, nurse educators may design curriculum, develop courses, conduct classes, provide guidance, evaluate learning, and document student results. They must also help students identify their learning needs, limitations, and strengths and help students make the most of their abilities. In addition, nurse educators may be responsible for conducting research, advising students, speaking at nursing conferences, participating in professional organizations, engaging in peer review, writing grant proposals, and much more.
Education and training
A nurse educator must have a minimum of a master’s degree but a doctoral degree is required in order to be granted tenure or to work as a professor. In some cases, nurses who still work in a clinical setting may be able to work in nurse education with a bachelor’s degree, but this is becoming uncommon. Nurses who wish to become educators can get the needed education through a number of programs, many of which are available online. These courses include training in teaching methods, the learning process, curriculum development, program evaluation, student counseling, and principles of adult education.
Because of the shortage of qualified nursing educators, there are programs to help cover the cost of continuing education. The Nurse Reinvestment Act provides a student loan repayment program that helps nurses who agree to serve in faculty positions after graduation from a nurse education program. Other similar programs can be found through the Bureau of Health Professions and the National Health Service Corps.
Nursing education is a vital and rewarding career field that allows you to help build the future of health care. If you have a passion for nursing and education and have been looking for a new career, consider becoming a nurse educator. Working in nurse education provides you with a great salary, excellent benefits, job security, and a sense of accomplishment that is unrivaled to most other professions.