A sharp rise in the demand for healthcare services has opened up very bright career prospects for the nurse educators. This is in order to make sure that all the nurses receive the highest standards of training before they finally start practicing in their respective field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated the job prospects for nurse educators to grow in faster than the average rate during 2018. With so many nurses joining the healthcare industry, the demand for nurse educators is at an all-time high which makes this a highly lucrative job prospect for those looking find a suitable job.
Who Are Nurse Educators?
A nurse educator is a registered nurse or an RN with a graduate level degree in disciplines such as Master of Science in Nursing. They specialize in the field of Nursing Education and are required to have development and leadership skills so as to provide quality training to other nurses. It is an interesting profession for nurses that combine the clinical world service together with teaching. They may train the nurses in classroom environments as well as in healthcare settings. The main role of nurse educator is to provide mentoring to the amateur nurses and guide them on how to deliver the highest quality of job services. They may also encourage the nurses to pursue higher education and to become a nurse educator themselves.
Job Description Of Nurse Educator
Nurse educators can work both as instructors as well as administrators. The work settings can range from hospitals and other healthcare facilities to nursing schools. They mainly have roles such as staff development officer, clinical nurse educator, patient education coordinator and continuing education specialist. They tend to have very influential roles in determining the future if nursing. They are also free to continue patient care services while sharing their clinical expertise and take part in various researchers. The job could be especially ideal for people with good communication and organizational skills.
What Does A Nurse Educator Do?
At a basic level, they act as educators, training the aspiring nurses. However, senior nurse educators may also have a role in preparing the curriculum for the lectures as well as practical works. Furthermore, their Job duties also include imparting advice and mentorships to the aspiring nurses. The primary tasks of nurse educators include:
- Developing a curriculum for the courses to be taught in graduate and undergraduate levels
- Giving lectures on multiple topics including pharmacology and community healthcare
- Supervise the clinical and lab practicum
- Giving assignments
- Offering guidance on career-related topics
Nurse Educator Responsibilities
1. Academic programs
The nurse educator who is in charge of academic programs makes sure that the students under their care are well prepared to meet the demands of constantly changing working environments. It is also their job to design the syllabus for these courses in accordance with the rules and regulations laid down by the state legislature. Together with teaching the courses for nursing programs, they are also required to evaluate if the programs are going be effective and make revisions if necessary. They may teach in the continuing programs for nurses opting for higher education as well as in the formal academics programs.
Along with offering classroom lectures, the nurse educators also supervise various undertaking in the healthcare facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. The clinical nurse educator job description would include guiding the students in performing tasks such as dressing changes, administration of medicines and various other primary skills. This is done so that the students can have a firsthand experience which can help them offer their services in a real-life clinic in a much more skilled, confident and reliable manner.
3. Coaching And Mentoring
Nurse educators have a huge role in determining the learning experience for the students. It is their job to help the aspiring nurses overcome their limitations and build up the strength and new skills required to perform their job. For example, they may carefully guide the students in inserting a catheter while helping them overcome their personal limitations. They are required to give regular feedback to the students so as to improve the practice.
Nurse educators working in the administrative sectors can act as deans of the nursing programs. Their duties include designing nursing programs together with the other instructors, supervising staff, managing funds for various programs and hiring new staff. It is also their responsibility to make sure that the classroom and clinical training received by the students are meaningful and relevant to the healthcare demands of the community.
5. Other Responsibilities
Other responsibilities of a nurse educator include participation in research projects and presenting the results during nursing conferences, performing peer reviews or write grant proposals. Since it is important for the nurse educators to maintain their clinical skills, they are required to work part-time in areas of patient care.
Hospital Nurse Educator Job Description
- offer educational leadership to the care providers as well as the patients while staying the established protocols
- providing assistance with health management and problem resolution
- collaborate with the health care providers for the designing and implementation of the syllabus for nursing students
- initiate programs for the development of clinical skills and ensure that the strategies are in accordance with the required standards
- offer specialized patient care to the assigned patients in compliance with the nursing protocols
- Educate the working staff in using new supplies, instruments, and equipment.
- Make sure that the equipment is being maintained in the proper and appropriate manner
Education Requirements For A Nurse Educator
The requirements for becoming a nurse educator can vary. Some may receive a licensing with only a Master of Science in Nursing and a working experience of 2 to 5 years. Depending on whether the candidate has a bachelor’s nursing degree, the Master’s program usually takes 1 to 3 years for completion. While others require a doctoral degree, some employers also accept nurse educators with a bachelor’s degree but with a sufficient amount of experience.
The post master’s nurse educator education is geared towards developing various approached for instructions, sharpening the communication skills, development of curriculums and teaching. The course only takes one semester after which the candidates are awarded certificates. Following this, the nurse educators are fully qualified to take up teaching jobs. A doctoral degree is the highest credential for a nurse educator and is given by the American Association of College of Nursing, the doctorate programs can take anywhere between 1 and 3 years for completion. However, a proper Ph.D. is only completed after 4 years. The students are free to take both online as well as classroom programs.
There are two types of doctoral programs for the nurse educators, the DNP or the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Ph.D. While the Ph.D. programs place emphasis on research work, the DPN and geared towards acquiring excellent skills in practice. The coursework could include assessment and evaluation, practicum, course development, advanced nursing, and a capstone project.
Nurse Educator Salary
Nurse educators mainly work in colleges or universities. However, the characteristics of the particular can play a huge role in determining their earning potential. Some of the basic aspects that affect the earning potential include whether the institution is private or government, classroom or online, whether it is organized for profit or social welfare and the size of the institution. If a higher pay scale has been one of the reasons for advancing the career as a nursing educator, the candidates can instead choose to work as a nurse education director. Although the job of a nurse education director comes with greater responsibilities, the higher salary makes it worth it.
How Much Do Nurse Educators Make?
Nurse educators are considered to be one of the best jobs in America. The wages has varied in a very significant manner in the past couple of years. According to the recent reports at Payscale, the median starting salary for nurse educators is $67,681. 1 and can go upto $103,246 during the late career period. During the time, the job opportunities were expected to grow by 19 percent between the years 2012 and 2022. Another report prepared by the journal Advance for NPs and PAs stated the average nurse educator salary in the year 2011 as $87,643 for the nurse educators working in academic programs. However, as stated by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the master’s prepared faculty had an average annual salary of $72,028 in the same year.
A wide scale survey was carried out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for a proper assessment of the salaries across different sectors. The analysis was made based on the data and information collected across a different area of employment for the nurse educators, both large and small. The final report stated that the salaries to be highly variable, from as low as $52,120 to above $96,828. Therefore, the average annual salary amounted to $72,300 per year. 2 This wide gap in the pay scale can arise out of a number of things such as experience, employer, the location of the institution, rank, type of the program and more, which is why candidates looking for a detailed information about the salary are best to recommend to make independent research for different locations.
During this project, the BLS has estimated the job prospects to grow by 19% by the year 2024, mainly owing to the increasing demand for nursing programs by prospective candidates at a low cost. It was also seen that the nurse educators working in pre-licensure programs had earnings 5% lower than the mean salary, while those working full time in pre-licensure and as well as graduate programs were likely to have their salary increased by $10,000 every year. Furthermore, the nurse educators teach at graduate level had very high compensation rates, almost 27% higher than those working in baccalaureate and associate level programs.
According to the most recent survey, the median annual certified nurse educator salary was $86,140 while the median was $41. This report was released on Jan 2, 2018, and is by far the latest. The report was prepared by analyzing the data collected by Certified Compensation professionals across hundreds and thousands of institutions of all sizes. Washington DC is reported to be the highest paying by state, with an average clinical nurse educator salary of $78,000. This is followed by Massachusetts were the nurse educators get paid at the rate of $89,060, New York at New York and Georgia at $71,000.
Average Nurse Educator Salary
Highest Nurse Educator Salary Paying States
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One of the main reasons for the shortage of nurses in America is due to the lack of proper faculty to teach and guide the aspiring nurses. Due to this, many institutions are forced to turn away even the qualified applicants. The limited resources and few nurse educators are only able to offer the nursing programs to a very small number of students. However, any new institutions are coming up in order to meet the increasing demand for nursing courses. This could mean newer job opportunity for the nurse educators. More vacancies can also be created by the retiring faculty.
Candidates interested in advancing their career as a nurse educators get to choose from a number of different roles. For example, right education, training, and experience can send them all the way up to the designation of a professor or a dean and more. As of now, there are enough job opportunities for nurse educators and is expected to grow even more in the coming years. Jobs can include teaching, administration as well as research. Many nurse educators also publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. Other types of jobs for nurse educators include education consultant and even a spokesperson for various issues concerning public policies.