A nurse educator is someone who educates and trains nursing hopefuls or recent graduates of a nursing program in order to assist them in learning the specifics of the job itself. Nurse educators typically have at least four to six years of education and hands on experience, and they must complete specific educator programs in order to work in this position. Nurse educators will typically teach a general nursing curriculum, but they may also teach in specialty areas including geriatric and pediatric nursing.
Job Requirements for a Nurse Educator
A nurse educator must be a licensed nurse who holds a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. They must complete and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, and have clinical experience working as a professional nurse in a hospital or medical facility, as this assists the nurse educator in teaching various clinical skills to their students. Registered nurses must then continue their education by enrolling in a graduate-level program in clinical nursing. These programs assist registered nurses in obtaining the teaching skills that allow them to educate their students in a proper fashion. Clinical experience is one of the most important aspects of a nurse educator’s career, as much of their teaching includes hands on training.
Obtaining additional certification is voluntary for nurse educators, but it is definitely beneficial. Nurse educators can obtain a Certified Nurse Educator designation through the National League for Nursing. Eligibility requirements include obtaining a Doctoral or Master’s degree in nursingeducation and two years’ experience in teaching. Re-certification is required every five years.
Job Description of a Nurse Educator
Nurse educators are experienced nurses who educate nurses that are just getting started in the nursing field. Students consist of both licensed and unlicensed nurses. They work for hospitals, medical centers, pharmaceutical companies, and home health agencies. Some nurse educatorswork full time as teachers, while others will work part time as an educator and part time in patient care. They develop specific curricula for nursing education, and they educate both practicing and unlicensed nurses on a variety of healthcare topics. Classes are a combination of coursework and hands on training, and nurse educators also lecture students on professional responsibility.
Educators also speak at nursing conferences and conduct evaluations of nursing training programs. Nursing educators must have excellent communication skills as well as flexibility, as many perform the duties of both a teacher and clinical nurse. They also serve as mentors for their students, so having excellent listening and problem solving skills is very beneficial. Many educators also work closely with administrators in order to obtain funding for various educational programs as well. The job description of a nurse educator is very broad, which means flexibility and the option to change direction.
Salary and Career Prospects of a Nurse Educator
The average salary of a nurse educator is between $45,000 and $88,000, but this number can vary on either a higher or lower scale depending on experience level as well as the possibility of promotion. As far as career prospects, there is always a high demand for nurses as well as nurseeducators, and with the continuing developments in medical technology and research, the numbers continue to grow. The most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report stated that the employment level of nurses of all types is predicted to grow by about 26% by the year 2020. Nurses and nurse educators can count on job security and stability, which is definitely a positive aspect in the job market and economy of today’s world.
Trends In Nurse Educator Careers
Nurse educators are constantly updating their teaching curriculum due to the constant changes in medicine, technology, and research. Being skilled and knowledgeable in computer technology is important due to the fact that many educators are implementing pre-clinical simulation laboratories into their curriculums as well as conducting classes and lectures over the internet. The aging population has also led to new health care systems and settings, and there has been a shift from episodic care with acute orientation to care management that focuses on outcomes based on the aging population. The economy is also a factor in today’s health care trends. Many patients cannot afford high cost treatments, and nursing professionals are focusing greatly on treatment methods that benefit patients while at the same time are low in cost.
Working as a Nurse Educator
The job of a nurse educator can be challenging as well as satisfying. Since educators have the option to work in a variety of areas in the medical field, there are many different paths that one can take. Nurse educators are nurses first and foremost, and many choose to pursue both the career of an educator as well as working part time in patient care. Nurse educators serve as mentors to the up and coming generation of nurses, and this can be very rewarding. Nurseeducators also have various opportunities for advancement in their field, due to the fact that many educators obtain various specialty certifications and continue their education throughout their careers. With the high demand for nurses of all types and the continuing expansions in medical technology, working as a nurse educator is definitely a positive career choice.
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