Better Defined And Flexible Hours
While teachers may get summers off that is, if they dont teach summer school classes or work at a year-round school the job requires a lot of time outside school hours. There are papers and tests to grade, parent-teacher meetings to attend, lesson plans to develop and tweak and more.
As a nurse, you will likely work very different hours. Nurses in hospitals tend to work three 12-hour shifts a week while nurses in clinics and other non-hospital settings work five 8-hour shifts a week. Sure, some nurses will need to work overtime, but this is usually by choice. Not to mention nurses are well compensated for their overtime, receiving time and half and even double-time in some cases.
Registered nurses also have a lot of flexibility to work different hours. Some work a few hours a week, others work nine days out of 10. Nurses arent confined to working during the day, either. Many nurses prefer working night shift, and not just because it tends to pay slightly more.
Online Options For Graduate Programs
There are a number of online graduate programs in nursing. According to Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, CEO of the National League for Nursing , online programs have freed many nurses to pursue their dreams by giving them the flexibility to work, raise their families, and pursue their educational goals.
In nursing, even the most prestigious programs offer a number of online courses, especially for basic nursing theory and essential classes like statistics. Most programs are hybrid in nature, meaning that classes are a mix of classroom and online instruction.
In nursing, even the most prestigious programs offer a number of online courses, especially for basic nursing theory and essential classes like statistics.
Clinical training and clinical rounds must be hands-on, and some doctoral programs require you to be in residence full time, even if youre taking online courses. This allows you to participate in research residencies and teaching practicums.
Online MSN programs often are more flexible. Clinical training must be hands-on, but often you can complete it on the job or by working with a preceptor. This is a great option for parents and full-time workers managing multiple responsibilities.
The Eight Core Competencies
- Function within the educational environment
Benefits Of A Career As A Nursing Educator
Nursing educators enjoy a flexible work schedule, which allows them to juggle both personal and professional lives efficiently. They also have access to the latest knowledge and research, and have the opportunity to perform research and work with health professionals. They are also assured a good job security because of fewer numbers of faculty members in their discipline.
Nursing educators consider the privilege of being able to teach and train the next generation of nurses as the most rewarding part of being involved in this profession.
To ensure the effective recruitment of nursing educators, educational and professional institutions must overcome a number of challenges, such as finding the nurse faculty who are qualified to teach, overcoming the low awareness regarding this type of career, and improving the demographic diversity of the faculty.
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What Does A Nursing Instructor Do
Registered nurses who are passionate about their careers can give back to their healthcare communities in several ways. For example, they can teach nursing students in a variety of clinical facilities, from hospitals to labs to clinics. Nurses can also find positions in academic settings, including at the postsecondary level, where they can help ensure that nursing students develop a strong foundation in procedures and principles before practicing patient care in the field.
Nurse educators and instructors teach the curriculum that has been approved by nursing leadership and program accreditation requirements, when applicable. One of their duties is to stay up to date on healthcare policies, studies, and research. Other responsibilities include developing new courses, offering training sessions, and leading seminars. Nursing instructors give lectures, assign and grade homework, oversee labs, and develop relationships with nursing students. As active nurses in the field, they lead their nursing students by example.
Education And Job Requirements Of Nursing Educators
To work as teachers, nursing educators must pass the national NCLEX-RN and the Certified Nurse Educator exams. Since they will be involved in a number of training responsibilities, they are required to be equipped with skills in designing, implementing, evaluating, and revising academic programs along with continuing educations programs especially for nurses. Nursing educators work with students in different levels of learning from those taking an associate degree to those who are studying to complete a doctoral program. They also train professionals who are looking to update their knowledge with continuing education.
Teaching is not the only profession that nursing educators can get involved in. They may work as speakers and presenters at conferences, conduct relevant research, write proposals for grants, become leaders within their academic community, become involved in peer reviews, become an adviser to students, and contribute to different professional associations.
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Determine The Educational Requirements
So you have your nursing degree, and probably years of experience in the field. Your next question is probably something like: Is my degree enough to earn me a teaching position?
Well, the answer to that depends mainly on what kind of teacher youve decided to become.
As a minimum, middle and high schools require that teachers possess a bachelors degree in order to teach. While these degrees are sometimes in education, they dont necessarily have to be.
On the other hand, if you want to teach within the medical industry or at the university level, typically youll have to obtain some kind of graduate degree that designates you as a teaching specialist.
The educational requirements for some of the more common teaching professions in nursing include:
The reality is that not all teaching positions have the same educational standards. For example, many secondary school positions would be more than satisfied by your bachelors in nursing. At the same time, college-level or clinical education settings will likely expect you to pursue a more advanced degree.
In other words, if youre not interested in going back to school to earn an advanced nursing degree, then your options will likely be limited to secondary school programs.
Regardless, now that you have an idea of the educational requirements of your dream job, youre ready to take the next step: obtaining what teaching credentials you need.
What Youll Study In A Nurse Educator Program
Youll need a graduate degree to teach nursing, and youll have three choices, depending on what you want to teach.
To take on a leadership role in nursing as an educator, youll need a Master of Science in Nursing , a Doctor of Nursing Practice , or a Doctor of Philosophy .
The degree you earn can determine the coursework and clinical programs youll teach, the organizations in which youll work, and the positions youll hold.
In This Article
Choosing a Graduate Program |Masters Degree |Doctoral Degree |Online Programs |Accreditation|Costs and Financial Aid | Certification | Career Outlook | Salary Potential | Advancing Your Career
No matter where you are in your career or education right nowfrom associate nursing degree student to charge nurse in a teaching hospital with years of experiencethere is a pathway for you to become a nurse educator.
Aspiring nurse educators should definitely contact program advisors about their options, says Donna R. Swope, MS, RN, an adjunct professor of nursing at Stevenson University. Program advisors know the details of their own programs completely, and they are also knowledgeable about Board of Nursing curriculum requirements, regional program differences, and details like the hire rate post-graduation.
Is Teaching Your Calling?
Swope cautions nurses against moving into teaching unless they really love interacting with students.
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What Skills Does A Nurse Educator Need
Nurse educators are highly skilled individuals. Although their skills vary depending on their field, most nurse educators will benefit from having the following skills:
- Leadership: Nurse educators need to be comfortable in a leadership role to lead classes of young nurses.
- Professionalism: Nurse educators represent nurses around the globe. They need to act professionally to ensure that the correct image is sustained.
- Knowledge and expertise: They must meet education and training requirements to teach future nurses how to treat patients effectively.
- Core competencies: The National League for Nursing has established core competencies that all academic nurse educators should have.
- Creative: Nurse educators lead diverse teams of students and need to be creative enough to adapt to meet their needs.
In addition to the skills above, nurse educators should also be willing and ready to advance their education. They should be actively pursuing new opportunities to expand their knowledge of healthcare and nursing.
What Does A Nurse Do
Nurses responsibilities vary by specialization or unit, but most share more similarities than differences.Nurses provide and monitor patient care, educate patients and family members about health conditions, providemedications and treatments, give emotional support and advice to patients and their family members, and more. They alsowork with healthy people by providing preventative health care and wellness information.
The tasks nurses perform and the settings in which they perform them are at least partly driven by specialty, work experience and education. Although most nurses work in hospitals, some work for schools, private clinics, nursing homes, placement agencies, businesses, prisons, military bases or other employers. Nurses with associate and bachelors degrees often provide hands-on care, though the scope of this care varies by state and employer. Those with more experience and graduate degrees might supervise other nurses, teach nursing, become nurse practitioners or do research.
Many nurses spend long hours on their feet. Although nurses working in physicians offices, schools, corporate settings or other places with traditional hours may work regular shifts with set schedules, those working in nursing facilities and hospitals providing round-the-clock care often have to work long weekend and holiday shifts. It is not unusual for some nurses to work 10 to 12 hours a day, three to four days each week.
Discover your career fit
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Nursing At Every Level
Readers hooked by articles ranking the best and top jobs are likely already savvy to the idea that health care is one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying industries in the nation, and that nurses are leading the charge. From diploma to doctorate, the nursing field offers rewarding careers for nurses at every education level. Learn more about some of the most popular nursing careers below.
Ways To Teach Nursing Skills Faster
So youre a nursing educator. Youve watched hundreds of bright young students pass through the program, and youve had the pleasure of watching them become amazing healthcare professionals ready to do no harm. Chances are you already have awesome teaching methods, but are there proven ways to train great nurses faster? Can nursing skills be taught quickly and well?
There are in fact several ways to speed up the process. Any veteran of nursing education has their own unique teaching style that works, but it never hurts to hear new ideas from other professionals in the field and national nursing organizations.
To get your creativity flowing, here are six surefire ways to speed up your students learning curve early in the program:
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Nurse Educators Have Systemic Influence
Have you ever thought that a few little changes could make the healthcare industry safer or more efficient? Becoming a nurse educator means impacting every student graduating nursing school each year. Just imagine the effect a nursing school curriculum has on the healthcare industry over time.
Hopperstad spent some time working with newly hired nurses to ensure they were up to code and fitting into the work environment. When she realized how much she looked forward to coaching those new nurses, she opted to go back to school to become an educator and help improve the teaching standards of nursing.
Teaching is a great way to stay current in practice and really lead and drive change in our profession from the ground up, Hopperstad says.
Career Paths For A Nurse To Teacher
If you’re interested in the future of nursing and have a passion for teaching, a career as a teacher might be right for you. The career path you choose may depend on your nursing specialty and choice of employer. As you gain experience in the field, you might fulfill administrative or leadership roles. Some positions you can hold as a nurse educator include:
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Choose A Nurse Educator Degree Program
Finding the right educational program can be challenging, especially if youre already employed full-time in the health care field. You should consider several factors when selecting a nurse educator degree program, including:
- Accreditation status for the university and the degree program
- The institution’s reputation in the education and health care communities
- Availability of online courses for students already working full-time
- Graduation and employment rates
- Cost of the program after all scholarships and direct aid has been considered
Any of these program characteristics can impact your overall success in pursuing a career as a nurse educator. We recommend choosing a university that offers personalized support from an admissions counselor.
Become A Certified Nurse Educator
Becoming a certified nurse educator through the NLN Academic Nurse Educator Certification Program is another way to differentiate yourself and demonstrate expertise in the field, said Rosenberg.
The NLN certification offers nurse educators the ability to establish themselves in the nurse educator practice and create a means to demonstrate their expertise in this role, according to the NLN.
Becoming certified also communicates to students, colleagues and the broader health care community that the highest standards are being met.
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S To Becoming A Nurse Educator
If youre wondering how long it takes to become a nurse educator, be advised that the process can last several years. Generally, nurse educator requirements include an RN license plus a masters or doctoral degree in nursing. In addition, you may need to obtain certification as a nurse educator to qualify for positions in many settings.
Nurse Educator Program Requirements
Though every MSN Nurse Educator degree program is different, most have similar entry requirements, which generally include:
- A minimum of two years of nursing experience
- Satisfactory completion of an accredited baccalaureate program with at least 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
- Submission of official transcripts from all postsecondary schools attended
- Unencumbered, active RN license in state of practice
- Two or three professional references
- Completion of undergraduate statistics with a grade of C or better
- Professional resume or curriculum vitae
- Successful completion of a personal interview with the Nursing Admissions Committee.
- GRE if applicable
- TOEFL test if applicable
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Does A Nurse Educator Treat Patients
Some nurse educators continue to treat patients, even after they move into teaching. Whether you provide care will depend on your personal preferences, your position, and your employers requirements.
Nurse educators who teach in the classroom or hold leadership positions often continue to treat patients to maintain their expertise. Many clinical nurse educators continue to work in clinical practice but also teach clinicals one or two days a week as adjunct faculty.
Donna R. Swope, an adjunct professor of nursing at Stevenson University, says a nurse educator who maintains their clinical skills has more career options.
Nursing Education Offers Great Rewards
Whitham says that nursing education was the perfect career choice for her because she likes to collect knowledge. Each time I learn something new, I learn just how much more knowledge is out there that I dont know about.
She shares her Best Things About Being a Nurse Educator and thoughts about the most rewarding aspects of her job for those nurses considering nurse education as a career path.
Karen Whithams Top 10 Best Things About Being a Nurse Educator:
Whitham says one of the most significant rewards of being a nurse educator is to teach appropriately so that students have the foundation they need to respond to new technologies and their use in the nursing practice, while not devaluing the human elements in healthcare.
Nurse educators play a critical role in healthcare by serving as role models for future nurses and providing the leadership needed to implement evidence-based nursing practice needed to strengthen the nursing profession, she adds.
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Introduce The Soft Skills
Proficiency at nursing skills isnt the only thing students need. In fact, some of the most important skills for success cant be taught in the classroom at all.
Lets take a look at some of the soft skills every nurse must develop and how you can encourage students to pursue these characteristics sooner rather than later. Here are some ideas from AMN Healthcare:
Cultural beliefs and values greatly influence healthcare preferences. Accommodating patients unique needs all starts with a nurse identifying their own biases, increasing awareness, and learning how to ask patients the right questions. The Transcultural Nursing Society is a great place for your students to learn more about this.
Being professional isnt a one-time decision. Its something every nurse has to choose every day. Characteristics like responsibility, respect, integrity, showing up on time, and having a positive attitude arent something your students will learn overnight. But you can encourage them to keep these ideas in mind as they role play and set goals for their future career.
Attention to detail
Not letting details slip between the cracks can save all nurses from costly medical mistakes in their careers. Encourage students to be thorough and meticulous in their work now and always double check the steps that could harm a patient if done incorrectly.