Consider a career as a nurse educator

November 28, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.

Click here for 2021 shadowing opportunities

Doctor Kigosi teaching patients in Paediatrics There’s much talk about the growing demand for nurses around the world and on the heels of that trend comes a growing demand for nurse educators too. After all, somebody has to teach and train student nurses before they can actually deal with patients.

Passing on the skills and knowledge to the next generation can be very satisfying for some nurses who do not want to work in regular nursing roles. Here is a look at what it takes to become a nurse educator.




Basic qualification requirements

The first step to get into nursing education is to become a licensed nurse. Registered nurses will ideally have to get a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. A vocational nurse or a licensed practical nurse can usually go through a one-year diploma to get qualified to teach. In order to be allowed to practice, it is necessary to pass a national exam. A practicing nurse can then get into education after gaining a number of years of experience in the nursing field.


Educational degrees and certifications

To get a nursing degree, a bachelor’s degree or associate degree is usually enough to be a qualified nurse. However, those who wish to get into the field of education would usually need to study further and get a master’s degree.

If you are aiming at a particular position in education, it is advisable to look up the necessary qualification requirements since some institutions would accept you if you have a master’s degree while some would require a doctorate. If you are sure about getting into the field of education right from the time you are in nursing school, you should think along the lines of doing your master’s in the nursing field along with an educational major. You could also look at working with a training hospital or a university, as some of these places will include a bit of teaching and instruction as a part of the job.

If you want to switch completely from nursing and become a full-time educator, a Certified Nurse Educator Certification is advisable. This certification is open for those who already have a master’s degree or doctorate in the field and also have experience in nursing instruction. You will have to pass a CNE examination and also be a practicing nurse. You will also need to have four years of full time work experience in the teaching field.


Various opportunities to choose from in the education sector

If you are moving from nursing to teaching, there are a number of places where you can start your new teaching career. After getting a qualification that will allow you to teach at a particular level, you can look at vocational school, community colleges or even at your previous workplace. A lot of workplaces need nurses to teach and train the new nurses who join the institution. Several community colleges too require part time instructors for their LPN programs and they are willing to hire nurses who do not have a CNE certification as guest lecturers or part-time instructors.

Those who have a CNE certification and wish to work full time as a nursing educator could look at nursing schools and other medical institutions at various levels of teaching.

Nurse educators are always going to be in high demand and as the need for trained nurses becomes more acute, so does the need for experienced educators who can train them. It’s definitely a field worth considering.