Nurse Educator Career Investigation
The career of nurse educator is an all-inclusive term that refers to those nursing occupations that instruct and demonstrate patient care, in both on-the-job clinical environments, as well as lectures, in a classroom setting. A current occupational resource outlines some of the job titles which fall under the category of nurse educator, which include: Nursing Faculty, Nursing Professor, Nursing Instructor, Associate Professor of Nursing, Assistant Professor of Nursing, and Clinical Nursing Instructor (O*NET OnLine, 2011). This report will provide a general overview of the various branches of nursing instructors in the postsecondary educational setting, and will include information regarding the training, job description, demand, legality, and nursing theory associated with the nurse educator career.
Education, Training, and Salary
In order to properly investigate an occupation such as the nurse educator, it is important to address the fundamental aspects of required education, occupational training, and average salary. As the O*NET OnLine resource divulges, 55% of nursing instructors and teachers, in the postsecondary educational setting, possess master’s degrees, while 37% have doctoral or professional degrees, and the remaining 6% have only an associate’s degree (O*NET OnLine, 2011). Another occupational research site relays that certified nurse educators must have a current Registered Nursing License, in the US or one of its territories, with the major emphasis of their degree on nursing education. It is also common for nurse educators to have obtained substantial clinical experience before even attempting this field. Those who maintain their clinical training, by continued work in clinical setting, gain the ability to maintain current knowledge of the latest advancements in client care and nursing practice ("Nurse Educator Job Description," 2011).
The employment of the nurse educator specialty offers the added benefit of fiscal security. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists that the median annual salary for nursing instructors and teachers is $64,850, while the bottom and top ten percent are paid under $39,960 or over $103,540 respectively (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). The financial appeal, combined with the adequate job security, makes the nurse educator career a prudent choice for aspiring healthcare providers, particular in this time of economic uncertainty.
Job Description and Setting
With an established foundational knowledge of the education required, and financial stability offered by this occupation, it is important to develop an understanding of the activities this job encompasses and the related work settings. The job description is similar in many ways to other careers in the educational field, with some differences that are specific to nursing. These activities include, but are not limited to:
• Overseeing student activity in clinical and laboratory settings,