A Career in Nursing Education

Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the United States, and it enjoys faster-than-average job growth. It is known for its flexibility as there are so many paths of entry, specialization and work environments. Whatever your passion is, you can likely find a suitable specialization in this field. For example, if you have always been passionate about sharing your knowledge with others, you can pursue a career as a nursing educator. 

As a nursing educator, you can play a vital role in healthcare. You will apply your extensive knowledge of the healthcare system to make a difference in the future of nursing. Cleveland State University offers a master’s program tailored to nurses who are looking to further their career. If you have all the certifications of a registered nurse and clinical experience, you can prepare for your career in nursing education by enrolling in the MSN-NE program they offer. This program will help you develop competencies in educational best practices, and it is 100% online. 

A career in nursing education is incredibly dynamic. You can work in a wide range of environments. Here is a look at some of the possibilities.

Traditional Academic Roles

As a nursing educator, you can go the traditional route of teaching nursing students in settings such as a university, community college, technical school or vocational school. Common roles and responsibilities include developing curricula, teaching students, evaluating them and overseeing their clinical practice. Depending on your education, you can teach general nursing classes or focus on a specialized area of nursing, such as nursing informatics or pediatric nursing. 

There are so many reasons this could be the ideal career path for you. At the top of that list is the fact that the school setting gives you more time off. Nurses are known to work long hours in hospitals, but that is not the case when you work in academia. You can enjoy school breaks and summers off, along with weekends and holidays. You will also experience lower stress. While you still have to prepare for classes and adhere to deadlines, it cannot be compared to the stress of working in a critical care environment.  

On the downside, you must always be on your toes. For example, many institutions are moving toward the use of high-fidelity simulation. That means you must be tech-savvy to remain relevant in the job market. You must also be prepared to spend time sending emails, responding to questions from your students and faculty. 

Clinical Educator Roles

Another way to channel your passion for education is to pursue a career as a clinical nurse educator (CNE). As a CNE, you will be tasked with teaching other nurses how to provide the best possible care in undergraduate or graduate students. You will still need to demonstrate great competence in caring for patients and their families in this role, however. 

Some responsibilities of clinical nursing educators include running pre- and post-clinical briefing sessions for students and collaborating with the nursing course faculty to navigate the student evaluation process. Areas of student evaluation may include their effectiveness in applying patient-centered care, their ability to implement and follow up on nursing interventions independently, and their ability to document patient information accurately. 

As a CNE, you play a crucial role in healthcare by serving as an example to students going through various stages of hands-on learning. You also have to hold their hand every step of the way to ensure that they are confident and competent in providing patient interventions. 

It is worth noting that in your job as a clinical nursing educator, you may find yourself taking on a greater legal responsibility. You will be responsible for supervising your students’ work and the care they deliver to patients. 

Going the Entrepreneurship Way

While most people are familiar with traditional academic and clinical settings for nurses, there is also room for nurse educators in the entrepreneurship world. All you need is expertise in nursing education paired with business acumen and strong marketing skills. The good news is that entrepreneurship is broad, with endless possibilities. 

For example, you can work as a nursing education consultant. This might entail working hand in hand with healthcare organizations and institutions to help develop curricula, create educational materials and implement training programs. You can also develop educational content, such as textbooks and workbooks for nursing education. On the same note, you can develop and deliver continuing education programs covering topics such as leadership development and clinical skills. You might want to check out various resources to learn the best practices for authors in nursing education. 

Another possible front for nursing education entrepreneurs is providing education to individuals or groups. For example, you can educate new moms about lactation or provide diabetes education to patients and their families. There are several ways of conveying your knowledge, such as organizing seminars and workshops. 

As you may know, entrepreneurship is all about keeping an eye out for trends and jumping on them. A good example is the new wave of social media marketing. Therefore, as a nursing educator, you can partner with brands to educate the public on various health issues while earning a respectable paycheck. You can also use your expertise to consult for publications. The possibilities are truly endless.  

Qualities of a Good Nurse Educator

The first thing you need to work as a nursing educator is education. The exact educational requirements will vary depending on the position. Fortunately, you can always advance your education online. These online programs have several benefits, such as better time management and self-paced learning. 

In addition to proper education and work, several other characteristics can make you suitable for a career in nursing education. One of these is the ability to teach. You need to be able to explain various concepts articulately to students with diverse learning styles and abilities. You also need excellent communication skills since much of your work involves interacting with students and other stakeholders. 

Additionally, it is helpful to have internal motivation and passion; your enthusiasm has to be contagious. Therefore, you need a deep love for nursing, both now and in the future. Most importantly, you need to possess leadership skills. That way, you will have an easier time inspiring your students to work toward improving the healthcare industry. 

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