By Sara Ellis RN, BSN
is the nation's largest health care profession, with more than 2.7 million registered nurses nationwide, and nursing students account for more than half of all health professions students in the United States. Applications to attend nursing schools continue to increase nicely but did you know that thousands of students are being turned away because of an acute shortage of Nursing Educators?
A study done by the U.S. Bureau of Health Professions indicates that by 2020, the U.S. nursing shortage will grow to more than 800,000 registered nurses. How can we put a serious dent in stemming this dangerous tide unless nurses take an active role in educating the nurses of tomorrow?
Becoming a Nurse Educator is a wonderful career step
Registered nurses ARE teachers! RNs teach patients and their families how to manage their illness or injury, including post-treatment home care needs, diet and exercise programs, and self-administration of medication and physical therapy. RNs mentor and precept new graduates and new hire staff as well as develop and implement ongoing continuing education activities within clinical settings. RNs combine their clinical expertise and passion for teaching others in thousands of ways every time they work.
Nurse Educators make use of that same clinical expertise and passion for teaching to guide and shape the future of the nursing profession- one student at a time!
Do you want to be doing direct patient care when you're 63 and still waiting to be old enough to retire? I say leave bedside nursing to the younger nurses, give your sore back a rest, and turn your talents towards building the next generation of nurses instead!
Some RNs choose to advance their nursing career by moving into administrative or management positions, but the responsibilities and stress of management isn't for everyone. For those RNs who would enjoy keeping in touch with direct patient care and in shaping the future of nursing the best career path to think about is becoming a nurse educator!
Given the growing shortage of nurse educators, the career outlook is strong for nurses interested in teaching careers. Nursing schools nationwide are struggling to find new faculty to accommodate the rising interest in nursing among new students.
Most nurse educators work in colleges and universities that offer associate and baccalaureate programs in nursing, and some work as instructors for LPN courses while educators involved in clinical education also work at collaborating health care facilities. A Master's degree in nursing is typically required to become a faculty member at a university but RNs with a Bachelors degree in nursing and clinical experience are the minimum basic requirements for clinical instructors.
Nurse educators can work as full time faculty with all the benefits including tenure and retirement, or may choose to work as part time faculty while still continuing clinical employment and direct patient care. Nurse educators play a vital role in preparing and shaping future generations of nurses!
Earn an NLN accredited Master's in Nursing Education Degree While You Work
You can earn an accredited Master's Degree in Nursing with a specialization in education or in health education online while maintaining your current job by investing just a few hours of study time per week through several schools.
Don't have a BSN Degree?
There's a fully accredited RN to MS in Nursing program that allows busy nurses to take the fast track to earning their Masters in Nursing. Students earn both degrees in a fraction of the time at 1/2 the cost of traditional programs and don't have to give up their job to do it.
Make a difference today that will impact the entire profession for years to come. Become a Nurse Educator!
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