DUSNA Publicity Chair
If you’ve ever dreamed of going to graduate school, think about becoming a nurse educator. As one of the areas in nursing with the highest demand, nurse education is essential for continuing the profession and is currently suffering from lack of interest. Why? We all went to nursing school to become nurses, not teachers, right? Wrong. Education is at the foundation of nursing and in order to keep nursing going, we need to teach the future generations how to do nursing! I am going to tell you why nurse education is such an appealing career path and one that should be considered by any nurse who wants to go past the BSN.
So what is a nurse educator? A nurse educator essentially teaches the next generation of nurses. They can teach in both ASN and BSN programs and serve as faculty or clinical instructors. Nurse educators also conduct research, apply for grants, and help maintain clinical standards in the nursing profession1. Nurse educators are the glue that holds all of us together. None of us would be in this profession without nurse educators.
Nursing education is one of the most important fields out there. Right now, America is faced with a nursing shortage. We don’t have enough nurses to staff hospitals and nursing schools don’t have the ability to take on more students. One of the primary reasons that schools are struggling so much, is because they cannot get enough faculty to teach classes. So, to avoid spreading themselves too thin, schools are reducing class sizes and a smaller number of nurses is being put out into the workforce. This becomes an endless cycle. One way to end this cycle is to become part of the solution.
The hours are usually pretty good. Think about it, a hospital or a university is not going to need a 12 hour shift out of a nurse educator. Clinical usually happens during the day and a number of nurse educators are employed by universities. What does this mean? Goodbye night shift and goodbye working holidays! Nurse educators typically do not have the same sort of schedule that a clinical nurse has, so if you hate those overnight shifts, consider this career option.
The pay isn’t bad either! According to Johnson and Johnson, the average pay for a nurse educator is $57K-$78K. Many schools are also offering compensation for nurses to pursue this career path. For example, Duquesne offers a 30% tuition discount for graduate students who are part of a partnering organization (a list of these can be found online) and teaching assistant positions. There are also plenty of scholarship programs and loan repayment programs that can help make this career path affordable.
If you’re thinking about going onto grad school, consider the career path of nurse education! Nurse educators are important for continuing this great profession and fostering a love for patients and fellow nurses. We need more educators now more than ever, so if you’re looking for an affordable, appealing, and rewarding career, consider nurse education in your search!
Photo by Lauren Caffrey