How to Become a Nurse Educator

Continued changes in health care and a significant need for qualified nurses has resulted in rising demand for nursing educators ready to prepare nurse practitioners and leaders with the skills to succeed, and most importantly, help improve quality of life for patients.

Requirements to Become a Nurse Educator

Successful nurse educators typically embody the following qualifications:

A Passion to Teach

It’s an essential role—academic nurse educators combine experience with a passion for the field and a desire to teach the next generation of nurses and health care providers. Because teaching faculty weave personal experience from their own careers and areas of speciality into the classroom, students benefit from deeper insight into the field.

Educational Preparation

The master's in nursing education degree prepares educators for these career roles by expanding on their nursing experience and providing them with tools to teach and mentor others. Beyond instruction, the program focuses on designing and implementing courses and programs, integrating technology, creating learning assessment tools, and working to ensure students get the most current nursing skills and knowledge to practice and lead in their areas of speciality.

Nurse Educator Roles

Combining experience and continued learning opens the doors to a variety of roles and opportunities for those prepared to serve in nursing education.

Integrating Nursing Experience

Nurse educators are typically registered nurses with advanced education and training in both health care and teaching who go on to serve in instructional or administrative roles in nursing schools and programs at all levels. Depending on experience and specialized training, nursing faculty may pursue roles that include:

  • Teaching incoming nursing students.
  • Providing training in clinicals.
  • Developing continuing education curriculum.
  • Providing instruction at the master’s and doctoral levels.
  • Serving as deans or administrative leaders in schools and colleges.

Active in the Field

Throughout their careers, many nurse educators continue to practice, conduct research, or serve as administrators in health care while teaching to stay at the forefront of current trends and further their professional development. Ever-changing advances in the medical and nursing fields require faculty to continually adapt curriculum and anticipate future changes to best prepare students for work in hospitals, clinics, and other health care organizations and facilities.

Note: This information is current for the 2021-22 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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