Are you a nurse? Do you love to teach? Did you admire your clinical instructors when you were in college? Do you love teaching your patients about their health and inform them on what to do and what not to do? Do you excitedly share new developments with your colleges, peers and superiors? Are you drawn to helping nursing students with their work? If you answered yes to most of those questions, then you are most probably slated for a career as a Nurse Educator.
In essence, all nurses are educators. They impart health teaching to their patients on daily basis. Some nurses even work solely as health educators who work in rural communities or in the industrial setting. Therefore, the move towards becoming a nurse educator is considered fairly parallel. However, there are some things required of a nurse educator that would generally only be an option for hospital staff nurses.
What is a Nurse Educator?
A Nurse Educator is a nurse who takes on a teaching role. He/she may work in a college or university. Some nurse educators also end up working in research units and even in the hospital and community setting. Their responsibilities include instructing, lesson planning, evaluating student learning and assisting learning problems. These nurses are also referred to as Clinical Instructors.
How to Become a Nurse Educator
In order to become a nurse educator, a nurse must first gain relevant on the job experience. Most universities and collegiate institutions want nurses who have at least two years of experience working as a nurse. The experience requirement helps schools to ensure that their staff has the knowledge and skill. After all, when it comes to nursing (and any other profession for that matter) not everything is learned from books. A good nurse educator must not only know how to teach students to insert a catheter, he/she has to know how to do it in practice also.
Nurse Educators, especially those working in universities and colleges, are usually required to get their masterís degree. This helps them gain professorship in the educational establishment that they work in. Some schools provide their staff with scholarship programs others do not. Nurse educators may also be required to attend teaching seminars and workshops.
Hospital nurses also have the option of gaining a Masterís Degree. Doing so will help them move up Ė professionally.
Opportunities for Career Improvement
Nurse Educators also have the option of moving up the career ladder. Exceptional individuals are usually offered better positions and higher pays. Those who have completed their Masterís degree and maybe even gained a doctorate may also be offered administrative positions and even deanship.
It is a well-known fact that most developed countries are struggling with a shortage in nursing human resource. To augment that need, countries like the Philippines, India, Japan, China, etc. are churning out nurses like crazy. That directly translates into a need for more nursing schools and nurse educators. The United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries are also working hard to produce their own crop of nurses. That is the reason why nurse educators are sure to find employment in any country they want to. All they need is a love for teaching, the right skill and the right background.
Nurse Educators may also work in the hospital setting as training officers.
Nurse Educators are an integral part of the nursing profession. These nurses are the ones responsible for shaping the future crop of nurses. Their lessons and teaching methods will directly affect the health care practice of future nurses. Therefore, these nurses must be highly skilled. Other than that, they also need to have a drive to teach. Patience is Key too.