Nurse educators play an important role as a bridge between the academic and clinical worlds. If you have a passion for teaching, knowledge and experience in nursing, and compassion for patient care, you might consider a rich and rewarding career in nursing education.
Key players in promoting quality, innovative education, nurse educators help to prepare future nurses for a diverse, developing healthcare environment. They serve as guides throughout the learning process, and are flexible, creative, strong communicators, and skilled critical thinkers.
As a nurse educator, you will champion evidence-based practice, design curricula and educational experiences, and teach students, clinicians, and clients.
The Nurse Educator specialization will help prepare you for a roles as an educator in either the academic or practice setting. as a certified or clinical nurse educator, staff development officer, instructional or administrative nurse faculty, dean of a college of nursing, researcher, or specialist in clinical education.
Nurse educators work to strengthen the nursing workforce, and teach future nurses, practicing nurses, nurses pursuing advanced degrees, and other healthcare providers and clients.
While nursing roles are population-focused, not setting-specific, nurse educators may work in the following academic and healthcare settings:
- Hospital-based schools of nursing
- Technical schools
- Health care organizations
- Home care agencies
- Community health agencies
- Long-term care facilities
- Online, using distance learning technology
As they are a highly sought-after role, nurse educators have the opportunity to maintain dual roles as educators and direct patient care providers. An increasing number of nurse educators teach part-time and also work in a practice setting, allowing them to share their clinical expertise with students and clinicians.
Nurses who practice in academic settings must be forward-thinking, focused on the future of nursing, and able to adapt curriculum and teaching methods to respond to the rapidly changing field of healthcare.
The ability to anticipate changes and evolving role expectations is an important skill for nurse educators who practice in a practice setting. In their role, they will advocate for resources and design and oversee learning experiences that help their team of nurses meet daily challenges.
Role Specialty Learning Outcomes
In addition to the program learning outcomes, the graduate of the MSN with a nurse educator role specialty would achieve the following role specialty learning outcomes:
- Develop curricula based on institutional mission, professional standards, educational theory and research, societal needs, and ongoing program evaluation.
- Design learning environments that provide challenges and opportunities for growth for the learner while ensuring safety, support, and resources for learning.
- Facilitate learning using a variety of teaching strategies based on theory, best evidence, teacher expertise, and appropriateness to the learner.
- Utilize formative assessment methods to provide valuable feedback to support learner development and growth.
- Design summative evaluations that are fair and objective to determine achievement of learning outcomes.
- Implement the role of an academic educator, a professional development specialist, or a patient educator in a professional, respectful, and ethical manner.
This program requires 225 clock hours of practica. The two practicum courses are in the last two terms of the MSN program and can be completed in your home community with preceptors who are nurse educators. One of these practica is in a practice setting and one in in an academic setting. The purpose of the practicum experiences is to learn about the role of a nurse educator from someone who is actually working in your desired role specialty and to provide you experiential learning in the role of a nurse educator.
Nurse Educator students may choose to participate in an optional on-campus residency program at one of USAHS’ four destination campuses.
During the residency, you will broaden your perspective through interprofessional learning activities, hone your oral presentation skills, network with alumni and health care professionals, meet one-on-one with your program director, and collaborate with peers from various programs.
Residency programs are completed in twelve hours, over two-and-a-half days. Additionally, course time will be shortened by approximately four weeks.
Graduates of our MSN with a nurse educator role specialty may pursue the following certifications:
- Nursing Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) by the National League for Nursing (NLN)
- Nursing Professional Development (RN-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students at USAHS may choose to pursue the Nurse Educator specialization, and complete the required courses. Learn more about additional nursing specializations at USAHS.
The Nurse Educator program is available to MSN students only.