If you’re a nursing student, or working nurse, who’d like to share your knowledge and experience as a nursing instructor, there are a few things you’ll need to consider.
First, nurse educators are registered nurses who have obtained an advanced degree. If you’re a practical, or vocational, nurse, or studying to become one, you’ll first need to get your ADN. And, since most nurse educators have extensive clinical experience, you’ll also need to spend several years working in the field…or, as many do, continue caring for patients while also teaching.
Your experience is a critical factor, since that’s how you impart practical knowledge and experiences to your students. That’s not to say academic credentials aren’t important as well. Most nurse educators have a master’s degree in nursing, although a doctorate may be required to teach at certain universities.
However, knowledge and experience alone aren’t enough. Yes, you’ll need a good grasp and in-depth knowledge of nursing theories and practices, but you’ve also got to be a good teacher. That means strong public speaking skills, being able to connect with people on a personal level and, most important, an ability to clearly explain complex nursing concepts to others.
Once you’ve accomplished all that, and if you have a real passion for achieving excellence in the profession, becoming a nurse educator can be an excellent career move. It’s fulfilling to teach some of the best and brightest young nursing candidates, of course, but the demand for nursing instructors also is quite high these days. As the demand for nursing jobs increases, those who’ve become nurse educators may be able to have their choice of employers – whether those be nursing schools or teaching hospitals.
The first step to becoming a nurse educator is to earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and become a working RN. Fortis offers ADN programs at a variety of campuses across the country providing the basic training and skills to start you on your way. Visit our nursing page to learn more about getting started with a Fortis associate degree in nursing, as well as online RN-to-BSN options through the affiliated Denver College of Nursing.
Then, when you’re ready to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing, the Denver College of Nursing’s online MSN program is an excellent option for working nurses.