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Spotlight on the Nurse Educator

Posted Oct 09 2012 11:26am

Nurse educators are advanced nursing professionals who provide instruction to nurses at various education and professional levels. According to the U.S. Department of Labor , the duties of nurse educators include demonstrating and teaching nursing students about patient care in classrooms and clinical units.

In addition to teaching, nurse educators develop lesson plans, evaluate nursing programs, and serve as coaches for students during clinical training. A nurse educator may work full time as an instructor or may combine teaching with research or nursing practice.

Most nurse educators have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and spent several years as a registered nurse before returning to school to earn a master’s or doctoral degree and begin a career in education. They serve as faculty members in nursing schools, preparing students for careers as licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. Nurse educators also provide continuing education to licensed nurses in patient care settings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are currently about 56,000 nurse educators in the United States. Nearly 90 percent are employed as faculty by universities, colleges, and nursing schools. About 3,500 nurse educators are instructors in technical schools and trade schools; another 2,700 work in general medical settings and surgical hospitals.

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook forecasting that the demand for registered nurses will grow by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, it can be expected that there will be a corresponding increase in the demand for nurse educators. The career outlook for nurse educators is especially strong due to a shortage of nurses who have chosen to devote their career to teaching.

The National League for Nursing (NLN), a professional organization for nurse educators, reports that nursing programs across the nation are rejecting qualified applicants due to the lack of qualified faculty. The nursing educator shortage is compounded by an aging faculty workforce. According to the NLN , 76 percent of full-time nurse educators were older than 45 in 2009 and 16 percent were older than 60.

Nursing@Georgetown , the innovative online program offered by Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies includes a Nurse Educator track that prepares graduates for roles in nursing education, educational research, and nurse educator leadership. Professional nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can expand upon the knowledge gained through clinical experience while acquiring the skills required for developing, evaluating, and implementing nursing curriculum.

The Nursing@Georgetown program, which combines seminar-style instruction conducted by Georgetown’s highly respected faculty and educational practicum experiences, can be completed in 18 to 24 months of full-time or part-time study. Graduates of the program are prepared to apply for the Certified Nurse Educator offered by the NLN or the Nursing Professional Development Board Certification offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Corp.

We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-HOYA (4692).

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