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How to Become a Certified Nurse Educator
May 8, 2013 by Sarah, BSN, RN
Nurse educators are vital to strengthening the workforce of the nursing profession. These special role models are leaders who implement various evidence-based practices in the nursing profession. Every profession is made possible by an exceptional teacher who teaches specialized skills to the best of their knowledge. The nursing profession is filled with professionals who can provide nursing care and teach in the practice and classroom settings.
Nurse Educator Job Description
Nurse educators are registered nurses with an advanced education in nursing. The advanced training may include a health care focus in a particular area of nursing. They can provide their services on a part-time or full-time basis at the college or university level teaching potential nurses about the profession.
- Curriculum designing
- Evaluating learning experiences
- Course development
- Documenting educational outcomes
- Teaching and guiding those who want to learn
Professional titles that nurse educators can assume outside of the hospital setting include staff development officer, administrative nurse faculty, instructional nurse faculty, and continuing education specialist. These individuals help their students and coworkers determine their educational needs and identify strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, nurse educators create learning opportunities that that build upon the students’ current strengths and weaknesses.
Additional responsibilities of nurse educators include the following:
- Writing grants
- Advising nursing students
- Maintaining a high level of clinical competence
- Engaging in various scholarly activities
- Participating in peer reviews
- Participating in professional associations
- Playing a leadership role in the academic community
- Presenting and speaking at nursing conferences
Many nurse educators work part-time teaching while working in clinical settings so that they can maintain a high level of competence in nursing while sharing their knowledge with new nurses. Most nurse educators teach nursing coursework in their particular area(s) of expertise that may include cardiology, acute care, oncology. mental health. family health, and pediatrics .
Nurse Educator Certification
Nurses must first graduate from an accredited college or university with a masters degree in nursing. They must first certify as a registered nurse by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
The certificate to become a nurse educator is available through the National League for Nursing. The examination that nurses must successful pass is the certified nurse educator (CNE) examination. The examination is available to take year-round at various assessment centers so nurses must check with their local nursing school to determine the specific requirements to sit for the examination.
Becoming certified as a nurse educator is not a requirement by facilities of higher learning, but it is preferred and may increase marketability in many cases. When nurses pass this examination, they let their current employers know that they have an exceptional level of expertise in nursing and that they are up to date with the current national nursing standards.
The eligibility requirements to sit for the CNE examination include holding a current, active license as a registered nurse, receiving a masters or doctoral degree in the area of nursing, and completing 5 years of full-time nursing experience. For those who want to focus on nursing instruction, there are additional requirements that include two years of related experience as a nurse working in a nurse facility and 4 years of experience if the graduate degree in nursing did not have an emphasis in education.
Nurse Educator Salary
Although the most lucrative nursing jobs are for doctorally-prepared nursing personnel, nurse educators can still earn lucrative salaries. Full-time nurse educators can earn a nursing salary of $25,000 to $100,000 annually. The average nurse educators salary for those holding masters degrees earned $49,000 annually while nurse educators with doctoral degrees earned annual wages of $61,000. For nurse educators working in a hospital and educational institution dually, the wages can increase significantly more.
Nurse educators in an administrative or leadership role earn very high salaries. Nursing school deans can earn well over $100,000 annually. Assistant deans earn annual salaries of $71,857 and $92,469 while associate deans with doctoral degrees earn wages of $93,442 and $111,036 annually. Experience and location also play a role in the annual wages.
Nurse Educator Jobs Outlook
Nursing jobs for nurse educators have very promising careers that can carry over to many setting, including hospitals, colleges and universities, distance learning programs, technical colleges, junior colleges, long-term care facilities, community health agencies, and home care agencies.
The nursing shortage has created an even greater need for qualified nurse educators to work in a variety of setting. The 20% increase in nursing positions may very well increase even higher than expected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) over the next decade.
Nurse educators play an intricate role in the nursing profession. They are the trained, experienced individuals who are responsible for educating novice nurses and experienced nurses. Nurse educators help others reach their educational goals.
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