The need for more highly educated nurses and the growing shortage of nurse educators has broadened the career horizon for new nurse educators. The demand offers a high-level of job security and opportunities to advance quickly.
More importantly, nurse educators play a pivotal role in healthcare by strengthening the nursing workforce, serving as role models, and providing the leadership needed to implement evidence-based practice and improve patient outcomes.
Judy Burckhardt, Ph.D., MAEd, MSN, RN, Professor and Dean, Nursing and Healthcare Programs at American Sentinel University says that teaching is an integral part of nursing and that becoming a nurse educator is a natural step for many nurses.
"Whether they choose to work in the classroom or the practice setting, nurse educators prepare and mentor patient care providers and the future leaders of our profession," she says.
Dr. Burckhardt says that many nurse educators typically express a high degree of satisfaction with their work and that mentoring students and watching them gain confidence and skills are some of the most rewarding aspects of their jobs. She shares her 'Best Things About Being a Nurse Educator' for nurses considering nurse education as their career path.
Top 10 Best Things About Being a Nurse Educator:
1- The opportunity to educate nurses that will care for my loved ones and me
2- The ability to pass on what I have learned from great nurse educators
3- Hearing from previous students that their daughters/sons have gone into nursing because of their parent's experience in nursing school
4- The chance to make an impact on the future generation of nurses
5- Passing on the "tricks of the trade" to do things easier, without breaking protocols
6- Wearing a white lab coat while supervising students in clinical
7- Seeing the difference between how students appeared the first day of nursing school and seeing them function as great professional nurses in the clinical setting
8- Hearing from students that I had a positive effect on their decision to finish nursing school and become nurses
9- Working with a group of individuals that want to make the world a better place
10- Being able to replicate the activities of nurse educators who shaped who I am as a professional nurse
Dr. Burckhardt says other benefits of being a nurse educator include access to cutting-edge knowledge and research, opportunities to collaborate with health professionals, an intellectually stimulating workplace, and a flexible work environment.
She points out that The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) documented that nursing schools nationwide are struggling to find new faculty to accommodate the rising interest in nursing among new students.
"Given the growing shortage of nurse educators, the outlook is bright for nurses interested in careers in academia," adds Dr. Burckhardt. "At American Sentinel, our Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with a specialization in educational leadership was designed to provide nurse education leaders with credentials that validate credibility and competence to academic and business leaders. Students will be taught by experienced nurse educators and surrounded by colleagues who share their education-focused goals."
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.