Whether someone is self-taught or has completed a formal education program, everyone needs education at some point in their life. Specialized knowledge and skills further our place in the world.
Regarding nursing education, keeping up with the ever-evolving healthcare environment is crucial. According to Nursing2022, clinical nurse educators (CNEs) are “devoted to teaching nurses who work in healthcare facilities the skills and knowledge needed to provide the best possible care to their patients. These educators are respected nurses with strong organizational and leadership skills.”
The number of nurse educators available to instruct the next generation of nursing students is dwindling, so aspiring nurse educators have an opportunity to enter a stable, in-demand job market. Programs like the William Paterson University online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nursing Education program can prepare you for a rewarding career as a nurse educator.
What Is Causing the Shortage?
The number of nurses is decreasing due to multiple factors within the healthcare industry. However, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a few specific issues are mainly responsible for the faculty shortage:
- The average faculty professor age ranges from 50.9 to 62.6 years for those with doctorates, and many nurses in the workplace are reaching retirement age.
- Nurses are reaching their certified status at later stages in their careers, reducing the number of years they can teach.
- Many nurses are straying away from nurse education because they want to make more money by entering the clinical or private-sector setting.
- Higher education, such as master’s and doctoral programs, are not receiving the same number of students who want to continue their education in nursing.
The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to the shortage in staggering numbers. Healthcare facilities are recognizing these factors and addressing the need for more nurse education programs throughout the country. This response sets up a cycle of success. Focusing on nursing education ensures younger nurses successfully enter and thrive in the education workforce.
The Stability of a Nurse Educator Career
Nurses who decide to become nurse educators can work in a stable environment for one key reason: nurse educators are in high demand. As a result, various institutions have already implemented plans to retain more current nurse educators and provide them with the job security they deserve.
Nurse educators also experience fewer obstacles than in a clinical setting. For example, health systems and other healthcare facilities are often subject to staff turnover. Alternatively, educators are solely responsible for their classes and are not required to enter turbulent clinical environments to perform their work.
A nurse educator’s daily job is somewhat predictable, meaning they know curriculum timelines. This consistency also contrasts with the clinical setting. Nurses working with patients typically encounter unpredictable situations while on the job.
Job outlook relies on supply and demand, and analysts are optimistic about the job outlook for nurse educators.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the median salary for nurse educators is $77,440. Currently, there are about 68,060 nurse educators teaching in the nation.
Many current nurse educators will retire within the next few years, creating more job opportunities for newly graduated nurse educators.
Maximize Your Nurse Education Skills With an MSN Degree
One way to maximize your nursing skills and move into the field of education is to earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Those who enroll in the online MSN – Nursing Education program at William Paterson University will accelerate their career and flourish as nurse leaders in various healthcare environments.
Students will enrich their nursing knowledge and build a solid foundation of educational skills. This intensive program allows students to earn their degree in as few as 12 months. In addition, its structure provides students the platform to analyze changes in the healthcare system through designing and implementing health-related projects that strengthen healthcare delivery system outcomes.
For example, the Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse course covers the basics of evidence-based knowledge among the leadership of advanced practice nurses. In the Population Health, Legislation and Social Policy course, students focus on the social determinants of health and social policy development.
Future nurse educators will obtain the knowledge required to earn influential roles such as patient educators, program managers, military nursing educators or hospital nurse educators.
Learn more about the William Paterson University MSN – Nursing Education online program.