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Higher Education
June 3, 2024

Should I Be a Nurse or a Teacher? How About Both!


Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

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Ever feel torn between a passion for nursing and a love for teaching? See how a career as a nurse educator lets you follow both dreams. The traditional dilemma of choosing between becoming a nurse or a teacher is no longer a strict either/or decision. In fact, blending these two professions has become a rewarding option for those passionate about healthcare and education.

What is a Nurse Educator?

A nurse educator is a registered nurse (RN) who combines their clinical expertise with a passion for teaching. These professionals play a pivotal role in the healthcare system by educating and training the next generation of nurses. 

Nurse educators work in academic settings, such as colleges and universities, as well as in clinical environments, including hospitals and healthcare facilities. They are responsible for developing curricula, designing and implementing educational programs, and mentoring nursing students and new nurses. Their goal is to ensure that future nurses are well-prepared to meet the demands of the healthcare environment.

A nurse educator makes an average of $102,904 per year. 

Alignment of Teaching & Nursing

According to the National League for Nursing (NLN), there are competencies that nurse educators must meet that show where teaching and nursing align. Here are some of them:

  • Facilitate Learning
  • Use Assessment and Evaluation Strategies
  • Participate in Curriculum Design and Evaluation of Program Outcomes
  • Function as a Change Agent and Leader
  • Engage in Scholarship

Where do Nurse Educators Work?

According to Nurse Journal, there are three main settings where they work. 

  • College/Universitysome text
    • Nurse educators lecture, act as clinical supervisors, develop curriculum, serve on committees, and advise students.
  • Medical Center/Hospitalsome text
    • Nurse educators staff professional development, mentor nurses, participate in peer review committees, manage grant proposals, and advise leadership and staff. In acute care, they may collaborate with quality improvement departments to ensure the highest quality of care.
  • Businessessome text
    • Nurse educators coach wellness and health seminars, lead CPR, first aid, and similar programs, and instruct continuing education and professional development classes.

Shortage of Nurse Educators 

Nurse educators are desperately needed, so you don’t have to worry about job security. There are a few staggering statistics that highlight the importance of nurse educators in the U.S.:

  • A survey of nursing schools identified 2,166 full-time faculty vacancies. In addition to the vacancies, schools cited the need to create an additional 128 faculty positions to accommodate student demand. (Source: AACN)
  • Nursing schools turned away 91,938 qualified applications from nursing programs in 2021, with one factor being an insufficient number of faculty. (Source: AACN)
  • Nurse educator job openings will increase at a faster-than-average rate of 22% through 2030. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Future of Nursing Education

The future of nursing education is set to undergo transformative changes, leveraging advanced technologies and innovative teaching methodologies. As the healthcare landscape evolves, so too must the education systems that prepare nurses to meet these new challenges. 

Central to this transformation is the integration of immersive virtual reality (VR) platforms, such as UbiSim, which are redefining how nursing students acquire skills and knowledge.

Learn more about UbiSim.

Final Thoughts

As a nurse educator, you'll play a pivotal role in preparing the next generation of nurses to be skilled, competent, and compassionate professionals. This career path is more than just a job; it's a commitment to lifelong learning, personal growth, and the profound satisfaction that comes from helping others reach their full potential. 

By merging your passion for nursing with your love for teaching, you’ll make a lasting impact on both your students and the healthcare system as a whole.

Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution?
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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

As an integral center of UbiSim's content team, Ginelle pens stories on the rapidly changing landscape of VR in nursing simulation. Ginelle is committed to elevating the voices of practicing nurses, nurse educators, and program leaders who are making a difference.

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