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Nurse Instructor Job Description, Career as a Nurse Instructor, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Master’s degree preferable and license required

Median Salary: $72,456 per year

Job Prospects: Good

Job Description

A nurse instructor teaches nursing students about a variety of different aspects of the job. These facilitators may work to teach patient care, or they may lecture on specific topics within the field of nursing. They are considered to be specialists in their field because many have worked as registered nurses before teaching students how to master the profession.

Education is a nurse instructor’s primary role. Nurse instructors teach practical ways to deal with patient care and how to diagnose and treat certain ailments in conjunction with physicians and medical staff. These teachers provide lessons and assign homework to the students in their nursing classes. They administer tests, and they oversee the work their students do in their labs.

Nurse instructors may work to educate students in a nursing program to prepare them for a career in the field. Alternatively, they may instruct already established nurses who require education in a certain area or ongoing training to keep their license current. Nurse instructors may specialize in a certain area such as biology or chemistry. They may even provide instruction on a specific topic or specialty that is pertinent to the nursing world.

Nurse instructors are responsible for all of the duties that teaching entails, including preparing lesson plans, providing instruction, setting up lab work, assigning homework, and grading the work of their students. Though they are instructors, they also need to rely on their real-life nursing experience to provide appropriate lessons to their students.

Training/Educational Requirements

To work in the role of a nurse instructor, a nurse should have a master’s degree, but this requirement may vary by location, and in some instances, a bachelor’s degree alone is enough. Whatever level of degree a nurse instructor has, the type of degree should be from a field of nursing or nursing administration to help prepare the individual appropriately for this role. Coursework in patient care, as well as in administration and education, can be quite helpful in preparing a nurse instructor for this career path.

Nurse instructors need to have a license to work as a registered nurse in their home state, and they must keep their license current through ongoing training each year. Additionally, they must work for a minimum of one year as a registered nurse before they can make the switch to be a nurse instructor. It is typical that employers may wish for more than a year of practical experience. The more real-life experience a nurse can bring to the teaching position, the better that nurse will be able to instruct students.

How to Get Hired

Nurse instructors can best serve their students if they can teach them from their own experiences in patient care. Depending on the specific type of curriculum they teach, nurse instructors may find that experience in a given area may be their best preparation for teaching. To be hired into this role, it can be helpful not only to have experience working as a registered nurse but to have a degree or coursework in nursing education or administration.

If a nurse instructor wants to focus on a particular specialty, he or she should have experience working within that area. Experience, education, and a demonstration of being able to mix the two is what will help a nurse instructor to get hired. As nurse instructors moves on within their career, having experience in providing actual instruction will be the best way to get hired.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

There is great potential for job openings for nurse instructors. Because there is always a need for more nurses, there is a need for those who instruct them. Additionally, the health care industry seems to be moving forward in a positive way, which will help to support the necessity for this role.

Nurse instructors who have worked in this capacity can expect to keep a consistent career path. They may serve in the role that they currently hold or may move on to a more specialized discipline. For those nurses who have experience within a certain specialty or specific area, there are excellent job opportunities to apply that to a role as a nurse instructor. Since registered nurses must keep up with their licensing requirements, which includes a need for ongoing education, this contributes to a likelihood for job openings for nurse instructors in the future as well.

Working Environment

The typical working environment for a nurse instructor is a classroom. Though the environment may change based on the actual discipline that nurse instructors provide, they can expect to work at least part of their time in a typical classroom. They may also teach their students in a laboratory because work done there is usually part of the curriculum. For those nurse instructors who mostly lecture, they may travel to different sites to teach students or already established registered nurses.

Nurse instructors may work for a university, at a nursing school, or even at a hospital or medical facility, which will vary the work environment. In whatever capacity that nurse instructors serve, they may expect to speak to students and provide valuable lessons. This is usually a rather laid-back environment with minimal stress involved for the actual instructor, and they may expect to work normal hours or even a flexible schedule.

Salary and Benefits

A nurse instructor usually makes about $72,456 annually. There can be salary fluctuation, however, and pay can be anywhere between $66,132 and $79,931. The range can vary due to the environment that nurse instructor works within, the size and nature of the employer, the experience that the instructor possesses, and the geographical location that that they work within. Nurse instructors can expect to receive good medical coverage, paid vacation and sick days, and some sort of retirement fund, such as a 401k. They may expect to receive a flexible work schedule, particularly as they gain more experience and credibility.

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