Suppose that you’re interested in learning and developing others. In that case, you might consider a career in nurse education or learning and development facilitation. Education positions are found in both educational and clinical settings. You could create, implement and deliver strategies to meet the educational needs of nurses or other multi-professional students, always ensuring best practices and evidence-based care. Depending on the role, you could be working in a university, college or healthcare setting.
One of the primary causes of the nursing shortage is a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario. More registered nurses (RN) are needed to fill clinical positions in the US. Still, there aren’t enough nurse educators to guide RNs through their education and training. Ultimately, whether the nursing shortage is caused by a lack of educators or a lack of licensed nurses in the field, finding a solution to both is the most pressing priority. Nurses’ educational opportunities extend beyond teachers. These professionals can act as mentors and guides, assisting new and experienced nurses in developing the skills required to provide excellent care. The following are some of the various career paths that nurses can take.
Lecturer in mental health nursing
As a lecturer in mental health nursing, you would teach students who have chosen mental health nursing as their nursing specialty. You would be in charge of finding appropriate placements in mental health facilities and assisting students during their practical training. You must have a first degree in nursing and be registered as a mental health nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You must also have extensive post-qualifying clinical experience as a mental health nurse. Previous teaching and mentoring experience is preferred. After gaining teaching experience and additional qualifications, you could advance to the senior lecturer position in mental health nursing. There is a high demand for mental health professionals who can use their knowledge to train new employees.
Academic nurse educator
Instructing future nurses, the academic nurse educator plays an important role. Colleges, universities, and nursing technical schools all have openings. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 75,029 qualified candidates were turned down by nursing schools in the US in 2018. Nursing faculty conduct research and scholarly work, counsel students, and present at conferences. While most of their time is spent teaching nursing students, many nurse educators continue to work in a clinical setting to keep their technical skills sharp.
Nursing professional development practitioner
Nursing professional development specialists train new and experienced nursing staff to take on new or different roles in the workplace. In addition, they assist newly licensed nurses in transitioning to professional practice and experienced nurses transitioning from one organization, specialty or position to another. The goal in all of these situations is to help nurses gain competence and confidence in their practice and foster their ongoing growth and development.
Nurse consultants ensure that healthcare facilities provide the best possible patient care. Nurse consultants are typically assigned to departments such as pediatrics, women’s health, oncology or geriatrics. They evaluate patients’ treatment plans, make recommendations for improving programs, train nurses on specific topics, or make other changes in a department. In addition, nurse consultants frequently observe or interview patients and nurses to make the most effective improvement suggestions.
You must be an RN with a valid license and several years of work experience before you can teach nursing. Most nurse educators have completed further education. With the supply and demand for more nurses, there isn’t a shortage of programs available at universities around the country. For example, the University of Indianapolis nurse educator program is led by award-winning clinicians who are known for their innovation and who bring real-world experience to the classroom.
You may also want to pursue a post-certificate master’s or degree in education and certification in your field of expertise. Nurse educators must be good teachers and have the required knowledge and clinical experience. This means that you must have exceptional communication skills, be fearless in public, have an easy rapport with others, and be able to explain complex concepts to students clearly.
If you’re a current nursing student or an RN looking for a way to expand your career opportunities, learn more about nurse educator programs and apply today. You have the potential to make a significant contribution to the education of future generations of nursing professionals.