Become A Nursing Instructor

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It’s no secret that health care is one of the fastest growing fields, due in large part to new demands placed on the system. With that in mind, clinics and hospitals around the country may be struggling to keep up with the increased demand for doctors, nurses and other care providers.

As with any other profession, nurses must be trained. While some learning may be done on the job, it’s also critical that prospective nurses and nurse practitioners have a firm grounding in the fundamentals of their field, which requires specialized instructors who can ensure all educational objectives are met.

Nurse instructors occupy a space in the health care world that straddles the line between clinician and teacher. Because of the subject matter they focus on, it’s necessary for them to be well versed in the field of nursing. However, their roles as educators differ from that of patient facing nurses, and this profession may be an excellent choice for someone interested in a career in health care but who does not want to work in a clinical environment.


Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an online nursing instructor program.

Just like the name implies, nursing instructors must first and foremost be nurses. This means that the first steps toward becoming an educator in this field are the same as those for someone who wants to work in a clinical setting. Nurse instructors must go through the same process that registered nurses do. This requires a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree in nursing, as well as passing state specific licensure examinations.

Before becoming an instructor, it’s not uncommon for prospective teachers to work as a registered nurse in a clinical environment. Like other academic professionals, nursing instructors also must pursue higher education at the master’s or doctorate level in education to be certified as teachers. As a result, some may choose to work in a strictly academic setting, such as a college or university program teaching undergraduate students.

Although nursing instructors typically don’t practice regularly, it’s still advised that they keep up with developments in the medical world as they pertain to new treatment methods, medications and other procedures and policies that can affect patient outcomes. One of the more common work environments for nursing instructors is in a college or a teaching hospital.


Some common courses include:

Teaching Strategies in Nursing This course may cover how to teach nursing at different levels. You could learn how to use proven classroom methods and reach diverse learners.

Teaching Practicum You could get the chance to try out the role of Nurse Educator in this course. In many cases, you’ll practice teaching with the guidance of an expert educator.

Course Development In this course, you could learn how to create course plans that engage students. You may cover theories, methods, and how to teach in diverse settings.

Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing Learn how to test nursing students to find out if they are on track. This course may teach you the methods you need to evaluate learners.


The dual nature of a nursing instructor degree means that graduates are free to pursue careers in either field. Candidates may have flexibility in the extent to which they want to focus on medical professions rather than educational ones.


These professionals teach up and coming classes of prospective nurses. Depending on the level of study being taught, some may choose to specialize in a given area – for example obstetrics or nurse anesthesia. Nursing instructors typically work in colleges or universities, but can also work directly with practicing nurses and residents in hospitals as well.

Median Salary: See the BLS for median annual salary information

Job Growth Through 2028: 19% (much faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Master’s degree


This job is well suited for those who want to take on a more administrative role. They can work either with hospitals and clinics, managing the day to day operations including budget, patient scheduling and other personnel issues, or with insurance companies and other third-party organizations. They frequently interact with doctors and clinicians to liaise between practitioners and insurance companies.

Median Salary: See the BLS for median annual salary information

Job Growth Through 2028: 23% (much faster than average)

Typical Entry level Education: Bachelor’s degree

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EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.