How Do I Become a Nurse Educator?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2019
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There are many ways that a nurse can prepare to become a nurse educator. To become a nurse educator at a university teaching bachelor's level programs, it's usually necessary to have at least a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN). Excellent research skills are also important in this profession, as quality nursing care tends to depend greatly on evidence. Developing your nursing skills while increasing your education can also help you become a nurse educator.

Any opportunity you get to instruct others during your nursing career should be leveraged. For example, in some cases, a registered nurse (RN) may be called upon to teach a class for licensed practical nurses (LPNs). As part of many RN positions, instructing patients on care for their conditions can also count as experience to help further your goal to eventually become a nurse educator. Building a reputation for increasing the quality of patient care through your thorough research is a career goal for which you should strive.


Educated objectivity is crucial in nursing to ensure that all patients receive quality health care. If you are able to analyze research studies and use critical thinking skills to find evidence that may help patients, it can help you become a nurse educator who has support from higher-ups and colleagues. You must be able to see both flaws in research studies as well as possible patient benefits. Being able to explain research findings clearly based on the evidence is an essential quality of a nurse educator. Patients and nurses require clear, factual information as a way of putting research into practice.

Checking with professional nursing groups in your region or country can help you understand exactly what you need to become an educator at a university or community college level. You may be able to start with an MSN degree, but in some cases a PhD in nursing science could be required. Doctoral nursing studies usually include a focus on the profession's responsibility to society. Both statistics and philosophy tend to be strong components of doctoral nursing programs.

If you want to participate in a PhD nursing program, you may be able to do so through distance education. Some campus hours may be required in addition to the home learning, so you would have to research various options to see how they would fit in with your work schedule. A good way to learn about different educational options for nurse educators in your area is to attend an open house event and speak with both faculty and students.



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