How do I Become a Nursing Instructor?

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  • Written By: Jill Gonzalez
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2018
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To become a nursing instructor, most institutions require candidates to have an advanced degree. Having a master's degree is usually sufficient, though some employers may prefer candidates who have a doctoral degree. The advanced degree should be in nursing, or a field that is closely related in order to be acceptable. For the majority of jobs, it will also be necessary for applicants to have one or two years of experience in a surgical or medical setting. People who have just finished school and do not have any relevant work experience will not usually be considered for a teaching position.

In order to become a nursing instructor, you should also be a licensed registered nurse. It is very helpful to have several years of experience in nursing positions where you have had progressive amounts of responsibility. If you have held at least one supervisory position, it will likely be to your benefit as you search for teaching jobs.

Due to the nature of this work, people who are the most successful have an excellent understanding of the different nursing specialties. This does not necessarily mean that candidates need to have direct work experience in all of the various nursing fields, but you should at least be knowledgeable of these areas. This will most likely make you more of an asset to potential employers and might help you to land interviews.


Anyone who wants to become a nursing instructor should enjoy helping others. The nature of this job means that you will probably be spending a great deal of time in a classroom working directly with students. If you have an outgoing, approachable personality it is likely that you will be better in teaching positions than someone who prefers to work alone in more isolated settings.

If you want to become a nursing instructor, you should have very good communication skills. Talking and listening to students is an important aspect of being a good teacher. It will also be very helpful if you can communicate well in writing, as you will probably have the responsibility for grading and commenting on assignments and tests.

Some employers desire other traits in nursing instructors. In some cases, you may be asked to help create or change certain aspects of a school's nursing program. In addition, you might be asked to serve on a committee or review board to assist in maintaining the standards of the school you work for or the nursing program.



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