Move into a Role as a Nurse Educator with Advanced Nursing Education

The U.S. is facing a nursing shortage. The American Nurses Association predicts that between 2018 and 2022, the job market for registered nurses will dominate over any other profession. According to 2018 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care system needs 1.1 million more nurses to prevent a further shortage.

The shortage is attributable to many factors including:

  • An aging nursing workforce that’s close to retirement
  • An aging population putting an increased strain on the health care system
  • A lack of potential nurse educators.

Nurse educators must prepare the next generation of nurses to enter the workforce. In addition to educating the next generation of nurses, this position provides a platform to enhance the quality of health care and improve patient outcomes. Programs like a Norwich University’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree prepares individuals to enter into this field.

What Is Nursing Education?

Nursing education includes post-secondary education programs such as bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as specialized training programs for practicing nurses. A precise nursing education definition, however, isn’t limited to just learning technical competencies and obtaining health care knowledge. Nursing education also focuses on the values and perspectives that health care professionals should bring to work with them each day to improve patient and facility outcomes.

Guiding the next generation of nurses is a significant responsibility. For this reason, nurse educators must understand the latest trends and regulations affecting health care delivery. Aspiring nurse educators should possess clinical experience and a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the health care system and treating patients. An advanced education, such as an MSN, is common among future nurse educators who must have advanced knowledge and leadership skills to teach in nursing schools and teaching hospitals. Once nursing educators secure a teaching position, they often seek certificates and continuing education opportunities to remain current on current practices in their fields.

Norwich University Prepares Students for a Role in Nurse Education

For ambitious nurses passionate about enriching the educational experience of nursing students, the online Master of Science in Nursing offered at Norwich University delivers the knowledge and skills considered fundamental for most nursing education positions. This program provides a Nursing Education concentration with a curriculum that enhances a student’s knowledge of clinical concepts and supports the development of specific leadership skills vital to producing highly-skilled nurse educators. The Nursing Education concentration consists of five courses:

  • Clinical Concepts: Advanced Pharmacology
  • Clinical Concepts: Advanced Health Assessment
  • Clinical Concepts: Pathophysiology for Disease Management
  • Curriculum and Instruction: Theory and Methods
  • The Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation

Clinical Concepts: Advanced Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their effect on the body. A strong understanding of pharmacology is critical to ensure that patients receive the proper medication at the right time and in the correct dosage, without complications or conflicts with other administered medications. Clinical Concepts: Advanced Pharmacology helps nurses deepen their knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics while providing an advanced understanding of safe medication practices.

Clinical Concepts: Advanced Health Assessment

Conducting an advanced health assessment requires evaluating at a patient’s medical history, administering a physical examination, and cross-referencing other relevant information such as the patient’s nutritional profile. Clinical Concepts: Advanced Health Assessment deepens critical analysis skills and diagnostic reasoning essential in conducting an accurate health assessment. The course also focuses on the importance of clear, detailed patient communication.

Clinical Concepts: Pathophysiology for Disease Management

Pathophysiology processes for disease management provide nurses with a thorough understanding of how diseases and common health problems impact body functions. Clinical Concepts: Pathophysiology for Disease Management explores how disease prevention and health promotion impact patients throughout their lives. The course also covers pharmacologic treatments and interventions for a range of health programs.

Curriculum and Instruction: Theory and Methods

Becoming a skilled nursing teacher requires a combination of theory-based knowledge and hands-on experience.  Curriculum and Instruction: Theory and Methods provides students with an in-depth understanding of curriculum development and teaching theory as well as practical experience. Students have the opportunity to work with mentors in educational roles. Other real-world experiences include developing a mock course and critiquing an existing curriculum.

The Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation

Creating effective, engaging curricula and evaluating students are two important responsibilities for most teaching positions. The Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Evaluation provides students with the tools to complete educational evaluation, measurement and assessment of students in various nursing contexts, including clinical evaluation.

Essential Skills of the Nurse Educator

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that business-related skills, such as strong leadership and management abilities, are key to nurse educator positions. Students must view nurse educators as professional, confident leaders. Strong communication skills also help nurse educators build collaborative relationships in the classroom.

Besides, nurse educators require strong clinical and technical skills based on the most current evidence and best practices, according to the WHO.  As the health care field evolves with new techniques and concepts, nurse educators must remain current in the field to educate students using the most current data.

Learn How to Advance in Nursing Education

Norwich University offers relevant and applicable programs that prepare students to make a positive impact in their work and communities. Explore Norwich’s online Master of Science in Nursing to learn how this program provides the leadership skills and clinical knowledge to take on the important challenge of educating the next generation of nurses.

Recommended Readings
How to Become a Nurse Educator: Leading the Next Generation of Nurses
5 Nursing Theories for Nurse Educators
6 Common Nurse Leadership Jobs for Master of Science in Nursing Graduates


Nursing Shortage, NCBI
Master of Science in Nursing, Norwich University
Nursing Instructor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Nurse Educator Core Competencies, World Health Organization
AACN’s Vision for Academic Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Article Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership & Education 0 Norwich University Online September 30th, 2019 Nurse educators help train nurses to meet growing demand.