What Degree do I need to teach??

  1. 0
    Hi Everyone.

    Is anybody out there able to tll me what kind of education I need in order to teach, for example, clinical instructor (if I decided) or Nurse Educator. Do I need to have a Master's Degree in Education, or is it possible to have a Masters as an NP, Mgmt Degree, etc. I'm not sure the best route to go, since I'm not sure at this point what I want to do. I appreciate all your help. Thanks!!
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Most programs require that you have at least a Master's, although some community colleges till use BSN-prepared people, esp. as clinical instructors. Many BSN programs prefer doctorally-prepared people, but often have a mix of Master's- and doctorally-prepared faculty.

    It doesn't have to be an MSN in education; schools try to have nursing faculty with a wide variety of clinical backgrounds -- advanced practice, management, informatics, etc -- and they often specifically want faculty with an advanced degree, certification and extensive clinical experience in the specific area they will be teaching. Actually, over the years I've been in and out of nursing education, I've run into only a few people who did have an MSN in nursing education -- most have a clinical/practice degree.

    My advice (for what it's worth ) would be to take the time to figure out what you really want to do before getting into a grad program -- don't just do it for the sake of doing it, and don't just get into whatever program is easiest or most convenient. Whatever graduate degree you pursue, you're going to put a lot of time, blood, sweat, tears, and $$$ into getting it -- it might as well be something that you really want.
  5. 0
    Yes, you should have at least a Master's Degree to teach -- but a few schools allow the lowest level of clinical instructors to have a BSN.

    As far as what to major in, that depends on what you want to teach. Ideally, you would have a Master's Degree with a concentration that supports what you want to teach -- and work experience in that field. Coursework in Nursing Education (and the new certification in nursing education) would also be helpful -- but is not usually required -- though it may be required in the future.

    I know I may not have cleared things up for you with my response. But the truth is, there is no one right answer ... no one right degree. Ideally, someone teaching at the university level has both a graduate degree and work experience in the field they are teaching in addition to courses and experience that taught them how to be a teacher. However, few people have the perfect combination and schools tend to be willing to make a few compromises if the applicant is the best one available for the job.

    My suggestion is to decide what type of nursing you would like to specialize in and focus on that to begin with. Also try to get some teaching experience along the way -- perhaps along with taking a few nursing education classes as part of your Master's program. Then you will be well-rounded and well-prepared for any one of a number of career paths that might be available to you in the future.

    Good luck.

    llg
  6. 0
    I agree with Elkpark. Decide BEFORE you get into a masters program. I did it kinda backward. Originally, when I wanted to go to grad school, I thought that I wanted to go into management, so I got an MSN in management and leadership. However, then, I realized I didn't like management. So...went back for a post-MSN clinical nurse specialist. I'm very happy with my decision. With an MSN I can teach. However, if I had an MS in education I couldn't.
  7. 0
    Hahahahaha... I see that as I was typing, elkpark was posting almost the same response!

    I guess great minds think alike.

    llg
  8. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I agree with Elkpark. Decide BEFORE you get into a masters program. I did it kinda backward. Originally, when I wanted to go to grad school, I thought that I wanted to go into management, so I got an MSN in management and leadership. However, then, I realized I didn't like management. So...went back for a post-MSN clinical nurse specialist. I'm very happy with my decision. With an MSN I can teach. However, if I had an MS in education I couldn't.
    I also started out believing I wanted management, then switched to CNS. Fortunately, I changed my mind early in my MSN program and was able to flip-flop my major/minor. I started out as an Administration major with a Perinatal minor --- but graduated as a Perinatal major with an Administration minor. I also took some Nursing Education courses as electives, making me about as well-rounded as I could get.

    I have no regrets as I have been able to slip in and out of a variety of roles over the years. I'm not limited by having focused too narrowly at the Master's level.

    llg
  9. 0
    Quote from llg
    Hahahahaha... I see that as I was typing, elkpark was posting almost the same response!

    I guess great minds think alike.

    llg
    LOL -- I'll take that as my compliment for the day. Back atcha, girlfriend!

    I, too, took an MSN in my clinical specialty (child psych CNS) but took the education courses offered by my program as electives. I have been able to move back and forth between clinical practice and nursing education as I choose.
  10. 0
    I had several education courses in my MSN also. I'm actually thinking about doing some part-time teaching as well.
  11. 0
    You guys are the best! I only joined this forum a few days ago after stumbling across it accidentally. I am so glad I did. You all have some really great advice, and you can never hear too much of that. I'm open to hear any additional advice, but you are all helping me already. Thanks again!!
  12. 0
    Any suggestions for getting over this public speaking fear that I have. I've been told I'm a really good teacher (which is usually one on one), but even though I have considered teaching I still have a fear of being the center of attention. Surprising to everybody I work with since I'm one of the most outspoken!! I've taken a public speaking class which didn't help at all.
    Last edit by TRAUMARN96 on Aug 6, '06


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