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Adjunct Nurse Educator

Specializes in NICU, Acute Rehab, Med/Surg, Quality. Has 30 years experience.

How would I get into the field of internet adjunct teaching? The only prior experience I have at educating is teaching 4th graders. I am about to earn my MSN in nursing degree. I currently am a BSN nurse. Any pointers from anyone? I want to be strictly online, no class room or meetings to attend on campus.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

If you have been a teacher, with a degree in that field, you already know that education is a completely separate discipline than nursing. Likewise, adult/higher ed is completely different than teaching kiddos. Most colleges will require you to have some evidence of knowledge & skills in adult/higher ed in order to be hired as adjunct because faculty qualifications are very important for national & regional accreditation. I think that there are some programs that will hire absolute beginner MSNs (no relevant teaching experience) as clinical instructors, but not as instructors for theory courses. These schools have the resources to provide essential training and extensive orientation to new faculty.

With a BSN, you may be able to teach in an LP/VN program. You'll have to poke around and find one that has online courses. Most of these programs are not nationally accredited, so they have to meet rules outlined by their state "approvers" (for most it is the BON, but not always).

LOL - don't expect to make a living wage. Adjunct faculty, even those with doctorates, are very poorly paid & very few have any employer-sponsored benefits.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I have been doing some adjunct online work for a few years now. Nationally, the average pay is something like $2500 per course per full semester. (I make slightly less than that and I have been doing it for a few years for the same school and have a PhD + 30 years of experience in Nursing Professional Development. If I am acting as the Course Coordinator instead of just an instructor, I make almost twice that much -- but they usually want a full time faculty member for that role.)

So ... my first suggestion is to get a "day job" to support yourself, get you health insurance, a retirement fund, etc. Then you make contacts with your local schools to see if they are looking for some help. It is unlikely that they will hire someone with no experience to teach several courses right off the bat ... but you might be able to pick up a course or two per year to start with. If you do a good job, you are likely to be given further opportunities in subsequent semesters. You can also go to the websites of the big online schools and check out their postings for faculty openings -- and send in your application. I had a friend who did that and got hired by one of the big for-profit schools that way.

Good luck!


Specializes in NICU, Acute Rehab, Med/Surg, Quality. Has 30 years experience.

Thanks... I have a full-time job as a Clinical Quality Analyst. I just want to teach on the side online to one day supplement my retirement. I am two hours from the closest university but there is a community college here just outside of town. I might try there once I graduate with my MSN-Edu. I appreciate your responses.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 8 years experience.

In my program, we have TA but they all have masters or doctorates. All online. ia-connect.com I looked into requirements because I have a masters in teaching. They require a MSN.

Nationally, the average pay is something like $2500 per course per full semester.

Is this for undergraduate or graduate online adjunct positions? Does the amount increase for graduate level? I have a year of previous full time undergraduate faculty experience with an MSN in education and a post master's as an FNP. I am considering getting a DNP just for the benefit of reentering the educational realm one day, so I am trying to sort of do a cost-benefit analysis of the financial aspect of "buying" a DNP to be able to adjunct in an FNP program in the future. Sounds like it might not be worth the $20,000 to get the DNP if that is my only reason to pursue a doctorate.