Clinical Educator Interviews....No Success

by nursejcarrie nursejcarrie Member

Specializes in Cardiovascular/Telemetry/Stroke.

I really need to vent and I'm not sure where else to go. I am 9 days (whew!) from finishing my MSN. My dream job is to be a clinical educator in a hospital setting. Over the last 9 months, I have had three clinical educator interviews (twice for the same position!) and have not gotten the job on any of them. :( I thought this last interview went EXTREMELY well, as I had done the clinical part of my MSN experience at this facility and my preceptor even interviewed me! I find out that a nurse who is going for her MSN (about 2 years out) and who doesn't have her BSN received the position over me.

I just wish I knew what I was doing wrong in my interviews. The light I saw at the end of the tunnel is fading fast, and I feel like I am never going to get my dream job. I am getting really burned out in my current position; unfortunately, in the area that I am in, there are currently no education jobs to apply for. I don't understand it.........I apply for jobs on my organization's website and then a few weeks later, they disappear. I am NEVER notified that these positions were filled. I never get an interview and never get an email about the job! IT'S SO FRUSTRATING!!!!

Sorry everyone, I just needed to it too much to ask to find a clinical educator job??????

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 14 years experience. 33 Articles; 13,714 Posts

Can you ask them for feedback, find out what they were looking for? Do you have experience in clinical education aside from your MSN project? I can only imagine that the person who was selected for the position might already have experience in the role. I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating, but don't give up on your dream. I hope something even better comes along for you.



Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience. 1,224 Posts

I just applied for a similar job that I would like to get my feet wet with about two weeks ago and HR hasn't even called me back yet.

I know our HR is notorious for being slow but I always feel like when they post those jobs that unfortunately they already have a staff member in mind to fill it.

Still going to keep looking though, good luck to you!

Lunah, MSN, RN

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 14 years experience. 33 Articles; 13,714 Posts

I just applied for a similar job that I would like to get my feet wet with about two weeks ago and HR hasn't even called me back yet.

Do you know the hiring manager? Maybe a friendly accidental meeting with you just happening to have a copy of your resume in hand could be arranged? :)



Specializes in Medical-Surgical/Float Pool/Stepdown. Has 6+ years experience. 1,224 Posts

Do you know the hiring manager? Maybe a friendly accidental meeting with you just happening to have a copy of your resume in hand could be arranged? :)

I just received an email from the hiring manager today and as I thought, they already had someone for the job already.

It just seems to be this way at my work when advancement opportunities arise. Funny though how often they are hiring really green nurses into these jobs for education, quality, etc. even though it states at least three years experience.

I wonder if they think the more experienced nurses are just settled or what. I have five years of trauma/surgical/float bedside experience so far - haven't updated my AN account in a while :whistling: -

I was hoping to get interview experience and get on the radar by applying anyways. Hey at least I'm on the radar! Oh well, on to starting a Master's anyways!


dudette10, MSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics. Has 11 years experience. 1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Like anything else to do with nursing, they hire the least expensive people, regardless of their ability to do the job well. I couldn't imagine a newer nurse with only 1 year experience being an effective nurse educator. They simply don't know enough. Hell, some of my coworkers--even with years of experience--would suck at it.

My facility hired a nurse educator from the floor with considerable bedside experience, and she just didn't know what to do. Half the time, she is helping the charge with floor management because she was is lost to what a nurse educator should be doing.

Administration doesn't value nurse educators, in my opinion. It's a necessary evil to them, so a warm body will do.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience. 9,051 Posts

I suggest you get yourself involved in any "education" opportunity that comes around - Preceptor, BLS instructor, Unit skills checkoff, EHR training, .... anything. Workplace education is normally a stepwise progression. I started as an ICU preceptor then gradually began helping with inservices until I was offered the full-time unit based educator job. I began my masters at that point. I was lucky enough to climb the clinical education ladder via a series of jobs - in nursing, quality, HR/OD, and corporate roles. It's been a real adventure. But all of those jobs built on the skills, knowledge, abilities & connections I had made in the previous jobs.

Hang in there. Make yourself visible to the decision makers & build your reputation as a highly competent go-to person with enormous capacity for adapting to new situations and willingness to take the lead whenever it is offered. You'll get there.

Like my granny used to tell me when I upset by a sad movie .... "I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but everything will turn out OK"



Specializes in Vascular Access Nurse. Has 5 years experience. 40 Posts

If the facility has a nurse recruiter or a specific person handling the interview process I would try and speak with them. Don't say "I want this job" ask "What can I do to better my chances of getting this job". Ask them if you can improve on anything specific so the next time you can be more prepared.

I also agree with some previous comments. Sometimes they interview but already have a person in mind who has demonstrated they would be a good fit for the job. Try to help out with any educational projects you can! That will not only give you experience but it will also make you more known.

Good luck! I hope it works out for you!

BeenThereDoneThat74, MSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 27 years experience. 1,937 Posts

I realize this is a few months old, but just wondering if you'd had any luck in finding a job. I had a few questions: what does your resume look like (besides your new MSN)? Have you done anything related to education (maybe precepting)? What does your nursing experience look like? In some institutions, they are looking for nurses with a wide net of experience (depending on who you would be overseeing as an educator). They may need someone with med surg AND critical care.

The other thing is this: they may have went with someone who has more education experience than you. I am in academia right now, looking to transition into a hospital educator role. It has been rough for me; the most common things I hear is that I don't have current/relevant hospital experience (working on that now, as I am working per diem in the field I am interested in), and that I don't have staff development experience. I was turned down for a position that was given to someone who has staff ed experience, who is older (likely more years experience) but only has her MS degree for about a year (I met her and she told me). I have had my MS for two years now, and has been teaching in academia for eleven. That's just how it goes sometimes :/



Specializes in Cardiovascular/Telemetry/Stroke. 24 Posts

So it's funny, another Clinical Educator position became available in my hospital on August 1. I applied for it immediately. And once again, they hired someone else for the position, and this person is from outside of our organization. In the past, I have been told that I have been away from direct patient care for too long----I am currently an ER care manager. This time, I was told that I don't have enough education experience to perform the job well. Funny thing is, this isn't even a requirement for the position on the job listing.

So to beef up my teaching experience, I started teaching at one of the 4 year universities around my area. Amazing how I can't be trusted to teach my peers as a clinical educator, but a university trusts me to teach skills and clinical experience for BSN students. Anyway, I was told be someone in HR that the director of clinical education is excited that I am committed to being an educator; however, I have to keep teaching to be able to prove myself as an educator.

Many of the rest of the educators came directly from the inpatient floors, and did not have teaching experience for their new role. I have talked to a few of my supervisors, both at the school and within the hospital, and they think that I should make an effort to talk to the CNO about the opportunities I keep missing.

I think one of the reasons that I am actually considering this is because I was told on my yearly evaluation this year that my education was a "distraction" for me within the last year. I just don't understand how I can be held to a different standard than anyone else, and how the things that I need to improve on to gain the position keep changing.

Any thoughts?


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

I think you should continue to talk to people about why you were not selected for the previous jobs you applied for. My department is in the process of filling a couple of clinical educator positions at my hospital and we have rejected a few people who thought they were "shoe-ins" because they have lots of qualifications on paper. With one person, it was because the politics wasn't right. She had so much experience (and political baggage from previous jobs) we were pretty sure that it wouldn't work out -- there would be too much disagreement and turmoil if she were added to the team. With another candidate, she had no real vision of what the role should be -- and we are looking for a leader, not a follower. That 2nd candidate also has some political baggage from her previous jobs. Both candidates are well known to us and very qualified on paper -- but it was the "intangibles" that prevented us from feeling comfortable hiring them. We will probably hire a less experienced applicant who has a spark, a vision, and a passion -- but who doesn't come with any negative baggage.

I think you need to find out / figure out ... what it is that people are seeing when they look at you for those roles. Is there anyone you can trust to tell you honestly, but supportively?

When most of our positions come open, we usually have someone in mind for them even before they are posted. It's called "succession planning" and most leaders are encouraged to keep an eye open for possible successors. You want to put yourself on that list that the educational leaders have their eye on as possible future educators. Find a mentor who can advise you on how to do that at your facility. Precepting, committee work, working with students, etc. are all good ways to start.