Nurse Educator Career Path

Posted

I am in an entry-level MSN program, recently passed the NCLEX (woohoo!), and now have nine months left until I graduate.

I have realized that I am drawn toward teaching or possibly some type of coordinating position.  I certainly appreciate and respect the value in having hands-on nursing experience before transitioning into teaching, but I also know that most bedside nursing isn't for me.  To clarify, I am interested in teaching foundational, didactic coursework or topics like leadership or ethics.

Can you share any thoughts on pursuing this career path without 2+ years of floor experience, as is usually recommended/required on faculty job postings?  Do you have any recommendations on other jobs that I might not know about?  Thanks so much!

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 45 years experience. 7,899 Posts

There is virtually NO opportunity for an inexperienced new grad to teach others. 

anewsns

anewsns

Specializes in Neurosciences, stepdown, acute rehab, LTC. Has 8 years experience. 437 Posts

I don’t think it’s feasible. Usually to allow didactic instruction they’re going to want you to start as a clinical instructor and you’ll definitely need some nursing experience to do that. I really think bedside is important. I’m the same way and have been a bedside nurse for 10 years . I think I’m finally in a position to be able to teach and I wouldn’t have felt good about it at all without all this bedside experience, not to mention precepting (I never truly feel passionate about bedside unless I’m dealing with some particularly fulfilling situations or if I’m precepting !) I feel like few people actually love basic bedside nursing but we almost all have to pay our dues before moving to our dream jobs. Edit : Even though a lot of bedside jobs suck , there are plenty of little comfortable and supportive units out there that you can find to help you get through the bedside hump. 

Edited by anewsns

On 11/1/2020 at 5:34 AM, meanmaryjean said:

There is virtually NO opportunity for an inexperienced new grad to teach others. 

OK, good to know.  Thanks @meanmaryjean

4 minutes ago, anewsns said:

I don’t think it’s feasible. Usually to allow didactic instruction they’re going to want you to start as a clinical instructor and you’ll definitely need some nursing experience to do that. I really think bedside is important. I’m the same way and have been a bedside nurse for 10 years . I think I’m finally in a position to be able to teach and I wouldn’t have felt good about it at all without all this bedside experience. I feel like few people actually love basic bedside nursing but we almost all have to pay our dues before moving to our dream jobs. Edit : Even though a lot of bedside jobs suck , there are plenty of little comfortable and supportive units out there that you can find to help you get through the bedside hump. 

OK, I'm bummed, but I definitely appreciate that context.  Thanks @anewsns

anewsns

anewsns

Specializes in Neurosciences, stepdown, acute rehab, LTC. Has 8 years experience. 437 Posts

Yea , it’s a bummer ! I get it. After you get through that first year of bedside you’ll definitely like it a little more though! Just think of it as more schooling !

Just now, anewsns said:

Yea , it’s a bummer ! I get it. After you get through that first year of bedside you’ll definitely like it a little more though! Just think of it as more schooling !

? Ah!  More schooling! ? 

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 11 years experience. 2 Articles; 6,837 Posts

Yeah, most teaching, whether in an acute care setting or in an academic setting, is going to require a minimum of 5 years acute care experience, and for very good reason. You can't teach what you have not ever experienced. Nursing isn't a book knowledge career.

Just an update for this thread: One month after I earned my MSN, I began teaching at the BSN level at the university from which I graduated.  I teach two didactic courses and have one clinical group, and have been fortunate to receive positive feedback from both students and my faculty peers.  I have also found a teaching-esque role as a nurse delegator.  I think my background pre-nursing as a supervisor and trainer has allowed me to transition into teaching sooner than might be typical.

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, they were greatly appreciated.

RELewis1

RELewis1

Specializes in RN. Has 18 years experience. 2 Posts

I am a current BSN-MSN student in need to interview a nurse educator for an assignment-can be by email.  Anyone interested in a short interview to help a motivated student?

Thanks in advance for any consideration!

 

26 minutes ago, RELewis1 said:

I am a current BSN-MSN student in need to interview a nurse educator for an assignment-can be by email.  Anyone interested in a short interview to help a motivated student?

Thanks in advance for any consideration!

 

I'd be happy to help. Just sent you a private message.

MI-RN-DNPstudent

MI-RN-DNPstudent

Has 1 years experience. 14 Posts

On 10/24/2021 at 12:36 AM, FutureDrNurse said:

Just an update for this thread: One month after I earned my MSN, I began teaching at the BSN level at the university from which I graduated.  I teach two didactic courses and have one clinical group, and have been fortunate to receive positive feedback from both students and my faculty peers.  I have also found a teaching-esque role as a nurse delegator.  I think my background pre-nursing as a supervisor and trainer has allowed me to transition into teaching sooner than might be typical.

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments, they were greatly appreciated.

That is amazing!! I have some questions but allnurses will not let me send you a message, can you send me one? I have a question about your previous RN experience, and just any details about how you got the job. 

I am in a DNP program and I have little acute care experience, and mostly outpatient triage experience. Which is why I am concerned about finding a job in education.

LasercopyNurse, BSN

Has 3 years experience. 49 Posts

If you want a way to be a Nursing Educator without having experience, then I would say there is a chance but not guaranteed.

The idea is that you start as a social media nurse educator and generate educational material and make it a business doing what you love and profit from it, like providing NCLEX guides or public health education.

There are many ways you can make a plan out of it in that direction.

The ideal way and what I advice you to do is to get the bedside experience simultaneously, do the social media business plan and start on it while doing your bedside job. 

The benefits of that are that you would get bedside experience and improve your education skills. Once you finish your experience, you will get your business running and opportunity as a nursing educator position, so either does both or select one that suits you better.

All the best