I have completed my first round of clinicals. I realised I genuinely love to explain and teach patients. I love helping my classmates understand topics they may not understand. I really enjoy giving presentations and explaining things! I really enjoyed putting together a presentation concerning COPD/Oxygenation. I so far have patience for explaining things.

I plan on doing bedside nursing directly after I graduate and receive my license. I was however wondering for after I gain some bedside experience, if there are any positions in nursing that concern education. Of course, I do know there is the position of nursing professor, but I mean more along the lines of patient education. My long term goal is to be a nurse practitioner (Isn't it everyones in nursing school? hehe). I do what I propose to myself! Around my junior/senor year of high school I decided I would go into nursing and become a nurse practitioner. With that informaton in mind, what positions exist concerning patient education? Would nurse pracitionrs be heavily involved in pt ed? Could maybe an NP offer seminars for medical management/pain manageent... ect? Helping patients (specifically the "oldest-old") with medication organization? Perhaps diabetes management? nutriton?

Do nurse educators focus on one area to teach? Do they span on what they teac?

Sorry for the overload of info and questions (= I am a very curious student.

I am on break and have relaxed plenty but somehow after a few days of no mental stimulation my mind ends up researching career information/study tips .. nursing stuff ect.


Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 11 years experience. 3 Articles; 5,543 Posts

It sounds like you might be very much at home in a clinical nurse leader (CNL) which requires a Masters level education.

I honestly did more education as a RN than I do as a NP. I would love to do more, and on occasion we have group visits where it possible, but most of the time I am too busy to do more than the teaching that is needed, and often send our RN into the room to add additional info. The one exception was during grad school on a inpatient PC consult service where we did do a fair amount of teaching but mostly aimed at staff not patients.


llg, PhD, RN

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

There are lots of roles in nursing that include a strong education component. There are both patient educator roles and staff educator roles. For example, there are childbirth educators, lactation consultants, diabetes educators, etc. There are also staff development educators who provide orientation and ongoing education to the staff. Once you get some experience as a nurse under your belt, you will have lots of options to choose from.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

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

Nursing Education is a different pathway than NPs. We have MSNs with specialization in nursing education - many of also have graduate clinical specialization, but not necessarily NP. I am a clin-spec (Critical Care) & also MSN in Education. Although nurse educators can choose to move into academic practice & teach in nursing schools, there are a lot of us who work in the 'service' sector instead. I am with a large hospital system. We refer to this type of nursing practice as Nursing Professional Development. (so, in this case, NPD does not mean narcissistic personality disorder - LOL).

Entry level for educators is an MSN, but a terminal degree (PhD, EdD, etc) is usually required for higher level positions in either area... required for full professor or tenure-track in academia. Salaries in academia are less than NPD.

Although typical "staff development" (orientation and inservice) is generally what comes to mind when you think of nurse educators, NPD professionals are involved in a wide variety of activities since every major initiative involves staff education. We play a critical role by analyzing the staff education needs associated with organizational change and designing/implementing educational programs to support the initiatives. In today's environment, NPD professionals have to have a wide variety of skills and competencies - including all the various instructional modalities. For example, I routinely have to develop eLearning modules and conduct distance-learning classes. It's never boring or dull!


classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator. 2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

I have a master's in nurse education, which means I took graduate school level education courses as well as courses specific to nursing staff development. I work in a hospital training new hire nurses, developing competencies, writing policies, interacting with all the students and arranging their schedules (not just nursing either!). I develop continuing education courses for nurses and for MD's. I am responsible for staff development as well as in-services, annual education compliance, diabetes in-pt education and remediation for staff who have a need for 1:1 teaching. My department also is responsible for teaching BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC, ENPC, STABLE, NRP, ITLS, Dysrythmia and other classes. Believe me, there are plenty of opportunities for nurse educators. I have taught Kaplan NCLEX courses and worked as clinical instructor for nursing school (prn) but now I am too busy to do anything but my "real" job. It is impt to learn how to be a nurse first. Nursing education is a specialty, just like critical care nursing. I recommend that once you are licensed and feel comfortable in your job you find out how to become a CPR instructor or assist the Educators in some way. That is how we recruit to our department.



612 Posts

I appreciate all these helpful comments. I really love the CPR instructor idea!

I want to educate but I'm also very interested in the role of an NP which might involve a stronger understanding of patho/pharm.

I still have a lot to learn and observe so perhaps I will have a taste for what I want once I am a licensed nurse, working on the floor. I want to float as much as possible and really experience different areas. My professor told me she switched her nursing focus every 5 years! At first I was a bit suspicious (like maybe she just couldn't fit in anywhere) but upon talking to more nurses in clinical, I have noticed many switch to avoid burn out and some switch to gain a different experience/patient experience/ skills.

What do you guys think about new grads starting out on a med surg floor? Is that always a good idea? what other areas do you suggest? what areas do you suggest new grads stay away from?

Thank You!