MSN or DNP to be nursing educator?

  1. I am interested in doing Nursing education. Do I have to get a Masters or a doctors in order to teach and instruct in a University for nursing. I know about the big push for everyone to get their BSN, so is it true, in order to teach and instruct, I need to get a DNP in education in order to work in a University?

    What is the starting pay average for a RN educator?
  2. Visit rnlung89 profile page

    About rnlung89

    Joined: Oct '18; Posts: 2

    4 Comments

  3. by   llg
    If you want to teach at the university level (e.g. in a BSN program) ... you'll need at least a Master's Degree plus experience in the field you want to teach. That's usually the minimum for positions with titles such as Instructor or Lecturer. Pay is usually in the same general neighborhood of a staff nurse with a few years of experience -- though the total income can vary significantly depending on whether the job is a 9-month job, 10-month job, or full a full year (with teaching in the summer, too).

    To rise within the hierarchy (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor), you'll need a doctorate at most universities -- either a DNP or PhD in Nursing or a related field. Pay for those higher levels also varies widely. There aren't many full Professors, but they do well financially. There are lots of Assistant Professors and they make about the same as a middle-level manager or educator at a hospital.

    I just checked The Chronicle of Higher Education for average faculty salaries. On a national level ... the average Lecturer in health science disciplines at 4-year colleges make in the $50,000 per year neighborhood. Assistant Professors make around $70,000 and Full Professors make just over $100,000. But note, the benefits at colleges and universities tend to be pretty good when compared to other types of employers.

    Another option for people not interested in getting a PhD or DNP -- or who would like to get better pay without having to rise to the highest levels of academia (which is a lot harder than most people think it is) -- is to consider a career in Nursing Professional Development (NPD). That's the specialty that provides education for hospitals, plans and conducts conferences, etc. While some of us have PhD's or DNP's, most of us have MSN's and typically make between $70,000 and $90,000 a year for full-time employment.

    Of course, salaries are higher in areas of the country with a high cost of living -- and lower in areas where the cost of living tends to be low.
  4. by   InquisitiveAPN
    So in pvt practice I made six figures starting with a 2. In government practice, I make exactly half that lol. My nursing professor chum makes another 20k less. Sad really.
  5. by   InquisitiveAPN
    Double post.
  6. by   Null
    llg posted a great response to this question. I'll add just a few points. Some universities require a PhD to obtain tenure. Tenure track often pays more than clinical track and offers a pathway to rise through the academic ranks. If you want the most versatility, aim for a PhD over the DNP. However, you should know that the PhD will require substantially more time and effort to complete.

    Many state schools have salary data that is searchable online.

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