Skip to content

Do You Want to Be a Nurse Educator?

There is a considerable shortage of nurses in the United States, and experts predict that it will only continue to grow. Several factors are causing the shortage: the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, the retirement of older nurses and the lack of nurse educators.

According to the 2014-2015 report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

  • Nursing schools in the United States turned away more 70,000 qualified applicants for baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2014. One of the main reasons for these rejections was a lack of nurse educators.
  • As of October 2014, there were 1,236 faculty vacancies in 714 nursing schools in the country that offer baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs.
  • The average age of nursing faculty with MSNs in nursing education is about 55 years, so many nursing faculty will retire within the next decade.

What Types of Roles Can Nurses with an MSN in Nursing Education Fill?

If you complete an MSN in nursing education program, you can serve in a variety of capacities within academic settings. You can serve as part-time faculty and continue working in the clinical arena, or as full-time faculty. You may also qualify for positions such as associate dean, clinical nurse educator, professor, staff development officer or a continuing education specialist. Nurse educators can work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, nursing schools, public health agencies, hospitals and research facilities.

What Do Nurse Educators Do?

Teaching is already an integral aspect of nursing, so for some, becoming an educator can be a natural transition. These nurses are essential to three important aspects of healthcare: bolstering the nursing workforce, implementing evidence-based practices, and improving patient outcomes. Nurse educators, broadly speaking, serve as role models by directing instruction and collaboration. On a day-to-day basis, nurse educators teach; develop, evaluate and revise curriculum; counsel students; write and publish research; and collaborate with other academics.

Why Become a Nurse Educator?

Those who have completed MSN programs in nursing education give several reasons for becoming nurse educators. They commonly enjoy

  • Leading students into clinical practice.
  • Motivating student progress.
  • Working close to research.
  • Collaborating with other health professionals.
  • Serving as role models.
  • Changing the future of nursing.

How to Become a Nurse Educator

If you seek a career as a nurse educator, obtaining an MSN in Nursing Education will prepare you well to work in a variety of settings. Students must find programs that best meet their needs. An online RN to MSN bridge program works well for many nurses, especially those who want to continue working while pursuing their degree. AN RN to MSN program is faster and less expensive than earning the BSN and MSN degrees separately.

There is a critical need for nurse faculty and educators. Those who have chosen this profession claim that there is no more rewarding experience than watching their students cross the stage to receive their diplomas. In addition, these nurse educators know that they play an important role in shaping nurses of the future.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online MSN in Nursing Education program.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. "Nursing faculty shortage,"

National Council of State Boards of Nursing. "Nursing faculty qualifications and roles,"

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Get Started Now
Talk with an Enrollment Specialist
All fields required.
Call Us
By submitting this form, I am providing my digital signature agreeing that University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not a condition to attend UTA or to purchase any other goods or services.
Apply Now Financial Aid
© 2018 The University of Texas at Arlington Academic Partnerships