Nurse Educator

Nurse educators act as the bridge between the academics required to become a nurse and actual practice in the field. Anyone with a passion for medical research, an interest in teaching, and a desire to help influence public policies may want to consider a career as a nurse educator. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a nurse educator is $77,360, and employment in the field is projected to grow 24% between 2016 and 2026.

As interest in nursing careers continues to grow throughout the country, institutions are struggling to fill faculty positions with enough educators to meet the demand. Becoming an educator not only places you at the center of the field of medicine, but also broadens your employment opportunities.

What Does a Nurse Educator Do?

Nurse educators prepare students, including both LPNs and RNs, for the transition from school to work. Certified nurse educators have leeway in choosing their specializations as long as they have earned their master’s in nursing and have experience in the field. Some institutions, however, prefer additional education in teaching.

Potential work opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Clinical faculty member
  • Dean of a nursing school
  • Associate dean of a nursing school
  • Professor
  • Public health nurse
  • Administrative nursing staff
  • Specialist in continued education
  • Officer of staff development

A growing number of nursing educators find themselves in a hybrid position, working part-time in a clinical setting and part-time as an educator.

What Does It Take to Become a Nurse Educator?



Nurse educators must be able to answer students’ questions and adapt to shifts in both the healthcare system at large and in the expectations of nurses. Often these changes require creativity on the part of a nurse educator; they must be able to integrate these new demands into pre-existing lesson plans.


The role of a nurse is always changing; certified nurse educators must be flexible by acknowledging changes to the system and sharing this new information with their students. They must be willing to move past former beliefs and practices in favor of new requirements that students will deal with in the workforce.

Variable methods of knowledge conveyance

No two patients are the same, and the same goes for students — what works for one student may not for another. A nurse educator must be able to convey their knowledge in a variety of ways in order to meet the needs of their students.

Advising capability

As an educator, you may be asked questions regarding a student’s studies or their future career. Certified nurse educators are expected to be knowledgeable enough in the field to advise their students toward a path that fits their unique skills.

Knowledge in theories of learning and teaching

Certified nurse educators are not only well-versed in nursing but also, in many cases, in education and the methodologies of teaching. This may include knowledge of how to develop a curriculum, how to evaluate a program, principles for educating adults, and the overarching concepts behind the learning process.


Anyone working in the field of nursing must be compassionate because much of the job revolves around caring for the ill or injured. The role of a nurse educator is no different; not only must you care for your patients, but also for your students.

Nurse Educator Salary Information and Job Outlook

$54,640+ $65,390+ $76,150+ $86,900+
Nurse Educator: Average Salary by State This map presents average annual salary for the occupation Nurse Educator in each state in the U.S. Average Annual Salary in HI: $80,150 HI Average Annual Salary in AK: $86,070 AK Average Annual Salary in FL: $74,740 FL Average Annual Salary in NH: $79,400 NH Average Annual Salary in MI: $71,650 MI Average Annual Salary in VT: $74,980 VT Average Annual Salary in ME: $59,850 ME Average Annual Salary in RI: $71,120 RI Average Annual Salary in NY: $97,080 NY Average Annual Salary in PA: $76,770 PA Average Annual Salary in NJ: $90,830 NJ Average Annual Salary in DE: $81,350 DE Average Annual Salary in MD: $81,560 MD Average Annual Salary in VA: $72,350 VA Average Annual Salary in WV: $63,110 WV Average Annual Salary in OH: $71,390 OH Average Annual Salary in IN: $73,690 IN Average Annual Salary in IL: $72,450 IL Average Annual Salary in CT: $95,170 CT Average Annual Salary in WI: $76,280 WI Average Annual Salary in NC: $65,890 NC Average Annual Salary in MA: $82,200 MA Average Annual Salary in TN: $66,030 TN Average Annual Salary in AR: $53,640 AR Average Annual Salary in MO: $75,490 MO Average Annual Salary in GA: $69,190 GA Average Annual Salary in SC: $68,750 SC Average Annual Salary in KY: $71,250 KY Average Annual Salary in AL: $63,940 AL Average Annual Salary in LA: $70,750 LA Average Annual Salary in MS: $75,050 MS Average Annual Salary in IA: $78,380 IA Average Annual Salary in MN: N/A MN Average Annual Salary in OK: $55,020 OK Average Annual Salary in TX: $71,420 TX Average Annual Salary in NM: $66,310 NM Average Annual Salary in KS: $66,280 KS Average Annual Salary in NE: $69,190 NE Average Annual Salary in SD: $65,230 SD Average Annual Salary in ND: $76,380 ND Average Annual Salary in WY: $67,120 WY Average Annual Salary in MT: $68,590 MT Average Annual Salary in CO: $67,320 CO Average Annual Salary in ID: $68,670 ID Average Annual Salary in UT: $75,970 UT Average Annual Salary in AZ: $81,280 AZ Average Annual Salary in NV: $67,270 NV Average Annual Salary in OR: $77,370 OR Average Annual Salary in WA: $75,730 WA Average Annual Salary in CA: $94,670 CA

  • Median Hourly Wage: N/A
  • Mean Salary: $77,360

Source: Data taken from Payscale and The Bureau of Labor Statistics . Accessed: July 2018.

Employment of Nurse Educators

Industries With the Highest Levels of Employment for Nursing Instructors and Teachers

Industry Employment Percent of Industry Employment Annual Mean Wage
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 31,020 1.03 $79,640
Junior Colleges 18,050 2.45 $71,790
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 3,190 0.06 $89,390
Technical and Trade Schools 2,170 1.62 $73,070
Business Schools and Computer Management Training 460 0.66 $71,600
Source: BLS , 2017

Industries With the Highest Concentration of Employment for Nursing Instructors and Teachers

Industry Employment Percent of Industry Employment Annual Mean Wage
Junior Colleges 18,050 2.45 $71,790
Technical and Trade Schools 2,170 1.62 $73,070
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 31,020 1.03 $79,640
Business Schools and Computer Management Training 460 0.66 $71,600
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 3,190 0.06 $89,390
Source: BLS , 2017

Additional Resources

Online Nurse Educator Programs

An online degree in nurse education is an ideal option if you already have an MSN, are working in the field, and want to further your knowledge and career. Online degrees from accredited universities are becoming increasingly common; degrees hold equal weight to those earned in the traditional classroom.

Certified nurse educators are eligible for a wider net of careers in both clinical and educational fields. By going beyond earning your MSN, you further your chances of landing gainful employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the RN workforce is projected to grow 15% between 2016 and 2026, representing more than 438,000 new jobs. Even with this increased need for new nurses and nurse educators, having advanced education and training puts you far ahead in the job market.

The following list of online nurse educator programs consists of accredited, nonprofit universities. However, be sure to double check the accreditation and other details of any school you are interested in. Online programs often have state residence requirements and license restrictions.

Quick Glance: Online Nurse Educator Programs

If you are an accredited, not-for-profit institution that offers an online nurse educator program and that isn’t listed, please contact us with details about your program, a link to your program page and proof of accreditation.

Nurse Educator Programs

If you notice any errors in the database below or are a college or university that is not represented here, please contact us . We will get on it immediately!

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