Help the Nursing Shortage by Becoming a Nurse Educator
Hollis Forster, RNC-NP
Chances are if you are interested in entering the nursing field, you want your life to count, you want to know you are contributing something valuable to another and you want to help people.
Imagine the possibility of helping not just one person at a time, but your career contributing to the excellent care of dozens or hundreds of patients at a time.
How can this happen? How can you be so valuable to the nursing field? You can do this by becoming a nursing instructor.
Everyone knows the nursing shortage is currently severe and the combination of an aging population and current baby-boomer nurses retiring, means this shortage will only continue. There are many students waiting for placement in nursing programs, but a lack of capacity in those schools. Instructors and teachers are desperately needed. If you had ever thought you could teach and you are in nursing currently, or if you are thinking of going to school and are unclear of the direction you would like to take in the nursing field, consider becoming an instructor. Here are three reasons this choice could be right for you:
1. You can instruct a whole new generation of nurses. You can influence their nursing practice, by assuring they are educated in a manner to provide excellent care. You could be influential in moving the platform of quality in nursing care a little further.
2. There are many programs to help you achieve the “educator” level. You can instruct nursing students with a Master’s degree or a Doctorate degree. If you currently have an RN, there are many on-line courses that can move you from an ADN to a BSN and then to an MSN. There are also accelerated programs both on-line and in campus based institutions that can help you achieve the degree you need to educate other nurses in much less time than you might think.
3. Although there will be clinical rotations you are responsible for, they will be the day shift at the hospital or clinic. Also, if you choose to be an instructor for an on-line program, you may have flexible hours, just like your students. If you are teaching on a campus, you may be able to arrange summers off, like other traditional teachers.
There are many paths to consider as you enter the nursing field. Your personal life-style, your individual talents and your passions will guide you to the direction that best fits your life. If you feel you can teach others, if you have a need to be the best help you can to the nursing field and if want a slightly different twist on the traditional nursing role, becoming a nursing instructor is a way to contribute in a very valuable way to the nursing profession. It is also a way to significantly influence the next generation of nurses and the care they give.