Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Becoming a Nurse Educator

By Edonn Ball, PhD ‘16, BS ‘89, UB SON adjunct professor

Becoming a nurse is one of the best decisions I have made, and I am thankful that I chose to become a nurse educator because it allowed me to thrive professionally and raise my family.

One of my most amazing moments of being a nurse educator is when one of my former nursing students – who obtained their associate degree in nursing, master’s degree in public health and PhD in nursing – became my colleague and bought me flowers for my own PhD defense. I love being a nurse educator!

Here are five reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse educator.

1. It’s a very rewarding way to impact future nurses and patients.

I’m able to interact with students of all cultures and backgrounds. Many students are entering the nursing field as an advancement in health care, a change of career or because a life-changing experience has motivated them to become a nurse. They are eager to learn, and it is rewarding to witness their growth from entry into the program until the semester they are ready to graduate.

Being a nurse educator forces you to continue to research and stay abreast of the most current evidence-based practices and policies. The patients and their families are very supportive and appreciative of the excellent one-on-one care they receive from the students! The nursing staff on the clinical units welcome the assistance they get from the nursing students as well. It’s a win-win experience for everyone.

2. There is a shortage of nurse educators.

There is always a dire need for nurse educators! You can be an instructor that teaches the theoretical component in the classroom and use those concepts to teach students in the clinical setting, or you can choose to use your area of expertise to teach students in the clinical setting and reinforce the concepts that they are learning in lecture. You will always be employed! The salary is also very competitive for a 10- or 12-month employee with most holidays off or compensated with paid time off at a later date. 

3. It allows for a very flexible schedule and helps maintain a great work-life balance.

You are always aware of your schedule at the beginning of each semester with major holidays off, along with a long winter break between semesters. For 10-month employees, you have the entire summer to enjoy with your family. This is a wonderful career for anyone who wants to start a family, has school-age children, wants to travel or enjoys regular breaks. 

4. You can become a leader in the field of nursing education.

As a nurse educator, there are many opportunities to do research, obtain grants and publish articles that impact nursing education as well as clinical practice. Universities provide support for the research activities of nursing faculty. 

5. It opens the door to many career opportunities.

As a nurse educator, you become an expert in your area of interest and can serve on university committees and become a board member for nursing organizations. This allows for networking and exposure to current nursing practices and policies as well as current education policies. 

Published October 4, 2021