What is a Nurse Educator?

What is a Nurse Educator?
What is a Nurse Educator?

Nursing Educator Job Description

The nursing educator job description includes teaching nursing students and also preparing them for careers in nursing! A nurse educator is a professionally trained and also licensed nursing professional tasked with the responsibility of training Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs) for entry-level work in clinical settings. Also, nurse educators work in patient care programs and settings providing hands-on continuing education to the organization’s nursing staff. So, if you have spent some time considering a career as a nurse educator, you have likely asked yourself the questions below.

What Are the Clinical Nurse Educator Job Duties?

What does a clinical nurse educator do? A nurse educator is a professionally trained and also licensed nursing professional. They train and prepare Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and also Registered Nurses (RNs) for entry-level work in clinical settings. 

What Does a Nurse Educator Do If They Work at a University or College?

Most nurse educators begin their careers by teaching in an academic setting. Then, they may work in patient care settings providing hands-on continuing education to the organization’s nursing staff.

What Are The Education Requirements to Become A Nurse Educator?

Nurse educators are typically required to complete either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or a doctoral degree in nursing. Fortunately, MSN programs are now available in both traditional on-campus delivery and online. In addition, many programs now offer dual degrees, earning an MSN and Ph.D. degree simultaneously.

Nurse Educator Certification From The National League for Nursing

So, if you are interested in obtaining a nurse educator certification, you can sit for the Certified Nurse Education exam from the National League for Nursing (NLN). Eligibility requirements include the following list below.

  • Have an active RN license issued by either the United States or its territories.
  • Hold either a graduate or doctoral degree in nursing with a primary emphasis in nursing or one of these academic backgrounds –
    • Have a graduate or doctoral degree in nursing and also a Post-Masters Nursing Education Certificate.
    • A graduate or doctoral degree in nursing and also 9+ credit hours of education classes at the graduate level.


  • A valid RN license, an advanced nursing education degree, and 2+ years of experience working in higher education institutions, sometime during the past five years.

Nurse Educator Career Paths

Most nurse educators work in either a college, professional school, or university. However, those who prefer to work in a clinical setting will find rewarding work as nurse educators. Furthermore, the curriculum depends on the place you teach and your role as a nurse educator. Additionally, a few job titles for nurse educators are below.

  • Nurse Educator – Faculty Member
  • Administrative Nurse – Faculty Member
  • Health Educator
  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Staff Development Specialist

In 2019, there were more than 59,500 nurse educators working in the country.

What States Employ the most Nurse Educators?

The states offering the highest level of jobs for nurse educators are listed below. They include New York, Texas, Florida, California, and also Ohio.

State# Employed Salaries
New York5,100$98,850 per year
Texas5,040$65,970 per year
Florida3,980$116,650 per year
California4,510$106,420 per year
Ohio3,410$79,360  per year

Nurse Educator Salaries

The next section will answer the following questions –

  • How much do nurse educators make on an hourly basis when first starting out?
  • How much do nursing educators make on an annual basis?

What Are The Highest Paying States For Nursing Educators?

According to data obtained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2020, the median annual salary of a nurse educator was $75,470 per year. Additionally, the range for a salary for a nurse educator is as follows.

  • First, at the lower range, the salary for nurse educators is $41,930.
  • Then, at the upper range, the salaries for nurse educators is $133,420.

Geographically speaking, the top paying states for salaries for nurse educators are below.

Salary by StateSalaries
District of Columbia$157,560 per year
Florida$122,050  per year
California$101,930  per year
New York$ 97,750  per year
Connecticut$ 97,350  per year

What Are The Highest Paying Metro Areas For Nursing Educators?

Geographically speaking, the top-paying metropolitan areas for salaries for nurse educators include these states.

Metro AreaSalary
DC – VA – MD – WV$120,980  per year
Rochester, NY$108,480  per year
New Haven, CT$107,320  per year
LA, Long Beach, Anaheim$106,740  per year
Sacramento – Roseville – Arden, CA$104,430 per year

Related: 10 Best Nursing Schools in Sacramento California

What Are The Highest Paying Non-Metro Areas For Nursing Educators?

Geographically, the top-paying non-metropolitan areas for nurse educator salaries are also below.

Non-Metropolitan AreaSalaries
Central Missouri$ 98,560  per year
NW Lower Michigan Peninsula$ 98,540  per year
Central Kentucky$ 88,400  per year
NY Capital Region$ 79,490  per year
Northwest Iowa$ 77,880 per year


Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris