A nurse educator is an advanced practice nurse who combines a career in clinical expertise with a passion for teaching. This job lets you work firsthand with nursing students, making sure that aspiring nurses receive quality healthcare education in the nursing discipline that would prepare them for a successful nursing career.
Nurses who turn to a career in education all have their own motivation, be it professional, personal or financial. Regardless of the reason, it is certain that this career advancement comes with its benefits. Some of these advantages will be discussed below, but the main focus will be drawn to the financial aspect of deciding to switch careers. Is it wise to change career paths and leap into a whole new field? How much will you make as a nurse educator? What are the best states to practice this job in, in terms of how much money you will make?
Read on to find out.
If you are considering changing careers and becoming a nurse educator it is probably because of one, or o combination of these reasons:
- You have a genuine passion for teaching and becoming a nurse educator will allow you to make the best out of both worlds.
- You want a less stressful working environment. It’s no secret that RNs have extremely demanding professional lives. 12-hour shifts, troublesome patients, and burnout are, unfortunately, a reality among nurses.
- You want more control over your working hours.
- You want a job that is still fulfilling but doesn’t imply direct patient care.
- You want the financial benefits that come hand in hand with being an MSN educated nurse.
As a nurse educator you will likely work in academic environments, such as colleges or universities, but you also find employment in teaching hospitals, laboratories and even in clinical settings.
Your daily tasks will include (but will not be limited to) developing curricula, advising, evaluating and teaching aspiring nurses. You will mentor and advise your students and you will serve as their source of inspiration.
The responsibility that lays on your shoulders is heavy.
You must make an informed decision when you consider switching careers. Will you be able to find a job or is the job market for nurse educators already saturated?
Get your MSNEd degree and help shape the future of the healthcare system!
Is There Demand for Nursing Educators?
One of the many reasons why this profession is so enticing, especially now, is because of the high demand for nursing educators. One of the catalysts of the nationwide nursing shortage is the shortage of nursing faculty: many institutions have admitted to denying admission to qualified applicants simply due to the insufficiency of educators to teach higher numbers of aspiring nurses.
The expected retirement of over one-third of the current nursing faculty by 2025, is going to aggravate even further the educational ecosystem, making the need for new, capable professionals more severe than ever.
Therefore, this is the best time for aspiring educators to get their advanced degree and embark on a career in nursing education. The educator job openings are there – waiting to be filled with qualified teachers and professors.
How Much Do Nurse Educators Earn?
When considering a switch in careers one of the most important things you normally consider is the possibility of earning more, of being a better provider for yourself and your family. Typically, higher education levels are closely followed by increased financial opportunities, so getting your MSN degree will set you on the path of making more money compared to what you would normally get as a BSN nurse.
Because they hold an advanced degree, nurse educators are compensated reasonably well. Of course, depending on the chosen specialization, on the location, the employer, the prior experience and other factors, the salaries may differ. Another factor that may influence the salary is the amount of clinical experience a registered nurse has prior to switching to an educational career. It is typically expected nurse educators have at least 3 years of experience in a clinical setting before taking on teaching.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses of all specializations brought in a median salary of $75,510 per year.
Meanwhile, the median wage for nursing instructors and teachers is $81,350, per the BLS.
As a nursing educator in the District of Columbia you will earn a higher income compared to anywhere else in the U.S. – an average yearly salary of $153,830. Connecticut is a (not so close) second – with an yearly median wage of around $101,760, followed by the Golden State, California, where nurse educators make on about $101,320 per year.
The least desirable state in terms of how much money you will make as a nurse educator is Arkansas, where you will earn on average $54,920; In Wisconsin and West Virginia you would make slightly more, but you would still take home significantly less than the national average – $58,530.
If your train of thought when planning a career change includes questioning how much you could potentially earn depending on the state where you live, we’ve got you. We compiled a list of most of the states of the USA and their specific median wage for nurse educators:
Nurse Educator average salaries in every state, per the Bureau of Labour Statistics
District of Columbia: $153,830
New Hampshire: $77,290
New Jersey: $89,950
New Mexico: $64,660
New York: $91,900
North Carolina: $68,710
North Dakota: $75,650
Rhode Island: $78,450
South Carolina: $67,430
South Dakota: $67,410
West Virginia: $58,530
As an aspiring nurse educator you have the highest chances of being employed by a hospital or by an academic institution. According to the BLS, the industries with the highest level of employment for nurse educators are the general medical and surgical hospitals, followed by colleges, universities and professional schools.
The highest paying industries for this profession are:
- General medical and surgical hospitals, where nurse educators earn on average $123,760
- Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals – with salaries of about $94,380
- State government (excluding schools and hospitals) – $80,790
- Colleges, universities and professional schools – where the average salary of a nursing educator professional is $80,380.
Making the leap of faith and using your skills and knowledge towards educating future nurses is an important decision. However, should you decide to actually do it, you can rest assured that the job outlook is excellent and the opportunity for salary growth (at least compared to your RN position) is definitely present.
What Else Can MSN Educated Nurses do?
Being in demand now more than ever, nurses enjoy quite competitive salaries. Evidently, nurses’ wages become even more competitive as you further your studies. One sure way of securing that enhanced paycheck is by getting a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN). Granted, it takes longer, and the financial aspects should be taken under consideration, but in the long run, you will find that MSNs are worth the investment.
Nurse educator is one of the most fulfilling options you could pursue as an MSN educated nurse. However, it is only one in a very diverse pool of options. If teaching doesn’t entice you, there are other career choices to consider. MSN degrees allow the professionals to assume more advanced clinical roles, or even to enter management, leadership and research roles.
How Well Compensated Are MSN Nurses?
An immediate increase in salary is one of the main benefits of getting an MSN degree, along with more career options to choose from. The top 3 highest paid jobs you could have as a nurse with an MSN are nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, and nurse-midwife. According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, per year, they make:
Nurse anesthetist – $174,790
Nurse practitioner – $110,030
Nurse midwife – $106,910
All things considered, advancing your studies is a great way to reach the personal and professional development you’ve been craving, as well as upgrade your paycheck. Getting your MSN Degree will get you one step closer to having a powerful impact on the healthcare system, on your community and it will, for sure, give you the chance to practice a job you love and find fulfilling.
Are you ready to channel your passion for teaching and become a nursing educator? Enroll in our MSN Ed Degree and get the best of both worlds!