Nurse Educator Salary and Job Growth

Learn about potential earnings for a nurse educator.

Median Annual Salary

Because of its advanced degree requirements, nurse educator jobs often pay relatively well.  Because a nurse educator can wear many hats, the potential to earn a good paycheck is certainly there. As always, the further you advance in your education, the better chance for an increased salary.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for nursing instructors and teachers is $66,100. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

What’s my earning potential?

Nurse educators will almost always find themselves working in a college or university, but the characteristics of the institution can affect their earning potential. Some considerations: Is the school for-profit or non-profit? Online or traditional? Large or small?

In terms of career advancement and therefore a higher salary, a nurse educator can work toward becoming a nurse education director, which carries quite a bit of responsibility but the salary is significantly higher.

Ultimately, your earning potential will vary based on their employer, education and area of specialty, but generally the salary range is competitive.

How do nurse educators salaries compare?

Nursing Career Median Annual Salary*
Nursing Instructors $66,100
Post-secondary Health Specialties Teacher $90,210
Nurse Practitioner $102,670

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-17 Occupational Outlook HandbookNursing InstructorsHealth Specialties Teacher, Post-SecondaryNurse Practitioners.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Is there demand for this career?

Absolutely. One cause of the nursing shortage in the U.S. is the lack of faculty available to teach aspiring nurses. Because of this, many institutions are forced to turn away qualified applicants simply because they don’t have the resources to teach a high number of students. This means for a nurse educator looking for a job.

The other factor leading to the demand is the anticipated increase of faculty retirements in the coming years. This will leave vacancies at colleges and universities, which is good news for an aspiring nurse educator on the job hunt.

If you’re thinking about a nurse educator career, this is the perfect time to earn the degree you need to teach. Depending on the program, a master’s and doctoral programs can take between two and three years.

What is the job growth for the field?

The nursing field is enjoying tremendous growth across the board. Because of the aging population and expected retirement of older nurses, more opportunities will be available for those looking to enter the field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurse employment is projected to grow 16 percent through 2024, although national long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions.

This means educators will need to be on hand to teach the next generation of nurses.

How much competition will I face for a job?

The demand for nurse educators may be high, but employers will always look for the best and most capable candidate.

According to the National League for Nursing, 67 percent of full-time nurse educators have earned a master’s degree in nursing. One way to distinguish yourself from the masses is to earn a higher degree. Only 25 percent of full-time educators hold a doctorate.

The level of competition you may face can be determined by geographic location, as well. If possible, seek out cities where jobs are more plentiful which can increase your chances of landing a job.

What kinds of institutions hire nurse educators?

Nurse educators can find themselves in a few different types of teaching institutions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines the following industries which employs the highest levels of nurse educators:

  • Junior colleges
  • Technical and trade schools
  • Colleges, universities and professional schools

It’s also worth looking at hospital job openings, since some will hire nurse educators to teach their staff varying health care topics.

How do I advance in my nurse educator career?

Within the nurse educator field, there are a variety of roles up for grabs. For example, with the right amount of experience and training, you could move up from professor to dean and so on.

Job opportunities are also an option in the research field. Nurse educators may boost their credentials by publishing work in peer-reviewed journals, working as an education consultant or even serving as a spokesperson for public policy issues.

The good news is nurse educators are in demand with plenty of options at their fingertips.

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