Skip to content

The Role of a Nurse Educator (MSN)


As demand for skilled nursing professionals rises, so does the need for individuals who can provide the training, mentorship, and professional development required for their success. Nurse educators combine clinical experience with educational skills. Their curriculum development and outstanding teaching abilities help educate and inspire a new generation of nurses. 


Program Information

What Do Nurse Educators Do?

Nurse educators are needed in vocational schools to teach future LPNs and in colleges and universities to prepare RNs for careers in healthcare. They may work in academic environments that require nurse educators to develop curriculum and design courses, prepare and deliver lectures, and assess learning outcomes. Nurse educators may also be involved in educational research.

In hospitals, MSN-prepared nurses are responsible for providing health-based education to patients, families, and employees. They can serve as practicum supervisors, oversee internships and clinical placements, and serve as staff mentors in these facilities. Nurse supervisors play an essential role in staff development and training, ensuring that new hires find their place within demanding healthcare environments. These positions may also involve program and policy development.

The Impact of Nurse Educators

It is not easy to overstate the importance of nurse educators to the future of healthcare. These professionals play a pivotal role in developing highly trained, clinically qualified nurses, identifying successful new hires for healthcare facilities, and retaining talent. This is the ideal career for nurses committed to excellence in care and leading new nurses to success. Some of the ways nurse educators make an impact include:

  • Healthier Communities: As the U.S. population ages and chronic conditions play a larger role in our society’s healthcare needs, skilled nursing professionals are more vital than ever before. Research suggests that 11 million nurses will be required to meet the current shortage to maintain quality and care². Nurse educators are critical to ensuring these professionals are available in every community and receive the highest standard of education.

  • Better patient outcomes: When nurses receive advanced education, their patients enjoy better health. Multiple studies and reviews have determined that nurses who receive a bachelor’s degree or higher education level promote greater patient safety, higher-quality care, and lower patient mortality³. As modern medicine demands an increasingly educated nursing workforce, nurse educators have become even more essential.

  • Successful healthcare work environments: Collaboration, communication, and other core professional skills are necessary for any workplace, but perhaps nowhere more than in settings where patient health is at stake. From modeling professionalism in the classroom to providing training and mentorship on the job, nurse educators help maintain positive work environments at healthcare facilities of all kinds. In turn, this helps improve staff retention and satisfaction, cutting hiring costs and ensuring a more productive workforce.


Do I Need an MSN Degree to Teach Nurses? 

To qualify as a nurse educator for undergraduate RN nursing programs, an RN must complete at least a Master’s degree. Having a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree opens many opportunities for career advancement and increased income. However, higher education can be challenging for busy professionals balancing family, friends, community, and more. The School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Mount Vernon Nazarene University offers an online MSN program with a Nurse Educator concentration, making it easier to achieve your career goals and demands for your busy schedule.

An Online Masters in Nursing Program Created for Working Adults | MVNU

Designed for working adults, MVNU’s nursing educator Master’s is a flexible 36-credit-hour degree that can be completed within 19 months. Classes, taken one at a time, are taught in an asynchronous, online format. This enables students to focus on each course while continuing to care for family and thrive professionally. MSN faculty, and other resources, are readily available throughout the program.  Students who complete the program are academically qualified to take the National League of Nursing’s Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) Exam.   

Financial aid is also available to make continuing education affordable.

Are you ready to guide tomorrow’s nurses to professional success? If so, request information about MVNU’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program to begin your degree. 

Additional Information