Clinical Education Nurse: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

The duties of a clinical nursing educator help to serve both patients and co-workers. He or she is responsible in a healthcare setting for providing education to fellow staff. This professional also works with physicians to improve patient care. Licensed nurses can go on to pursue the advanced education needed to work in this field.

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Job Description

Clinical nurse educators serve a variety of functions in a hospital setting. They evaluate, suggest, create and incorporate both non-clinical and clinical programs that improve medical practices for the patients' safety and well-being. Nursing educators are also responsible for drafting a curriculum to satisfy education requirements for other medical personnel. Because of their education and expertise, clinical nursing educators function as sources of information for those around them and assess and set goals for educational programs, updating them when called for. They are also highly knowledgeable in diagnosis and treatment.

Duties

The duties of a clinical nurse educator vary from job to job. However, certain common duties involved with direct clinical practice include executing nursing care and assessing results, teaching nurses, performing advanced evaluations,and providing guidance for testing new procedures. Clinical nurse educators also manage and coordinate staff members and continually investigate methods for improving patient care. Serving as role models, these professionals provide clinical and professional leadership, make ethical decisions in practice and can be responsible for allocating resources.

Requirements

Generally, in order to become a clinical nursing educator, the individual must have a registered nursing license in the state in which he or she plans to work. The National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN is the licensing exam. Eligibility requirements vary from state to state. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is also mandatory. Once aspiring clinical nurse educators have achieved these goals to become an RN, they can go into a post-baccalaureate clinical educator program.

A master's degree in nursing with a concentration in nursing education is offered. This typically prepares provides the nursing student with the research tools and theory necessary to teach. Coursework generally highlights the role of the nurse as educator. The Master of Science in Nursing is also available online.

Voluntary certification for nurse educators is also available, establishing professionalism and expertise in their field. Passing the exam to become a Certified Nurse Educator through the National League for Nursing shows students and other professionals that the individual has achieved a certain standard for excellence.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, (www.bls.gov), predicts that registered nurses will enjoy faster than the national average job growth over the 2012-2022 decade, at a rate of 19%. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for registered nurses was $65,470 as of May, 2012. The majority of registered nurses earned between $45,040 and $94,720 in the same year, per the BLS.

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