The Role of a Clinical Nurse Educator in a Hospital

  • Article by:Health Career Center

What is a Clinical Nurse Educator?

A Clinical Nurse Educator is a registered nurse (RN) with significant experience in the field of nursing and an advanced nursing education who teaches nursing in an academic or healthcare facility setting. Clinical Nurse Educators often part-time in order to continue working directly in patient care. 

A majority of Clinical Nurse Educators tend to educate future nurses through a general curriculum program. However, those with additional specialization in specific medical areas, like nursing informatics or pediatric nursing, can pursue specialized teaching credentials and teach courses focusing on their area of specialization.

What is the Role of a Clinical Nurse Educator in a Hospital Setting? 

A Nurse Educator can opt to work in an academic setting such as a nursing school, community college, or technical school, or they can choose to work in a healthcare facility setting. 

The role of a Clinical Nurse Educator in a hospital setting entails a variety of responsibilities. These medical professionals are responsible for evaluating, suggesting, creating, and incorporating clinical programs to improve medical practices for patients. Nurse Educators in a hospital setting are also required to draft and establish curriculums to fulfill the education requirements for fellow medical personnel. Additionally, this role is often expected to:

  • Continuously do research and other scholarly work to stay on top of nursing news, best practices, and updated laws and regulations
  • Participate in professional associations
  • Attend and/or speak at nursing conferences
  • Author grant proposals
  • Advise fellow nursing staff
  • Review educational materials
  • Serve on peer review committees
  • Evaluate educational curriculum and program outcomes
  • Facilitate learning, develop lesson plans, and teach a variety of courses

The Job Outlook for Clinical Nurse Educators:

Those interested in pursuing a career as a Clinical Nurse Educator will be excited with the projected job growth for this role. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers is predicted to increase 35 percent between 2012 and 2022.

While job growth in this sector is extremely high in the coming years due to the current and growing shortage of nursing professionals, the average salary remains competitive, which will entice more medical professionals to pursue this career. The median salary for a Nurse Educator currently sits at $70,185 with top earners being paid up to $93,269, according to Payscale

The potential for advancement is significant as well; Clinical Nurse Educators can move on to administrative roles, in which they can manage nurse education programs and develop continuing education programs for working nurses.

If you have been working as an RN and are interested in browsing a wide array of current job openings for Clinical Nurse Educators, click here.