What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator? (2023)

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How Do You Become a Clinical Nurse Educator?

Nursingis an essential profession.That'swhyit’scritically important that nurses are properly and continually educated, not only in the classroom but also in the field. This is precisely the role of a clinical nurse educator: toprovideimportant teaching for nurses at all levels to ensure they have the knowledge they need to positivelyimpact patients, clients, and medical center residents.

A clinical nurse educator educates and assesses student learning and competency in the healthcare setting.They playan important rolein assuring that students are confident and competent in the provision of patient/client/and family interventions.

Anyone with a particular passion for healthcare and an aptitude and patience for education will find the career of a clinical nurse educator to be fulfilling and rewarding.

What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator? (2)

What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator?

Clinical nurse educators, or CNEs, are nurses with a passion for educating other nurses who work in healthcare environments the knowledge and skills needed toprovidethe best possible care. A nurse educator is usually a highly respected nurse with strong organizational and leadership skills.

A clinical nurse educator makes the education of students their top priority. They can work with undergraduate or graduate students, depending upon thenursingeducation program they choose to work with. Clinical nurse educators may develop and implement a method to evaluate the learning ofnursingstudents as they provide care to patients or clients.

Learn about Degree Options

What Does a Clinical Nurse Educator Do?

(Video) Clinical Nurse Educator

The role of a clinical nurse educatormainly requirescollaborative work between healthcare setting interprofessional teams,nursingfaculty teaching in the classroom, and students assigned to clinical learning experiences in the healthcare setting.This requires that the clinical nurse educator has a great degree of competence related to caring for patients, clients, and families. In particular, the responsibilities of a clinical nurse educator include:

  • Leading, educating, and assessingnursingstudent skills, knowledge, and clinical judgement
  • Collaborating withnursingcourse faculty or working independently to develop, implement, and test student evaluation processes
  • Running a pre and post clinical briefing session for students tofacilitatestudent’s learning related to experiences the student’s will or have had in the clinical setting
  • Researchingmethods for improvedstudent education in a clinical setting
  • Implementing strategies and learning opportunities fornursingstudents in the clinical setting to assure students function within the policies and standards of the healthcare environment.
  • Tracking the learning, competency, and clinical judgment of thenursingstudent throughout their assigned clinical learning experience and sharing that information with thethestudent and course faculty
  • Educatingnursingstudents onoptimaltask performance

These and other responsibilities often define the role of a clinical nurse educator, anursingprofessional with considerable skill, knowledge, and clinical judgementregardingcurrent patient care standards and processes.

How Do I Become a Clinical Nurse Educator?

Individuals interested in becoming a clinical nurse educator must first meet the necessary educational requirements. In particular, this means becoming a nurse and earning a bachelor’s degree. You will likely need experience as a nurse in order to adequately teach nursing, so spending time working in the field is key.

The career path to a nursing educator position also requires a master’s degree, available through an expedited RN-to-MSN program or a BSN to MSN in nursing education. If you have already completed your master's degree in nursing, you may want to pursue a post-master's certificate in nursing education. These programs will focus on the educational aspects of nursing and give you insights into proper instruction, curriculum, and more.

Best Degrees for Clinical Nurse Educators

Nursing – Education (RN-to-MSN) – M.S.

This MSN – Education online nursing program for RNs includes a...

This MSN – Education online nursing program for...

This MSN – Education online nursing program for RNs includes a BSN program component and is a substantial leap forward for an aspiring nurse educator.

  • Time: 74% of RN-to-MSN grads finish within 42 months.
  • Tuition:$3,998 per 6-month term duringundergraduateportion, $4,367 per 6-month term duringgraduateportion, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350 for both the undergraduate and graduate program.

Sample careers and jobs this online nursing degree will prepare you for:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Faculty
  • Program Director
  • Academic Clinical Nurse Educator

Given the growing nurse educator shortage, earning your MSN with a focus in education is both a rewarding decision and a solid career move.

What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator? (3)

College of Health Professions

More Details Apply Now

Nursing Education – Post-Master's Certificate

A specialty certificate in nursing education for nurses with...

(Video) Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) vs Nurse Educator. Differences and What Should You Pursue?

A specialty certificate in nursing education for...

A specialty certificate in nursing education for nurses with MSNs.

This program will prepare you to teach the next generation of nurses.

  • Time: 12 months.
  • Tuition and fees:$4,367 per 6-month term, plus a one-time Health Professions Fee of $350.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Faculty
  • Program Director
  • Academic Clinical Nurse Educator

Hospitals and other facilities need nurse educators. Earn your Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing Education and step into a role inspiring and empowering caregivers. This program will prepare you to sit for theNational League for Nursing Certified Nurse Executive (CNE)exam.

What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator? (4)

College of Health Professions

More Details Apply Now

Nursing – Education (BSN-to-MSN) – M.S.

A master's in nursing education program for nurses with BSNs....

A master's in nursing education program for...

A master's in nursing education program for nurses with BSNs.

This degree will prepare you to teach the next generation of nurses.

  • Time:80% of grads finish within 2 years.
  • Tuition:$4,367 per 6-month term, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.

Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Nursing Faculty
  • Program Director
  • Academic Clinical Nurse Educator

Hospitals and other facilities need nurse educators. Earn your MSN – Education and step into a role inspiring and empowering caregivers.

What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator? (5)

College of Health Professions

More Details Apply Now

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(Video) Top 20 Clinical Nurse Educator Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

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What Is a Clinical Nurse Educator? (6)

What Skills Does a Clinical Nurse Educator Need?

Clinical nurse educators must possess an in-depth understanding of both nursing operations and best educational practices. As a result, they typically operate with a well-defined skill set, which allows them to make a difference in the lives of patients and nurses.

  • Interpersonal communication: The ability to correspond effectively with all nursing staff to convey concepts to be learned and adopted.
  • Healthcare expertise: The ability to fulfill all the roles of a nurse, independent from your ability to teach them.
  • Engaged teaching: The ability to provide dynamic education to nurses in all positions to enhance the ability of those nurses to fulfill their responsibilities.
  • Educational research: The ability to research and implement improved teaching techniques, to improve a nurse’s ability to retain information once taught.
  • Leadership: The ability to serve as a leader in educating nursing staff members, and as an exemplar when demonstrating exactly how newly learned concepts are to be performed.
  • Student evaluation: The ability to assess how well nursing staff members are learning information as it is taught.
  • Public speaking: The ability to effectively deliver a public address to a group of nurses looking to improve their own skill sets.

These and other skills form the basis for a successful clinical nurse educator, an individual who can both teach and implement nursing best practices to improve patient outlook and quality of life.

(Video) Day in the life of a Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) in Emergency

How Much Do Clinical Nurse Educators Make?


The exact salary of a clinical nurse educator depends on a wide variety of factors, including employer, employer location, years of experience, education, maintained accreditations, and their nature of hire.

In general, the salary of a clinical nurse educator averages $77,170 per year. This means that the top 10% of earners receive as much as $104,000 per year, whereas the lowest 10% of earners take home roughly $58,000 per year.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


The career outlook for a clinical nurse educator is positive in the years to come. As an industry, the field of healthcare is expected to add the most jobs of any market by 2024. In addition, nursing occupations are expected to rise 7% from 2019 to 2029, a growth rate faster than the average expansion forecasted across all occupations.

Though the exact rise in clinical nurse educator positions will depend on sustained demand across active healthcare communities, there is a continued need for hands-on nursing education within a hospital, clinical, and other medical settings.

As populations continue to age and require help to address chronic health issues, the need for expert nursing education—to inform best treatment methods, therapy techniques, and other procedures—is only expected to grow in parallel.

Where Do Clinical Nurse Educators Work?


Most often, clinical nurse educators work alongside all other nursing staff members in a medical setting. Commonly employed by hospitals, nursing clinics, outpatient centers, rehabilitation facilities, and any other medical environment requiring specialized care, clinical nurse educators provide on-site education to other employed nurses.

Clinical nurse educators must also provide nurses with an understanding of their facility’s technical resources—including computers, handheld monitors, therapy devices, and a variety of other tools. This means that they must maintain proximity to both the onsite nurses and the instruments themselves.

Clinical Nurse Educator FAQ's

What does it take to be a clinical nurse educator?

In order tobe a clinical nurse educator, you must complete the educational requirements to become anurse, including earning a bachelor's degree. In addition, you will need experience in the nursing field, followed by earning a master’s degree in an associated field like nursing education. These types of programs will give you a good foundation for thepropereducationalandinstructionalnecessities of the field.You may also choose to consider a PhD in nursing.

What is the role of the clinical educator?

A clinical educator is tasked with a variety of developmental and training related duties in a healthcare facility. They oversee efforts to assure staff and patient safetyvia staff training.

What are the roles of a nurse educator?

Nurse educatorsinstruct, educate, and mentor aspiring nurses as theycomplete their education and training, research methods for improved nursing education,andimplementappropriatelearningopportunitiesfornursingstudents.

Interested in Becoming a Clinical Nurse Educator?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.

View Degree Programs



What is the role of the nurse educator? ›

Nurse educators are responsible for teaching and instructing nurses at colleges, universities, and in clinical settings like doctors offices and hospitals. They have advanced nursing degrees and understand the workload, policies, and requirements of nursing.

What band is a clinical nurse educator? ›

Band 6 clinical practice educator (CPE) to deliver staff education and training in practice.

What does a clinical practice educator do? ›

Clinical practice educators (CPEs) aim to provide support and education to clinical staff and students to improve their professional practice.

What is a clinical nurse educator UK? ›

Nurse educators teach and mentor current and future nurses. They may work in classrooms, as well as in clinical settings.

What skills do nurse educators need? ›

Qualities of Excellent Nurse Educators
  • Work Experience and Clinical Knowledge. To teach others, you need to know your subject inside and out. ...
  • Education and the Drive for Continuous Learning. ...
  • Leadership Skills. ...
  • Ability to Teach. ...
  • Communication and People Skills. ...
  • Internal Motivation and Passion. ...
  • Professionalism.
28 Jun 2022

Is being a nurse educator worth it? ›

Aspiring nurses who wish to enter the educational field have to undergo a lengthier, more time consuming and more expensive academic path, but the result – significantly higher compensation, a less stressful working environment, career options that don't involve direct patient care – make it all worth it.

What is the lowest band in nursing? ›

​Outlining the NHS Nurse Grades and Bands
  • ​• Band 1 - Nursery Assistant. ...
  • Band 2 - Healthcare Assistant. ...
  • Band 3 - Emergency Care Assistant. ...
  • Band 4 - Theatre Support Worker. ...
  • Band 5 – Newly Qualified Nurse. ...
  • Band 6 – Nursing specialist or Senior Nurse. ...
  • Band 7 – Advanced Nurse / Nurse Practitioner.

Do nurse educators work with patients? ›

Most nurse educators have extensive clinical experience, and many continue caring for patients after becoming educators. Nurse educators serve as faculty members in nursing schools and teaching hospitals, sharing their knowledge and skills to prepare the next generation of nurses for effective practice.

Is a nurse educator a nurse leader? ›

The work of good nurse educators is reflected in those they teach, while the impact nurse leaders have is reflected in those they supervise. Nurse leaders motivate, challenge and move others forward, and so they are educators. Nurse educators inform, encourage and applaud, and so they are leaders.

Why do you want to be a clinical nurse educator? ›

It's a very rewarding way to impact future nurses and patients. I'm able to interact with students of all cultures and backgrounds. Many students are entering the nursing field as an advancement in health care, a change of career or because a life-changing experience has motivated them to become a nurse.

How can I become a good clinical educator? ›

  1. How to Be an Effective Clinical Instructor.
  2. Understanding Student Expectations.
  3. Recognizing the Stress in Clinical Practice.
  4. Breathe Through Your Nose.
  5. Visualize Yourself as a Partner.
  6. Using Humor Helps.
  7. Questions, Questions, Questions.
  8. Observing and Assisting Students With Skills.

Why are clinical nurse educators important? ›

A clinical nurse educator educates and assesses student learning and competency in the healthcare setting. They play an important role in assuring that students are confident and competent in the provision of patient/client/and family interventions.

How do I become a clinical nurse educator UK? ›

Here are seven steps that you can follow to become a nursing educator:
  1. Be a registered nurse (RN) ...
  2. Gain work experience as a registered nurse. ...
  3. Develop your skills. ...
  4. Get your master's degree. ...
  5. Get an optional nursing educator certification. ...
  6. Apply for jobs. ...
  7. Keep your skills and knowledge current.

How much do nursing lecturers earn? ›

£35K - £46K (Employer Est.)

What can I do instead of nursing UK? ›

There are many other career options you might want to consider if you know you want a career change from nursing.
These include:
  • Health consultant jobs.
  • Careers in sales.
  • Counselling.
  • Chemist.
  • Healthcare manager.
  • Healthcare IT.
  • Police officer.
18 Jul 2022

What makes a successful nurse educator? ›

Nurse educators should be well-educated and knowledgeable and possess strong clinical experience and excellent communication skills. They bring foundational experience and knowledge in both the art and science of nursing to the role, as well as knowledge of educational theories and testing and evaluation methods.

What is the best thing about being a nurse educator? ›

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a nursing educator is the opportunity to develop relationships and even close bonds with students. Many teachers find they can 'see' themselves in their students. These students hold similar goals and aspirations.

Are nurse educators stressful? ›

Nurse educators exhibiting compassion fatigue included the combination of high-risk scores for burnout and secondary traumatic stress [42]. Frequency analyses revealed in Table 2 show that 23.3% of the participants experienced high levels of burnout, and 21.9% experienced high levels of secondary traumatic stress.

What is the difference between nurse educator and nurse practitioner? ›

NPs receive advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury, drug therapy and medical management. Clinical nurse educator qualifications generally include postgraduate training and certification in nursing theory, education techniques and the interpretation of research.

Who earns more between a nurse and a teacher? ›

With an average reported salary of ​$75,330​ per year in 2020, registered nurses tend to make more than teachers. One in 10 registered nurses earns upwards of ​$116,230​ per year.

What pays better nursing or teaching? ›

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs earned a median pay of $77,600 in 2021, while nursing instructors and teachers at the postsecondary level earned a similar median pay of $77,440.

What band is a sister nurse? ›

Band 7 – Advanced Nurse / Nurse Practitioner

Often, nurses at this band are also known as 'Senior Sisters'. Within this level, the job responsibilities are a significant jump from Band 6.

What is a good grade in nursing? ›

A GPA above 3.0 would be a good GPA for nursing school.

What is the highest band nurse? ›

Newly qualified, NMC registered nurses start at Band 5, and the most qualified and experienced nursing consultants and specialists can climb all the way to the uppermost pay band, which is band 9.

How do nurse educators determine what to teach? ›

Research is used as an instrument in developing new teaching and learning strategies. Nurse educators are guided by evidence-based practice in teaching and on research reports. Evidence-based practice in learning is also based on research, meaning that students learn by using research findings.

Is the nurse educator an advanced practice role? ›

Examples include nursing informatics, nursing administration, and health care policy. Further, the NLN's Certification in Nursing Education validates nursing education as a “specialty area and an advanced practice role.”

Is nurse educator a leadership role? ›

Nurse educators in health care have a vital leadership role as clinical experts, role models, mentors, change agents, and supporters of quality projects.

What are nurse teachers called? ›

Professors of Nursing are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced degrees who work to educate the future generation of nurses. Their day-to-day consists of teaching and researching at universities.

How do I interview for a clinical nurse educator? ›

General nurse educator interview questions
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What's your favorite part about being a nurse educator?
  3. What's your greatest strength as a nurse educator?
  4. What's your greatest weakness as a nurse educator?
  5. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
  6. Why did you decide to become a nurse educator?
25 Aug 2021

What is the single most important goal of the nurse educator? ›

What is the most important goal of the nurse as an educator? That the patient can manage themselves. ) What defines the scope of a nurse as an educator? The state nurse practice act.

What are the core competencies of the clinical nurse educator? ›

The NLN eight core competencies are: (1) facilitate learning; (2) facilitate learner development and socialization; (3) use assessment and evaluation strategies; (4) participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes; (5) pursue systematic self-evaluation and improvement in the academic nurse educator ...

Is being a clinical instructor hard? ›

Clinical is one of the most challenging elements of nursing education because the student must apply knowledge learned in didactic, but must apply knowledge and safety to actual patient care.

How long does it take to become a practice educator? ›

You must have been working in post-qualifying social work practice for at least two years.

What are clinical educators? ›

Clinical Educators provide clinical expertise to healthcare providers and patients through utilization of their clinical skills and education, helping them to improve patient outcomes.

How much do clinical nurses make UK? ›

The typical NHS Clinical Nurse Specialist salary is £45,340 per year. Clinical Nurse Specialist salaries at NHS can range from £33,394 - £53,009 per year.

What is clinical education course? ›

Clinical education: A broad umbrella term that includes three types of learning opportunities to prepare students for independent clinical practice: athletic training clinical experiences, simulation, and supplemental clinical experiences.

Which nurse gets highest salary? ›

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist consistently ranks as the highest-paid nursing career. That is because Nurse Anesthetists are highly skilled Registered Nurses who work closely with medical staff during medical procedures that require anesthesia.

How long does it take to become a nursing professor? ›

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that it can take up to ten years to become a fully tenured professor (www.bls.gov). While you're in school, you should gain as much teaching experience as possible; this can be accomplished through graduate teaching assistantships available in master's and doctoral programs.

How do you become a professor after nursing? ›

Well you need a minimum 1 year experience in working as a hospital staff nurse and then you can apply for the lecturer post in any nursing colleges. Completion of msc nursing would fetch you a good pay and can be an associate professor. When after a B.Sc, I do a BSc in nursing, will the course duration be the same?

What type of nurse is most in demand in UK? ›

Paediatric Nurse

They provide expert care to not only the children but also their parents as they help them understand the medical concern of their child/children. They are one of the highest paid nursing specialties in the UK and their average annual salary is £64,598.

What nurse has the easiest job? ›

Low-Stress Nursing Careers
  • 1 1. Nurse Educator.
  • 2 2. School Nurse/Summer Camp Nurse.
  • 3 3. Nurse Administrator.
  • 4 4. Public Health Nurse.
  • 5 5. Nurse Researcher.
  • 6 6. Nurse Informaticist.
  • 7 7. Case Management Nurse.
  • 8 8. Home Health Nurse.
30 Sept 2020

Which nurse is the easiest? ›

Keep reading to learn about some of the least stressful nursing roles that might appeal to you.
  1. Nurse educator. ...
  2. Long-term care nurse. ...
  3. Nurse administrator. ...
  4. Clinical research nurse. ...
  5. School or summer camp nurse. ...
  6. Clinic nurse. ...
  7. Nurse informatics. ...
  8. Lactation consultant nurse.
2 Dec 2019

What are the 5 roles of an educator? ›

In this blog post, we will be discussing the 6 different roles of a teacher.
  • The manager. This role entails that the teacher takes charge of a classroom. ...
  • The prompter. This role is all about encouraging participation and motivation for learning. ...
  • The helper. ...
  • The assessor. ...
  • The preparer. ...
  • The tutor.
3 May 2021

What is the role of the educator? ›

An educator's most important responsibility is to search out and construct meaningful educational experiences that allow students to solve real-world problems and show they have learned the big ideas, powerful skills, and habits of mind and heart that meet agreed-on educational standards.

How important is the role of nurses as health educators? ›

Another very important role of the nurse as educator is serving as a clinical instructor for stu- dents in the practice setting. Many staff nurses function as clinical preceptors and mentors to ensure that nursing students meet their expected learning outcomes.

What skills do you need to be a educator? ›

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

What is the most important role of an educator? ›

A great teacher always has compassion for their students, understanding of their students' personal lives, and appreciation for their academic goals and achievements. Teachers are role models for children to be positive, always try harder, and reach for the stars.

What kind of job is an educator? ›

Teachers create lesson plans and tests in order to educate students on specific subjects depending on the age and skill of the students. Analyzing and reporting progress back to parents is also a responsibility teacher must complete, as well as creating and reinforcing rules for their classroom.

What are the Norms and Standards for educators? ›

The Norms and Standards for Educators (NSE) uses an outcomes-based approach to teacher education and provides detailed descriptions of what a competent educator can demonstrate. The emphasis of the policy is on performance in the schools, classrooms, management and support services of the schooling system.

What are the three most important skills you have Learnt in bpt1501? ›


Research, Reading, Writing, Analysis Critical thinking, and Reflecting.

What are the four teaching roles? ›

The Four Roles of a Teacher
  • Instructor. When most people mention the teacher, they are thinking of the role of the instructor, the "knower" of specific knowledge. ...
  • Controller. The controller is the role that the teacher is in complete charge of the classroom. ...
  • Role Model. ...
  • Mentor.
6 Apr 2020

What's the difference between an educator and a teacher? ›

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a teacher as 'one whose occupation is to instruct' and an educator as 'one skilled in teaching; a student of the theory and practice of education.

What it means to be an educator? ›

: one skilled in teaching : teacher. : a student of the theory and practice of education : educationist sense 2. : an administrator in education.


1. Day In The Life Of A Clinical Instructor
(Nurse David)
2. What Does It Mean to Be a Nurse Educator?
(MSN Google Services)
3. Chelsea Woodell, RN, BSN, CCRN at GBMC discusses being a Nurse Educator
(Greater Baltimore Medical Center)
4. Different Nurse Educator Roles and How to Become a Nurse Educator
(Carol Forde-Johnston)
5. What Do Nurse Educators Really Do?
(The Nurse Lounge)
6. Life as a Nursing Educator
(Pennsylvania College of Technology)
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