It goes without saying that in the last 2 years, the world has become more aware of the shortage of nursing staff.
Which has a few reasons behind it. For one thing, governments around the world are investing less money in this area than they have in the past. This has led to fewer people wanting to pursue this career. As few undergraduates can afford to pay for nursing fees without funding. Then, there is also an issue with training. To train as a nurse, you will need to have a clinical placement, which may be in a hospital, psychiatric ward, or other care units. However, when it comes to the university training aspect, there are few people who can educate nurses.
Specifically, there are very few nurse educators. In essence, these nurses can also help train other nurses who are looking to undertake their RN or MSN training certificates.
If you are already trained as a registered nurse, you may have considered becoming a nurse educator. But you may not see all of the advantages that this role has to offer. In the following article, five reasons why you should train as a nurse educator will be discussed. So you can decide if this is something you want to pursue.
Nursing is a skill that is in high demand, but as mentioned earlier, there are few nurse educators available. This means universities have to turn away students who are willing to train as nurses. Leading to and worsening the nursing shortage. In fact, in 2014, nursing schools in the US turned away nearly 69,000 student applicants who were qualified, according to a report from the American Associates of Colleges of Nursing. This highlights the shortage of faculties, which is continuing to limit the growth of nursing programs. Simply because universities do not have the capacity to train everyone who comes in.
By becoming a nurse educator, you can help to alleviate this shortage. While also passing on valuable information to the next generation of training nurses. If you aren’t sure where to begin in training as a nurse educator, take a look at what training to be a nurse educator entails, and read what is involved in the academic aspects of this role.
It is true that training as a nurse educator will mean you will have to develop your academic knowledge, such as knowing how to actually train students, mark papers, and oversee other areas in university life. Usually, while also working in clinical practice, your skills will always be in very high demand. While also adding to your general skill set and making you more employable and desirable in the nursing community and healthcare overall.
When you work in a clinical setting with your patients, you have to communicate information in a way that is accessible to them. And you have to answer questions about their treatments and the illnesses that they may have been diagnosed with. In short, you, as a nurse, already have a role as a teacher or educator. Except when you decide to train as a nurse educator, you will be answering questions and inquiries from all those who want to be just like you. Somebody who has dedicated their lives to helping others and ensuring that the highest standards of healthcare are met.
Many nurse educators realized that this was a role for them when they attended a training course as a registered nurse, as they realized that learning and training others in the field can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. It is also worth noting that a quality nurse can only be made from quality education, and who better to train the next generation of nurses than somebody who already has your skill set? You will also need to, as a nurse educator, inspire your students in the area with each lecture. You want to make them feel excited about nursing and encourage them to never stop learning about the subject. It also offers you the chance to truly connect with people who are training, who may be struggling, and inspire them to be the best they can be. What a rewarding role to have!
You will know yourself that as a nurse, you never stop learning. Whether you are working in an ER unit or on an elderly care ward.
However, some nurses feel that they do not learn anything new in their clinical practice unless they are required to attend a training course. This will usually be an update on techniques and methods, so many feel that the only way to learn something new is to transfer to a different unit, which can be a bit of an upheaval.
Training as a nurse educator, you would need to have access to and understand the most recent research in the area of nursing. This will mean putting on your academic hat and relearning how to look through research articles and interpret their meaning. You then get to share this information with others, and as an expert in the field, you will have access to the most recent studies and research findings. This means you never stop learning about your subject.
This will help you to diversify your own skillset in your clinical placement. While ensuring that those under your care benefit from the most recent research updates. You also get to teach your students about the latest techniques and studies in the area of nursing. So they can adapt their own practice and techniques based on this. Which is, once again, exceedingly rewarding and beneficial to patient care. It almost always guarantees that you will never get bored.
It is safe to say that one thing that is off-putting for many nurses is the long hours. Especially if you are getting older. 12-hour shifts or night work may no longer have the appeal they did in your 20s. Or perhaps your lifestyle or family needs a bit of a change from the standard 12-hour shifts, three to four times a week.
Becoming a nurse educator does not mean that you step away from the role of a nurse. It simply means you can help to train the next generation of nurses without having to rush around on your feet for 12 hours at a time. Most people who train as educators work in an office or a classroom, which has shorter hours and creates a much better work-life balance.
This can also benefit your mental health. As you are still working in an area that you love. But you do not have the pressures of working on a ward. This can be difficult to emotionally manage if you are short-staffed, and you may have frequently been unable to provide the care that you wanted due to staff shortages or fatigue.
If you aren’t ready to step off the wards just yet, that’s fine too. Becoming a nurse educator allows you to balance this aspect of your career with clinical practice. Once again, this can provide a better work-life balance, as you may only be required to work one or two 12-hour shifts a week, depending on the hospital where you are practicing and teaching to keep your clinical skills up to standard.
Make A Difference
Training as a nursing educator allows you to also make a difference. Not only to patients’ lives, but also to the lives of training nursing students. By engaging at this end of helping new nurses begin their careers, you are helping more people than you could ever have done as a registered nurse working on a ward. This allows you to make the real difference that you got into nursing for without having to run yourself ragged managing 20 patients at one time.
It also allows you to influence research in this area as well. Many nurse educators are involved in ongoing nursing and health-based research at the universities where they work. So, you can bring about widespread change in areas of nursing that you may feel are lacking. Which can lead to a change in nursing policy and even lead to saving the lives of patients and making their care better.
Becoming a nurse educator may be the perfect step for you in your career as a registered nurse. Especially if you are a big fan of training new nurses or if you simply miss the academic side of your registered nurse training. It is also an area that will allow you to develop your skills and can help change the underlying policies on which nursing is based. You will have the chance to influence the next generation of nurses without having to work on the ward unless you want to, while advancing your nursing career at the same time. In short, being a nurse educator can heighten your status in the world of nursing. Helping you to be the professional that you know you can be without spending too much time in clinical practice.