A shortage of nursing faculty at schools in Texas is preventing some programs from accepting qualified applicants. The shortage is expected to continue in Texas over the next decade, in part due to impending retirement — the average age of nurse faculty in Texas is 54 years. Nursing faculty are licensed, registered nurses with clinical nursing experience who have received additional education — principally master’s and doctoral degrees. Online MSN programs can help fill those staffing gaps by providing a flexible advanced degree option for working nurses, who can then transition to the role of nurse educator.
Areas of study in a nurse educator program may include teaching practicum, educational components, curriculum design and research. Students in nurse educator programs can deepen their knowledge and clinical practice while also building essential leadership and teaching skills.
Nurse educators combine academic knowledge and practical experience in their instruction, allowing nursing students to gain the benefit of research and hands-on lessons in a familiar, yet challenging environment. Nursing faculty jobs often entail research and leading classes. Nurse educators rely on peer review as well as stated objectives from academic leadership to ensure students receive a comprehensive education.
Nurse educators serve at variety of institutions
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2014 report on nursing faculty jobs shows nearly 30,000 instructors are employed nationwide by colleges, universities and professional schools. An additional 19,950 instructors are employed by junior colleges, and nearly 6,000 work at general medical and surgical hospitals, and technical and trade schools. The mean salary for nursing faculty jobs across the various institutions is around $70,000 annually.
Faculty may teach or conduct and publish research
The focus placed on nursing faculty jobs may differ from one institution to the next. Community college systems often seek applicants whose emphasis is on classroom instruction; four-year colleges with bachelor’s and master’s programs seek candidates with teaching experience as well as scholarly writing; research-focused universities seek candidates who can successfully lead classrooms, secure funding, conduct research and publish results. Nurse Educator is an academic publication that focuses solely on the publication of nurse educator research and academic articles.
Online MSN programs can lead to faculty positions
Nursing faculty jobs are available throughout Texas, and organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) provide listings of available positions to connect nurse educators with educational institutions. In 2014, there were 97 nurse faculty vacancies in Texas alone.
Desired applicants include nurses with advanced degrees such as those from an online MSN program and from doctoral programs. Candidates who have completed an online MSN program can begin working as nurse educators in a variety of educational institutions.
Learn about the Lamar University online MSN in Nursing Education program.