With all the choices nurses have in the nursing field, teaching is one many options nurses enjoy. And with a major nursing faculty shortage looming, now is a great time to consider teaching. Is a faculty position in your future? Can you teach nursing to the next generation of nurses?

With nursing schools in need of teachers to meet the volume of students and applicants, teaching might be worth your while. If you have the advanced degrees and the drive, getting in front of a classroom will enrich your life and help ease the faculty shortage and boost the number of nurses prepared to enter the workforce. Lastly, switching between a healthcare setting and an academic setting is often invigorating and reminds many nurses why they got into the field in the first place.

Faculty Is Needed

With many older faculty retiring or approaching retirement age, nursing faculty positions are opening up and need to be filled. If you think teaching might be something you like, now is a great time to try it. And, no, you don’t need to commit to a full load of classes your first semester teaching. Try teaching one night class, an online class, or even a few seminars to see if you like the responsibility and the interaction.

You Can Effect Change

Do you have nursing school professors who changed your way of thinking or who influenced your career path? You could be that person for other nursing students. Are you passionate about family involvement in patient care or are you a big advocate of nursing legislation? Nursing students want to know all this information. They aren’t there just to learn how to do a proper trach (although, of course, they need to know that!). They want to know what makes a great nurse. If you think you have something to offer, you can do that.

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You Don’t Need to Go Back to School

At the university and college level, you don’t have to obtain a teaching degree or certification like you might if you taught in elementary or public schools. But if you have advanced nursing degrees (MS or DNP), there’s a good chance you can find a teaching position. See what’s required by an organization, but often your degree(s) and your experience will suffice. On your own, you’ll probably need to talk to other faculty and do some research for pointers on running your first class.

You Don’t Have to Fast Track

Many nursing professors are not on a tenure track and often teach part time (which is a problem if your goal is to a full-time professor). If you’d be happy to teach a class while continuing your current career, you can do that. You’d get a little extra income, a lot of new experience, and would form lasting relationships with your students.

You Are Continuing a Tradition

Remember being inspired in classrooms when you were a nursing student? New nurses want to hear your stories from the trenches. They want to know what they might encounter as an ER nurse, what makes an excellent pediatric NP, and how you manage the stress of tough cases or even of losing a patient. Here’s your chance to tell those stories and impart real-life wisdom and academically oriented knowledge at the same time.

Do you think you could teach nursing?


Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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