Clinical Nurse Educator Certification and Certificate Programs

Registered nurses with accumulated work experience, an interest in helping other nurses adjust to their careers, and an interest in teaching are well positioned to become clinical nurse educators. Programs acquaint senior nurses with a mix of concepts and practices, such as curriculum design, learning methodologies, student evaluation, and education technology, to help them train subordinates for a career in nursing.

Essential Information

  • Program Levels in Clinical Nurse Educator: Graduate certificate
  • Clinical Nurse Educator Certificate Specializations: Collegiate education, staff development
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's or Master's Degree (depending on program), significant training/professional experience in a clinical specialty (e.g., cardiac care, pediatrics, etc.), registered nurse licensure
  • Online Availability: Programs are available online
  • Program Length: 4-5 classes

Clinical Nurse Education Certification

Nurse educator programs are generally brief in duration. Courses in some programs give students the option to specialize in continuing education, staff development or collegiate education. Common courses in a nurse educator program include the following:

  • Nursing curriculum development
  • Nursing program planning
  • Nursing instruction methods
  • Professional ethics and legal issues
  • Clinical nursing practice

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Nurses who earn a clinical nurse educator certificate are qualified to provide instruction to lower level nurses and nurses in training. Certificate holders can move toward teaching full- or part-time and continue to work in a clinical setting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted opportunities for registered nurses from 2010-2020 to be excellent, at around a 26% growth rate. Growth in demand for nurses will create, in turn, demand for clinical nurse educators. According to Payscale.com, nurse educators earned a median salary of $69,218 as of November 2013.

Continuing Education Information

A number of schools offer both certificates and MSN programs concentrating in nursing education. In many cases, credits earned in a post-baccalaureate clinical nurse educator certificate program can be applied towards an MSN with a nurse educator focus. Licensed nurses who have completed training as nurse educators and want to gain certification can do so by passing the Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) examination offered by the National League for Nursing.

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