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5 Jobs for Nurse Educators

The Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator degree expands a nurse’s career horizons. While environments and exact duties vary by position, jobs for the MSN – Nurse Educator graduate grant the opportunity to educate others. notes that the Master of Science Nurse Educator specialization equips the practicing clinical nurse with the tools to transition into education.

While salary varies by location and position, Nurse Journal lists the average mid-career nurse educator salary as $72,078 per year.

Here are five jobs for nurse educators.

1. Academic Nurse Educator (ANE)

The academic nurse educator plays an important role by instructing future nurses. Positions can be found in colleges, universities and nursing technical schools. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that the lack of nursing faculty alone resulted in 75,029 qualified candidates being turned away from U.S. nursing schools in 2018.

Nursing faculty engage in research and scholarly work, advise students, and speak at conferences. While most of the work involves educating nursing students, many nurse educators continue to work in a clinical setting to maintain their technical skills.

American Nurse points out that ANEs typically need an MSN in nursing education, but those with a doctorate are sometimes preferred.

Positions in technical and trade schools can pay academic nurse educators as much as $73,400 per year.

2. Occupational Health Nurse (OHN)

Occupational health nurses are often the care experts in corporate settings. They address employee needs, often in conjunction with human resources. Daily Nurse indicates that typical duties may include drug screenings, first aid, and workers’ compensation claim investigations.

Occupational health nurses may be involved in assessing occupational health and safety. Health promotion and disease prevention may also fall under the OHN’s purview.

Not every OHN position requires a graduate degree, but a candidate with an MSN in nursing education will have an advantage over the competition. Teaching experience is helpful when dealing with employees who are not as familiar with health matters. Additionally, the graduate degree communicates status and expertise in larger companies.

According to, occupational health nurses make between $78,119 and $96,398 annually (December 2019).

3. Patient Education Coordinator

According to Daily Nurse, the patient education coordinator explains procedures, medications and diseases to patients and their families. Informed patients are set up for improved outcomes because they will have an understanding of their illness or injury and know how to support optimal health. Patient education coordinators work in clinics, hospitals and home healthcare agencies.

While an MSN in nursing education is not always required for this position, it is preferred in most settings.

According to, patient education coordinators earn an average of $116,936 annually (December 2019).

4. Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE)

Nursing2020 explains the CNE role as that of a very skilled and organized nursing professional who brings staff up to speed in a clinical setting. They assess skills of nurses on the team and develop a plan to orient and empower new nurses who join the facility. The CNE also holds small classes to educate nurses on various procedures.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is often the minimum degree requirement for a CNE, but an MSN in nursing education is preferred. All CNEs must pass annual competency requirements and they must teach these requirements to others. indicates that CNEs can earn an average of $80,780 annually (December 2019).

5. Nursing Professional Development Specialist (NPD)

According to American Nurse, the NPD position is similar to the role of CNE. The NPD works in clinical settings to help bridge gaps in techniques and expectations as nurses change roles. They must know how to break down techniques in such a way that they can easily teach those techniques to other nurses.

Instructing nurses on new techniques sets up the NPD as an organizational leader. Many of these nurse educators serve as mentors. NPDs can also serve as advisors for staff nurses.

The standard requirement for an NPD/CNE is an MSN in nurse education with an active registered nurse license.

Glassdoor shows the average base salary for the NPD is $64,482 annually (January 2020).

The MSN – Nurse Educator degree can open a variety of career doors. If you enjoy teaching others, you may find a position that is a perfect fit for your passions and skillset.

Learn more about the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s online MSN Nurse Educator program.

Sources: How to Become a Nurse Educator

Nurse Journal: Nursing Educator Careers and Salary Outlook

American Nurse: Career Options for Nurse Educators

Daily Nurse: What Does an Occupational Health Nurse Do? Staff Nurse – RN – Occupational Health Salary in the United States

Daily Nurse: Patient Education Coordinator

Nursing2020: Advancing the Profession – The Clinical Nurse Educator Clinical Nurse Educator Salary in the United States Patient Education Coordinator Salary in the United States

Glassdoor: Nursing Professional Development Specialist Salaries

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Nursing Faculty Shortage

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