A Call for Nurse Educators

A popular question we ask children today is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some common answers are a doctor, a teacher, or an astronaut. Many of us wouldn’t have said college professor or nurse educator but as we now realize there are many professions that we didn’t know of or understand when we were young. The world we live in today is ever changing and evolving which places a burden on our education system to accommodate that need. I personally have always loved helping people. I pursued my dream to become a nurse and lived that reality for 5 years before realizing I had more to offer. As nurses, we are the patient’s advocate. We provide them with the care they need and also provide them with educational materials that go along with that. That may look like information on a new medication, instructions on how to change a dressing, or how to effectively get in and out of bed with a post-operative wound. Whatever the need may be, we are always educating. It sometimes directs our care more than we realize. Despite all the educating we do on a daily basis as the nurse, we continue to see a vast need for nurse educators in society today. Who will educate the generations of nurses to come? Who will take care of our current workforce? This is where the profession of nursing needs to bloom. We need to plant seeds today to be able to harvest a bountiful crop of passionate and well qualified nurse educators for the future. Educators who are zealous and eager to teach and be in the trenches of growing the next generation of healthcare providers.

It is my hope that this blog will be an inspiration to anyone who loves nursing and to those who may be considering pursuing academic nursing education. It is such a rewarding feeling to watch your students work to learn something new and to be able to facilitate that process and watch them attain that goal. Especially when that goal leads to them helping those who are sick and in need of care. One of the most beautiful things about nursing is the ability to evolve your career as you make your way through life. So, if today you are considering changing directions or trying something new, I ask you this question: Could you impact the future generation of learners by sharing your knowledge and expertise with the students of the nursing world? I urge you, if this is something that has crossed your mind, reach out to me, I would love to talk to you about nursing education!

Learn more about how you can pursue a career as a nurse educator through Walsh University’s Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator (BSN to MSN-NE) and Doctor of Nursing Practice – Nurse Educator (BSN to DNP-NE) programs, offered fully online!

About the Author


My name is Colleen Wiley and I am a nurse educator. Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher, but I also had an interest in learning about science. I have always loved helping people which is why I chose to pursue a career in nursing. I spent my time in undergraduate nursing school working as a nurse intern on a medical surgical unit. After graduation in 2005, I worked at the bedside caring for post-operative patients and I loved it! Eventually, I started offering to train new employees and I would also take on nursing students for their clinical preceptorship. It was then that I truly realized my real passion was seeded in becoming a nurse educator! I started working as an adjunct clinical instructor in 2010 and immediately knew this was the path for me. A fire was lit inside of me! That burning feeling of helping others was reignited as I shifted my focus from helping sick and/or recovering patients in the acute setting to helping students learn how to become a nurse. I pursued a graduate degree in nursing education which I earned in December of 2014. I have been working as a nurse educator ever since I took that first leap back in 2010.

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