What does being a nurse educator mean?

It can be said today that healthcare workers are in high demand, especially in the wake of COVID-19. The truth is, we are facing a shortage of educators who teach those front-line providers. Much like the bedside nurse, there are many roles the nurse educator must fulfill. Some of those include but are not limited to classroom teaching, clinical practice and evaluation, academic advising, serving as a mentor and positive role model, designing and/or maintaining curriculum for courses, and leading and facilitating discussion just to name a few. When I first started my path to becoming a nurse educator, I knew there was a trait that was very important to me that I wanted to whole heartedly embody and that was open communication built on trust. During my time at Walsh I have had many, many working relationships with faculty who possess the same characteristics. This was a huge encouragement to me!! I felt very strongly about the importance of being open enough to my group of students to allow them to feel comfortable. For me, being a nurse educator means taking the objectives for a course and presenting them clearly to my students while also conveying my openness and willingness to be their guide. Essentially, the nurse educator can be compared to a scenic tour guide. Sure, anyone can drive to the Grand Canyon and look around, but a tour guide can point out all the little details and give you insight to certain things you may not have noticed on your own. The tour guide knows all the ins and outs, they are the expert. This is the nurse educator!! Being the educator means taking the course content, presenting it and all the specifics that go along with it and leading the students on the journey. As the nurse educator, you have the opportunity to share your love for nursing with students. It means placing your fingerprint on the future of nursing for generations to come. The nursing world is always learning. COVID-19 is the perfect example of how we must adapt and learn to accommodate our circumstances. If our career demands nurses to be life-time learners, don’t we also need life-time teachers? If you are reading this today, you may be one of the many nurses working tirelessly to care for our nation suffering a pandemic. Are you someone who enjoys teaching others new things? Could you possibly become a life-time educator? Through the Master of Science in Nursing Nurse Educator program at Walsh University you could be on your way to fulfilling your dreams and helping shape the future of our profession. I would love to talk with you about our program. Please reach out to me if you are interested in this wonderful opportunity.

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.

Contact Us

Social Media