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Nurse educator

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Summary of occupation

​A nurse educator is responsible for the design, planning, implementation and assessment of teaching and learning for nurses within hospitals and health care facilities. They make sure that nurses keep up to date with advances in nursing, and help nurses plan their continuing professional development.

Nurse educators coordinate and assess nurses’ clinical competencies to ensure that nurses deliver safe and effective nursing care. They may also manage educational resources for nurses within the hospital or healthcare facility, and may undertake their own research.

ANZSCO description: Designs, plans, implements and evaluates the delivery of nursing education and staff development programs, and manages educational resources.
Alternative names: Clinical Nurse Educator, Staff Development Nurse
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A nurse educator needs:

  • passion and commitment to nursing and  teaching
  • advanced knowledge and experience in nursing
  • excellent communication skills to liaise with other professionals and provide clear information to students
  • good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • leadership and motivational abilities
  • organisational and time management skills
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Working conditions

Nurse educators may work in private or public hospitals, aged care homes or other health service facilities to assist in nursing staff development or to organise clinical learning activities.

Nurse educators usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work shift work when employed in hospitals.

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Salary details

​On average, nurse educators and researchers can expect to earn approximately $1 844 per week ($95 867 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

​Nurse educators regularly use computers and office equipment, as well as educational resources.

Nurse educators may use advanced patient simulation mannequins to imitate emergencies and demonstrate aspects of nursing care.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

​To become a nurse educator you must first become a qualified registered nurse. You must also gain sufficient practical experience as a nurse, and usually need to complete postgraduate study in nursing and education.

Edith Cowan University offers an 18 month Master of Nurse Education. Contact the university for more information.

To work as a nurse in Western Australia, you must obtain professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, and hold a current Working with Children clearance issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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