There are two broad types of nursing lecturer jobs: those that are full-time professorships and those that are more occasional teaching posts, either involving single courses or stand-alone talks on aspects of nursing. Jobs in both categories take place primarily in nursing schools. Teaching hospitals and continuing nurse education programs may also support lecturers in some capacity. Most of the time, nursing lecturers must have extensive practical nursing experience before they will be considered for positions in either the full-time or part-time categories.
Full-time nursing professor jobs are known as nursing lecturer jobs primarily in the United Kingdom, or in schools following the UK model. British universities are usually structured around a faculty of junior and senior lecturers. A person whose career is to teach in an English nursing academy is usually referred to as a nursing lecturer.
In the United States and Canada, a person in an equivalent position is typically called a nursing professor. This is not always the case, however. Some schools, particularly those with hefty endowments, will fund “lectureships in nursing,” which often pay the salaries of full-time faculty. A person who has won such a position is usually known professionally as a professor, but may have an internal designation as an endowed lecturer. Endowments like this are most popular within certain specialties, such as neonatal care, cardiothoracics, or women’s health.
Most of the time, however, nursing lecturer jobs outside of the British system are more temporary postings, akin adjunct or part-time professorships. Nurses who take these jobs do not usually give up their regular practices. Instead, they commit to teaching on a part-time schedule, and in their off hours continue seeing patients or doing rotations. Nursing schools often recruit nurses with particular expertise in certain areas to teach classes on those subjects. A well-respected nurse within a specific discipline may also often market him or herself as a professional lecturer within that discipline as a way of boosting professional cache.
There are many advantages to this sort of university lecturer system. Firstly, the lecturers are able to maintain their professional edge by keeping one foot in practice. Nursing, like most medical professions, evolves and changes relatively rapidly, as new discoveries are made and technologies advance.
More flexible nursing lecturer jobs also allow instructors to focus only on what they know. Full-time nursing faculty must usually carry a varied course load, teaching classes that may or may not be directly in their line of interest. Part-time lecturers, on the other hand, usually only teach from their specialty.
Offering nursing lecturer jobs is also a good way for schools to attract top-notch nursing talent. It is often hard for nursing programs to retain quality faculty members, in part because the pay earned teaching nursing is usually significantly less than then in a full-time nursing career. Teachers are essential to the propagation of the discipline, however, and this kind of lecturer often offer the best of both worlds.
A part-time academic career carries drawbacks as well. An occasional nursing college lecturer is often unable to really engage with students outside of class, and may have a harder time providing mentorship. Too many part-time lecturers can also erode an academy’s consistency in teaching and grading. Most schools, regardless of jurisdiction, aim for an even balance between full and part-time faculty.