What is a Nursing Instructor?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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A nursing instructor is the person who prepares aspiring nurses for their careers. He teaches the principals of nursing to students in classrooms, clinics, private health facilities and community centers. Aside from lecturing, the instructor may also direct educational seminars and supervise nursing students in laboratory procedures. In a variety of medical environments, he normally monitors their performance and evaluates their patient communication skills.

Aside from teaching nursing students the particulars of providing optimum patient care, the instructor usually educates them in psychology and the biological and physical sciences. These classes often cover topics such as anatomy, nutrition and chemistry. Special training in treating surgical or terminally ill patients is commonly included in the nursing education curriculum.

At appropriate intervals, the nursing instructor administers tests and examinations to the students. He evaluates individual performance and counsels students on ways to improve their grades. His job generally requires keeping detailed records of students’ grades and their performances in clinical atmospheres.

As part of the medical teaching community, the nursing instructor commonly provides input on upcoming curricula and assists in compiling course reading requirements. He may be included in preparing teaching schedules and developing course outlines. A nursing instructor often communicates with nursing and medical personnel about innovative teaching methods and new nursing practices.


In addition to regular teaching responsibilities, an instructor in this field is often seen as a mentor or counselor by nursing students. New students who may lack confidence or question their career choice often will look to the nursing instructor for support and guidance on these issues. He is usually expected to allay their fears and help them gain a better understanding of the nursing profession and its rewards.

After nursing students graduate, many rely upon the nursing instructor to help them find careers. The instructor typically has ties in the medical community that can help open doors of opportunity. He also may direct new graduates to jobs in other geographic areas or assist them in choosing a specialty that matches their skills and interests.

Most nursing instructor positions require a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing or a related health field. Small facilities occasionally consider someone for the position who has impressive experience along with a bachelor’s degree and a registered nurse license. In most cases, a minimum of a year’s experience in medical or surgical environments is required to be considered for a nursing instructor position.


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Post 3

One of the theories for why there is a shortage of nursing instructors is that the pay is not attractive enough to lure people to the profession. However when you look at the average salary for instructors it is it not particularly low. The problem is that most people qualified to teach at a nursing college can earn more money working at a hospital or private practice than they could teaching students.

Post 2

My aunt works as a nursing instructor, but she primarily works with people studying to be certified nursing assistants. Actually, in the U.S. there is a shortage of nurses, but because there is also a shortage of nursing instructors, many nursing schools are unable to accommodate all the people who want to enroll.

This situation makes it difficult for the supply of qualified nurses to catch up with the demand for their services.

Post 1

As the article explains there are different ways to arrive at the position of nursing instructor. Speaking from my experience, I think the best nursing instructors are the men and women who initially had a desire to become nurses because they wanted to work closely with patients and help people in general.

Many instructors are nurses who have worked hands on with patients for years. Some of these nurses get burned out and use teaching as a way to re-energize themselves by passing on what they have learned over the years. While nursing is rewarding, the profession can also be stressful and emotionally draining at times.

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