Nurse Educator Salary in 2023

Nurse Educator Salary in 2023

If you are working as a registered nurse and are considering getting your master’s degree to work as a nurse educator, you are probably interested in how much money you could make by doing so. The good news is, we have the answer and so much more.


Being a nurse educator is an extensive role when you seriously look into the career field. Although being a nurse educator could simply mean you’re educating students who are training to become nurses, this degree can help you land careers all across the healthcare field. So, even though you may have every intention of working for a school to educate students on all aspects of training to become registered nurses, you could also find yourself in many other roles.


Working in a hospital, school, doctor’s office, or anywhere else as a healthcare professional can be extremely rewarding for anyone who enjoys helping not only patients but their entire families and even entire communities. Choosing to become a nurse educator not only provides you with a fulfilling career but can also be a great way to bring in some good money.

What is a Nurse Educator

If you are currently a registered nurse and feel like you want to do more, a good career to look into is becoming a nurse educator. A nurse educator is a professional educator who teaches future nurses everything they need to know to be productive, professional, and dependable nurses.


Nurse educators can work in training hospitals, colleges, training programs, certificate programs, etc. Nurse educators are responsible for advising, guiding, and facilitating lesson plans to help new nurses enter the health care world with a strong start.


As a nurse educator, you are tasked with creating lesson plans, teaching courses, evaluating student work and program designs, acting as a professional role model, etc.  It is your responsibility as a nurse educator to prepare your students for their futures as nurses.

Conditions Nurse Educators Work in 

Some nurse educators work mostly in a school-type setting while others work in hospitals, training and educating staff nurses. Either way, nurse educators do not have to deal with the typical all-nighters or 12-hour shifts that clinical nurses see. A basic eight-hour workday with weekends off is typical. If you teach at a nursing school or university, you may even have summers off.


Rather than working in a fast-paced hospital or doctor’s office setting providing patient care, the nurse educator’s job is a little more relaxed, where you may spend most of your day preparing for lectures, lessons, and exams. For those who work in a hospital as a clinical nurse educator, your day consists of training new nurses on the policies and procedures of the facility and educating staff about new developments in research, and performing nursing interventions according to regulations.

What Type of Education Do You Need to Become a Nurse Educator?

Becoming a nurse educator requires many years of education and experience. You must first earn your bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing, then take and pass the nursing exam, and obtain your Registered Nurses license from the state. Once you are a licensed registered nurse, you must work in that position for at least two to three years in a clinical role.


Once you are an experienced RN, you can then enroll in a nurse educator program and obtain your master’s degree for this position in as little as two years. Once you complete your degree program and pass your clinical, you can then take the certified nurse educator exam and obtain your certificate. From there, you can obtain a license in your state, and then you are prepared to start working as a nurse educator.

Schools Offering Nurse Educator Degrees

There are a ton of colleges and universities offering the nurse educator master’s program. When choosing which one is right for you, decide which will better fit your current lifestyle. You can take courses online, on-campus, or both. You can also obtain your degree on a fast-track program in less than two years or take them at your own pace and earn your degree while still working full-time.


Here are ten great schools that offer nurse educator degrees you may be interested in attending:


  1. Indiana Wesleyan University
  2. University of Mary
  3. Thomas Edison State University
  4. University of Texas Medical Branch
  5. University of Toledo
  6. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  7. Kent State University
  8. Carlow University
  9. University of Texas-El Paso
  10.  University of South Alabama

Working as a Nurse Educator

There are many benefits to working as a nurse educator, from helping people who have nowhere else to turn to educate young minds who are fresh out of Nursing school determined to do good in the community. 


If this is your passion, then here are some statistics to help you get a good idea of how much money you can make working as a nurse educator and where you can make the most money around the nation.

Nurse Educator Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor, the outlook for registered nurse education is supposed to increase about 13% over the next decade. Like most jobs related to the healthcare field, the outlook for the growth of the Nurse educator is projected to increase at a faster pace than the average job.


Although the majority of the United States has a high demand for health educators, some states have more opportunities than others. 


5 states with the most Nurse Education Career Opportunities:

  • California with 6600 Health Education Employees
  • New York with 4190 Health Education Employees
  • Texas with 3420 Health Education Employees
  • Florida with 3230 Health Education Employees
  • Pennsylvania 2770 Health Education Employees


5 State with the least amount of Nurse Education Career Opportunities

  • North Dakota with 90 Health Education Employees
  • Wyoming with 120 Health Education Employees
  • South Dakota with 160 Health Education Employees
  • Rhode Island with 150 Health Education Employees
  • Alaska with 190 Health Education Employees

Starting Salary for a Nurse Educator

Like any other occupation, the average annual salary ranges depending on which state you live in and the demand for the profession. With that said, the average pay rate for a nurse educator is around $76,736 annually.

Factors that Affect a Nurse Educator’s Salary

The biggest factors affecting nurse educator salary are experience, training, and skill levels. The type of education and training you have already completed while working in the healthcare field will dramatically help your salary working as a nurse educator.


1. Nurse Salary Based on Years Worked

In the nurse education field, like other career fields, you get paid more the longer you work in your position and prove you are professional and knowledgeable to perform the best job possible while you are employed.


The longer you are employed with a company shows your commitment, determinations, and dedication you have on the job. Here is a look at the average annual salary of a nurse educator throughout the entirety of a career.


  • Entry Level Nurse Educators (1 year or less): $72,000 annually
  • Early Career Lever (1-4 years): $72,000 annually
  • Mid-Level Career (5-9 years): 74,000 annually
  • Late-Career Level (10-19 years): $79,000 annually
  • Experienced Level (20+ Years): $86,000 annually

2. Nurse Salary Based on Educational Skills

The more educational training you have prepares you better for the daily tasks you will be facing on the job. With more education, you will have much more knowledge in many different subjects giving you insight into all the duties of the job.


  • Clinical Education: 77761
  • Training Program Development: 79,917
  • Emergency Room: $79,902
  • Hospital Education: $79,968
  • Critical Care:$78,125

3.  Nurse Salary Based on Clinical Skills

The more skills you are trained in, the more of an asset you are to your career field. For a nurse educator, having extensive knowledge in many areas puts you in a position where you have more experience than a typical nurse educator. More doors will be open to you and the career opportunities you could take advantage of in the future.


  • Wound Care: $95,000 annually- (Increases your salary by 24%)
  • Training: $91,731 annually- (Increases your salary by 20%)
  • Oncology: $89,989 annually- (Increases your salary by 17%)
  • Labor & Delivery, Birthing: 87,474- (Increases your salary by 14%)
  • Obstetrics: $85,420- (Increases your pay by 11%)
  • Patient Education: $82,528 (Increases your pay by 8%)
  • Hospital Education:$79,968 (Increases your pay by 4%)
  • Training Program Development: $79,917 (Increases your pay by 4%)
  • Emergency Room (ER): $79,902 (Increases your pay by 4%)
  • Case Management: $79,280 (Increases your pay by 3%)


What certifications or additional clearances can you earn to increase your starting salary as a nurse educator?


If you wanted to add more education to your current nurse educator certification, you could take different programs to make yourself more marketable in the healthcare field. Combining your master’s in nurse education with a certification in programs such as hospice care, labor and delivery, emergency room care, oncology, or any other area of the healthcare field you might be interested in. 

Nurse Educator Salaries by State

Each state has its own pay rate for the average starting salary of a nurse educator. The highest state is California paying $88,687, and the state with the lowest salary being Iowa, coming in at $45,974 annually.


The top 5 States that pay the highest for a Nurse Educator:


  • California: $88,687
  • Oregon: $86,646
  • New Jersey: $84,373
  • Connecticut: $80,573
  • Nevada: $80,504


The 5 State that pays the least for a Nurse Educator:


  • Iowa: $45,974
  • Nebraska: $47,430
  • North Dakoda: $48,743
  • South Dakota:$49,514
  • North Carolina:$51,508

High Demand Skills on Nurse Educators Resumes

There are some skills that nurse educators possess that can make them more of an asset to a company depending on what work environment they are employed in. Each skill set can offer education that is directly dealing with a specific student group. Each of these high-demand skills can help you earn a large salary and land a dream job.

RN (Registered Nurse)

Having your RN is a mandatory requirement for anyone who is obtaining their nurse educator’s degree. However, that is an advantage when it comes to the knowledge you gain while attending your RN course.


How does having an RN license help a Nurse Educator?

  • Assist in coordinating lesson plans or orientation for nursing students
  • Have the ability to demonstrate proper practice in a clinical skill set for all RN students
  • Use their skills to train in areas like IV placement, blood draws, catheter placement, etc
  • Help create lesson plans, clinical programs, and lectures for educational purposes.
  • Educates inpatient care plans and charts

Professional Development

Having professional development skills and training will help you land a great job, especially in the education world. Having abilities that relate to developing and designing great tools and lessons to implement to new nurses and nursing students will make your resume stand out.


How do Professional Development Skills help a Nurse Educator?

  • Develop and plan a curriculum to teach all levels of nursing
  • Oversee the work of students and nurses and develop a plan that will fit each person’s needs.
  • Develop interactive roleplay simulations to help teach students in a more life-like way
  • Creates plans to improve techniques and lessons that will help get information to the students more quickly and efficiently.
  • Take on more management-type roles.
  • Participate in online program classes and design curriculum that will better suit online students.

Basic Life Support Knowledge and Training

Having the education and skills in basic life support will give you a leg up in the career field. You will already know how to perform basic life support and help train students and nurses who need to know information critical in high-stress situations.


  • Assist in life support training and during the actual process
  • Teach students critical thinking and fast action in life support techniques
  • Assist in guiding the student on working under pressure and stress
  • Be a mentor and advocate for patients, families, and other nurses during really tough times.
  • Stays up to date on new practices and procedures that involve life support knowledge and training.

Earn a Dual Degree

As previously stated, earning an extra specialization degree in another healthcare-related field will make you more marketable in the healthcare field, opening up your options and your annual salary rates.


Although you are narrowing in on a specific field when specializing in nursing, you are also giving yourself more education and knowledge related to a targeted population, making you more qualified for a high-paying position than those who have a broad program degree.


Earning your master’s degree in health education and critical care will put you at the top of the chain when working in a hospital or critical care unit. You will be able to take on more of a management role, overseeing other nurses as they work. Because you specialized in critical care, you will have a much better understanding of how the unit works and the details related to treatment in these facilities, making you a great candidate for the job.


Another example is having a master’s degree in health education and as a nurse midwife. With this dual degree, you can work in an OBGYN office, labor, and delivery ward, etc and you will have the education and skill to manage the nurses daily. You can oversee how these nurses work with the infants, mothers, and other co-workers, evaluating their skills and assisting whenever needed. With this dual degree, you have highly sought-after skills beneficial when looking for a nurse manager on a labor and delivery hospital floor. Other areas where having a dual degree can be quite lucrative are family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and mental health practitioner.

Types of Jobs for Nurse Educators

A nurse educator who works in. a nursing program setting or university is responsible for classroom teaching, offering courses and curriculums to help each nursing student obtain the right amount of knowledge to get through their classes and earn their degree and then their license. Some of the responsibilities of nursing faculty are:


  • Designing a course curriculum that includes evidence-based learning and implementing it with other nursing professors.
  • Use technology advancements to help teach students in a new way, making education and nursing more effortless and more efficient.
  • Assessing their students throughout their coursework by keeping an eye on their grades and class participation documenting their progress throughout the program.
  • Guiding students and offering mentorship and tools that can be used to better understand the lessons.
  • Continuing their own education and keeping themselves informed and updated on new rules, information, and ways of teaching.
  • Attending and participating in events and meetings for nurses, health conferences, and healthcare administration programs.
  • Prepare their students for upcoming exams and licensing


For those who work as a nursing instructor in a hospital setting providing staff nursing education, you are required to teach with more of a hands-on clinical approach. Preparing the new nurses to work independently on the job with confidence. Some of the responsibilities for nurse educators who work in a hospital or health care facilities as an instructor include:


  • Create an educational curriculum that keeps information regarding each student’s abilities and weaknesses, making sure to implement lessons that will help build expert and professional nurses.
  • Working one-on-one with soon-to-be nurses during clinical to properly address each student and help them understand the job.
  • Make sure to implement smaller details into the lesson making sure nothing is left out no matter how small.
  • Listen to the students and answer their questions. Encourage each student to try new practices.
  • Be a role model and be prepared to counsel, listen to, and empathize with every student.
  • Keep up-to-date on your own experiences and education, making sure to keep up with the latest technologies or practices.


For a nurse educator who is working in a hospital supervising just new nurses straight out of nursing school, you are responsible for making sure they are not making any mistakes while they are on the job, and supervise their work helping them in areas they are having difficulties with. In the end, it is your responsibility to make sure each nurse is ready to work alone.


  • Conduct and be present for all new nurses orientation to introduce yourself and get an idea of the people you will be teaching throughout this period of their new career.
  • Be a support system for the new nurses and provide encouragement and structure while helping them during their daily activities.
  • Evaluate each nurse and their abilities to properly handle all of the tasks they are responsible for; if a student is lacking in any area, you are responsible for noting this and helping them overcome it.
  • Utilize and implement different learning programs to help further educate the nurses on staff.
  • Encourage daily growth and education.
  • Supporting quality assessment and improvement initiatives and processes.
  • Help with current patients’ diagnosis process and make sure the patient and the family are fully educated about the patient’s condition.
  • Come up with a health care plan for a patient and teach the patient and their entire care team how to implement the plan of action.

How to Improve Your Salary as a Nurse Educator

If you are looking for more income while still keeping your career as a Nurse Educator, there is the possibility of doing so in a few different ways.

Take on the Unpopular Shifts

No one ever wants to work the night shifts, weekends, or holidays. However, this is a great way to get added money into your paycheck each week. The average annual salary for a night-shift nurse educator is $76,206 per year; this is $6,730 (10%) more than the average pay for a day shift nurse.


If you want to take on an even tougher position to earn more money, and you are qualified to do so, becoming a weekend ICU nurse educator can bring in a large salary, with the national average being around $103,265 annually. 


Here are the top ten cities you should consider working for if you want to be paid the most money for night shift work.


  • San Mateo, CA- $83,242 annually
  • Boston, MA- $81,926 annually
  • Santa Monica, CA- $80,859 annually
  • Renton, WA- $80,597 annually
  • Berkeley, CA- $80,248 annually
  • Daly City, CA- $80,023 annually
  • Lowell, MA- $79,318 annually
  • Richmond, CA-$78,285 annually
  • Newark, NJ- $78,079 annually
  • Springfield, MA- $77,555 annually


Use things like social media, co-workers, and conferences to get yourself noticed. The more people you know, the better the chances are of you landing that hard-to-get but well-paying job. Today networking couldn’t be any easier; using social media websites like Linkedin, Instagram, and Facebook can help when trying to build a professional profile to flaunt your skills and showcase your talents.


While posting all of your professional information on these social media platforms, also take the time to make new friends in the healthcare field. Remember the good ole saying, “it isn’t what you know, but who you know.”

Look For Employment With-in Top Paying Industries

Your annual salary will differ a great deal depending on which industry you are working for. Most of the time, the more critical or urgent the care work is, the more the pay is going to be. Less stressful, more laid-back industries don’t pay as much as those that are intense.


The Top 5 Highest Paying Nurse Educator Positions are:

  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals- $119,050 annually
  • Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals- $95,430 annually
  • Business Schools and Computer and Management Training- $90,080 annually
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools- $84,320 annually
  • Junior Colleges- $75,190 annually

Take Charge

No matter which career field you work in, you tend to get paid more when you are taking on a job that requires a lot of responsibilities. This is especially true for the healthcare industry. If you are looking to be paid more annually, try finding a job that holds a higher position, such as a shift leader, nurse manager, etc. Maintaining these positions is not only great for income but can help you continue to move up the ladder in your career if you wish to do so in the future.


If you are looking for a fulfilling career that allows you to help people while still earning a high income, becoming a nurse educator may be just what you need. Working in education allows you to practice your skills as a qualified and professional registered nurse while teaching others everything you know. You build the next generation of the nursing profession by creating skilled, educated, and compassionate nurses.


When looking for employment in the nurse educator profession, it is important to utilize information provided by employment websites, the government, and health care forums to decide which area of the field is right for you depending on your location, area of expertise, and annual salary.

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