There are many paths open to nurse educators prepared at the masters or doctoral level. Nurse educators have extensive knowledge and clinical experience in their specialty and may serve as faculty members in nursing schools or even teaching hospitals.
Regulatory bodies that specify certification, license requirements, and scope of practice for nurse educators are the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), and the National League for Nursing (NLN).
The AACN is the voice for academic nursing, working to establish quality standards for nursing education, assist in their implementation, and support professional educators (AACN, n.d.). The NCSBN ensures that the health, safety, and welfare of the public is protected through the licensure of competent, well-prepared nurses (NCSBN, n.d.) The NLN provides certification for nurse educators, establishing nursing education as a specialty area of practice. Certification for nursing faculty, as in any field is a mark of distinction and professionalism (NLN, n.d.).
An APRN role with a strong emphasis on education is the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). The CNS is an expert clinician with advanced education and training in a specialized area of nursing, for example womens health. The CNS influences health care delivery in a variety of ways such as providing education and support to bedside nurses, driving practice change and ensuring best practice and EBP (National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, n.d.). As this is an APRN role, the Consensus Model for APRN regulation would be applicable. The APRN Consensus Model of 2008 seeks to remove barriers to APRN practice by outlining the requirement in licensure, accreditation, certification, and education to be adopted by every state (NCSBN, n.d.)
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