What Academic Roles Are Available in Nursing?

Modern-day nursing is much different from what it used to be back in the day. One of the significant differences is that nursing has become a very diverse and highly versatile profession. This means that nurses’ roles are wider than performing care for the patients. They are more involved in other sub-fields through which they still serve the patients, but they do so indirectly. A great example is a nurse’s role as an academic nurse. In this article, we will go through two of the most critical parts of being an academic nurse in detail and discuss how you can become one too.

What is an academic nurse?

An academic nurse is a nurse who actively participates in educational aspects of nursing, including teaching as well as advanced learning. The job of an academic nurse is quite intricate. In addition to the abilities needed to be a skilled educator, nurse researcher, and engaged scholar and academic who shares discoveries and new information to advance the field of medicine, it also calls for the expertise of a skilled nurse.

Academic roles in nursing

The two most critical academic positions for nurses in the nursing sector are as follows:

Nurse educator

Registered nurses with expertise in teaching or licensed nurses passionate about instructing and who train, guide, and instruct others in the nursing profession are known as nurse educators.

Nursing educators frequently have positions as academic professors or professional nursing instructors in healthcare facilities. A large number of nursing educators also have nursing jobs. The practice of providing care to patients can aid nursing educators in maintaining their expertise as well as abilities while instructing. Doctoral-trained nursing educators who have academic positions at universities may also carry out research and produce scholarly work, such as peer-reviewed publications. 

The “clinical nurse educators,” who work in hospitals, are in charge of designing an educational program, syllabus, and course plan. They encourage student dialogue in the learning environment and instruct them. Nurse educators are responsible for setting up and carrying out clinical programs as well as being student supervisors in a clinical context. They also monitor student learning results and development and help the nursing staff enhance their abilities and competencies. Moreover, nurse educators also make sure all nursing personnel are up to date on education needs for license maintenance and train and educate personnel about current nursing innovations and evidence-based practices.

The following are some of the significant nurse educator positions:

Nursing professor: At an institution of higher learning, nursing professors are in charge of instructing nursing courses. They could also produce academic material and carry out research in nursing.

Clinical nursing educator: A clinical nursing educator who works in a hospital instructs those studying nursing in a professional environment.

Nurse education advisor: The development of learning goals and guidelines for participants in nursing courses and training programs is the responsibility of a nursing education consultant.

Instructor in a clinical lab: Instructors who educate students in a laboratory environment are known as clinical lab instructors.

Nurse researcher

Professionals who investigate different facets of wellness, sickness, and treatment are known as nurse researchers. They search for methods to enhance well-being, treatment, and wellness results by planning and executing scientific investigations.

The goal of a nurse researcher is to learn innovative nursing information. They can begin their profession with a basic understanding of research procedures, and as they investigate new nursing techniques, they will develop experience.

The objective of a nurse researcher is to promote nursing and overall healthcare via scientific investigation. They plan clinical research in order to collect information, examine emerging trends and patterns, and present findings. A nurse researcher investigates many facets of healthcare while employing research methodologies to identify fresh approaches to enhance the outcomes of patients and the delivery of healthcare. For instance, they can research how to safeguard the safety of patients and avoid sickness, or they might look into methods to provide treatment more efficiently.

Nursing researchers formulate research questions, plan and carry out empirical investigations, gather and examine data, and present findings. Their work is frequently supported by subsidies, which necessitate drafting funding submissions and fulfilling specific reporting standards. Nursing researchers produce research papers and findings for the field of nursing, healthcare, and various other specialized journals and publications in addition to teaching in educational or professional settings. Nurse researchers frequently collaborate with scientists from different disciplines, such as pharmaceuticals, medical science, nutrition, etc., to address complicated topics and issues effectively.

A nurse researcher’s additional responsibilities include the following:

  • Recruiting volunteers for research investigations, such as patients.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the treatment of patients and processes.
  • Composing research reports and essays for publications in nursing and medicine.
  • Addressing healthcare concerns by working with academics and experts in the fields of pharmaceuticals, medicine, etc.
  • Submitting grant applications to obtain financing for research initiatives.

Essential skills needed by an academic nurse

Academic nurses should possess the following crucial skills, which include:

  • Teaching skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Technical nursing skills.
  • Skills to write medical papers.
  • Healthcare laws.
  • Empathy skills.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Patience.

How to pursue a career in academic nursing

To pursue your career in academic nursing, you must take the following steps:

Earn a degree: You must earn a degree in order to start your career as an academic nurse. The best approach is to begin by completing your bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, to advance your skills, you must pursue and obtain a master’s degree in the related field. There are two masters in nursing careers that you can pursue as an academic nurse, including nurse educator and nurse researcher. Rockhurst University provides you with the opportunity to complete your degree online allowing you to continue working.

Gain work experience: Academic nurses often have several years of real-world or practical experience working as registered nurses, providing patient care, or cooperating with other healthcare specialists. You can choose to specialize in a particular branch of nursing while acquiring expertise, such as pediatrics, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. Having a job as a registered nurse might provide you with practical experience in the field of your choice.