Clinical Nurse Educator Certification and Duties

Clinical nurse educators are registered nurses (RNs) who design curricula and implement training programs for nurses. Find out about the job duties as well as the education and certification requirements to become a clinical nurse educator. Schools offering Health Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A nurse educator position is an advanced nursing profession in which you would have limited interaction with patients, although a valid nursing license is required. Instead of giving patient care, you'd work to design and implement educational programs and course curricula for nurses. You can find employment in almost every type of medical facility, including hospitals, clinics, nursing schools and public health departments.

Courses Teaching methods, curriculum development; curriculum design methodology, evaluation strategies
Programs Accredited nurse training program
Licensing Required through the state

Do I Need Any Special Education?

To become an RN, you'll need to complete an accredited nurse training program and become licensed with your state. However, to become a nurse educator, you'll usually need a graduate degree, which requires that you earn a bachelor's degree prior to enrollment. Training at health care institutions and community colleges might only necessitate the need for a master's degree, but if you want to teach at the university level, you'll need to earn a doctorate degree.

Both master's and doctoral programs exist in nurse education. You might be required to be a current RN, but schools that have fewer enrollment restrictions do require that you show proof that you're license-eligible. Courses generally cover teaching methods, curriculum development and supervisory topics. Many schools offer fully or partially online master's and doctoral programs that provide the same level of training as a campus-based program. You might need to complete any practicum or experience requirements at the school or an affiliated health care institution.

What Certification Credential Can I Earn?

The most relevant voluntary certification for nurse educators is the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) credential, offered by the National League for Nursing. To earn this credential, you must pass a 3-hour, multiple-choice certification exam offered in both computer-based and traditional formats. You can take the exam no more than four times in one year. The exam covers topics that include teaching techniques and practical clinical skills.

What Do I Need To Be Eligible for the Exam?

To be eligible to sit for the CNE exam, you must have the following: an active RN license in the U.S.; a graduate degree in nursing; and professional teaching experience.

You will need to be familiar with teaching practices and classroom organization. You'll be tested on student assessment methods, nurse educator responsibilities, leadership skills and clinical nursing trends. Certification is valid for five years, and to renew the credential, you'll either need to offer proof of sufficient continuing education or retake the CNE examination.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Nebraska

    Concordia University Nebraska responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Nebraska:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
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    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

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  • Saint Joseph's University

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  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

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