Appreciation Weeks Highlight Role of Nurse Educators

This year, May 6-12 honors two professions that impact Americans across the lifespan. Through National Nurses Week and National Teacher Appreciation Week, we are especially encouraged to thank those who have educated and cared for us.

This week provides a unique opportunity to celebrate those who practice a blend of these professions: nurse educators.

Nurse Educators

Nurse educators are registered nurses (RNs) who combine their clinical experience with a passion for teaching in academic and/or professional development settings.

Nurse educators work in the faculty role in formal academic programs that lead to a degree or certificate. Nurse educators also work as professional staff development specialists within healthcare facilities (e.g., hospitals, extended nursing facilities) where they teach professional continuing education programs designed to meet individual professional learning needs. Some nurse educators work as community educators who work with communities to increase awareness of health and wellness.

The profession needs more nurse educators to train the next generation of nurses. If we don’t increase the number of nurse educators, we will continue to be forced to limit student capacity, which only adds to the growing nursing shortage.

To become a nurse educator, nurses must have significant clinical expertise, an active nursing license, and advanced nursing practice education. Some experienced educators become certified nurse educators through the National League for Nursing (NLN) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is a celebration of the numerous contributions nurses make to the care and health of all people. The celebration occurs from National Nurses Day (May 6) to Florence Nightingale’s birthday (May 12). Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing.

National Student Nurses Day is celebrated on May 8, and National School Nurse Day falls on the Wednesday during the week (May 8 in 2013). As direct care providers, counselors, advocates, educators, and leaders, nurses impact the lives of all Americans.

Every year during National Nurses Week, individuals, communities, and institutions recognize nurses through celebrations, awards, media releases, and special events. Many hospitals use this time to host special meals, offer free massages, and encourage additional acts of appreciation for nursing staff. Activities will vary by state and location so stay alert for events.

National Teacher Appreciation Week

National Teacher Appreciation Week is a celebration of the teachers who educate and prepare us to live capable and fulfilling lives. This year, National Teacher Appreciation Week will run from May 7 to May 11, with Teacher Appreciation Day occurring on May 7. Visitors to the National Education Association website can nominate a Classroom Superhero, download planning materials and artwork, take polls on teaching subjects, and more.

As the nursing population ages, surveys show that one-third of the nursing population is 50 years old or older, and that 55 percent plan to retire in the next decade. With vacancies of up to 300,000 nurses, nurse educators will play a significant role in preparing new nurses to meet this demand.

Georgetown University’s Nurse Educator Program offers professional nurses the opportunity to combine their clinical experience with a passion for teaching in academic and/or professional development settings.

We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-HOYA (4692).