Nursing Teacher Salary and Job Outlook

A nursing teacher salary varies by experience, education, geographic location, and also the sector where a nurse educator works. Registered nurses (RNs) who want to teach their skills to others often choose nursing education. These teachers have plentiful job situations and good salary potential. It’s not unusual for a nurse educator to earn more than $70,000 annually.

A large number of nursing jobs are created each year. However, the healthcare industry still needs more RNs to fill the vacancies of the many that retire each year. Nurse educators are in demand to help educate aspiring nurses. Here is some information on salaries and salary potential for nursing faculty.

What is Nursing Education?

What is Nursing Education?

Nursing education is a field that includes RNs and similar highly trained healthcare professionals. They provide education to aspiring nurses. Nurse educators usually have at least a master’s degree. These professionals combine their academic achievements and clinical experience to train and educate students. They have many duties that help provide nursing students with the best possible education for their nursing careers.

What do Nurse Educators Do?

Nurse educators play a vital role in the healthcare industry. Nurse teachers create the education curriculum and help prepare students for an easy transition from nursing school to employment. They may work in community colleges or four-year universities.

They may work in a hospital position or at other healthcare organizations. Some help with staff development courses and continuing education programs. Additionally, they may help create policies and systems for patient care.

How Do You Become a Nurse Educator?

How Do You Become a Nurse Educator?

The first step is to become a registered nurse and gain experience. Most nurses have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). After earning a degree, they must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for a registered nurse license.

Before teaching, most nurses have at least three years of experience working in a clinical setting as a nurse. Additionally, nursing educators and instructors usually have a master’s, but some earn a doctoral degree. The Master of Science in Nursing, or MSN degree, is the most common path to an educator role. Typically nurses choose a clinical or non-clinical specialization within the MSN degree.

Nurse EducatorFamily Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Nurse ExecutivePsychiatric-Mental Health NP (PMHNP)
Nursing InformaticsAdult-Gerontology NP (AGNP)
Healthcare PolicyPediatric NP (PNP)
Population HealthCertified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
MSN specializations

The doctoral degree not only increases the job pool but can also bring higher salaries. Furthermore, nurses with a PhD, or terminal degree, qualify for the most advanced education positions. These may include a university’s department head or an administrative role at a college.

Median Annual Salary

Registered Nurses (RNs) earn an average salary of $77,600 per year (BLS). Many factors affect salaries, including education, training, prior experience, employer, and location.

Nursing educators are specialized RNs who have the potential to make excellent wages. Remember that different reporting agencies may give different results but are generally somewhat similar. PayScale uses salary estimates to generate its salary reports. And its average nurse educator’s salary is $78,907, ranging from $59,000 to $109,00.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers earn a national average of $82,040. Wages vary from $47,630 at the low end to $125,930 or more at the top.

Salary Potential by Industry

General local government positions, not in schools or hospitals, are where nursing educators earn the highest salaries. However, specialty hospitals are second in line. Educators in these two industries earn average annual wages of $127,590 and $101,030, respectively. Below are the five top-paying industries for Nursing Teachers.

Employer average salary
Local Government$127,590
Specialty Hospitals$101,030
Business Schools and Computer and Management Training$99,050
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals$95,720
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals$89,440
BLS nursing instructor salary by industry.

Although the above sectors pay the most, they are not the industries that employ the most Nurse Educators. Below are the five sectors with the highest employment levels of Nursing Instructors and Teachers.

IndustryEmployed  average salary
Colleges, Universities, Professional Schools44,340$83,340
Community Colleges16,920$75,960
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals3,410$95,720
Technical and Trade Schools2,090$77,010
Educational Support Services700$80,410
BLS nursing instructor top employment sectors.

Salary Potential in Different Locations

Industry and geographic location play a big part in determining salary potential for nursing faculty and instructors.

Alphabetical State Salaries for Nursing Teachers

Below is the  BLS nursing teacher’s median salary by state.

StateAverage Salary
District of Columbia$100,030
New Hampshire$79,980
New Jersey$89,640
New Mexico$72,430
New York$95,980
North Carolina$74,400
North Dakota$77,160
Rhode Island$87,670
South Carolina$71,630
South Dakota$71,350
West Virginia$62,730
BLS salaries by state.
Highest Paying States for Nursing Teachers

According to the BLS, nursing instructors and teachers earn the highest salaries in these five states.

StateEmployed Average Salary
District of Columbia190$100,030
BLS highest paying states for Nurse Educators.
States with the Highest Employment of Nursing Teachers

Although the above states pay the most, below are the five states that employ the most Nurse Educators. Texas and New York are the two top states with the most Nurse Educator jobs. And NY pay falls just below Alaska. So it has many job opportunities and also pays well.

New York5,170$95,980
BLS top states for Nurse Educator employment.
Highest Paying Cities for Nursing Teachers

According to the BLS, nursing teachers earn the highest salaries in these cities.

City or Metro Areamedian salary
Visalia-Porterville, CA$146,700
Charlottesville, VA$109,450
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$109,310
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA$108,630
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH$108,430
Salt Lake City, UT$105,570
Cumberland, MD-WV$104,940
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$103,390
Bakersfield, CA$102,900
Ann Arbor, MI$102,490
BLS top paying cities for Nurse Educators.

Job Growth

What is the current job market for nurse educators? A nursing career path in education offers high pay and good career growth. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that RNs should see job growth of 6 percent between 2021 and 2031. Furthermore, postsecondary teachers and nursing instructors should see an 11 percent growth. The excellent job opportunities and high salary potential make a career in nursing education a desirable option.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported in 2021, schools turned away over 91,000 qualified nursing applicants because of faculty shortages. The National League for Nursing (NLN) also said that schools struggle to fill faculty positions. They do not have the teachers to train and educate the next generation of new nurses. And there is a high demand for nursing educators.

Nurse Educator Compared Other Nurse Specialties

There are many career paths for advanced practice nurses. Some popular ones are nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners. Below is a comparison of select nursing specialties by salary.

Job TitleSalary
Nurse Anesthetist (BLS)$195,610
Nurse Practitioner (BLS)$120,680
Nurse Administrator (BLS)$119,840
Nurse Midwife (BLS)$112,830
Nurse Educator (BLS)$82,040
Nurse salary by specialty.

Why Become a Nurse Teacher?

Why Become a Nurse Teacher?

So, teachers don’t make as much as other types of nurses. However, other benefits make this career path desirable. For example, nurses in this role have less stress than nurses who work directly with patients. However, they still impact patient health outcomes and the overall healthcare system. In addition, many nurses experience burnout, and this career change lets nurses stay in the profession but in a less stressful job.

Because teachers don’t offer direct patient care, they typically work more consistent hours. While nurses in hospitals and other facilities often work shifts, these professionals tend to work weekdays and more of a 9-to-5 schedule. This can be a nice change for nurses who need a consistent schedule.

Experience is one of the most valuable assets for some professions. Nursing is challenging but also rewarding. You can’t read what it takes to be a nurse in a book. And, seasoned nurses have wisdom that only comes from years of experience. So why not share it?

Advancing Your Nursing Career

There are a variety of paths for career growth as a nurse educator. Qualified nurses with experience and education move from entry-level positions as instructors or professors to roles as dean or head of department. 

There are also job opportunities in research, public policy, and consulting. Nurse educators who work in research can publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. Public policy nurse educators work to develop policies and serve as advocates on nursing issues. In addition, some educators consult with organizations to evaluate existing and create new education programs.