Advanced Nursing Degrees Can Lead to Patient Education

There are a couple of pathways nurses can choose. LPNs can bridge to RN-BSN, which would lead to more thorough patient teaching. BSN students can also incorporate teaching skills to the public health sector, focusing on disease prevention and healthcare maintenance.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurses can also pursue advanced degrees, for example, as a nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners often act as a patient's primary care provider, so disease prevention and health maintenance education and promotion is a significant part of the NP's career.

Clinical Nurse Specialists

Another advanced-practice role with a more specialized focus on teaching is a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). CNSs specialize in population foci such as adult medicine or pediatrics (among others). They serve as educators by not only teaching patients and families but other nurses and other members of the healthcare team as well.

Formal Education Roles for RNs

Nurses can also earn an Ed.D, also known as a doctorate of education. A master's degree is required for admission into these programs. Nurses with an Ed.D can work as nurse educators in healthcare facilities, nursing schools, and in the community. Some may specialize such as a diabetes nurse educator.

While not as education-focused as the Ed.D, nurses can even earn a Ph.D. This degree type is more research-focused than a DNP or Ed.D., but many times they utilize education and teaching methods in their research projects and presentations.

Another avenue nurses can pursue is to become a nursing school instructor. Nurses typically need a minimum of a bachelor's degree for this, but LPNs sometimes work to teach medical assistants, nurse aides, and other LPNs. Teaching nursing students can be very rewarding, as instructors are not only teachers but mentors as well.

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