Your web browser is outdated and may be insecure

The RCN recommends using an updated browser such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome


Exploring roles within the education arm of nursing

Considering a role within Education? 

If you're passionate about learning and like the idea of developing others, you may want to consider a role within nurse education or the facilitation of learning and development. Education roles sit within both educational and clinical settings.

You could develop, implement and deliver strategies to support the educational needs of nurses and/or other multi-professional students, ensuring best practice and evidence based care at all times. Depending on the role, you could be working in a University or college setting, or a healthcare setting. 

Mentors and sign-off mentors were replaced by practice supervisors, practice assessors and academic assessors, and you may find this could be a good place to start. You can read more about this on the RCN's page Practice Based Learning.

The RCN's Nursing Career Resource also has information for nurses who are thinking about a career in nurse or healthcare education, whether in the practice setting or the university setting.

If you wish to develop your teaching skills further, you could look at teaching qualifications such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Education (PGCHE). 

Some examples of education or learning roles:

  • Practice Educator
  • Practice Education Facilitator
  • Clinical Educator
  • Clinical Trainer
  • Clinical Practice Lead
  • Clinical Nurse Lead
  • Practice Development Lead
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Lecturer 
  • Senior or Principal Lecturer
  • Dean of Faculty
If you're interested in education, training or learning and development roles...
  • Join the RCN's Education Forum and the RCN Education Forum Facebook group.
  • Express an interest to your manager about coaching, training, teaching, or supporting colleagues and students
  • Put yourself forward for opportunities such as being involved with inductions, designing training material, or project work around learning and development.
  • Ask your employer for information about becoming a coach, trainer, practice supervisor or practice assessor within your workplace.
  • Discuss support for gaining a teaching qualification such as a PGCHE with your employer.
  • Make enquiries with your employer and with local universities about mentorship/ teaching qualifications for nurses.
  • Consider becoming an RCN Learning rep 
  • Contact relevant employers and organisations to arrange informal visits to gain insight into different roles and settings. 
  • Use your contacts, colleagues, etc. to get in touch with nurses working in education or training roles. Ask them if you can take their contact details for future reference.
  • Try to shadow other nurses in educative roles.. This could be through your networking, informal visits or through your current employer.
  • Do your research and study all the job vacancies at the level you want - what experience and skills do employers want?
  • If appropriate, speak to your manager for support, and make sure any goals or aspirations are documented in your 121s and appraisals.
  • See if your employer offers career mentoring or coaching, or has any career frameworks. 

Regional Education Networks within the RCN

Become a Learning Rep

Would you like to support the learning and development of your fellow RCN members in the workplace? 

RCN Education forum

Get involved and join the RCN's Education Forum. It has its own closed Facebook group where you can speak to other RCN members working in this field.

Mentoring resources

We've got lots of  resources including frameworks, standards, publications, guides and more.