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. 

Completing your mentorship training and qualifications is usually a good place to start. However, the new Standards for Education (in draft with the NMC) discuss several roles supporting nurse education: Practice supervisor; Practice assessor; Academic assessor.  

If you wish to develop your teaching skills you might wish to explore further 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...

  • Ask your manager if you can be put forward for mentorship courses and qualifications
  • Discuss support for gaining a teaching qualification such as a PGCHE with your manager
  • Express an interest to your manager about coaching, training or supporting colleagues and students
  • Consider becoming an RCN Learning rep 
  • Put yourself forward for opportunities such as being involved with inductions, designing training material, or project work around learning and development.
  • Make enquiries with your employer and with local universities about mentorship/ teaching qualifications for nurses.
  • 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. 

Courses and qualifications to explore

See NMC approved courses and under the 'course' field, select one of the following options from the drop down menu to see relevant courses run by different universities in the UK:

  • Mentorship
  • Practice Teacher
  • Teacher programme 

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 mentoring resources including frameworks, standards, publications, guides and more.

Applying for accreditation

FREE mentoring course

Facilitating Learning in Practice by OpenLearn

Suitable for anyone interested in mentoring, this free, NMC approved course explores the principles and best practices of mentorship.

Find out more