While many view academia as a haven for scholars and intellectuals, there is more to higher educational institutions than that. Continued academic achievement is important, but the funding for those endeavors must come from somewhere. In some ways, these spaces are businesses and must keep a few factors in mind in order to thrive. In this article, we look at how nurse educators, in particular, impact the business side of educational institutions.
What do nurse educators do?
Before we dive into the ways that nurse educators secure funding for their educational institutions, let’s take a closer look at what nurse educators do. Note that while educating students is certainly an important part of their job, nurse educators also have many other responsibilities. These include:
- Developing programs of study and designing curriculums
- Advising, teaching and evaluating students
- Assessing and revising both individual classes and broader educational programs
- Promoting academic interest and discussion among students
- Serving as a mentor and role model
- Overseeing their students’ clinical practice skills and overall ability
- Documenting the outcomes of the educational processes they administer
- Engaging in continued education and scholarly work, including conducting research and peer-reviewing other educators’ contributions
- Speaking at nursing conferences
- Writing grant proposals
- Designing fundraising events
As you can see, nurse educators do a lot more than stand in a classroom and teach. While that is an impressive skill in its own right, they must also have broad knowledge about their subject matter of choice, provide valuable support to students outside of the classroom and develop their educational programs to be as effective and innovative as possible.
Due to the many roles they fill, nurse educators are important parts of educational institutions around the country and the demand for their expertise is only poised to grow in the near future. Students interested in becoming nurse educators and filling the roles described above can enroll in an MSN in education online program at a reputable institution, such as the University of Indianapolis. Studying to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) equips students with the skills needed to thrive not only in the healthcare system directly serving patients, but also as educators with the ability to share their knowledge with aspiring students. The MSN program at the University of Indianapolis also offers part-time coursework options for their students too, so that working nurses are able to earn their degrees while continuing to meet their existing responsibilities.
Below, we take a closer look at the many ways that nurse educators secure funding for their programs and their educational institutions:
Nothing increases revenue quite like good press about excellent educational opportunities. When the world views an institution as particularly prestigious thanks to expert instructors and carefully planned degree programs, money tends to flow much more easily. Nurse educators play a few roles in generating revenue and securing funding for the instructions for which they work. We’ll discuss several of them below, with the first being the way their instruction produces excellent nurses with the knowledge to thrive and lead in the field of medicine.
In certain academic niches, students are taught to perform research and contribute to the greater overall body of knowledge on the subject in question. Their work is important but has little impact on people outside of that niche. Nurse educators, on the other hand, directly influence the way that millions of people across the country are cared for. Nurses are invaluable to the wellbeing of nearly everyone seeking medical aid and must receive an education befitting of that serious role.
By producing effective and knowledgeable nurses ready to not just enter the workforce, but lead others, nurse educators are on the frontlines of patient care. Thanks to their efforts, educational institutions are able to build a reputation as being valuable and worth the time and money to fund.
A few of the specific jobs nurse educators can sometimes secure which revolve around generating revenue for these institutions include:
- Advocacy director
- Grant writer
- Education coordinator
- Nonprofit manager
- Program director
This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some of the most common and widespread job titles nurse educators often adopt when seeking to fund their programs.
Developing effective curriculums is one of the most important tasks that nurse educators take on. Coursework must be contemporary and take advantage of industry innovation to effectively prepare nursing students to receive their licenses and enter the field. This might sound like a straightforward task, but there are numerous goals nurse educators must meet in order to design curriculums that train their students well and, if they’re lucky, secure a bit of extra funding for their educational institutions along the way.
Nurses must build many skills in order to successfully care for patients. They must learn to effectively communicate with their patients, for example, as well as manage their time and pay attention to even the smallest of details about their patients and their health history. Nurse educators who are able to demonstrate their curriculum’s effectiveness are able to attract more students to their programs and build a positive reputation for the work they put in. In turn, this leads to more money being donated or otherwise provided to fund academic pursuits.
Accreditation and compliance
Developing successful nursing education programs involves more than building the skills students need to become successful professionals. Programs must also meet accreditation guidelines and the included coursework must remain compliant with them.
Accreditation is primarily a review process. Designed to ensure that educational programs meet rigorous and defined standards of quality, accreditation is what sets educational institutions apart from informal training programs. Nurse educators recognize that their programs must remain accredited to effectively attract and retain students, as well as funding. Nurse educators work hard to ensure that the curriculum they design keeps ongoing compliance with accreditation in mind.
This supports the generation of revenue as educational institutions with accredited courses garner more respect than those without them. To attract funding as well as students, educational institutions must be established as experts within the various fields they teach. Accreditation is the first step to attracting the attention necessary for successful fundraising.
Grant writing and fundraising
Another area where nurses help secure funding for higher educational institutions is grant writing and fundraising. The money to support these academic spaces exists, but it is not always easy to secure. There are many excellent nursing programs and degrees on the market. In other words, competition is fierce, and it takes the knowledge of subject matter experts to write grant proposals and design fundraising events that generate money for the educational institution in question.
As they are so knowledgeable about nursing and are directly involved in designing degree programs, nurse educators are the perfect people for the job. They can leverage the information they have about the course, degree program or event to craft moving and convincing grant applications designed to successfully relay the importance of their work to valuable funders. Writing grant proposals is not the only way nurse educators can help secure funding. They are also typically poised to host effective fundraising events that offer potential funders the information they need to make a decision about supporting their educational institution.
Innovation and entrepreneurship
While traditional education has much to offer students, the most effective of today’s nursing degrees focus on innovation and fostering entrepreneurship among their students. This is important for a few different reasons.
Innovative teaching techniques lead to students ready to take on innovative work techniques. This, in turn, improves the care they provide and the outcomes of the patients they care for. Additionally, including instruction on emerging nursing technology can help students lead their peers once it becomes widespread throughout hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Entrepreneurship is another important skill that the best nurse educators foster in their students. There are many ways to utilize a nursing degree that do not require employment as a clinical nurse working directly with patients. On the contrary, some nurses see a gap in the market they could meet outside of the traditional career pathways in nursing. Whether they have the skills to create a business that meets that need depends on their entrepreneurship ability.
Both innovation and entrepreneurship are important to generating revenue. They help expand an educational institution’s reach and attract students interested in earning degrees that revolve around cutting-edge technology to build strong careers both in healthcare facilities as well as in independent businesses. As a result, more people see the institution as something worth supporting and the money they receive increases.
Student recruitment and retention
We’ve discussed student recruitment briefly above, but the topic truly needs a bit of extra time to fully explore. Every business needs a product to present to the world — one that keeps buyers returning year after year. When considering educational institutions as businesses, there is one commodity that fits this role: students. This is not to say that universities see the effort they put in to educate their students as strictly financial, but students are an important part of keeping these institutions running.
As they are crucial to the financial health of higher education, a great deal of time and effort goes into recruitment programs as well as retention programs. While marketing departments play a role in creating effective advertising campaigns to attract students, it is the educators at that institution that do much of the heavy lifting. Without their expertise and effort, there is little to advertise. In this way, nurse educators are critical to attracting and retaining students. Their work has a direct impact on the revenue that educational institutions generate.
Nurse educators must demonstrate excellent retention and recruitment abilities for another reason — one that transcends the halls of their educational institutions. Patient care is one of the most important aspects of any nursing career, and there is a growing shortage of these professionals in the workplace. In fact, nursing education will need to increase the number of graduates by 30% over the next decade in order to meet the increasing demand for nurses. In other words, the importance of students is not just financial, but necessary for the healthcare industry to continue to function. By supplying effective nurses with high standards of care, nurse educators help keep patients safe while building the good reputation of their program.
Meeting market needs
Finally, we come to market demand. The healthcare industry is in need of nurses and will be for quite some time, as briefly discussed above. There is a growing demand for their skills and expertise that can only be met by the addition of educated nurses to the workforce. Nurse educators are on the frontlines, educating students and preparing them for entry into the field of medicine. Thanks to these efforts, they contribute directly to meeting the rising market need for nurses. As their reputation grows and investors see how much good the educational institution’s graduates and educators are doing in the medical industry, they are more likely to support the coursework and programs in question.
Educating tomorrow’s best
It is clear that nurse educators are indispensable to the business of educational institutions. Their expertise influences many major aspects that contribute to the overall financial health of these institutions. If you are interested in becoming a nurse educator, keep the above in mind as you search for the perfect program. You’ll be educating tomorrow’s best and brightest in no time.