Nurse educator is one specialty that is currently evolving to the advanced practice level. Professionals who serve as nurse educators combine their passion of teaching and clinical expertise in nursing practice. Nurse educator is at its secondary stage of evolution to advanced practice level considering the increasing need to solve the problem of shortage of nurses. According to Penn, Wilson and Rosseter (2008), the current shortage of registered nurses calls for the need to prepare more nurse educators to allow nursing schools to admit more student nurses who meet the qualifications for a nursing career.
Nurse educator can currently be employed in the health care setting to educate staff or in the academic setting to educate students. Nurse educators serve as role models in providing the leadership that is required for the implementation of evidence-based practice. This explains why nurse educator has the potential to evolve (Penn, Wilson and Rosseter, 2008). The highest academic qualification for a nurse educator is the Ph.D degree. For nurses to serve as Nurse Educators, the National League for Nurses allows them to acquire relevant Certification after taking a certification exam.
Evolution of nurse educator to the advanced practiced level is characterized by some advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that, evolution of nurse educator to advanced practice level creates an opportunity to shape the next generation of nurses and to influence student success. Nurse educators play a very big role in modeling professional skills and values, which greatly influences the quality of care offered by nurses. However, evolution of nurse educator to advanced practice level presents a big challenge to nurses who find it difficult to balance between finding time for practice and for scholarly work (Penn, Wilson and Rosseter, 2008).