Australia is in Desperate Need Of Nursing Educators, Reports Show
30 November 2017 at 8:00 am
With the current high demand for nurse educators across Australia, those completing their Master of Nursing online with James Cook University can expect a level of job choice and security that is unprecedented in most other fields of work.
News of Australia’s severe nursing shortage has been no secret over the last several years. Conflated with the increasing demand on our healthcare system and steadily ageing population, the situation has unfortunately been getting worse.
According to the most recent report from Health Workforce, an Australian government initiative, there will be a “projected shortfall of approximately 85,000 nurses by 2025, and 123,000 nurses by 2030 under current settings”.
With such alarming numbers, it’s surprising that thousands of qualified would-be nursing students are still being turned away from Australian universities every year. This is mostly due to the even more dire shortage of nursing educators. Without anyone to teach them, it remains impossible to plug the ever-increasing gap in the nursing workforce.
The Australian government’s latest job outlook reflects this, predicting “very strong growth” within the nurse educators and research field between now and May 2022. From their report, “there are likely to be between 3,001 and 7,500 job openings over [the next 5 years]”.
Albeit not under the greatest of circumstances, this means that there are fantastic career opportunities available for those interested in becoming nurse educators and practitioners.
With such high demand and further growth expected, individuals graduating with their Master of Nursing can expect a level of job choice and security that is unprecedented in most other fields of work.
Benefits of becoming a nurse educator
Availability of jobs is obviously not the only benefit of working as a nurse educator, nor should it be the only draw card for individuals planning their career paths.
In their roles training the bright minds of Australia’s future nurses, nursing educators and practitioners play a crucial role in the much-needed strengthening of our nation’s healthcare sector. An educator’s contribution goes beyond simply preparing students for the workforce, but also continually assessing and critically thinking about ways in which our nation’s healthcare workers can be more efficient, supportive, and, of course, supported. It almost goes without saying just how fulfilling and rewarding playing such a fundamental role in shaping the future of Australia’s nurses can be.
Lead your industry into the future
Some may worry that stepping out of the hands-on, practical side of nursing may mean they become out of the touch with the industry, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, educators are most often the first to know about new technologies, methods, breakthroughs and more happening within the medical and healthcare communities.
If being on the cutting edge of new information and enjoying the fulfillment of sharing said knowledge isn’t enough, there’s also the benefit of greater flexibility to consider. Educators enjoy a much less demanding work schedule, void of the commonly dreaded overnight work and 12-hour, labour-intensive shifts. Their work environment is a lot less chaotic and stressful, too.
A flexible career path
Nurse educators can benefit from the job satisfaction of teaching, an attractive salary and even more attractive schedule, being at the forefront of new innovations, and much more, without having to give up their occupation as a nurse or healthcare professional.
Not only can you complete your Master of Nursing whilst continuing to work in the field thanks to increasing avenues available to study online, you can also work towards fitting both career paths in your life.
Whilst many educators work to provide training within higher educational settings such as universities, some choose to follow the academic route whilst still being on the ground, so to speak. They do this by taking positions as clinical supervisors or similar roles within schools based in hospitals and other healthcare forums.
With the academic calendar providing a bit more flexibility, there’s also the possibility to spend part of the year in front of a classroom, and part of the year in scrubs.
The future of Australia’s healthcare system unfortunately has a significant strain on it, but more people choosing to pursue an exciting career in nursing education has the potential to lighten this burden significantly. With numerous benefits to be found in this field, hopefully the call for more nurse educators will be met over the coming years.
JCU Online offers students the opportunity to complete their Master of Nursing courses through distance education, making it even easier to become a qualified nurse educator or practitioner without having to put an entire career on hold.