Pursuing higher education is a smart move in many respects. Registered nurses who are looking to advance their careers by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) will have a variety of opportunities open to them. Nurse educators, in particular, are in high demand within the healthcare field.
However, when earning your degree, it is important to strike a balance. Will the time, money and effort required to earn an MSN in Nursing Education really be worth it in the long run?
Here’s a breakdown of what one could expect in terms of salary upon landing a career as a nurse educator in two states with growing opportunity: Texas and Oklahoma.
Texas: Booming Communities
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has grown to be the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, with hundreds of thousands of residents migrating to the city and surrounding suburbs. It also has one of the fastest-growing job markets in the nation, including healthcare.
ZipRecruiter reports that the nurse educator job market in Texas and the surrounding area is “very active.” Salary depends on many factors, but nurse educators could make between $45,188 and $84,174 annually, with the average salary landing at $59,992.
PayScale has somewhat of a similar assessment. Specific to Fort Worth, the range for a nurse educator who has been in the field for four years is $73,000 to $94,000, with $85,000 being the average.
In terms of employment opportunities, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists Texas as one of the states with the “highest employment level in this occupation,” reporting a mean annual wage in 2019 of $66,190.
Oklahoma: Affordable Living and Friendly Commutes
While Oklahoma may not be as booming as the metropolitan areas in Texas, it does have its attractions.
For example, U.S. News & World Report ranked Oklahoma as the fourth most affordable state in the U.S. The Sooner State ranked seventh in housing affordability and second in cost of living. And, according to a moving company’s blog, “rush hour” is almost non-existent — quite opposite of the situation in Dallas-Fort Worth.
ZipRecruiter places nurse educator salaries in Oklahoma slightly higher than those in Texas. Yearly figures range between $47,008 and $87,564 a year, with the average at $63,053.
Job Growth Is Inevitable
There is an estimated increase of faculty retirements in the coming years, but future staff vacancies mean good news for aspiring nurse educators looking for hiring opportunities, according to NurseJournal.
The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, honoring the tireless efforts these individuals contribute to community health. But without educators, the opportunities to bring more nurses into the care realm are limited. One of the reasons for the widespread nurse shortage is a lack of faculty to actually teach those interested in entering the nursing field.
To provide the care our populations need, especially when they need it most, nurse educators will continue to be in demand. To answer the initial question posed above: earning an MSN in nursing education is absolutely worth it.
Learn more about Northeastern State University’s MSN in Nursing Education online program.