What Qualities Make a Good Nurse Educator?

Nurse Educator with Registered Nurse holding clipboard
Nurse Educator with Registered Nurse holding clipboard

Nurse educators are experienced nurses who typically hold a Master of Science in Nursing Education degree and who help the current generation of nurses stay up-to-date in their nursing practice. Good educators often make lifelong impressions on their students. Some individuals simply have a natural ability to inspire others. A few key qualities are often present in the best nurse educators. Do you have what it takes?

A Passion for Nursing

It’s important for nurse educators to receive a sense of satisfaction from their careers. The best educators are strong advocates of excellent patient care.. Each class of nurses requires educators who are also role models. A nurse who feels strongly about providing effective, evidence-based compassionate patient care is a great candidate for nurse education.


Patience is a virtue and another key trait of a great nurse educator. Not everyone grasps concepts on the first round of explanation, and not everyone possesses the same learning style. Educators must be aware of this and be able to tailor their teaching to different learning styles.

Any nurse will be able to recall their first time in clinicals or taking skills tests in nursing school and remember the nervousness they felt. Patience in a nurse educator is a highly valuable trait during these times, as students can be quite anxious.


In line with patience, a good nurse educator has a strong sense of empathy. Empathy is critical in the nursing field. Nurses must be able to place themselves in their patients’ shoes. Nurse educators must be able to do this as well as place themselves in their students’ shoes. Patience and empathy work synergistically for nurse educators in many ways.

A Sense of Humor

Anyone who is close to a nurse is sure to have heard some memorable “nurse stories”. A strong sense of humor is a healthy coping mechanism, and has been proven to reduce stress levels. Nurse education can be quite stressful at times, and it is necessary to be able to kick off your shoes at the end of the day and have a good laugh. It is important for anyone interested in nursing education to master the use humor. Demonstrating a good sense of humor as an educator helps students and patients feel more at ease. It also helps students to develop their own coping strategies which will benefit them throughout their careers and help to relieve stress, prevent burnout and increase job satisfaction.

Embarking on the Nursing Education Journey

Earning an online Master’s in Nursing Education is the first step toward a meaningful, influential career as a nurse educator. Spring Arbor University’s online program prepares nurses to effectively teach their students both in the classroom and out, leaving our student Nurse Educators well-prepared to take the CNE — the NLN certification for educators. SAU’s advisors and personal Student Success Coaches work with you through each step of the program to ensure that your needs are being met.