Similarities and Differences Between a Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator

In nursing, an individual can specialize in nurse practitioner or educator practice. Nurse practitioners have various responsibilities within the hospital settings, from surgery rooms women’s health or outpatient care. On the other hand, nurse educators constitute the education faculty in colleges and universities where nursing degrees are trained. Additionally, educators are sometimes endorsed with staff and patient education duties. However, with changing times and health care environments both professionals are advancing their skills to take on more competent responsibilities. Although advanced nurses have several similarities in how they deliver their practice, both professionals have different competencies that establish the difference in their delivery. Therefore, this study will compare and contrast the core competencies of both advanced nurse practitioners and educators.

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There are certain competencies acquired by both advanced nurse practitioners and educators that demonstrate the differences existing between them. For instance, Advanced Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are given the leadership roles at a higher level, a core competency that differentiates them from educators. Due to their capabilities, advanced NPs take up complex leadership responsibilities. In addition, with their leadership skills, they initiate change and guide those under their authority towards employing the required changes within different departments (Thomas et al., 2011). Advanced NPs also acquire another core competency of practicing using evidence-based procedures. Through this kind of practice, NPs promote the quality competency of the health care sector. Moreover, with this competency NPs can evaluate and recognize the effectiveness of enhancing access, safety, quality, and cost in a hospital setting. Notably, once an NP acquires advanced skills, they are allowed to practice independently. Therefore, they can manage undiagnosed patients and those already diagnosed solely without supervision.

Advanced Nurse Educators (NEs) also have particular core competencies that differ from practitioner nurses. For instance, NEs possesses an excellent understanding of the educational theories, models, and principles they deliver to their students. As a result, these professionals construct adult friendly curriculums where they teach their students using the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domain approaches (National League for Nursing, 2005). Nurse Educators also have a competent ability to carry out critical inquiries. Therefore, due to their abilities, they can conduct intensive research on particular issues and later apply them in their curriculums to resolve problems in both practicing and education environments. Concisely, their findings and ideas are useful to researchers because they can be used as scholarly articles and journals. Additionally, advanced NEs are competent at nurturing the spirit of idea sharing, inquiry, and reflective thinking.

Nonetheless, while both advanced nurse practitioners and educators present different core competencies, there are several similarities attached to both practices. In fact, Advanced NPs and NEs are competent in promoting collaborative environments, partnerships, and proper communication. For instance, NEs are excellent at effective communication because it translates to enhanced collaborative teamwork among their trainees (Dreher & Glasgow, 2011). In addition, effective communication improves the partnership between health professionals in the clinical and education practices. On the other hand, NPs demonstrate this competency through studying, evaluating, and understanding the entire organizational structure. As a result, it becomes easy to use negotiating skills before coming to a consensus with other partners within the healthcare environment (Stewart & DeNisco, 2013).  In addition, the advanced NPs are competent at acknowledging cultural diversity, thus ensuring that the hospital environment satisfies their patients, hospital stakeholders, and service providers despite their differences. In essence, the result of this integration is smooth flowing transition processes across the entire health setting.

 Another similarity in the core competency of both advanced nurse practitioners and educators is ethical professional practice. Advanced NPs are expected to integrate ethics in all their decisions. The reason here is that advanced NPs are expected to evaluate their decisions ethically because all their actions translate to consequences (Stewart & DeNisco, 2013). Consequently, their decisions affect the larger population, different systems within the hospital, and every population related to this sector. Consequently, nurse educators are not only expected to demonstrate ethics in their daily routines but also to impact the same on their trainees (Dreher & Glasgow, 2011). Advance NEs demonstrate this competency when they practice social justice in the learning process and health care settings. Besides, honoring integrity, honesty in the academic processes and posing as role models to their trainees also contribute to the ethical competency of educators.

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Indeed, the nursing department is one of the most crucial sectors within the hospital settings. Therefore, advancing in a particular field promotes one from being an ordinary professional to becoming a competent player within the healthcare sector. It is worth noting that advanced NPs and NEs demonstrate similarities in proficiency when practicing ethically, enhancing collaborative teamwork, communication strategies, and partnerships. The differences in competencies are that advanced NPs are molded into becoming effective leaders within hospital settings where they can independently practice using evidence-based procedures and account for their actions. On the other hand, advanced NEs are competent at understanding the nursing curriculum presented on various models, principles, and theories. In addition, NEs are excellent in researching and inquiring to enhance the curriculum and present their ideas and findings in scholarly articles.



Dreher, H. M., & Glasgow, M. E. S. (2011). Role development for doctoral advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

National League for Nursing. (2005). Core competencies of nurse educators with task statements: professional development programs. The voice of nursing education: 1-8

Stewart, J. G., & DeNisco, S. M. (2013). Role Development for the Nurse Practitioner. Burlington MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Thomas, A. C., Dumas, M. A., Kleinpell, R., Logsdon, M. C., Julie Marfell, D. N. P., & Nativio, G. (2011). Nurse practitioner core competencies April 2011 amended 2012. The national organization of nurse practitioner faculties.1-7

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