Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

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Benchmark: Future Scope, Role, and Professional Obligations Paper

The Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Consensus Model delineates four primary functions for APRNs. According to Doherty et al. (2018), they include certified nurse practitioners (CNP), certified nurse midwives (CNM), certified clinical nurse specialists (CNS), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). A registered nurse needs to get the necessary certifications after postgraduate education in order to focus on any of these roles. Each advanced practice nurse is expected by the model above to be a specialist aligned to one of the four roles specified above. However, these perspectives are broad in the widest sense. In order to narrow them to very specific specialization areas, it is expected that the APRN will undertake postgraduate education and training up to the highest levels. This means reaching the level of and acquiring the apex degree of DNP, or PhD (depending on whether they want to teach or practice). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) role, what is required for professional practice, professional organizations, a current pressing concern, and future outlook. Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE)

The role of the CNE is to use the three domains of learning – cognitive, psychomotor, and affective – to impart knowledge and training to the next generation of professional nurses. Expert nurses in this field hold at least a Master’s degree and are employed by colleges and other nurse training facilities. In order to teach at a university especially, one must get a PhD (Nursing License Map, 2021). In the years to come, the role of the CNE will be to train and educate nurses who are adept at utilizing evidence-based clinical approaches and informatics to enhance results for patients (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2021). This is a result of the incorporation of innovative technologies into the healthcare infrastructure for better patient outcomes.


It was in 2010 that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released an eye-opening report recommending suggestions as to how the profession of nursing could be improved going into the future. “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” was the working title of the research project (Cusson et al., 2019). The aim of this report was to find ways that the nursing profession can be improved beyond nurses just being carers of patients alone. It sought to find ways of developing nurses to also be leaders and mangers in healthcare. This, as the report indicated, can only be possible if nurses are given the opportunity to develop themselves professionally. Above all, they have to also be allowed to attain significant leadership positions in the healthcare system. Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

In the context of the above report, the future function of the advanced practice CNE is outlined below. Among the report’s proposals were the following:

  1. By 2020, there should be twice as many PhD-holding nurses from higher-learning institutions.
  2. All fields of nursing should permit nurses to actively participate in advancing health, as stated by Cusson et al. (2019).

The need for additional nurses will grow more urgent as the nursing staffing crisis worsens. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 expanded the percentage of individuals with coverage for medical care, which means that CNEs will be responsible for training more nurses (Goldman et al., 2018). These citizens were previously unrecognized and lacked access to high-quality medical care. Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

Regulation, Certification, and Accreditation of the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE)

To become a CNE, one must attend recognized institutions and study accredited courses only. Accreditation of these courses and degree programs in the US takes place both at the federal level but also at the state level. Examples of regional accreditation are the ones accorded by the Higher Learning Commission and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. All over the nation, educational programs and institutions are accredited by national accrediting organizations.  A good example of an accrediting entity at the federal level is the American Academy for Liberal Education.

As with all other nursing cadres and specialties, the main regulatory body that also gives authorization for practice and is recognized by law is the state Board of Nursing. They apply the Nurse Practice Act to guide and regulate practice. The CNE must also abide by the policies and procedures of the parent hospitals connected to the training facilities where they are employed. This takes into consideration the need that all prospective nurses finish a practicum, exposing them to real-world clinical settings. Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

The CNE certification can be acquired by passing certain certification tests. According to the Nursing License Map (2021), the National League of Nurses (NLN) through the National Certification Examination (NCE) confers two major certifications for the CNE. These are the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE®) and the Certified Clinical Academic Nurse Educator (CNE®cl). Possessing these credentials will improve one’s professional credibility and employment opportunities, even though they are not necessary to practice.

Professional Nursing Organizations

Nurse associations are essential for professional nurses, not just APRNs, as they enable communication, support continuous professional development through articles and forums, and take part in coordinated advocacy on behalf of their member nurses. Three of these professional groups might be especially useful in highlighting the significance and reach of advanced nursing for the CNE: Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

  1. American Nurses Association (ANA)

Irrespective of their specialty, all nurses in the US can be members of the ANA. The ANA represents the professional interests of all nurses and provides a united front or one collective voice for nurse advocacy. Its declared goal is to offer leadership in influencing the direction of the nursing field and healthcare. This professional organization is over a century old, having been started in the year 1896. It has nurse members from all over the United States.

  1. American Academy of Nursing (AAN)

The American Academy of Nursing is a professional nursing organization dedicated to making nursing practice better. It also does advocacy for better public health policies benefiting the population. It aims to implement several connected projects and create policies that would increase health fairness. The organization is equipped with expertise and resources that are geared towards assisting nurses become better professionals in their areas of expertise. Amongst these is the Fellowship program.

  1. National League for Nursing (NLN)

It provides nurses with many opportunities for collaboration and gives members utilization of educational resources such as webinars, symposiums, and gatherings. They might also search for financing for research projects in science. The two certifications mentioned above aside, the academic Clinical Novice Educator (CNEn) is the other one that is conferred by the NLN.

If I am to be asked to make a choice among the above three professional organizations, I would go for the NLN. The reason for this choice is professional completeness and attractiveness. Specifically, the educational resources and the research funding are very attractive prospects for me personally. Because of these attributes, the NLN stands above the rest as the leading professional organization for CNEs as well as nurse leaders (NLN, 2022). Amongst the areas in which the NLN is effective in assisting its members to be proficient is the application of innovative technologies to healthcare problems. Because of this, I am of the opinion that the organization can be very instrumental in the progression of my career. This is considering the fact that technology is taking over healthcare at a rapid pace; and soon technology will be healthcare itself. Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

A Budding Issue Affecting Practice in the Near Future

The issue that I feel is evolving and that will continue to impact the future of CNE practice is that of technological integration in healthcare. With every new discovery, healthcare is rapidly integrating technology. This suggests that technology will very soon control every facet of nursing care and practice. This definitely calls for a significant overhaul of nursing curricula and instructional strategies. CNEs as nurse educators and trainers will thus have to rapidly and continually change with the times by upskilling at a fast rate in a perpetual fashion.

To impart professional nursing that is enabled by contemporary technology, CNEs actually must be skilled users of the technological advances. One of the reasons as to why CNEs must be at the forefront in embracing and understanding innovative healthcare technologies is that the nurses they train will have to be adept at using technology. This is because there are many states in which they can legally now practice with full practice authority or FPA (AANP, 2023; Myers & Alliman, 2018). It is therefore advanced practice nurses who are technologically savvy and skilled that will succeed in using technology to establish autonomous practice in FPA states. As a result, the CNE requires careful planning.  Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper


One of the most profitable specialties an APRN can select from is the CNE position and specialty. The APRN has the greatest potential to teach and educate the future generations of nurses, given that it necessitates postgraduate education and training. However, certification is a stronger support for this, either before to or after getting a state practice license. Like other nurses, CNEs are subject to regulation by the several state boards of nursing. More than any other professional group, I would desire to become a CNE and join the National League for Nursing. Lastly, the quickly developing innovative healthcare technologies are a significant issue that will likely impact my future as a CNE.



American Association of Nurse Practitioners [AANP] (2023). State practice environment.

Cusson, R.M., Meehan, C., Bourgault, A., & Kelley, T. (2019). Educating the next generation of nurses to be innovators and change agents. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(2), 13-19.

Doherty, C.L., Pawlow, P., & Becker, D. (2018). The consensus model: What current and future NPs need to know. American Nurse Today, 13(1), 65-67.

Goldman, A.L., Woolhandler, S., Himmelstein, D.U., Bor, D.H., & McCormick, D. (2018). Out-of-pocket spending and premium contributions after implementation of the Affordable Care Act. JAMA Internal Medicine, 178(3), 347-355.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K.G. (2021). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge, 5th ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Myers, C.R., & Alliman, J. (2018). Updates on the quest for full practice authority. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 14(7), 559–565. Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper

National League for Nursing [NLN] (2022). The voice for nursing education. https://www.nln.o rg/

Nursing License Map (2021). Scope and Future Role of a Certified Nurse Educator Discussion Paper 

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