Nursing instructor Erica Hoyt has earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) after meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing.

Hoyt began her career with the university in 2002. In addition to teaching in the College of Nursing’s baccalaureate program, she is a registered nurse and serves as coordinator of the college’s skills lab and Apopka Community Nursing Coalition. Prior to her career as an educator, Hoyt spent several years working as a flight nurse, emergency department staff nurse and as a paramedic.

“The NLN’s Academic Nurse Educator Certification program has conferred new visibility and stature upon the academic nursing community that is long overdue,” said Dr. Beverly Malone, CEO of the NLN. “Through the certification program, we have made clear to the ranks of higher education that the role of nurse educator is an advanced professional practice discipline with a defined practice setting and demonstrable standards of excellence.” In years to come, she added, it is hoped that certified nurse educators will command higher salaries and be first in line for promotions and tenure.

The newly certified nurse educators reflect the spectrum of their academic colleagues in the United States:

• 33 percent hold doctoral degrees; the remainder master’s degrees

• 43 percent teach in baccalaureate or higher degree programs; 40 percent in associate degree programs; 5 percent in diploma programs; and 2 percent in practical/vocational nursing programs

• 28 percent hold the rank of assistant professor; 15 percent associate professor; 14 percent full professor

• 50 percent have more than ten years of full time employment experience as academic nurse educators

As of August, 2012, there are 3,415 certified nursing educators in the continental United States. Many academic nursing programs in colleges and university settings have recognized the importance of the certification and encourage all eligible nursing faculty to become certified.

With nearly half (42.8 percent) of nurse faculty projected to retire within the next decade and nearly three-quarters (69.7 percent) within 15 years, replacing them is of grave concern, to nursing and nursing education.