Part one of this series encourages you to reflect on whether or not you’d like to teach online. In part two, I’ll assume that you’ve made the decision to start a job search for remote teaching positions. Perhaps you’re a clinical nurse who wants to transition to nursing education by way of virtual instruction. Or, you’re a nurse educator ready to move out of the brick-and-mortar setting. Either way, you’ll want to take the following measures to find and secure the right online job!
Revamp Your Resume
You’ll obviously want to highlight your past teaching experience. But what if you’ve never held a traditional teaching job? Think about things you’ve done in your past positions that were related to education (i.e. precepting a nursing student, orienting a staff member, holding in-services). You should also highlight your technological skills. Are you a superuser for your hospital’s EHR? Have you worked with patient text messaging software? Do you communicate with colleagues electronically?
If you’re an educator, what technology do you implement in the classroom? Have you utilized software to create exams or analyze results? Do you communicate with your students via email? Make sure you present these experiences in your resume or cover letter, and be ready to elaborate on them during an interview.
Develop a Search Strategy
Don’t worry – I’m not talking about a literature review! But a good job search strategy can help you find the right position more quickly. Become familiar with the search functions and filters on various job websites. Some major sites include: Indeed, SimplyHired, CareerBuilder, Monster, and LinkedIn. A great education-specific site is HigherEdJobs.
Come up with a list of keywords to try in different combinations. Screen each hit carefully – especially the “qualifications” section. Be cautious applying to jobs for which you don’t possess the desired qualifications. This can affect your chances at other positions within that company. Prioritize the jobs you find, and spend more time applying to positions that are likely to yield an interview.
You’re applying for an online teaching job, so there’s a good chance the interview(s) will be virtual. That could mean over the phone or video. For a video interview, be sure to “arrive” early to test the meeting link or software. You may even be able to test it out well ahead of time. Exhibiting comfort and proficiency with web technology is crucial for a successful interview in this field. Make sure you have a good internet connection when you interview. Remember, you’re showing the interviewer that you’ll have reliable connectivity should you be hired.
Let your passion for teaching and student success be evident. Prepare some examples of how you’ve helped students (or coworkers or others) achieve success. Be ready to explain why you want to teach online. If your answer has anything to do with being able to work from your bed, in your pajamas, or while babysitting a relative’s kids – I recommend coming up with a different response.
I hope that helps you get started on your goal to become an online nurse educator. If you have trouble finding a full-time position (and desire one), consider teaching part-time on the side. This will enhance your resume and give you a feel for what online teaching is like. With the nursing faculty shortage and increasing popularity of online education, the opportunities are there. Give it time – and effort – and you might just find your dream job!