Master's Degrees for Aspiring Pastoral Nursing Counselors

Learn how a nursing career could incorporate counseling and spirituality to help restore patients' health. Find out who should pursue the degree programs available in the field, the courses offered during study and typical program components. Schools offering Mental Health Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Who Should Pursue Master's Degrees for Pastoral Nurse Counselors?

Master's degrees for aspiring pastoral nursing counselors are intended for practicing nurses who want to add a spiritual or pastoral counseling component to their practice. Because some such programs allow you to earn a master's degree in nursing, you are able to pursue advanced nursing certification if you choose. While most programs require you have a bachelor's degree in nursing, it is possible for you to enter some programs without a nursing degree. In such cases, you may need to take classes like anatomy and microbiology prior to enrollment to make up for any educational deficiencies.

Perfect For Practicing nurses who want to add a spiritual or pastoral counseling component to practice and advanced nursing certification
Prerequisite course completion many be necessary
Master's Degrees Joint degree options available, which can be studied for simultaneously
Multi-disciplinary degrees also an option, such as counselling with an emphasis in pastoral care
Common Courses Normal versus abnormal behavior, counseling theory, psychotherapy, theology, scripture.
Typical Program Components Practicum in a healthcare or counseling setting like a hospital chapel or campus ministry, final project
Full-time and part-time options available, but none online

What Master's Degrees Are Available to Me?

Some schools have a joint degree program. This means you apply to two separate programs, such as nursing and theology, while coordinating your studies to pursue both degrees at the same time. You may pursue a Master of Science in Nursing, while also pursuing a Master of Arts in Ministry or Pastoral Counseling or a Master of Divinity. Other schools offer multi-disciplinary degrees; for example, you might earn a Master of Science in Counseling with an emphasis on pastoral care.

What Topics Will I Study?

Much of the coursework in master's degrees for aspiring pastoral nursing counselors is devoted to general counseling topics. Topics may include normal versus abnormal behavior, counseling theory or psychotherapy. You'll also take courses specific to pastoral counseling, such as theology or scripture. Joint degree programs that offer nursing study may include courses like epidemiology or pharmacology.

During your studies, you may complete a practicum in a healthcare or counseling setting, such as a hospital chapel or campus ministry. You may also be required to complete a final project to demonstrate your knowledge and ability as a pastoral counselor. Most degree programs allow you to enroll as a full-time or part-time student. Depending on your course load, you will spend anywhere from 2-6 years completing your master's degree. Because of the nature of the courses, the required practicum and the typical career path, master's degree programs for aspiring pastoral nursing counselors aren't available online.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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