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Nursing Education Master's Degrees

Nurse educators specializing in all areas of nursing practice are in demand. If you're an experienced nurse with a desire to help train the next generation of nurses, a master's degree in nursing education could prepare you for this rewarding career. Read on to learn how you can earn this degree online or on campus.

What Will I Study in a Master's in Nursing Education Program?

The most common route to becoming a nurse educator is to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Nursing Education, which typically consists of 36 to 46 semester hours. The curriculum consists of core courses in advanced nursing practice as well as courses in pedagogy, or teaching theories and practices. Most programs provide an opportunity for you to develop an area of clinical specialization. Teaching courses emphasize curriculum development, teaching methods and assessment strategies. If you're interested in becoming a researcher or university professor, master's programs also provide the training required to advance to a doctoral (Ph.D.) program. Representative graduate-level nursing education courses include:

  • Curriculum development
  • Methods in nursing research
  • Teaching strategies in nursing
  • Evaluation in nursing education
  • Advanced clinical nursing
  • Theory in nursing
  • Nursing education practicum
  • Nursing ethics

Common Courses Teaching theories, nursing research, pedagogy, clinical nursing, curriculum development
Prerequisites Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and current nursing licensure is required; institutions may also require an interview, personal statement, and references
Potential Work Environments Community organizations, education, health agencies
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and distance learning degree options are available
Median Salary (2018)$73,490 (for postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)24% growth (for all postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Prerequisites Do I Need to Satisfy?

To enroll in a master's program in nursing education, you must earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Statistics is a typical prerequisite course. In addition to college transcripts from an accredited nursing program, you will be required to submit your registered nurse (RN) license. A current resume listing areas of clinical practice is a common requirement, along with references from at least one or two years of experience working as an RN. Additional requirements for a complete admissions packet may include a 3.0 grade point average, a faculty interview and a statement of goals.

What Can I Do with This Degree?

According to a 2014 research study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there were 1,236 faculty vacancies in 714 nursing school respondents, which indicated a teaching shortage (www.aacn.nche.edu). Depending on your education and experience, you may find nurse educator positions in a variety of environments and levels. Nurse educators teach in universities, health agencies and community organizations. If you have good computer skills, you'll likely have many opportunities to teach and develop nursing courses online.

How Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Most graduate programs in nursing education are designed for working nurses; therefore, online programs are readily available. Typically, you will access a course website organized by a learning management system. You'll need a computer with sufficient memory to upload and download course materials and multimedia as well as standard software programs, such as the MS Office suite or Adobe Acrobat. Utilizing online course participation and communication tools, you can take exams, post discussion responses and upload assignments.