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Nursing Education Programs

Nursing Education Programs

What Are Nurse Educators?

Nurse educators are registered nurses who have chosen to teach aspiring nurses. They might be on the faculty in community colleges, universities, technical or vocational schools, nursing schools and the like. Nurse educators often have advanced knowledge and clinical skills, and might continue to work with patients even after becoming teachers. Some with many years of teaching experience might advance to administrative roles. For more information, see our nurse educator career page.

Nursing Education Program Information

Many colleges and universities offer master's degree programs for nursing educators. These programs can be entirely online, or they might be a hybrid format of clinical work and classroom instruction. A doctorate might be required to teach at some schools, especially four-year universities. Doctorate programs often have a strong research or clinical practice element.

Students who enter master's level or doctoral level nursing education programs explore elements of both teaching and nursing, such as teaching strategies, classroom assessment, curriculum design, advanced nursing theory, nursing concepts, and technology advancements in nursing and educational platforms.

Nursing Education Program Types

Nursing education students can choose from options such as master's and doctoral degree programs. Entry into these programs generally requires a registered nursing license and in some cases, several years of hands-on experience in a clinical setting.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs:

  • Usually take two to three years beyond a bachelor's degree, depending on a student's schedule.
  • May cover in-depth clinical work and focus on classroom education skills, including communication and teaching strategies.
  • Often designed for working RNs.

Ph.D. in Nursing Education programs:

  • Typically require between one and three years of study after the master's degree, depending on the course load.
  • Offer options for in-depth clinical work and research in nursing as well as instruction and assessment techniques for the post-secondary teaching environment.
  • Often designed for working professionals, and may be available entirely online.

Formal nursing education programs can help prepare students to pursue the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) designation, which requires passing the certification examination. According to the National League for Nursing, the CNE designation demonstrates expertise in core competencies, as well as professionalism and leadership skills useful for faculty positions.

Nursing Education Course Descriptions

While nursing education schools offer programs with various emphases, most share a basic core curriculum. The following are a few of the more common courses that can be found in nursing education programs:

  • Theories of Education: Application of nursing knowledge in the learning environment and instruction on evaluating learning outcomes.
  • Evidence-based Evaluation: Critical assessment of educational and learning methods in relation to nursing instruction.
  • Quantitative Research: Understanding and developing studies, variables, validity, sampling and measurement.
  • Curriculum Design: Exploring learning theory, courses required by accreditation standards and instructional design models focused on nursing.
  • Healthcare Leadership: Focus on healthcare principles, best practices used by nurse leaders and development of a professional leadership plan.

Nursing Education Specialties

Students at nursing education schools might choose to focus on particular specialties in the hopes of teaching them to aspiring nurses. These specialties can include, but are not limited to:

  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics
  • Oncology
  • Labor and delivery
  • Nursing informatics
  • Mental health

Related Careers

With additional education and/or experience, graduates of nursing education programs might go on to pursue career possibilities outside the scope of the nurse educator role. Some of these career paths might include:

  • Education Administrators: Oversee academics, research and student services at institutions of higher learning. This position may call for several years experience as a nurse educator.
  • Microbiologists: Study how microscopic organisms affect the body and health. Those in this occupation often work closely with others in the healthcare field. A Ph.D. is generally needed.
  • Biochemists: Explore how biological processes such as growth, aging, cell development and heredity affect health. Work in this field may prove relevant to the emerging healthcare technology. A doctorate or professional degree is common.

Links to Sources and Associations

The following websites offer more information about nursing education:

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Association for Nursing Professional Development

ExploreHealthCareers.org: Nurse Educator

National League for Nursing

Professional Nurse Educators Group

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MS in Nursing - Nurse Educator

WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Globally Renowned Purdue to Acquire Kaplan University

Purdue University, one of the nation's most respected universities, will acquire Kaplan University and create a new, nonprofit, public institution within the Purdue system. Pending regulatory approvals, this exciting transition is expected to take place later this year. This change will be seamless—during the transition, you will still be able to enroll at Kaplan University, earn a high-quality education, and meet your educational and career goals.

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Specialization in Nurse Educator (MSN)
  • Began in 1899 as Draughon’s Practical Business College.
  • Features campuses that are heavily engaged in their respective communities, providing professional service from students and faculty.
  • Offers financial aid, scholarships, and counseling for both active and post-duty military students.
  • Has 15 campuses across the United States, as well as 4 art institutes in North Carolina and Texas.
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education
  • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
  • Several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Programs in 2017. 
  • Lets students watch, view, read, or hear content through its program, My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.).
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Nurse Educator (PGC)
  • Ranked among the Best Grad Schools for Physician Assistants in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Dedicated to delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899.
  • Provides a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services.
  • Offers counseling services and a 24/7 crisis hotline to students at no extra charge.
  • Gives students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
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Nursing Education (AD)
Good for Working Adults

 The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Congratulations! Your interest in Stevens-Henager College is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

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MS in Health Education

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults. By opening the doors to adults who need flexibility to fit learning into their busy lives, we make it possible to achieve a high-quality education from a prestigious university system—completely online.

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Associate Degree in Nursing
Fortis Institute , Salt Lake City
Good for Working Adults

Fortis Institute can give you the skills you need to train for a career in the healthcare field.

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* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


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