Nursing Education Track (MSN)
The Nursing Education program prepares individuals with essential knowledge and skills to provide health education with a broad scope of delivery. Students complete the core coursework toward the Master of Science in Nursing Degree. In addition, all students receive education theory related to media technology, informatics, distance education, advising/counseling, teaching/learning principles, innovation in education, and program outcomes evaluation.
Practicum experiences are tailored to the individual student's specialty focus and career goals. Graduates possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide health education appropriate for patient populations, community groups, or formal academic programs in both urban and rural settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of the Nurse Educator?
The Nurse Educator engages in all aspects of the educational process for nurses, including preparation and delivery of educational materials, advising and evaluation of students, and governance of the nursing program. Educational settings include the classroom, the lab, the clinical setting, and the online setting. Nurse Educators teach students to be safe, effective, skilled, and knowledgeable nurses who will provide high-quality care to their patients and who are capable of working with interdisciplinary teams as well as practicing autonomously within nursing's scope of practice. As Nurse Educators are experts in both nursing and education, they are considered to be Advanced Practice Nurses and can seek certification as Certified Nurse Educators (CNE) from the National League for Nursing.
How many clinical/practicum hours are required in the education track?
375 clinical/practicum hours. Seventy-five of the hours are associated with a prerequisite advanced health assessment course, and the remaining 300 hours are specifically education focused, where students will work with preceptors in an educational setting.
Do Nurse Educators have difficulty finding employment?
The need for Nurse Educators continues to be at a high level as the need for nurses continues to grow. Nursing faculty must hold at least a master's degree in nursing to teach as faculty in baccalaureate programs, and doctoral degrees to teach in graduate programs. Nurse Educators have been successful in finding employment in higher education, as there is an ongoing shortage of nurse educators. As the Nurse Educator must be knowledgeable and proficient in both nursing and education, earning the MSN degree with a focus in Nursing Education can increase the likelihood of finding an excellent position in an academic or staff development educational setting. Please check with your state board of nursing for further information on requirements for nursing faculty in your state.
How are my clinical/practicum preceptors chosen?
Nurse Education students generally select their own preceptors with help from Nursing Education faculty. Preceptors for Nursing Education students must hold a minimum of the MSN degree, preferably with a focus in Nursing Education, and have 5 or more years of teaching experience. Nurse Education students also select the educational setting (e.g., LPN program, ADN program, BSN program, staff development in a hospital setting) in which they would like to complete their practicum hours, thus allowing them to do so in the setting where they would like to work after completing the MSN degree. Often, students will choose to complete their practicum hours in the actual setting where they plan to apply for employment after graduation.