Best Online Master’s Programs in Nursing Education: 2020

Review the best schools and programs for earning your master’s in nursing education online while getting key details about financial aid, coursework, and online learning .

Last Updated: 08/07/2020
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With more and more schools offering online master’s in nursing education, the search for the best program for your needs can be difficult. It’s important to spend time researching programs before you start filling out applications. You need to consider the cost and curriculum at each school, how flexible the format is, and more. To help you get started, we’ve done our own detailed analysis of schools and created a list of what we consider the best overall programs for earning your master’s in nursing education online. Every school that made our list holds proper accreditation and has been selected for its combination of affordability, quality, and flexibility. See which schools made the grade for 2020 and start the search for your online master’s in nursing education.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2020 Rankings

To be considered for this ranking, each school must have the following:

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Program(s) offered at least partially online.

School Metrics Explained

EduMed.org data scientists analyzed government higher education data and created a proprietary algorithm to rank each U.S. postsecondary institution and its online programs using 5 primary factors:

  • Cost: Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Online Program Availability: Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to Department of Education.
  • Academic Counseling: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement: Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid: Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Most recent data pull: February 2020

#School NameTypeCostOnline ProgramsMore DetailsSchool InformationOnline StudentsAcademic CounselingCareer PlacementStudents w/Institutional AidMedian Earnings 10yrs After EntryAccreditation
1The University of Texas at TylerTyler, TXPublic$$1

The Nursing Education MSN Degree – Online at the University of Texas at Tyler allows students to continue working in their current position while pursuing higher education. The program serves as a strong foundation for sitting for national examinations, as well as moving on to the doctoral program. Combining practice with theory, the program requires 112.5 practicum hours in addition to the time spent in courses online. Select courses in the program include Translational Science, Health Care Informatics, Evaluation in Nursing Education, and Organizational Systems Leadership. Admission is competitive and requires applicants to hold their BSN, current licensure, a minimum 3.0 GPA, at least three letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.

Program Overview:

Nursing Education MSN Degree - Online

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $927/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2The University of Texas Rio Grande ValleyEdinburg, TXPublic$$1

Working nurses who are interested in teaching upcoming nurses can learn what they need to know through the Master of Science in Nursing Education Online program through The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. This program helps nurses learn to blend science and theory in the classroom, recognize diverse learners, implement assessment and evaluation methods, and move into the classroom and clinical service roles of a nurse educator. Students will take courses in pharmacology, nurse informatics, nursing research, and pathophysiology, as well as a capstone project . Admission requires applicant to be a registered nurse in good standing, as well as proof of a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work.

Program Overview:

Master of Science in Nursing Education Online

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $444/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
3Angelo State UniversitySan Angelo, TXPublic$$1

Angelo State University’s Master of Science in Nursing program offers two tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. The nurse educator track requires 39 credit hours and is designed for those who hold a bachelor’s degree and current nursing license. In addition to required core courses like Research Foundations for Advanced Nursing and Health Policy and Ethics, students will also take the specialization courses for nurse educators, such as Teaching Strategies and Evaluation in Nursing Education and Roles and Financial Management in Nursing Education. A capstone practicum is also required, which may be completed at a location convenient to the student but still within the state of Texas.

Program Overview:

MSN – Nurse Educator

  • Credits: 39
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $228/credit (resident); $637/credit (non-resident)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
60%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4Texas A & M University-Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi, TXPublic$$1

The Nurse Educator, MSN program offered through Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi prepares students to work as nurse educators in either clinical or academic areas, as well as prepares them to sit for the National League of Nursing Certified Nurse Educator Certification. Applicants must submit an application, essay, resume, references, transcripts, and a copy of their unencumbered nursing license issued by the State of Texas. A sampling of courses includes Diverse Care Environments, Theory and Concepts for the Nurse Educator, Instructional Teaching Strategies, and Nursing Curriculum Planning, Development, and Evaluation. Clinicals are also required, but students can complete them at an approved facility in the state.

Program Overview:

MSN Nursing Educator

  • Credits: 37
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $818/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
5Texas A & M University-College StationCollege Station, TXPublic$$1

Students who are residents of Texas can look into the Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator program at Texas A&M University – College Station to further their nursing career with an educational slant. Students will learn to educate other nurses, both in clinical settings and in the classroom. Though all 36 hours of study can be taken online, students will be required to visit the campus for the New Student Conference, a one-day event, and the Advanced Health Assessment course requires students to complete 45 hours of study on the campus. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Nurse Educator credential through the National League of Nursing.

Program Overview:

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $5,240/semester (resident); $10,880/semester (non-resident)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6The University of Texas at ArlingtonArlington, TXPublic$$1

The online MSN Nurse Educator Program at University of Texas at Arlington makes good use of simulation and other relevant teaching strategies to ensure students are getting the fullest educational experience possible. Courses students might encounter include Principles of Research in Nursing, Role of the Nurse Educator, and Teaching/Learning Strategies for Nurse Educators. Most courses are five weeks long, thus adding to the flexibility demanded by working nurses. A total of 225 clinical hours is required for graduation; these hours can be completed at an approved location near the student.

Program Overview:

MSN Nurse Educator

  • Credits: 39
  • Length: 20 months
  • Cost: $525/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
54%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
7Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleEdwardsville, ILPublic$$1

The Master of Science, Nurse Educator (NE) program at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville is serious about preparing students for their future careers as educators in the healthcare system. Therefore, the program requires not only completion of the fully online courses, but a practicum of 270 hours. In some cases, this can be completed near the student’s location; in other cases, arrangements might have to be made with the school to ensure the student can complete their practicum, as it is not allowable in all states. Courses students might encounter include Biostats/Epidemiology, Curriculum Theory, Design and Program Evaluation, and Nurse Educator Role Synthesis. Students must also complete a master’s terminal project.

Program Overview:

Master of Science, Nurse Educator (NE)

  • Credits: 33
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $2,039/semester for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8Grantham UniversityLenexa, KSPrivate, For-Profit$1

Students seeking to enhance their career through teaching others in the nursing realm can opt for the Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education Specialization offered through Grantham University in Kansas. This flexible program requires students complete a hands-on practicum at an approved location convenient to them, as well as a capstone project. Courses students might encounter include Diverse Populations and Healthcare, Organizational Dynamics of Higher Education, and Concepts of Distance Education. Graduates will be well-versed in the six competencies of communication, professional and social responsibility, distributed collaboration, career management, data aptitude, and critical thinking/problem solving.

Program Overview:

Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education Specialization

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $350/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: DEAC (school); ACEN (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
9Baker UniversityBaldwin City, KSPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1

Former alumni of Baker University are in luck – they get a 10% break on tuition when they choose to attend the Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Education Specialization program. But even those who are not alumni will likely be pleased with the flexible schedule offered by the school. Nursing education will include a variety of courses designed to prepare students to educate others, including those in theories, principles, and methods of education, how to measure outcomes and assess programs, and an education practicum that allows students to put their learning to good use before graduation.

Program Overview:

Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education Specialization

  • Credits: 40
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $450/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10Cedarville UniversityCedarville, OHPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$1

Taught with a Christian worldview, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nurse Educator program at Cedarville University aims to prepare students to move into the teaching world with a strong faith, knowledge, and skills. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certification for Nurse Educators (CNE) exam. In addition to the fully online courses, students will also complete 100 hours of direct care and 200 hours of a practicum, during which they will test their skills and knowledge in a real-world setting. The program breaks down into 12 graduate nursing core hours, nine direct care hours, 17 specialty hours for nurse educators, and three hours of a Bible course.

Program Overview:

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Nurse Educator

  • Credits: 41
  • Length: Approximately two years
  • Cost: $623/credit for online students
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
11Concordia University-WisconsinMequon, WIPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
98%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
12Olivet Nazarene UniversityBourbonnais, ILPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
13Midway UniversityMidway, KYPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
14Graceland University-LamoniLamoni, IAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
15William Carey UniversityHattiesburg, MSPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
16Texas Woman’s UniversityDenton, TXPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
44%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
17The University of Texas Medical BranchGalveston, TXPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
18Clarkson CollegeOmaha, NEPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
61%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
19Xavier UniversityCincinnati, OHPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
20Alvernia UniversityReading, PAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
21University of MaryBismarck, NDPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
22Wayland Baptist UniversityPlainview, TXPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
81%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
23American International CollegeSpringfield, MAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
24The University of Texas at El PasoEl Paso, TXPublic$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
27%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
25Duquesne UniversityPittsburgh, PAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
26Saint Xavier UniversityChicago, ILPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
27Herzing University-MadisonMadison, WIPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
25%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
28Baker CollegeFlint, MIPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
29Mercy CollegeDobbs Ferry, NYPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
87%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
30South University–Savannah OnlineSavannah, GAPrivate, For-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
30%
Accreditation#N/A
31Carlow UniversityPittsburgh, PAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
32Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended StudiesFayette, MOPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
Accreditation#N/A
33Roberts Wesleyan CollegeRochester, NYPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
91%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
34University of IndianapolisIndianapolis, INPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
99%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
35Independence UniversitySalt Lake City, UTPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
15%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
36Messiah CollegeMechanicsburg, PAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
37Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied HealthOmaha, NEPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
100%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
38Mount Carmel College of NursingColumbus, OHPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
44%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
39University of Phoenix-ArizonaTempe, AZPrivate, For-Profit$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
40Indiana Wesleyan University-National & GlobalMarion, INPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
41Pennsylvania College of Health SciencesLancaster, PAPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
10%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
42Bellin CollegeGreen Bay, WIPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
97%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
43Oregon Health & Science UniversityPortland, ORPublic$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
44Excelsior CollegeAlbany, NYPrivate, Not-for-Profit$$$$$1Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education

Profiling the Online Master’s in Nursing Education

As you compare online master’s in nursing education programs and try to decide which is best for you, it’s the small details that often make the biggest difference. Things like whether you’re able to complete coursework on your own time or if there are set times when classes meet. How many trips to campus you’ll need to make (if any) and where the clinical portion of the program is held. Or the core approach each school takes to prepare you to become an effective nurse educator. To help you explore key factors like this, we’ve profiled three accredited universities that offer online master’s programs in nursing education. Learn more about each program below to see if one is right for you and to better understand the details to look for when looking at other programs.

Duke University

Duke University

Students enjoy access to a variety of online programs through the university, including an online master’s in nursing education. This rigorous curriculum helps students explore a variety of advanced clinically focused topics, including pharmacology, patient assessment, and pathophysiology.

Nursing students need 36 credits for graduation and complete required courses such as student learning and teaching innovation, curriculum development in nursing education, educational program evaluation and accreditation, and assessment and evaluation strategies in nursing education.

This curriculum also includes several clinically focused courses which provide them with a strong foundation for education-focused careers. As a result, many Duke nursing master’s students pursue faculty positions, jobs as clinical instructors in schools, or staff development roles in healthcare institutions.

Drexel University Online

Drexel University

Drexel’s master’s in nursing education online readies students for careers as educators at all levels. Coursework includes classes in curriculum design, critical thinking techniques, classroom presentation techniques, and academic research skills. Required courses for the nurse educator track include foundations of nursing education, assessment, measurement, and evaluation, teaching methods in nursing education, and curriculum design for higher-level cognition.

Additionally, Drexel nursing students study how to teach in-person in classrooms and remotely with online modules and innovative technologies. Most requirements are available online except for the residency requirement. The residency requires 160 total practicum hours and is offered bi-annually in January or June. Additionally, students at Drexel must attend a three-day, mandatory on-campus nursing residency to fulfill requirements of the nurse educator track.

Purdue University Global

Purduf University

A public research university located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue offers more than 65 graduate programs and serves around 44,000 students. The university’s remote offerings include an online master’s degree in nursing with a concentration in nurse education. This program allows students to specialize in five different areas of the field and prepares them to sit for a number of industry certification exams.

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this program includes a specialized track for learners interested in nursing education. The nursing education track integrates advanced nursing concepts with educational philosophies to help learners acquire effective teaching skills based on the latest pedagogical research and instructional technologies.

Purdue’s master of science in nursing program features an accelerated option that the school refers to as “ExcelTrack.” This competency-based learning program allows students to quickly progress through material they already know and spend more time on less familiar topics. Nursing education majors also need to complete a practicum and clinical practice experience to meet graduation requirements. Competitive applicants for this program possess a 2.5 or higher GPA.

Accreditation and the Online Nursing Education Master’s

Colleges and universities that offer a credible education typically possess regional or national accreditation. Accrediting bodies evaluate educational institutions and determine whether or not the quality of instruction and services they provide to students meets particular academic standards. Regional accreditation is considered the gold standard and is offered to two-year and four-year institutions, both traditional and online, based on their location.

Accreditation is one of the factors that affects your ability as a student to claim financial aid funds through the federal government. Each type of federal student aid requires your educational institution to possess regional or national accreditation. When your school requires you to fill out a FAFSA, that is the application that helps the government determine what level of federal financial aid is available to you.

Online-Nursing-Education-Master

Schools may also possess a programmatic accreditation. For nursing programs, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes two primary accrediting bodies: The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Programmatic accreditation in any field can sometimes be viewed as an icing-on-the-cake or “extra” credential, especially if the school itself already possesses regional accreditation. While researching nursing programs, however, a school that possesses a programmatic accreditation in nursing may be worth a second look, as it shows they’ve gone above and beyond to certify and stand behind the quality of the education that provide.

OnlineNursingEducationMaster

Inside the Online Master’s in Nursing Education

How do you know which online master’s in nursing education program is the best one for you? The long and short of it is that the best decision is an informed decision. You need to research and read about what programs offer in terms of clinical training scenarios and practicums as well as the core courses in the required curriculum. The courses offered in the nursing education core can give you a good idea of what the department considers to be important and often highlights its faculty’s strengths. Here are a few key questions to get you started:

What do you learn in an online master’s in nursing education?

Every master’s in nursing education program is different and brings certain strengths to the table. While you will probably be able to identify some overlapping courses, each department usually offers unique courses as well. In this way, with your personal interests and academic goals in mind, you will be better served by some schools than others. In the list that follows, we offer some of the commonly overlapping courses between programs to give you a general idea of what to expect. Be sure to examine all of your prospective schools’ available courses, however, to get a more detailed picture of what it can offer you.

Introduction to Advanced Nursing

This introductory course is common among nursing education programs. It can be listed under several different titles but is likely to have “introduction” in the name. In most cases, this class will help you explore nursing ethics, leadership and responsibility evidence-based practices, and current research in the field. Discourses are typically part of the nursing program core and may not necessarily correlate directly with nursing education majors.

Nursing Research and Writing

This course is part academic research skills and part training in academic writing. As a graduate student, you will need at least strong basic research and writing skills to succeed in your program and handle work responsibilities upon graduating. This course will help you examine the process of scientific inquiry, practice using the basic elements of argument, and critically examine scientific findings in areas such as genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, genomics, and education.

Scientific Inquiry and Research Methodologies

While this is also a course that seems outside of a predictable nursing education curriculum, scientific inquiry and research methodology courses are typically part of first-year master’s and doctoral programs. These courses allow students to utilize evidence-based practices and develop research projects that examine an area of interest in nursing. These courses typically require students to design and carry out a research project that relates to nursing education and examine evidence-based practices in the field.

Presentation and Instruction

As a master’s student in nursing education, you will take a series of courses focused on presentation and instruction skills. These classes typically help students understand the roles and demands of instructors in clinical, academic, and professional settings. These classes allow you to develop teaching methods that serve diverse populations of students, too. Additionally, courses focused on instructional presentations allow learners to utilize the latest instructional technologies and interactive educational software.

Nurse Educators and Health Assessments

You will take a version of this course toward the end of your master’s tenure, as it builds on a significant amount of previous health assessment knowledge. The class diversifies your knowledge of health assessments and further develops your understanding of patient examinations in areas including physical, spiritual, and psychosocial health. Additionally, this class includes instruction on communication, teaching, and counseling, since nurse educators deal directly with patients, coworkers, and students on a daily basis.

As a master’s student in nursing education, you develop certain key skills to ensure that you succeed upon graduation. With this degree, you may find yourself working in a classroom, in a hospital setting, and beyond. While careers in each of these roles will demand certain skills from you, there are some overlapping attributes that all MSN students acquire in school.

  • Leadership Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Presentation and Instructional Skills
  • Engaging with Research and Researchers
  • Health/Educational Program Assessment Skills

How long does it take to earn a master’s degree in nursing education online?

Similar to other master’s programs, you can expect to spend approximately two years pursuing your master’s degree in nursing education if you are a full-time student. The length of time it will take you, however, depends upon several factors, including your enrollment status, general availability to complete course work each semester, and previous education. Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing may be able to progress through the MSN program a little more quickly than a student who does not. Additionally, students who enroll part-time can expect to spend up to three or four to complete the MSN in nursing education.

How much does it cost to earn an online master’s in nursing education?

Cost varies between MSN programs in nursing education, and it’s important to do your research upfront. Factors in the cost of your education include the type of school you attend, how long it takes you to complete the requirements, and how much funding you’ve secured to put toward your education. Additionally, despite the fact that you may be enrolling in a fully online or mostly online nursing education MSN program, your geographic location can figure significantly into the overall cost. Some online programs offer the same tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state learners while others charge substantially more for non-residents. For the cost of a specific program you’re interested in, find a school in the ranking above and visit its tuition and fees page to get a better idea of your potential total cost.

Do online masters in nursing education have a residency requirement?

Many online MSN programs in nursing education require that you attend an in-person, on-campus residency. Residencies give you the opportunity to meet faculty members and other students as well as take advantage of any on-campus training facilities. For example, Drexel University requires a three-day, on-campus visit for all MSN students that incorporates training in its modern simulation lab. Drexel also gives learners a chance to work in hands-on sessions with human patients in a simulated clinical environment.

Carson-Newman also features an entirely online curriculum with one required three-day residency. During this visit, you get the chance to obtain hands-on practice and complete an assessment exam. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, MSN students attend a two-day campus residency to meet faculty, fellow students, and complete a required training course in health assessment skills.

Funding Your Master’s in Nursing Education

There’s no doubt about it; funding a college education is no small feat. Regardless of your financial situation, you should fill out and submit a FAFSA. The FAFSA ensures that the federal government considers you for financial aid whether you think you need it or not. As a graduate student, you may be eligible to receive a government grant. Additionally, you should apply to any external or internal scholarships for which you qualify. Both scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid and are essentially free money for your education.

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Scholarships

Scholarships are usually need- or merit-based. These awards come through external sources, such as private individuals, companies, and nonprofit organizations, or internal scholarships. Internal scholarships come through your department or school. Some scholarships are reserved for students with particular backgrounds, hobbies, or fields of study. Legitimate scholarships do not require applicants to pay a fee to apply. You should apply for as many scholarships as you can, provided you meet the preferred credentials for the award. Visit our scholarship page for more information.

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Financial aid

When you submit your FAFSA, the government considers you for need-based financial aid. You may be eligible for aid in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study programs, or loans. In most cases, you do not need to repay these financial awards unless you receive a loan.

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Grants

Comparable to scholarships, you do not need to repay grants. Grants are typically need-based and supplied by the federal or state government, your college or university, or private organizations. As an MSN nursing education student, you may be eligible for grants reserved for teachers, such as the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant, provided your school does not already offer a bachelor’s program in education.

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Private Loans

When you submit your FAFSA, you may be offered loans through the federal government. Loans must be repaid with interest. They can also come from private sources such as financial institutions, banks, and other types of organizations. You will likely get a better interest rate from the federal government than through a private source.

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Work-Study Programs

Students in financial need can receive part-time jobs to help cover the cost of educational and living expenses. Offered through the federal government, these work-study positions may be available for both part- and full-time students. Be sure to check with your department about this option, because not all schools participate in the federal work-study program.

Next Step: After Earning Your Nursing Education Master’s

It can be helpful for you to understand the types of jobs that nursing education MSN degree-holders pursue after graduating and what it takes to obtain them. Additionally, it is useful for new graduates entering the competitive job market to know what to expect in terms of entry level salaries. At the same time, professionals in nursing roles may wish to pursue a field where they know there is plenty of room for growth and will afford them the opportunity to earn a higher salary overtime.

Do you need a special license or certification to work or advance?

There are no required licenses that you will need to pursue a career with your nursing education MSN. There are, however, two popular optional certifications that can help bolster your credentials. Provided by the National League for Nursing (NLN) nurse educators can pursue licensure as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) and Certified Academic Nurse Educator (CANE). These may be elective certifications but they’ll help you put on display your level of professionalism and dedication to advancing the field. The certification also highlights that an additional, credible source endorses your skills and has documented your ability to meet or exceed the standards of excellence required by that institution.

Nursing Education License
Nursing Education License

What can you do with a master’s in nursing education online?

With an MSN in nursing education, you can prepare yourself for a variety of rewarding careers in the healthcare field, both inside and outside of traditional care facilities. You may find yourself in positions where you’ll help educational institutions further develop and evaluate current and upcoming curricula, oversee nursing students’ progress and clinical work, or evaluate faculty member performance. Alternatively, you may find employment in colleges or universities working in supervisory or leadership roles, including roles as a department chair or in a campus health facility.

Online master’s programs in nursing education offer you the opportunity to develop a highly marketable skill set that is widely applicable in many types of professional settings. The degree can also serve as a stepping stone toward fast-growing and high-paying careers. As illustrated below, graduates who hold a master’s in nursing education obtain higher-level careers as nursing educators, facility development directors, nursing administrators, or community health services managers.

nursing-education-chart

How much can you make with a master’s in nursing education?

The two main factors that affect your earning potential are your education level and amount of work experience. Nurses with master’s degrees in nursing education may qualify for higher paying positions. Based on statistics from some of the more popular careers that MSN degree-holders obtain, you can expect to earn anywhere from $31,050 to $183,890 per year, depending on the position and your level of experience in that area. The following table shows the spectrum of salaries for nurses in careers related to nursing education.

Career# EmployedEntry-LevelEarly CareerMid-CareerExperiencedLate Career
Education Administrators45,730$31,050$37,750$48,130$62,620$85,610
Medical and Health Services Managers295,550$57,260$73,990$96,880$127,230$174,160
Social and Community Service Managers94,520$38,910$48,500$61,410$79,110$100,770
Health Teachers, Postsecondary16,100$59,760$83,400$126,360$183,890
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary11,900$60,140$89,920$140,070$192,260
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary4,200$58,870$74,330$97,950$135,430
Nurse Education

Related Degrees

Let’s say that you’ve explored your options as a future nurse educator. Maybe you want to grow your career and position yourself to make more money. On the other hand, maybe you want a career path that is a little different than you originally imagined and need to shift gears. In nursing, there’s plenty of opportunity to advance by continuing your education, such as earning a doctoral degree, or to pivot into a related career with a second degree program. Take a look at a few of the degree options that may be a good fit if you’re looking to advance in nursing.

MSN – Nursing Leadership

Similar to nursing education, nursing leadership and management is a popular area of specialization for master’s degree seekers in nursing. Leadership and management degrees for nurses prepare them with strong communication and organizational skills in addition tofoundational business knowledge. Upon completion of this degree, you would be able to obtain management or administration positions in hospitals, community service agencies, government agencies and facilities, healthcare corporations, and long-term care facilities.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP is traditionally for students who already hold a master’s degree in nursing and wish to seek out leadership positions at the highest level in clinical and educational settings. They also can work in roles in which they influence healthcare policies at the state and national levels. DNP’s can find themselves working in specialty leadership areas as nurse midwives, clinicians who provide direct patient care as nurse practitioners, or nurse anesthetists.