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, as well as the potential careers those credentials may offer you when you graduate. The schools below have been researched and vetted to help you begin your search. Additionally, this guide examines several important factors to consider as you weigh your graduate school options, from accreditation and funding opportunities to career options and salaries.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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||# Employed||Entry-Level||Early Career||Mid-Career||Experienced||Late Career|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||295,550||$57,260||$73,990||$96,880||$127,230||$174,160|
|Social and Community Service Managers||94,520||$38,910||$48,500||$61,410||$79,110||$100,770|
|Health Teachers, Postsecondary||16,100||$59,760||$83,400||$126,360||$183,890||–|
|Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary||11,900||$60,140||$89,920||$140,070||$192,260||–|
|Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary||4,200||$58,870||$74,330||$97,950||$135,430||–|
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.
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.
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.