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Clinics that teach practice. Students that teach teamwork.

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Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Nurse Educator (RN to MSN)

Prepare for a Rewarding Career as a Nurse Educator

Get the education you need to help strengthen our nation’s ever-important nursing workforce in our CCNE-accredited, online RN to MSN nurse educator programs. We offer an efficient, streamlined path to earning your BSN and MSN, while gaining important skills and practical clinical and instructional experience.

Program is offered at the following campuses. Select a campus to learn more.


A Streamlined Path to a MSN Nurse Educator Degree

Our RN to MSN program provides an intensive course of study in which you can earn both a BSN and MSN as you move from foundational nursing theory to advanced practice concepts and focused nurse educator courses online.

The RN to MSN nurse educator program is also built to refine your clinical judgment, critical thinking, communication, and leadership abilities.

The general education and foundational RN to MSN requirements include courses in communications, professional development, math and statistics, natural sciences, arts and humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. Upon entering the undergraduate nursing portion of the curriculum, you'll explore:

  • Foundations for professional nursing
  • Foundations of nursing research
  • Information management and technology
  • Concepts of teaching and learning
  • Leadership in a diverse society
  • Illness and disease management across the life span
  • Gerontological nursing
  • Trends in health care policy
  • Health promotion and clinical prevention

The required MSN-level courses will cover topics like:

  • The role of the advanced practical nurse
  • Advanced theoretical perspectives for nursing
  • Nursing research methods

Later, your nurse educator specialization courses will focus on:

  • Teaching and learning strategies in nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Advanced health and physical assessment
  • Evaluation of educational outcomes in nursing
  • Curriculum design and evaluation in nursing education

Finally, you'll complete two nurse education practicum courses in which you can gain more than 175 hours of practicum experience, teaching under the supervision of a seasoned instructor. You'll also conduct a scholarly project in which you'll combine and apply the advanced nursing knowledge, critical thinking, and research skill you've acquired in this program.

How to Become a Nurse Educator (and How Long It Takes)

So how long does it take to become a nurse educator in our programs? Our RN to MSN Nurse Educator degree programs can be completed in 45 months online. After completing your RN to MSN nurse educator degree, you will be prepared to pursue academic and clinical nurse educator positions. You'll also meet the requirements to sit for a nurse educator certification examination* through national certifying bodies such as the National League for Nursing. Certification is not required for every nurse educator role, but some academic institutions may prefer to hire a certified nurse educator over an individual who has not completed the certified nurse educator exam.

Admissions: RN to MSN Nurse Educator Requirements

Admission requirements to our RN to MSN Nurse Educator program include:

  • Completion of the application for admission.
  • An associate's degree in nursing from an accredited collegiate institution or a diploma in nursing from an accredited institution, with a minimum cumulative CGPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Submission of official transcripts from every college or university attended (within 10 weeks after the initial start date).
  • A valid unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the U.S. state or territory in which the student completes all assignments for the program. (Note that military, federal, and foreign educated nurses must meet this state requirement for nursing licensure.) An unencumbered license must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Meet the Core Performance Standards and essential function related to the profession of nursing as described in this catalog.
  • An interview with the Chair/Program Director or designated faculty for campus-based students.
  • Submission of the following:
    • Three references using the Nursing Graduate School Appraisal Form. At least one of your references should hold a master's degree in nursing or a higher degree in nursing.
    • An essay (goal statement) of 1-2 pages (typed, double-spaced) explaining your career goals, reasons for your choice of specialization, and why you want to pursue an advanced degree in nursing.
    • A resume describing relevant work and professional and volunteer experiences.

For answers to questions about our RN to MSN Nurse Educator requirements, contact us at 1.800.688.0932. Financial aid and scholarships for our nurse educator programs are available to those who qualify.

BSN-prepared nurses who wish to prepare for a career as a nurse educator can continue their journey in our MSN with a specialization in Nurse Educator program online.

Nurses who already hold a master’s degree in nursing should consider our post master’s Nurse Educator certificate program, which can be completed in as little as 11 months.

The Outlook for Academic and Clinical Nurse Educator Jobs

Why become a nurse educator? While nurse educators are typically motivated by a passion for teaching and mentoring others, nurse educators will also continue to be in demand as overall employment and education requirements for nurses increases further.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that a nationwide nurse educator shortage has already played a part in numerous institutions restricting nursing student enrollment. With AACN numbers showing that many educators will retire in the coming years, more nurse educator jobs may be opening soon and nursing schools will recruit aggressively for these positions. As organizations search for candidates, the average nurse educator salary will vary by position, experience level, institution type, and geographic region, and institutions may offer a higher salary for a nurse educator with an MSN than a nurse with less education.

*Note: South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

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