Best Master’s in Nursing Education Programs

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Updated on November 26, 2022

The relevance of nurses is more vital than ever in a world continually affected by fast-growing health problems. For students passionate about serving (assisting) people and prepared for a time-consuming & rewarding career, a master’s in nursing education will draw them closer to their desired profession. Through this program, candidates will learn to access, design, and evaluate the academic program for nurses via an interdisciplinary approach. Graduates are equipped to become registered nurses while making a profound (lasting) impact on families, physicians, patients, and other practitioners they interact with daily.

In this write-up, we will examine some of the best masters in nursing education; available careers; professional associations, and organizations, as well as a general overview of nursing education programs.

What Is a Master of Science in Nursing Education?

The Master of Science in Nursing is a graduate qualification for BSN-prepared Registered Nurses aiming for a teaching career. In this course, students will learn vital teaching skills while developing and building advanced competencies in different pedagogical methods. MSN graduates also acquire specialized knowledge of learning or teaching principles, evaluation techniques, student assessment, etc.

General Overview: Master’s in Nursing Education 

What Will I Learn in a Nursing Education Master’s Program?

In this program, graduates will learn proven pedagogical techniques for prospective learners. Some of this includes clinical and didactic nursing education courses. The clinical practice entails teaching nursing practitioners or students in a modern healthcare environment or via a simulation scenario. During this course, they will learn vital strategies to employ when educating patients regarding their conditions & prescribed treatments.

During the MSN classes, students learn how Registered Nurse (RN) discipline and instructional pedagogy relate. Also, they develop methodologies for teaching particular subjects to particular audiences, and they learn to provide constructive criticism. Throughout the teaching practicum, candidates build self-assurance skills for interacting with various groups of pupils.

What courses will I take in an Online Nursing Education Master’s Program?

By taking master’s in nursing education courses, graduates will acquire knowledge to teach effectively in professional and academic learning situations. A few of the coursework areas in this field include;

  • Informatics and technology
  • Teaching and learning theory
  • Evidence-based practice in clinical, didactic, and online teaching
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics
  • Evidence-based practices and research in nursing education
  • Diagnostic reasoning and advanced health assessment 
  • Population health, policy, finance and applied to nursing education

Additionally, candidates complete a nursing education practicum consisting of two courses taken sequentially and a nursing elective. During their internship, learners collaborate with a nurse educator in a medical or academic environment.

What are the admission requirements for an Online Master in Nursing Education?

  • Official College/University Transcript from an accredited institution
  • Letters of Recommendations
  • A GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 
  • Possess a current Registered Nurse (RN) license 
  • A bachelor’s degree in Nursing or a related field 

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What skills will I acquire in an Online Nursing Education Master’s?

  • Detail Oriented

In this program, graduates will acquire detail-oriented competencies. With this knowledge, you will learn to pay close attention as the patient recounts their symptoms while taking notes simultaneously.

  • Critical Thinking

Your critical thinking ability will help you become more independent in your practice area. Via this course, you will acquire knowledge to recognize a patient’s issues before the patient’s physician arrives to render a formal diagnosis. This will help professionals adapt to varying issues/problems in the nursing education field. 

  • Patience

Being patient and committed to someone’s well-being is essential when caring for the sick. Since ill people struggle with concentration, they could require your assistance in making medical choices. Due to this, if you put in the effort and have patience, you may be a solid voice to assist them when they most need it.

  • Communication

Communication is among the most crucial nursing competencies you will develop in this program since it’s of the essence to engage with patients, physicians, and coworkers once you begin working as a nurse. By building your communication skills, you can give patients the most comprehensive care they deserve. Likewise, while mastering your communication skills, pay close attention to your listening abilities.

How long does it take to earn an Online Master’s in Nursing Education?

Depending on the institution’s requirements, it might take 1 to 2 years to acquire a master’s in nursing education.

Paying for Your Online Nursing Education Master’s

There are several resources available to assist you in finance for nursing education. Some are government loans, work-study programs, employer grants, and nursing scholarships. For instance, you can pay back your tuition and other expenses with federal loan payback programs in exchange for volunteering in a specific capacity or area. Likewise, private businesses might also be ready to assist you in paying down your student loan debt if you agree to work for them over a specific period.

Note: each funding provider sets its terms of use and payback guidelines. However, the conditions (terms) of private loans are often stricter than those of the government, while the requirements of government grants could be more stringent than those of nonprofit grants.

How Do I Choose an Online Nursing Education Master’s program?

Here are the criteria to consider before selecting a college offering: Masters in Nursing Education;

  • Tuition Cost

The cost of a nursing education master’s degree depends on the overall cost-per-credit of the universities you choose. On average, aspiring learners can expect to pay at least $320 per credit and as high as $600 per credit. Therefore, your overall tuition cost can range from $12,000 to $18,000.

College Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have obtained a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) qualification from an accredited University or college, 
  • Hold a current “Registered Nurse” (RN) license
  • Two letters of recommendation from registered nurses with an “MSN,” who will attest to your ability to excel in a master’s program
  • Applicants must have an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate nursing courses. Although some institutions may demand a GPA of 2.6 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submission of an official college transcript from each institution attended as a graduate or undergraduate student 

Program Learning Format

Master’s in Nursing Education programs are taught via on-campus, hybrid, or online learning formats. Due to this, students are free to opt for the learning option that fits their daily schedules.

  • Accreditation

The accreditation of the institution you choose will determine the worth of the qualification you obtain. Therefore, candidates opting for a master’s in nursing education must choose a College/University accredited by any of the following bodies: the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA).

  • Certification Opportunities

Before settling for any institution, ascertain whether the University or College provides certification options during their nursing education masters program. Remember that: It will be cost-effective to acquire nursing certifications during your master’s program since you will have access to University resources and instructors that will guide you at any time.

  • Location

Location is another major factor when opting for a master’s in nursing education. For currently employed candidates, the online learning format is the best option since the distance or proximity to your chosen institution won’t be a problem. Also, depending on your demands and schedules, carefully analyze whether the location will affect your learning options.

Top 6 Online Master’s in Nursing Education Programs 

In this section, we will explore some of the best online nursing education programs at the Master’s level, alongside the learning outcomes of the selected institutions below.

United States University

Graduation Rate: 32.5%

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Institution Type: Private 

Accreditation: WASC, Senior College and University Commission

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nursing Education 

Course Credits: 38

Avg. Cost per Credit: $325

United States University provides an MS in Nursing degree for nurses who desire to develop their technological skills in curriculum and course design. They also teach as nurse educators in acute care settings, academic settings, long-term care settings, and community-based healthcare organizations.

The curriculum adopts a Caring Science framework to educate nursing theory and evidence-based practices. Furthermore, candidates will learn how to set up lesson plans, apply evidence-based teaching practices, design and assess curriculum, and use active teaching approaches in engaging learners in a student-centered educational environment.

Eastern Michigan University 

Graduation Rate: 44.9%

Acceptance Rate: 75.2%

Institution Type: Public

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Degree Offered: Master’s in Nursing Education

Course Credits: 38

Eastern Michigan University provides a Master’s in Nursing Education that trains aspiring learners for “job roles” as educational leaders in nursing-related programs. Through this course, candidates will learn how to assess, design, and evaluate the academic program for nurses via an interdisciplinary approach. In addition, you will learn to plan and develop new healthcare strategies, as well as design up-to-date curricula for nursing students.

University of Maryland School of Nursing 

Graduation Rate: 91%

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Institution Type: Public 

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nursing

University of Maryland School of Nursing offers an MS in Nursing degree to eligible students. Via this master’s in nursing curriculum, learners will acquire various crucial skills that will improve their effectiveness, preparedness, and versatility as nursing practitioners. Furthermore, the curriculum equips graduates to:

  • Integrate theoretical concepts and scientific research in their attempts to provide better care for people and communities
  • Coordinate the design and implementation of extensive, culturally responsive care to people, families, groups, and communities using evidence-based & interprofessional approaches
  • Engage in culturally sensitive, ethically sound, and evidence-based practices to foster the health of communities and individuals
  • Participate in the evaluation, design, and implementation of healthcare systems to promote excellence and safety in healthcare delivery

University of San Francisco 

Graduation Rate: 74.8%

Acceptance Rate: 70.3%

Institution Type: Private 

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, California State Board of Registered Nursing

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nursing Education 

The University of San Francisco provides a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. During this course, candidates will gain in-depth knowledge from a foundation (framework) that integrates public health, humanities, and physical sciences into nursing practice. The institution trains graduates to succeed and lead in today’s dynamic and complex healthcare system while also bearing in mind; the idea of “care of the whole person,” or “Cura personalis.” Through the Jesuit approach/concept to nursing education in this program, practitioners will have a broader perspective before making healthcare choices.

Furthermore, graduates of this course will have the opportunity to acquire clinical practice in over 200 top healthcare organizations, like Alameda County Public Health Department, Stanford University Medical Center, UCSF Medical Center, La Clinica de la Raza, John Muir Medical Center, the San Francisco General Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, e.t.c.

University of North Georgia 

Graduation Rate: 37%

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Institution Type: Public 

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Program Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nursing Education 

Course Credits: 35

The University of North Georgia provides an MS in Nursing Education that equips practitioners with up-to-date knowledge and competencies necessary to gain employment in the nursing field. With the skills acquired in this program, graduates can apply for roles in vocational-technical schools, universities and colleges, and hospital education departments. Meanwhile, the curriculum emphasizes robust foundational knowledge for advanced doctoral education.

Ohio University 

Graduation Rate: 62.9%

Acceptance Rate: 87.5%

Institution Type: Public

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nursing 

Ohio University offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program designed for registered nurses who have earned their BSN qualification and want to enhance their education. Via this course, candidates can choose among the following tracks: Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse Leader.

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Framingham State University 

Graduation Rate: 56%

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Institution Type: Public 

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Degree Offered: Master of Science in Nursing -Nursing Education

Framingham State University provides an MS in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Education, tailored for practitioners with a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) qualification and seeking to advance their careers in the education field. Furthermore, the program trains nurses with a robust theoretical foundation in nursing, research, healthcare policy, cultural competency, ethics, and related theories.

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

Via this section, we will examine all the available nursing education jobs and nursing education salaries for entry-level graduates, as well as for current practitioners.

Registered Nurses 

Registered nurses (RNs) offer and oversee patient care, inform the general populace about various health issues, counsel patients and their families, and provide emotional support. They assess patients’ conditions, record patients’ health symptoms and histories, as well as educating patients and their families on how to manage injuries or illnesses.

Other Duties and Responsibilities of Registered Nurses are to;

  • Operate and keep an eye on medical apparatus
  • Create treatment plans or add information to those that are already in place
  • Administering patient medications and therapies
  • Aid in executing diagnostic procedures and evaluating the outcomes
  • Consult with and work in partnership with medical professionals

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for registered nurses as of May 2021 is $77,600. Likewise, the employment of professionals in this field will rise by 6% over the next decade.

Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), also referred to as nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives, helping to manage patient care and other specialized healthcare services. Meanwhile, various states have different laws governing the range of practice of these specialists. In their daily operations, they analyze patients’ test results, modify treatment plans, evaluate a patient’s reactions to treatments (medicines), and consult with other healthcare practitioners when necessary.

  • Nurse midwives (CNMs) offer care to women, including prenatal care, family planning services, and gynecological exams.
  • Nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) help to administer anesthesia and offer care during, before, and after diagnostic, surgical, obstetrical, and therapeutic procedures.
  • Nurse practitioners (NPs) serve as specialty care providers, offering effective nursing services to patients and their families. Typically, they determine how to manage or enhance a patient’s health, assess/evaluate patients for treatments, and discuss techniques to incorporate/implement health promotion strategies into a patient’s life.

Based on the BLS report, the average yearly wage for nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners as of May 2021 is $123,780. Overall employment of professionals in this field will rise by 40% over the next ten years, which is higher than the median for all occupations.

Occupational Therapists 

Occupational Therapists treat patients who are injured, ill, or incapacitated via the therapeutic use of daily activities. They assist these individuals in acquiring, regaining, maintaining, and improving the abilities required for functioning and everyday living or activities. Also, they inform the employer and the patient’s family on how to take care of and accommodate the patient. Likewise, they propose special equipment for patients, such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and eating assistance, and show them how to utilize it.

The Duties and Responsibilities of Occupational Therapists are to;

  • Examine the medical background of patients, interview them, and watch them perform tasks
  • Create a patient treatment plan with clear objectives and a list of the activities which can be employed to help patients achieve those objectives
  • Identify the needs and conditions of a patient.
  • For example, show a stroke victim how to put on clothes

The median annual salary for occupational therapists as of May 2021 was $85,570. Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the employment of occupational therapists will grow by 14 percent over the next decade.

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Recreational Therapists 

Recreational Therapists design, oversee, and manage recreation-based medical treatment programs, to preserve or enhance their patients’ physical, emotional, and social well-being. These therapists employ various methods, such as artistic expression, music, drama, sports, and other activities like; aquatics and outings with the community. Also, they assess patients’ requirements via medical records, observation, tests, and discussions with respective healthcare workers, patients, and their families.

Other Duties and Responsibilities of Recreational Therapists are to;

  • Participate in therapeutic activities with patients, like physical exercise, games, and public outings
  • Assist patients in coping and minimizing stress, depression, or anxiety
  • Create and carry out treatment programs that address the objectives and preferences of patients
  • Educate patients on the social skills necessary to attain or maintain independence

According to BLS, the average yearly wage for recreational therapists as of May 2021 is $47,940. Job opportunities for specialists in this field will rise by 4% between 2021 to 2031.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants treat, diagnose, and examine patients through the supervision of a certified physician. They “look after” patients and offer treatment such as; stitching wounds, setting broken bones, and immunizing patients. Aside from reviewing patients’ medical records, they counsel and educate patients & their families on different issues (challenges), such as self-care and treatment for asthma.

Their Duties and Responsibilities also involve the following;

  • Prescribing medication 
  • Interpreting diagnostic tests, like blood tests and x-ray results 
  • Recording and Assessing patient’s progress
  • Researching up-to-date treatments to ensure the quality and uniqueness of patient care

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Physician Assistants earn an average of $121,530 as of May 2021. The Job growth for professionals in this specialty will increase by 28% over the next ten years.

Career Outlook for Nursing Education Professionals

Due to the large number of elderly individuals, who often have more severe medical issues than teens and young adults, the need for healthcare providers will rise. This is because the services of registered nurses are vital for the care and education of patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of registered nurses will increase by 6% from 2021 to 2031, which is fast as the median for all occupations.

On average, there will be 203,200 Job Opportunities for registered nurses over the next ten years. Many of those positions are anticipated to be brought on by a need to replace people who change careers or leave the workforce due to retirement.

What are the Nursing Certifications I can get as a Professional?

While practitioners might be pondering on which certification is best for nursing, we will outline some of the available options that aspiring candidates can choose from at any time. A few of them are:

  • Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN)
  • Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN)
  • Cardiovascular Nursing Certificate (PCNA-CNC)
  • Pediatric nursing certification (PED-BC)
  • Adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner certification (AGPCNP-BC)
  • Family nurse practitioner certification (FNP-BC)
  • Critical care registered nurse (CCRN)

Which organization is relevant to nursing education?

A few advantages of belonging to a nursing organization include; access to mentorship, additional education, and nursing certifications. These advantages enable nurses to advance in their jobs and broaden their lifetime learning opportunities. Some of these professional organizations or associations are:

American Nurses Association (ANA)

American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)

Emergency Nursing Association (ENA)

American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN)

National League for Nursing (NLN)

Society of Pediatric Nurses (SPN)

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)

National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN)

Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Nurses (SPCN)

Frequently Asked Questions: Master’s in Nursing Education 

Is MSN the same as NP?

MSN is not the same as NP. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the simplest form of degree anyone can complete to practice as a Nurse Practitioner (NP).

What is a nurse with an MSN called?

Nurses with an MSN qualification are also known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Nurse Practitioners (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), and Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM).

Is an MSN higher than an RN?

An MSN differs from an RN due to its focus on advanced education for positions in healthcare leadership. Most nurses who pursue an MSN degree are registered nurses (RNs) who want to develop their careers by acquiring the skills and competencies required for management roles.

How long is an MSN program?

In most universities, an online MSN program comprises 36 credits and can take 14 to 24 months to complete.

Is it worth it to get an MSN in nursing education?

Whether or not to pursue an MSN in nursing education is entirely up to you. The program could serve as a great starting point for achieving your objectives if you seek to work in a personally fulfilling position with a bright future potential.

Do MSN get paid more than BSN?

MSN degree holders earn more money per annum than practitioners with BSNs. The 10% of Nurse Practitioners with BSNs rake in less than $54,000, while the top 10% earn above $116,000.

Is it better to have a BSN or MSN?

A BSN university education provides a vast knowledge basis. It prepares graduates to work in various nursing professions, but an MSN degree gives students a more focused viewpoint. The MSN focuses further on a specific area of nursing and enhances leadership, administrative, and even teaching abilities.

What nurse is higher than an RN?

To enter the medical industry as a registered nurse (RN), candidates must; possess a bachelor of science in nursing, complete the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and receive a state license. Due to this, nurse practitioners (NPs) are higher in the position since they are required to hold a master’s degree in nursing.

What is the hardest specialty in nursing?

Over the years, Oncology remained the most challenging Nursing Specialty, followed by Geriatric Care, Psychiatry, Correctional Nursing, Hospice, Home Health practitioners, etc.

What types of master’s degrees in nursing are there?

Master’s degrees in nursing programs are available in different specialty areas and learning l formats, like dual master’s degrees or hybrid programs. A few of them are; MS in clinical nurse leadership and Nurse-Midwife. In addition, professionals can pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in nurse executive leadership, healthcare quality & safety, and a family nurse practitioner (FNP) degree.

Which nursing master’s degree is best?

Choosing a nursing career mostly because it compensates the most or has the most significant level of demand won’t result in long-term job satisfaction if other requirements are not satisfied. Likewise, the perfect MSN degree is one; which best fits your field of nursing education, professional strengths, passion, and career goals. 

What can you do with an MSN in nursing education?

With an MSN in Nursing Science, you can become an educator, consultant, and supervisor in academic institutions, hospitals, community health organizations, etc. The degree opens up prospects for development (advancement) and new career options, which makes it possible for specialists to help other nurses enhance their careers and improve patient outcomes.

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

A master’s degree in nursing education can prepare professionals for various job options. Nurse educators provide on-the-job training to working nurses within the hospital context. They train registered nurses on the most recent procedures, norms, technologies, and safety precautions that enhance patient care and other legal requirements.

What nurse certification makes the most money?

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists make an average annual salary of $195,610, making it the highest-paying nursing certification.

What is the easiest nursing certification to obtain?

The basic Life Support (BLS) credential is the most accessible nursing certification available to aspiring or entry-level specialists in this field. This relatively simple qualification is valid/applicable for two years before needing to be renewed.

What are some courses you might take in an MSN with a specialization in Nursing Education program?

The coursework will center on curriculum development, leadership in nursing education, digital learning experiences, assessment, and technology integration in Nursing Education.

Do Many Nurse Educators Teach College Courses?


Many community and private colleges usually employ MSN graduates to instruct students in their nursing programs. More so, universities also recruit these practitioners to teach learners in their undergraduate courses.

How much does a master’s in nursing education graduate make?

There may be a range of average salaries for individuals with a master’s degree in nursing education. Meanwhile, your income potential may hinder by many variables, including experience, setting, region, and job function. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), postsecondary nursing teachers and instructors earn at least $75,000 as of May 2021.


In Conclusion!

By merging your research and clinical expertise with your love of learning, you will contribute to the development of the nursing profession. With a Master’s in Nursing Education, graduates will gain specialized skills and knowledge for training -nursing students, interprofessional team members, and practicing nurses; to offer robust patient care in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. 

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