Master of Science: Nursing Education

The explosive growth of the health care industry means the need for highly skilled, well-educated, and professionally adept nurses is at record levels. Nurse educators able to effectively teach and nurture the next generation of health care practitioners are now in high demand.

If you’re ready to advance your nursing career as an educator, Wilkes University’s 39-credit online Nursing Education master’s degree program offers the knowledge, skills and training to help you make a profound and lasting impact in the profession. The traditional Nursing Education MSN online coursework progression takes just 26 months to complete. We also offer an accelerated option – qualified, accepted students can take concurrent courses and earn their MSN degree in less than 20 months, fully online (plus on-ground clinical work).

Our program emphasizes academic theory and evidence-based research, preparing you to be a highly qualified nurse educator. Our course of study is grounded in effective teaching/learning strategies, curricular design and proven assessment measures.

Core coursework provides Wilkes Nursing students with a solid foundation of academic and clinical study. Nursing Education concentration courses offer the in-depth knowledge and professional development skills needed to effectively teach others. A final scholarly review course allows students to synthesize and review issues relevant to the Nursing Education concentration, and prepares graduates to take the Certified Nurse Educator Examination.

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Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing online degree program, successful Nursing Education candidates will also:

  • Analyze theoretical and evidence-based research specific to nursing education
  • Develop expertise in education assessment, teaching/learning strategies, evaluation and testing
  • Design a curriculum that addresses a dynamic complex nursing environment
  • Demonstrate leadership abilities through classroom and clinical teaching in a variety of community agencies

Nursing Education: Courses

Wilkes University’s Nursing Education concentration is a 39 credit-hour online program and will result in a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

With scheduled breaks, the traditional Nursing Education MSN program can be completed fully online in 26 months based on a one-course-at-a-time progression. Our accelerated option allows qualified, accepted students to take concurrent courses (as indicated in the course sequences) and earn this MSN degree fully online in less than 20 months.

The Nursing Education curriculum is comprised of the following courses. Please note that NSG 590 will be the last class taken in the Nursing Education sequence.

Graduate Nursing Core Courses
24 credits
NSG 500 (3)
Advanced Health Assessment
This course presents an overview of the full and comprehensive health assessment of patients across the life span. Emphasis on multiple aspects of assessment including physical, functional, and mental health assessment along with transcultural variations, will prepare the student for advanced practice nursing. (Nurse Practitioner students are required to complete an onsite residency).
NSG 501 (3)
Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 502)
This course emphasizes the systematic process of theory development in nursing. The role of traditional science in relation to other ways of knowing is explored. Students will describe, analyze, and evaluate current theories of nursing. The relationship of research and practice to theory is discussed.
NSG 502 (3)
Advanced Nursing Research
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 501)
This course builds on knowledge and skills developed in undergraduate research and statistics courses. Skills in the analysis and evaluation of nursing research are further developed. Students analyze the contributions of the empirical approach to the development of nursing science. Selected research designs and methodologies which are used to advance nursing knowledge are examined. Students are given the opportunity to critique and synthesize current research for its application to an identified problem in nursing practice.  
NSG 504 (3)
Advanced Role Development in Nursing

(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 505)
This course examines the development of roles for advancing nursing practice. The historical development of these roles along with current scope of practice in a variety of clinical settings will be explored. Focus will be placed on the legal, historical, political, social, and ethical aspects of advanced practice nursing.

NSG 505 (3)
Health Policy and Politics for Advancing Nursing Practice
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 504)
Complex and continuous changes in healthcare environments require that nursing professionals contribute to care delivery systems for improving population health outcomes. This course focuses on the role of the nurse advancing nursing practice through developing health policy, politics, and advocacy systems. Approaches to health issues for shaping policy on a local, state, and federal level are analyzed in accordance with policy making processes, politics in healthcare and government, healthcare economics, and ethical frameworks.
NSG 530 (3)
Advanced Pathophysiology
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 533)
This course provides an overview of the normal physiologic and pathologic mechanisms of disease and serves as one primary component of the foundation for clinical assessment, decision-making, and management. The course will prepare the advanced practice nurse for interpreting changes in normal function that results in symptoms indicative of illness in patients across the lifespan.
NSG 533 (3)
Advanced Pharmacology
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 530)
This course provides the basic principles of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics for broad categories of drugs. Purpose of action, common interactions and contraindications of major drug categories are highlighted. Case studies are integrated to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate application of pharmacological theory in advancing nursing practice.
NSG 590 (3)
Scholarly Review
(Nurse Executive accelerated-track students will take this course concurrently with NSG 564.)
In this course the student will synthesize and review issues relevant to their specialty clinical practice. This course is designed as a review of the required masters level core nursing courses and specialty focused curriculum for advanced nursing practice. This course will provide an overview of both the required core nursing courses as well as each specific specialty course.
Prerequisite: Completion of Graduate Nursing Core and Concentration courses.
Note: NSG 590 is a core nursing course, and is the last class taken in the program sequence.
Nursing Education Concentration Courses
15 credits
NSG 540 (3)
The Nursing Curriculum: Development and Implementation
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 541)
This course provides a foundation to understand the core of knowledge of educational processes which undergird nursing education. Competencies needed by nurse educators are explored; principles, philosophies and theories of learning, curriculum development, professional socialization, and accreditation as well as legal requirements for nursing programs are discussed. The relationship between curricular design and accreditation standards is described.
NSG 541 (3)
Teaching Methodologies and Strategies in Nursing
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 540)
Building on knowledge of curriculum and learning, approaches to classroom and clinical teaching are explored. Learning outcomes as they relate to instructional teaching/learning interventions are developed. The use of instructional technology is included.
NSG 542 (3)
Evaluation in Nursing Education
Evaluation methodologies from selection of applicants through the meeting of graduation requirements will be explored. Testing strategies and test reliability will be discussed. Classroom and clinical achievement will be included. Faculty evaluation as well as student measurement will be discussed.
NSG 544 (3)
Classroom Practicum in Nursing Education*
This practicum provides the student an opportunity to actively participate in a faculty or staff development role within an educational setting. The student is required to obtain a mentor who will provide classroom learning experiences. (100 practicum hours required.)
Prerequisites: NSG 540, 541, 542.
NSG 545 (3)
Clinical Practicum in Nursing Education*
This practicum provides the student an opportunity to actively participate in a faculty or staff development role within an educational setting. The student is required to obtain a mentor who will provide teaching learning experiences within a clinical environment. (100 practicum hours required.)
Prerequisite: NSG 544.

* Students will be responsible for arranging their own experiences with their local college, university, or health care agency. The faculty member instructing this course will be responsible for ensuring the student experience meets Wilkes academic requirements.

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Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with a Nursing Education concentration, part of the Master of Science in Nursing degree program available online through Wilkes University:

  • Nurse Faculty/Instructor
  • Nursing Curriculum Specialist
  • Patient Education Coordinator
  • Nursing Education Consultant
  • Program Director
  • Clinical Nurse Educator
  • Continuing Education Specialist
  • Staff Development Officer