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MSN: Nursing Education Specialization

Program overview

Shape the future of healthcare practice.

Complement your clinical expertise with teaching skills in the Nursing Education specialization. You’ll graduate prepared to earn Nurse Educator certification from the National League for Nursing.

Complement your clinical expertise with teaching skills in the Nursing Education specialization. You’ll graduate prepared to earn Nurse Educator certification from the National League for Nursing.

Quick Facts


years to complete


total credit hours


per credit hour

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Prepare the Next Generation of Nurses

In the Nursing Education specialization, you’ll gain an understanding of the issues facing today’s educators and learn to design curricula, evaluate your students and step into the role of instructor.

The Nursing Education curriculum includes 180 clinical hours applying the theories, competencies and concepts you’ve gained in your studies in a real-world classroom. This is your opportunity to play a valuable role educating the next generation of nurses.

Interested in a standalone graduate certificate in Nursing Management & Executive Leadership? Request more information from one of our admissions advisor.

Career Outlook: Educators Urgently Needed

In 2018, more than 75,000 qualified nursing students were turned away from educational institutions, due in large part to a nationwide faculty shortage. In addition, more than one-third of today’s nursing faculty will retire by 2025, increasing the urgency of this issue.1

Meet the need for nursing educators and apply your skills in a wide variety of settings, from online colleges and universities to community health agencies and hospital-based schools of education.

If you decide to become a full-time educator, you’ll spend fewer days on your feet and benefit from a more predictable schedule. Pass your hard-won wisdom on to others while escaping the physical toll of everyday practice.

Professor of Nursing:


As a Professor of Nursing, you’d teach in a classroom setting on your area of expertise, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health or psychiatric nursing. You’d advise and evaluate your students and potentially contribute scholarship to the nursing body of knowledge.2

Nurse Educator:


As a Nurse Educator, you’d work within a hospital or other health services organization to train nurses or other health care practitioners. You would create educational curricula and resources, determine educational gaps and needs, lecture large groups and more.3

Careers and Salaries

Curriculum: Excellence in Education

To ensure you receive a truly rigorous, up-to-date education, we’ve designed the Nursing Education specialization according to National League for Nursing (NLN) Competencies for Nursing Educators and the AACN Essentials for Master’s Education in Nursing.

Through nine specialization courses, comprising 27 credit hours, you will explore topics such as curriculum development and evaluation, the principles of patient and staff learning and the theoretical foundations of nursing education.

Course Spotlight: NU 553 – Advanced Pathophysiology

Assess the pathophysiology of common disease states, perform diagnostic tests and address alterations to major body systems that are commonly found in primary care settings.

Preview Courses

Course Spotlight: NU 589 – Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing Education

Design and implement a curriculum according to evidence-based teaching and learning theory. Develop course objectives, learning activities, student evaluation methods and more.

More Options for Your MSN

MSN: Nursing Management & Executive Leadership

Discover how to manage a budget, create and implement administrative processes, make certain your procedures meet professional and ethical standards, and more.

MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader

Advocate for superior patient care and lead a team of integrated health care professionals, including social workers, pharmacists, physicians and fellow nurses.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 877-791-7181.

You can earn a Master of Science in Nursing with Sacred Heart University within two years.

You can take as long as six years to complete the program.

  • Current, unencumbered RN license
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field with a 3.0 GPA
  • Official transcripts of all prior nursing and academic work
  • Résumé
  • Statement of professional goals: Why do you wish to pursue the MSN at SHU? Describe a significant accomplishment in your career or as a student that has prepared you to pursue graduate studies in nursing. In addition, please describe 2–3 professional goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a direct supervisor): Must be from an employer, professor or a member of the medical/nursing profession and be written within the last two years.
  • Proof of malpractice insurance ($1,000,000/$3,000,000)
  • Prerequisite courses in statistics, health assessment and research

Yes, you’ll earn your degree with one of the following specializations:

  • The Nursing Education specialization requires 180 clinical hours
  • The Nursing Management and Executive Leadership specialization requires 120 clinical hours
  • The Clinical Nurse Leader specialization requires 348 clinical hours
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  1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2019 April). Nursing Faculty Shortage Fact Sheet. Retrieved October 4, 2019, from
  2. Payscale (2019 April 30). Average Professor of Nursing Salary. Retrieved October 3, 2019, from
  3. Payscale (2019 September 18). Average Nurse Educator Salary. Retrieved October 3, 2019, from