Nursing School Curriculum for MSN: Clinical Nurse Educator
Nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and wish to increase their professional opportunities and enhance their knowledge base and mentoring skills may consider pursuing an MSN: Clinical Nurse Educator degree.
This degree program can help nurses combine clinical expertise and a passion for teaching and mentoring into a rewarding career, whether it’s in a hospital, other healthcare organization or nursing school.
The degree should be earned from a nursing program that is accredited either by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and has a faculty who are trained at the doctoral level.
In addition to traditional campus-based programs, some schools of nursing now offer MSN degrees online, providing nurses with flexibility in scheduling and the chance to better balance job, family and school responsibilities.
Developing Master’s-Level Skills
Skills developed through the MSN: Clinical Nurse Educator degree program build on those learned in a BSN program and through clinical experience. They emphasize nursing and education theories, critical thinking and leadership and management methods. The skills learned may include:
- An awareness of the developmental processes spanning the years from infancy to adulthood in terms of teaching and learning
- Planning instruction based on an evaluation of measurement tools and tasks
- Understanding and utilizing technology to promote success within healthcare institutions or organizations
- Establishing practical objectives and effective methods of instruction
- Applying clinical teaching methods, evaluating available educational resources and measuring educational outcomes.
Benefits of the MSN Degree Program
Nurses can benefit from the MSN: Clinical Nurse Educator degree program by gaining the opportunity to pursue higher-level positions within a healthcare organization, as well as the chance to move into a position within a college or university nursing school program. These career opportunities include:
- Nursing school positions such as adjunct professor, professor and instructional or administrative nurse faculty
- Hospital or organizational positions such as clinical nurse educator, staff development officer, director of education, continuing education specialist, unit-based educator, patient education coordinator, magnet coordinator and system education specialist.
Overview of Courses
Courses included in the MSN: Clinical Nurse Educator degree program combine nursing practice and educational theory. Among the core courses and their goals are:
- Nursing Theory and Research I and II: develop knowledge of how nursing theories are formulated and related to research.
- Organization, Delivery and Policy in Healthcare: discuss concepts related to healthcare organization and delivery; explore role of nurses as advocates for healthcare policy and educators on health promotion.
- Advanced Role Practicum: apply nursing theory to specialized area of practice; synthesize and integrate theories included in the curriculum; examine professional role development, advanced practice roles and requirements for advanced practice
- Engaged Learning: explore and analyze teaching strategies, including use of technology in the classroom and clinical practice.
- Nursing Leadership and Advanced Roles: focus on effective communication as a member of an inter-professional team; learn strategies to promote change in the healthcare system and leadership skills necessary to deliver high quality care.
- Curriculum Development in Nursing: study the science of teaching and learning, especially as applied to nursing practice; learn about curriculum design and the creation of instructional methods.
Positioned for Success
Those who have chosen a career in nursing have already positioned themselves to help others, be they patients, families or community members. By completing an MSN: Clinical Nurse Educator program, nurses may be able to attain a professional position that allows them to have a more widespread impact on those groups and also offers the opportunity to influence the future of nursing.
This educational process – the sharing of knowledge, skills and expertise – can help ensure that the nursing profession continues to receive and deserve the trust and respect of those it serves.