ANCC's Professional Nursing Development (RN-BC)
Applicants for ANCC's credential must meet the following criteria.
Hold a current, active RN license within a state or territory of the United States or the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country.
Hold a bachelor's or higher degree in nursing.
Have practiced the equivalent of 2 years full-time as a registered nurse.
Have a minimum of 4,000 hours of clinical practice in nursing professional development within the last 5 years.
Have completed 30 hours of continuing education in nursing professional development within the last 3 years.
(15 hours = 1 college credit)
NLN's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE)
Applicants for NLN's credential must meet the following criteria.
Option A: Must meet criteria 1 & 2
A currently active registered nurse license in the United States or its territories.
a master's or doctoral degree in nursing with a major emphasis in nursing education or
a master's or doctoral degree in nursing plus a post-master's certificate in nursing education or
master's or doctoral degree in nursing and nine or more credit hours of graduate-level education courses*
Examples of acceptable courses include: Curriculum Development and Evaluation; Instructional Design; Principles of Adult Learning; Assessment/Measurement & Evaluation; Principles of Teaching and Learning, Instructional Technology
Note: Graduate-level research or statistics courses do not count toward this requirement
Option B: Must meet criteria 1, 2 & 3
A currently active, unencumbered registered nurse license in the United States or its territories.
A master's or doctoral degree in nursing (with a major emphasis in a role other than nursing education).
Two years or more employment in a nursing program in an academic institution within the past five years.
All eligibility criteria for initial certification must be met at the time of application.
There are two national organizations that accredit nursing education programs: The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). While not every nursing school and nursing program is NLNAC or CCNE accredited and a quality nursing education is possible without the mark of distinction, a degree from an institution accredited by one of these organizations ensures that you will be qualified to attend another accredited school of nursing, should you be interested in an advanced degree, for example an RN-to-BSN or Master's degree. Also, some scholarships are only available to students attending accredited nursing programs.
Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.
The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) is responsible for the specialized accreditation of nursing education programs (Clinical Doctorate, Master's Degree, Baccalaureate Degree, Associate Degree, Diploma, and Practical Nursing program). The Commission has authority and accountability for carrying out the responsibilities inherent in the application of standards and criteria, accreditation processes, and the affairs, management, policy-making, and general administration of the NLNAC. The NLNAC is nationally recognized as a specialized accrediting agency for both post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education.
Students are responsible for confirming school and programmatic accreditation and determining whether they will be eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification.
Nursing Education, Nurse Educator
Advanced practice nursing programs from accredited universities and colleges.
Nursing Education Degrees and Certificates
Critical Need for Nurse Educators
The National League for Nursing and American Association of Colleges of Nursing both cite the critical shortage of nurse faculty. Over the past several years, an older faculty has been advancing toward retirement while a smaller younger faculty pool is available to replace them. The shortage of nursing instructors and professors worsens the already immense problem of a shortage of registered nurses in this country. Qualified nurse educators who hold master's and doctoral degrees are in very high demand. Lawmakers and leaders in industry and education have been working toward recruiting and retaining these qualified nursing educators. As a qualified nurse educator, you can positively impact the nurse shortage problem, as well as enjoy knowing that you have a strong positive career outlook.
By 2020, the demand for RNs is anticipated to be 29 percent greater than the available supply, according to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice. Based on AACN's 2011-12 report on Nursing programs, U.S. nursing schools turned away 75,587 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2011 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.
Education Requirements to Become a Nurse Educator
ANCC and NLN offer the two nurse educator credentials that most industry professionals recognize. Both require RN's to be actively licensed.
ANCC requires atleast a BSN and 30 contact hrs of nursing education within the last 3 years.
NLN requires applicants to have a graduate degree with a nursing education emphasis or a graduate nursing degree plus a post-graduate certificate or graduate coursework in nursing education.
Choosing to be a nurse educator does not mean you have to give up your clinical role. A growing number of nurse educators teach part-time while working in a healthcare facility. This gives them the opportunity to maintain a high degree of clinical competence while sharing their expertise with nursing students.
The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to build on previous nursing education and clinical experience, prepare you to pursue advanced practice in a variety of health care settings, and lay a foundation to pursue doctoral education. The overall purpose of the master's degree program is to provide graduate education for advanced nursing roles that respond to the needs of individuals, families, and communities.
The program of study includes completion of the core curriculum, concentration or population focus area courses, and an evidence-based project proposal. The core courses focus on the acquisition of a theoretical base in nursing, evidence-based decision making, health policy, financing and organization of the health care delivery system, advanced practice issues, ethics, health promotion and disease prevention, and biostatistics.
The nurse educator concentration prepares nurses to address health care problems in a variety of settings. Learn to effectively teach patients and their families, provide staff development programs, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, and instruct undergraduate nursing students through the application of advanced nursing knowledge, learning theories, and curricular development and instructional design techniques. The nurse educator concentration contributes to the preparation for the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Nursing Professional Development board certification examination.
Note: Not all concentrations will be available to students in all States.
The Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate prepares nurses to address health care problems in a variety of settings. Learn to effectively teach patients and their families, provide staff development programs, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, and instruct undergraduate nursing students through the application of advanced nursing knowledge, learning theories, and curricular development and instructional design techniques. The Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate program contributes to the preparation for the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Nursing Professional Development board certification examination. Refer to the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section for important program disclosure information. Qualified credits earned in fulfillment of this certificate program may be eligible for transfer toward future graduate studies.
Note: the Nurse Educator Graduate Certificate program is not available in all states. Please confirm with school on availability.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Kaplan University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791.
Grand Canyon University Online
Nursing Education (Bridge)
Master of Science in Nursing
Offered through the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, the Bridge (Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education) program is designed for aspiring nurse educators who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. By completing the MSN bridge program coursework, you gain the educational foundation needed to begin your MSN coursework and prepare for a career as a patient or nurse educator in clinical or academic settings.
The online Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education degree prepares you to advocate for patients and nursing professionals at the highest level: a nurse educator. You will study domestic and global healthcare policy, ethics and research analysis from the perspective of a master's-prepared nurse. Courses in advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology and health assessment take into consideration your role as an educator, including effective communication and client teaching. MSN education courses develop your skills in curriculum design, theories of teaching and learning, as well as instructional strategies across cultural and generational backgrounds. A practicum experience provides you the opportunity to integrate the role of nurse educator into your selected practice setting. Graduates of the MSN with an emphasis in nursing education degree program are well positioned to become patient educators, nurse educators and healthcare advocates across diverse settings.
Master of Science in Nursing
The online Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education degree prepares you to advocate the highest care and ethical standards as a professional nurse. In this advanced masters in nursing education program, you study care policy as a framework to analyze how health is defined and healthcare is designed and delivered in the U.S. and around the world. Emphasis is placed on issues of cost, quality, access, disparities and finance.
Grand Canyon University’s (GCU) College of Nursing and Health Care Professions’ MSN education program includes both a clinical practicum and a capstone course to strengthen critical thinking skills and place theory into practice in a supervised clinical care environment. The capstone helps you strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. During the clinical practicum, you have the opportunity to place educational theories into practice in a supervised situation in order to integrate the role of the nurse educator into your professional behaviors. The masters in nursing education capstone requires you to develop an evidence-based project proposal that addresses a challenge in professional practice. You develop solutions based on research, propose a solution and develop a plan to implement the solution, evaluate its outcomes and disseminate the findings.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership, within the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, prepares nurse leaders to design and implement evidence-based strategies for practice that improve healthcare education delivery, patient outcomes and educational programs. Emphasis is placed on employing methods of curriculum design and development, applying teaching strategies and designing assessments to evaluate teaching and learning outcomes. The DNP in nursing education program encourages students to engage with populations from the values-based perspective of a Christian worldview and understand the effects of various worldviews on cultures, patient care and healing, within current healthcare systems.
This DNP in nursing leadership program is designed for MSN-prepared nurses who want to deepen knowledge and build skillsets to lead and strengthen nursing education programs in academia or a clinical agency/facility. Nursing faculty and deans interested in the development of curriculum, application of teaching strategies and evaluation of teaching and learning outcomes will also benefit from this DNP program.
Students must have access to a clinical site to complete their practice immersion hours and Direct Practice Improvement (DPI) project. Practicum hours during the three education-specific courses are in addition to the practice immersion hours and may be completed at a clinical or academic site. For more details on this, please contact your university counselor or student services counselor.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Western Governors University Online
Master of Science in Nursing
WGU's online Master’s in Nursing Education will prepare you to teach a new generation of nurses. Competencies for this specialty were derived from the NLN Nurse Educator standards and the Masters Essentials for Professional Nursing practice. The coursework will prepare you to become a knowledgeable nurse educator ready to teach in diverse settings.
The Master of Science degree is a competency-based program that prepares graduates to be educators in diverse settings: hospitals,
community agencies, schools, industry and businesses, and nursing programs. They provide education and training to nurses, nursing
students, school children, community groups, workers, patients, and consumers. The WGU Master of Science in Nursing Program Education
content is evidence based on national standards and research related to effective teaching, learning, and role development. It provides the
knowledge and skills that enable educators to teach effectively in diverse learning environments. The Master of Science in Nursing for
Nurse Educators content and processes are consistent with the National League for Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Competencies. The
degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified educators. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) research-based
course preparation and (b) all work in this degree program is online.
This program consists of developing core knowledge related to complexities of healthcare, access, quality, and costs for diverse
populations. New nursing knowledge includes research, theory, technology applied to nursing practice, evidence based practice,
ethics, and new roles for master's prepared nurses. The nurse educator focuses on learning styles, the development and socialization of
learners, and strategies to facilitate learning. Educators also need to organize their activities around learning theories. Developing
curriculum, objectives, and learning modules are part of an educator role. The process for assessment, measurement, evaluation, and use of outcome data for improvement is presented.
The bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791).
Wilkes University Online
Nursing Education (RN to MSN)
Master of Science in Nursing
Wilkes University’s online RN to MS track allows experienced, practicing RNs with an associate’s degree (AAN or ASN) to earn a nursing-focused MS fully online in under three years – that’s less time than it takes to earn a BSN. Simply enroll and complete two bridge courses totaling 10 credit hours. These bridge courses will bring you up to a baccalaureate level of study, and prepare you for graduate coursework. After that, you’ll enter Wilkes University’s 39-credit Nursing Education online master’s program. (Please note that no pass-through bachelor’s degree is awarded.) The Nursing Education MS degree coursework helps prepare program graduates to take the national certification exam leading to Nurse Educator Board Certification.
Master of Science in Nursing
Wilkes University’s online Nursing Education concentration, part of the Master of Science with Major in Nursing degree program, is designed to provide candidates with the advanced knowledge and techniques for responding to critical health care education issues as accomplished teachers and leaders. This M.S. online program requires 39 credit hours to complete. The Nursing Education concentration emphasizes academic theory and evidence-based research, effective teaching/learning strategies, curricular design and proven assessment measures. This program also includes two teaching/instructional experiences: a seminar plus 100 practice hours for each course. A concluding scholarly review course allows students to synthesize and review issues relevant to the Nursing Education concentration, and prepares graduates to take the national certification exam leading to Nurse Educator Board Certification.
The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and post graduate APRN certificate programs at Wilkes University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, 202-887-6791).
Indiana Wesleyan University Online
Nursing Education (ASN to MSN)
Master of Science in Nursing
The ASN-MSN program builds upon the students’ prior educational and professional experiences through adult learning modalities. When applying for the ASN-MSN program, the student may choose between the Nursing Administration major and the Nursing Education major of the Master of Science in Nursing program. The curriculum aligns with the mission of Indiana Wesleyan University and embraces a global perspective of healthcare. Bachelor level courses deliver upper level nursing education content as prescribed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice. The Essentials content serves as the foundation for successful completion of the graduate level nursing coursework.
The pace of this fully online program is rapid and students are encouraged to make learning and professional growth their aim. While academically rigorous, the ASN-MSN program provides the opportunity for seamless progression from the associate to the master degree level, in accordance with the Academy recommendations.
Practicum hours are included in graduate level coursework. A global travel option is available during the program. Upon completion of the ASN-MSN program, graduates will be eligible for certification in their respective major specialty.
Master of Science in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at Indiana Wesleyan University’s School of Nursing prepares the student to serve in a variety of settings, from the most prestigious hospitals and schools of nursing to meeting the vital needs of the global community. The curricula ascribes to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s, The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing and the competencies prescribed by the respective professional specialty organizations. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for certification by the appropriate specialty credentialing body. Students will receive a solid theoretical foundation in the art of teaching and principles of effective education. Participants will be prepared to serve in schools and divisions of nursing, as well as take on educational leadership positions in hospitals, communities, and other settings.
An individual with a Master's degree in Nursing from a regionally accredited nursing program may apply to complete a post master's degree certificate in any of the graduate nursing majors. Students applying for a post master's certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner must have 500 hours of advanced practice direct care for patients in the year prior to admission.
The programs of the Indiana Wesleyan University School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). A successful reaccreditation visit was held in November 2009. Memberships are held in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).All nursing programs meet the state regulations where offered.
Sacred Heart University Online
Master of Science in Nursing
The Nursing education specialization is designed to complement your clinical experience with skills in teaching and learning. The curriculum is designed to provide you with an understanding of issues in nursing education, application of curriculum design and evaluation theory, and experience in the role of the faculty. Nurse educators are found in both schools of nursing along with hospitals and related healthcare organizations. This program prepares Students to sit for the National League of Nursing (NLN) Nurse Educator Certification Exam.
Note: This program does not accept applicants from all States. Please verify with the school.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the Master of Science in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Nursing Education, Nurse Educator
Nurse Educator FAQs
How Do I Prepare for a Nurse Educator Career?
First, a Nurse Educator must be an active licensed RN. At a minimum, nurse educators who work in academic settings must hold a master's degree. In order to be promoted to the upper academic ranks (e.g., associate professor and professor) and to be granted tenure, academic faculty typically must hold an earned doctoral degree. Nurse educators who work in clinical settings must hold the minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing, but more and more institutions are requiring the master's degree for such appointments.
Many master's degree and post-graduate certificate programs are available to prepare nurses specifically for the educator role. These programs, which are sometimes offered online, focus on the skills needed to prepare advanced practice nurses to teach, including instruction on the learning process, curriculum development, student counseling, program evaluation, and the principles of adult education.
What is the Salary of a Nurse Educator?
Nurse educators working in academic settings typically are on a nine-month appointment (e.g., September through May). Opportunities to teach in the summer often are available, and this is compensated separately. Salaries vary greatly depending on rank, education (e.g., master's or doctorate degree), and institution type (e.g., a large academic health center vs. a small liberal arts college).
According to the US BLS, median salary for nursing instructors and educators was $67,480 in 2015. Median wages ranged from $41,490 at the 10th% to $112,680 at the 90th%.
What is the Career Outlook for a Nurse Educator?
This career is in extremely high demand because the United States is experiencing a serious nursing shortage. The US BLS projecst 35% employment growth for nursing instructors during 2012-22. Nursing schools nationwide are struggling to find new faculty to accommodate the rising interest in nursing among new students. The shortage of nurse educators may actually enhance career prospects since it affords a high level of job security and provides opportunities for nurses to maintain dual roles as educators and direct patient care providers.
Nurse Educator Certification
Certification in any field is a mark of professionalism. For academic nurse educators, it establishes nursing education as a specialty area of practice and creates a means for faculty to demonstrate their expertise in this role. It communicates to students, peers, and the academic and health care communities that the highest standards of excellence are being met. By becoming credentialed as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), you serve as a leader and a role model. The National League for Nursing (NLNAC) oversees the certification process for nurse educators. >> NLNAC CNE Candidate Handbook (pdf)