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MSN in Health Care Education: Degree Overview

MSN in Health Care Education programs train registered nurses (RNs) to assist nursing students and further nursing education. Along with coursework, students typically participate in a supervised teaching or specialty practicum and complete a thesis.

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Essential Information

Because this degree is tailored toward working nurses, programs typically offer online learning opportunities. Online students typically can complete practicum requirements at healthcare facilities near their homes. MSN in Health Care Education programs emphasize research, and a thesis is usually required. Prerequisites generally include a nursing license and a bachelor's degree in nursing (international students must pass the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) examination).

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MSN in Health Care Education

Students must complete 36-42 credit hours, which takes roughly two to three years. Class schedules are flexible, which can allow students to attend classes in the evenings. Topics of study can include:

  • Advanced practice nursing
  • Data analysis
  • Psycho-educational intervention
  • Health science statistics
  • Information systems
  • Roles in health care organizations

Popular Career Options

An MSN degree in health education prepares a graduate for job opportunities in practical nursing, teaching in degree programs and staff development. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nurse educators work in the primary industries of health care and social assistance (www.bls.gov). Some of these jobs include:

  • In-service educator
  • Staff development coordinator
  • Hospital staff educator
  • Public health educator
  • Home health agency educator

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the BLS, employment of registered nurses, including advanced practice nurses, should grow by 16% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). A 12% increase is projected for health educators during that same time period. In 2015, the annual mean salary for nurse practitioners was $101,260. Nursing instructors and teachers earned $73,150, and health educators earned $56,690.

Continuing Education

Graduates of an MSN program may choose to further their education by enrolling in a doctoral degree program that prepares them for research, teaching and administrative positions. A variety of certificate programs are available in areas of specialty, including public health preparedness, health communication, gerontology, vaccine science and health policy.

Registered nurses, or those with a bachelor's degree in nursing, who would like to pursue a career in nursing education should look into a nursing education MSN degree program. Students enrolled in these programs will learn essential information about nursing practice and theory and their applications to nursing education.

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