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Master of Science in Nursing: Online Health Care Education Degree

Learn about online master's programs with nursing education courses. Get an overview of the program types, requirements and common courses for this field.

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Essential Information

Several online nursing education master's degree programs are available. While all coursework can usually be completed online, these nursing degree programs include practical clinical work, requiring students to participate at a convenient clinical site, either at the school's campus or another medical facility. Final examinations may also need to be completed in person.

Applicants typically need a bachelor's degree, a current nursing license and professional experience. Students are usually working as nurses, so programs can be completed part-time. Program graduates may find work as patient educators, nursing staff educators or nursing program teachers.

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Master of Science in Nursing: Health Care Education Focus

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program stresses leadership and can prepare students for a career as a staff or patient educator. Master's degree programs in nursing with education concentrations are frequently available in online formats. Students who are interested in online MSN programs may also consider studying nursing administration or public health issues. These related courses of study examine similar topics and can prepare students for professional roles in health care evaluation and assessment.

Program Outline

Admission to an online Master of Science in Nursing program usually requires a bachelor's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school and eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse. Qualifying scores on standardized tests, like the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE), are also usually required. Most students can complete an online Master of Science in Nursing program in two years of part-time study.

Online Master of Science programs in nursing and health care education use interactive Internet-based learning applications to deliver course content. Course materials and assignments are often posted with bulletin board features, and discussion boards enable communication between students and professors. Many online master's degree programs in nursing require some clinical work, which must be completed on a campus or medical facility.

Course Topics

Core coursework in MSN programs focused on health care education generally cover leadership principles, teaching strategies and issues of community health. Specialized courses may focus on nursing informatics, health research reports and curriculum development.

Nursing Informatics

Students learn essentials of health care informatics. Technologies, classification systems, medical records and health care documentation methods are examined.

Nursing Research Analysis

Integrating the results of valid health care studies into practice and education is the focus of this course. Ethics in applying research is another area of emphasis.

Curriculum Development

This course focuses on the development of curricula in higher education settings. The ways in which individual courses affect overall program mission and outcomes are examined.


Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the overall job market for registered nurses to be excellent in the coming years, with employment projected to increase by 16% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). For registered nurses, the BLS reported an average annual salary of $71,000 as of 2015. Industries with the highest level of employment, according to the Bureau, include hospitals, physicians' offices, home health care facilities, nursing homes and outpatient centers.

Experienced nurses who want to redirect their careers toward education may pursue an online Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in health care education, which provides the flexibility to continue working while completing the degree. These programs combine advanced nursing coursework with classes designed specifically to improve instructional and leadership skills.

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