Registered nurses who hope to advance their careers can consider earning a master’s degree in nursing education. Designed for students who are interested in promoting nursing education and improving upon the techniques currently used in training future nurses, these degrees require students to take classes in advanced nursing practice, management, and educational techniques. While enrolled, students also learn about health policy and ethics, which will enable them to work as effective and sensitive educators. Upon graduating, students can work for medical offices or in postsecondary education.
Why a Nursing Education Degree?
Nurses who are currently working in the field, but who want to advance into a higher position, can benefit from master’s degrees. By achieving a graduate-level education, they will receive the tools necessary for qualifying for promotions. Master’s degrees are also necessary for entering the postsecondary teaching career field. Although it can be difficult to fit higher education into a working nurse’s schedule, online master’s degrees in nursing education offer the opportunity for students to complete assignments and exams on their own time. As a result, working students can complete the degree without interrupting their careers.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Exact requirements for admissions into master’s programs in nursing education will vary. Typically, however, admissions departments will admit students who meet the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Recommendation letters.
- Work experience in a nursing field.
Inside a Nursing Education Master’s Degree Program
To become successful nurse educators, students will complete course work in areas like advancing nursing, health policy, and statistics. They will also learn about educational technology, pharmacology, and curriculum design. Typically, these degrees will require some research and management course work as well. It will usually take students between two and three years to complete the program.
Before graduating, students will be required to complete a practicum program. This will give them the opportunity to help train future nurses under direct supervision. It will also help them improve upon their communication skills and teaching methods. In addition, the hands-on experience will make them more marketable for their future career advancements.
What’s Next for Nursing Education Master’s Degree Holders?
Upon graduating, students will go on to help educate future nurses. They will be able to work in hospital environments, where they will train nursing staff members and help make executive decisions about training programs. They may also become postsecondary instructors, a position responsible for teaching college-level course work to aspiring nurses.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nursing instructors and teachers can earn around $68,640 annually. The BLS also reports that as a whole, the postsecondary teaching field is project to grow by 17% by 2020. Keep in mind, however, that nursing education job prospects and salaries will vary depending upon where you live, your experience, and your employer.