Master of Science Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Education

Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

What Can You Do With an MSN in Nursing Education?

The Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education (MSN-Ed) degree program prepares advanced professional nurses to address the ever-changing and expanding educational needs of the nursing profession. The emphasis is designed for BSN- prepared registered nurses interested in pursuing or advancing in a career in nursing education.

MSN-Ed graduates are prepared for a variety of roles in nursing education, either as a clinical educator or academic educator in both traditional and nontraditional settings in nursing education.

Why Get Your Master of Science in Nursing Education Online at GCU?1

The MSN nursing education program at Grand Canyon University gives students the opportunity to choose the focus of their practicum experience and provides direct clinical hours to ensure advanced skills in assessment. The MSN-Ed program also follows the National League for Nursing (NLN) competencies.

What Are Your MSN Nursing Education Qualifications?

The MSN nursing education program does not have special admission or program qualifications. The general admission requirements for all GCU graduate programs are housed in the University Policy Handbook and online through admissions.

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Accredited Online Master's in Nursing Education Degree

Graduate students learn clinical and organizational decision-making skills based on critical thinking, evidence-based research and diagnostic reasoning. The nursing education degree program taken online or through evening classes teaches students advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment curriculum design and development, teaching methods, how to assess educational needs, program evaluation and understanding learner-centered theories.

There are six main focuses:

  • Scientific Underpinnings for Practice
  • Leadership, Policy and Advocacy
  • Systems, Safety and Quality
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Analytic Foundations for Practice, Ethics and Professional Role
  • Nursing Education

The MSN nursing education degree program at GCU includes clinical hours and a practicum capstone course to strengthen critical-thinking skills and place educational theories into practice in a supervised clinical-care environment.

For more information on the accreditation of nursing programs and other university approvals, please visit our University Accreditation and Regulations page.

Total Credits: 36
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $575 per credit [More Info]


MSN-Ed stands for the Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Nursing Education.

Yes, you can teach nursing with a master’s degree. Of course, solely earning a master’s in nursing education will not guarantee you a teaching job. Many four-year institutions will have different requirements to become a full-time faculty member, but it would be wise to think about earning your nursing doctorate if you want to pursue a career in nursing education.

How long it takes to go from the BSN to MSN depends on the program and any transfer of credits. Here at GCU, the MSN in nursing education requires 36 credits for completion, with the majority of classes being eight weeks in length. For information on other BSN to MSN pathways, fill out the form on this page to speak with a dedicated counselor who will review various options with you.

There are many other types of master’s degrees in nursing that examine several different topics. These include public health, health informatics, healthcare quality and patient safety and many others. Be sure to look into other master’s degrees in nursing that can be taken online at GCU.

1 Online courses exclude programs with residencies and field experience.

Middle-aged female nurse educator breaks down diagnosis on whiteboard while nurse students surround a dummy patient's bed

Course List

36 credits
Degree Requirements:
36 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course examines nursing theory and the role of ethics for advanced registered nurses within the Christian worldview and through a leadership perspective focused on improving health care outcomes. Learners explore the moral/ethical responsibilities and legal and regulatory obligations of advanced registered nurses in health promotion and disease prevention. Learners also review evidence-based practice (EBP) literature and the research process with application to their program of study and learn to navigate scholarly EBP literature, resources, and guidelines.

Course Description

This course examines the role of leadership, organizational science, policy, and informatics in supporting safe, high-quality, cost-effective patient care within interprofessional, dynamic health care environments. Learners explore various organizational relationships within health care systems and prepare to participate in the design of cost-effective, innovative models of care delivery and practice change proposals. Professional leadership theories and how they shape the nurse leader in such things as collaboration, conflict resolution, decision-making, and negotiation are introduced. Learners discuss change management theories and evaluate the ethical, social, legal, economic, and political implications of practice change and health care informatics along with strategies for managing human, fiscal, and health care resources in a variety of organizational systems. Learners also examine the uses of patient-care, information systems, and communication technologies and discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of electronic health record systems and clinical decision support systems.

Course Description

In this course learners examine the process of scientific inquiry, knowledge generation, utilization, and dissemination of evidence into advanced nursing practice in order to propose quality-improvement initiatives that advance the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patient populations. Learners critically evaluate evidence, including scientific findings from the biopsychosocial fields, epidemiology, biostatistics, genetics, and genomics, and apply levels of evidence and theoretical frameworks to design culturally appropriate clinical prevention interventions and population-based care that reduces risks, prevents disease, and promotes health and well-being. Learners also consider strategies to evaluate health policy and advocacy issues, the state of health care delivery, patient-centered care, and ethical principles related to health beliefs, health promotion, and risk reduction for diverse populations. Learners apply these strategies to work towards recognizing gaps in nursing and health care knowledge, identifying potential solutions or innovations for those gaps, planning and implementing practice changes, and evaluating the outcomes in order to improve practice. Prerequisites: NUR-513 and NUR-514.

Course Description

This course provides an opportunity for learners to complete their evidence-based practice (EBP) project proposal that addresses a problem, issue, or concern in their specialty area of professional practice. Learners previously identified a problem amenable to a research-based intervention, searched the literature, and proposed a solution. Now learners will explore implementation considerations and various evaluation methodologies, complete the project proposal by developing a plan to implement the solution into the intended practice area, and design an evaluation plan that will assess the EBP project proposal's intended outcome(s). Prerequisite: NUR-550.

Course Description

This course focuses on advanced physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacologic principles. This course will guide the Nursing Education learner in interpreting changes in normal function that result in symptoms indicative of illness and the effects of select pharmacologic substances on that process. Evidence-based research provides the basis for determining the safe and appropriate utilization of medications and herbal therapies on human function. Appropriate education for various prescribed pharmacologic agents is incorporated. Prerequisite: NUR-590.

Course Description

This course builds upon students’ previous health assessment knowledge offering advanced health assessment content to provide the foundation for the advanced professional nursing role of the nurse educator. This course emphasizes knowledge of health assessment, including physical, psychosocial, and spiritual health assessment; risk assessment; and functional assessment in diverse populations in the promotion of health and prevention of disease. Topics, such as effective communication and client teaching/counseling to elicit patients’ interpretation of their health status and perceived barriers, are incorporated throughout the course to maintain a nursing focus on patient responses to illness or the threat of illness. This course incorporates the completion and interpretation of a head-to-toe assessment along with emphasis on effective documentation and health recordkeeping. Prerequisite: NUR-641E.

Course Description

This course prepares learners to deliver advanced nursing knowledge within practice, professional, and academic settings. Specific emphasis is placed on effective methods to facilitate learning and fostering critical thinking skills in diverse health care settings. Learners synthesize advanced nursing knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and assessment within the integration of technology. Learners complete 50 direct patient care clinical hours in a specialty area to integrate advanced nursing knowledge and advanced assessment skills into practice. Clinical hours: 50. Prerequisite: NUR-643E.

Course Description

In this course, learners contribute to the development of nursing curricula, focusing on different phases of the curriculum creation and improvement processes. Learners examine methods of curriculum design, assessment of learning outcomes, and best practices for curriculum development, including aligning curriculum to professional standards, writing learning objectives, creating formative and summative assessments, and using data to improve student learning outcomes. Prerequisite: NUR-646E.

Course Description

This course culminates with two experiences for the learner: 1) 50 hours of direct clinical and 2) 100 hours of an education practicum; both must be completed with an approved nurse preceptor in the respective settings of the learner's choice. These clinical and practicum experiences afford learners the opportunity to continue the synthesis of advanced clinical nursing knowledge and skills at the start of the course and then demonstrate educational competencies in their selected areas of interest (e.g., assessment of learning needs, program/curriculum planning, implementation, and assessment/evaluation in either a traditional or nontraditional setting). This course offers opportunities for learners to begin integrating the role of the advanced nurse and the advanced educator based on the NLN competencies into their professional behaviors. Direct Care Clinical (50 hours) and Educational Practicum (100 hours) experiences totaling 150 hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 150. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all previous coursework in the program.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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