Post-Master’s Nursing Education Certificate

Post-Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Education Certificate

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

What Is the Role of a Nurse Educator?

Nurse educators practice as faculty, staff educators or clinicians. Competencies of the professional practice nurse educator include assessing educational needs, planning programs to meet those needs and evaluating program outcomes in the context of evidence-based practice models to improve patient or population outcomes.

Why Get Your Post Master's Nursing Education Certificate Online1 at GCU?

The Post-MSN nurse educator certificate program at Grand Canyon University focuses on the advanced practice role as an educator incorporating competencies of:

  • Instructional strategies
  • Assessment
  • Program planning and program evaluating
  • Diagnostic reasoning
  • Leadership
  • Evidenced-based research and application

Graduates are prepared to educate in an academic or clinical setting.

What You Will Learn

Nurse educator certificate program courses include:

Focuses on advanced physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacologic principles.

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.

Specific emphasis on effective methods of facilitating learning and fostering critical thinking skills in diverse patient populations. Students will apply advanced health assessment skills in the clinical setting during Seminar I.

Culminating practicum experience completed with a nurse educator preceptor in an academic/clinical setting.

Through the postgraduate nursing education certificate program, students can select the focus of their practicum experience which gives students direct practicum hours. With this comprehensive curriculum, students can further their knowledge as a clinical or academic educator. This curriculum qualifies the graduate to take the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam.

Nursing Education Certificate Requirements

The post master's certificate in nursing education program does not have special admissions requirements. To view GCU’s general admission requirements and program qualifications, visit the Graduate and Doctoral Online Admissions Requirements online.

What Can You Do as a Nurse Educator?

Nurse educators practice in a variety of settings. With a post master’s nurse educator certificate, graduates can pursue an academic career as faculty for a traditional or online nursing college as well as a career as a clinical educator.

Nurse Educator Certificate Program FAQs

There are various tracks to becoming a certified nurse educator (CNE). The length of time it takes to become a CNE depends on your track and whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Generally speaking, it can take about two years to become a registered nurse. Earning your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can take another two years, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) can take an additional two to three years. In order to qualify for the CNE exam, you must have a valid license as an active, practicing nurse and an advanced degree with either an emphasis or postgraduate certificate in nursing education. You may also need to have recent academic teaching experience.

Yes, registered nurses with an MSN in Nursing Education or a nursing education certificate may work in various teaching positions, such as clinical instructor, unit nurse educator and academic professor. However, keep in mind that solely earning a master’s in nursing education does not guarantee you a teaching job. Some employers will have different requirements.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers have a median annual wage of $75,470 as of May 2020.2

This program is 100% online (clinical, practicum, immersion hours completed locally.)

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Postsecondary Nursing Instructors and Teachers as of May 2020. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path.

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Total Credits: 20
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

20 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
20 credits

Core Courses

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 is a culminating practicum experience completed with a nurse educator preceptor in a selected setting. This clinical practicum affords learners the opportunity to refine educational expertise 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 nurse educator based on the NLN competencies into their professional behaviors. 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.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* 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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