Nurse Educator, Nursing (MSN)

Degree: Master of Science in Nursing
Cognate: Nurse Educator
Program Code: 8614

About This Program . . .

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree provides graduates with a foundation for practice as an entry-level educator in health care systems or academic settings. MSN graduates are prepared with additional knowledge and clinical expertise building on baccalaureate nursing practice. The MSN program at Colorado Mesa University is based on the “Essentials of Masters Education for Advanced Nursing Practice” identified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The MSN program is designed for students already possessing a baccalaureate degree in nursing and adds the first graduate step on the nursing career ladder at Colorado Mesa University. MSN graduates are prepared to advance to higher levels of nursing education including Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) programs. The program is offered in an online format, providing flexibility for students to remain in their current work positions and home communities. Opportunities for personal interaction are included with faculty and peers in focused intensive sessions at selected points.

Important information for this program:

  • Admission to the MSN Nurse Educator program follows the general admissions policies & procedures for graduate programs outlined in the university catalog.
  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university is required, prior to beginning the program. Applicants must have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better in baccalaureate nursing coursework.
  • 36 semester hours are required for the MSN Nurse Educator degree.
  • Applicants must hold a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in their state of practice.
  • It is recommended that students work closely with a faculty advisor when selecting courses and scheduling classes prior to registration.

All CMU masters-level graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, information literacy, and ethical reasoning. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, a graduate of this program will be able to:

  1. Develop leadership skills and behaviors for interprofessional collaboration. (Master’s Essential II - Organizational Systems Leadership; Master’s Essential VII – Interprofessional Collaboration); (CMU 1 3; Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning; Communication Fluency); (NONPF– Leadership, Quality, Independent Practice)
  2. Analyze quality improvement initiatives within the practice environment. (Master’s Essential III – Quality Improvement; Master’s Essential IV – Scholarship); (CMU – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Specialized Knowledge/Applied learning; Quantitative Fluency; Communication Fluency; Critical Thinking; Information Literacy); (NONPF – Quality, Policies, Independent)
  3. Utilize information technology for interprofessional collaboration, learning, and practice. (Essential V – Informatics Technology; Essential IX – Master’s Level Nursing Practice); (CMU 5, 6 – Information Literacy; Ethical Reasoning); (NONPF – Technology Information Literacy, Independent Practice)
  4. Evaluate legal, ethical, and regulatory processes that impact professional nursing practice. (Master’s Essential VI – Health Policy Advocacy); (CMU – 6; Ethical Reasoning); (NONPF – Policies, Ethics, Independent Practice)
  5. Create culturally relevant health policy strategies for individual and aggregate populations. (Master’s Essential VIII – Clinical Prevention and Population Health); (CMU 4 5 – Information Literacy; Ethical Reasoning); (NONPF - Practice Inquiry, Policies, Independent Practice)
  6. Synthesize nursing and related sciences for applied learning across diverse populations. (Master’s Essential I – Science Humanities; Master’s Essential IX Level Nursing Practice); (CMU 1, 4, 5 – Specialized Knowledge; Critical Thinking; Information Literacy); (NONPF – Scientific Foundation, Practice Inquiry, Health Delivery System, Independent Practice)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Graduate Degree Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU graduate-level degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Graduate certificates consist of a minimum of 5 credit hours.  Master’s degrees consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours. Doctoral degrees consist of a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • All credits in a graduate program must be minimally at the 500-level.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • Students must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • Students may not apply coursework with a grade lower than a “B” toward graduation requirements.  
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Graduate Degree Requirements” in this catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.
  • All policies for graduate degrees are outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual, Capstone Guidelines Manual, and Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines Manual, all of which are provided on the Graduate Studies website

Specific to this program:

  • 36 semester hours are required for the Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator degree.

Program Specific Requirements

(36 semester hours, must earn a grade of “B” or better in each course. It is recommended that students work closely with a faculty advisor when selecting courses and scheduling classes prior to registration.)

Required Core Courses
NURS 500Theoretical Foundations3
NURS 501Evidence-Based Practice3
NURS 536Leading Through Quality, Policy, and Ethics3
NURS 525Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 526Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing3
NURS 527Advanced Health Assessment2
NURS 535Health Promotion and Disease Prevention2
NURS 577Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment1
Nurse Educator Cognate Requirements
NURS 502Technology for the Nurse Educator3
NURS 540Teaching Strategies for the Nurse Educator3
NURS 545Curriculum Design/Evaluation3
NURS 545LCurriculum Design/Evaluation Laboratory1
Other Requirements
Completion of Oral Comprehensive Exam
NURS 560Nurse Educator Practicum3
NURS 565Role Development: Nurse Educator3
Total Semester Credit Hours36
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
NURS 500 Theoretical Foundations 3
NURS 501 Evidence-Based Practice 3
NURS 525 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
 Semester Credit Hours9
Spring Semester
NURS 526 Advanced Pharmacology for Nursing 3
NURS 527 Advanced Health Assessment 2
NURS 540 Teaching Strategies for the Nurse Educator 3
NURS 577 Clinical Practicum: Advanced Health Assessment 1
 Semester Credit Hours9
Summer Semester
NURS 535 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 2
NURS 536 Leading Through Quality, Policy, and Ethics 3
 Semester Credit Hours5
Second Year
Fall Semester
NURS 502 Technology for the Nurse Educator 3
NURS 545 Curriculum Design/Evaluation 3
NURS 545L Curriculum Design/Evaluation Laboratory 1
 Semester Credit Hours7
Spring Semester
NURS 560 Nurse Educator Practicum 3
NURS 565 Role Development: Nurse Educator 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
 Total Semester Credit Hours36

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.