Dec 03, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalogue 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalogue

Nursing (Nurse Educator), M.S.N.

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Graduate Coordinator: April Matthias, PhD, RN, CNE

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nurse Educator program prepares nurses who possess the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and values to meet the challenges of the 21st Century Health Care Delivery System. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. The graduate of the UNCW School of Nursing master’s program in nursing will be able to practice in the role of nurse educator.

The Nurse Educator program reflects the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing as set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The Essentials reflect the profession’s core values and provide the necessary curricular elements, framework, and outcomes expected of all graduates of master’s nursing programs.

Essential I: Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities

Essential II: Organizational and Systems Leadership

Essential III: Quality Improvement and Safety

Essential IV: Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice

Essential V: Informatics and Healthcare Technologies

Essential VI: Health Policy and Advocacy

Essential VII: Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes

Essential VIII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health

Essential IX: Master’s-Level Nursing Practice

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master’s curriculum, the new graduate will be able to:

  1. Design health care-centered curricula and programs with an altruistic concern for the welfare of students, patients, and communities while supporting autonomy and respecting human dignity.
  2. Design health care-centered curricula and programs aimed at clinical prevention and population health.
  3. Lead organizations and systems in the principles of nursing education through ethical decision making related to health promotion.
  4. Integrate evidence into practice and quality improvement measures that support legal and ethical standards of health care education in diverse settings.
  5. Use technology to educate health care providers and facilitate interprofessional collaboration to improve outcomes of all populations.
  6. Evaluate domestic and global health integrating the principles of health care education for delivery systems, policies, epidemiology, and the environment.
  7. Promote the health of patients through the education of providers to enable them to integrate interprofessional management of risk reduction, disease prevention and the management of illness.
  8. Demonstrate professional role competencies of nursing education through the teaching and learning of advanced practice principles and theories.

Admission Requirements

Applicants desiring admission into the graduate program in nursing at UNCW must seek admission to the UNCW Graduate School. Admission to the UNCW Graduate School requires:

  1. a completed Graduate School application.
  2. official transcripts of all college work.
  3. official scores no more than 5 years old at the time of application on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) if undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0.
  4. Students who are taking or have taken graduate work elsewhere must be in good standing at that institution to be eligible to take graduate work at UNCW.

Additional UNCW School of Nursing admission requirements include:

1. Active, non-restricted licensure or eligibility for licensure as a professional registered nurse in North Carolina is required unless:

  • The student’s active, non-restricted license is from a compact state that is the student’s primary state of residence (fixed permanent and principle legal residence)
  • The student is distance-based, will not be practicing in North Carolina while enrolled in school and has an active, non-restricted licensure or eligibility for licensure in their primary state of residence.

2. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited program.

3. Strong academic record:

  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA in baccalaureate degree in nursing (no GRE or MAT required)
  • Admission will be considered with a 2.7 or higher GPA with acceptable GRE or MAT score and demonstration of academic success. Additional evidence may be required.

4. Completion of an undergraduate or graduate Statistics course with a grade of B- or higher. (Advanced Placement Statistics (AP Statistics) Exam score of 4 or 5 meets this requirement. The applicant will need to provide the AP Statistics Exam score.)

5. An interview with faculty may be requested.

6. Additional items may be requested as needed. Items include but are not limited to letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and standardized test scores.

7. Application and supplemental documents must be submitted by the published deadline.

Additional Information

  1. Nine semester hours of graduate level transferred credit may be accepted upon approval.
  2. Application for admission to the MSN-NE program will occur at 6 start dates, two in the Fall, two in the Spring and two in the Summer.
  3. Applicants must have access to a computer capable of supporting electronic mail, a web browser, a word processing program and multi-media presentations. In addition, applicants will be expected to use these computer applications. Remediation instruction for navigating the on-line platform is available from the TAC center:

Degree Requirements

  1. A total of thirty-six (36) graduate credit hours is required for the nurse educator option. Students who need to maintain full-time status will complete 36 graduate credit hours in 4 semesters. No minor is required.
  2. All courses required in the program are open to qualified graduate students and those who are approved to take courses as a non-degree seeking status.
  3. A total of nine credit hours of transfer credit may be accepted with approval from the program coordinator.
  4. With the exception of six approved transfer credits, all graduate study must be completed in residence depending upon the degree option pursued.
  5. An MSN student must have a “B” or better in each required course. If a student earns a “C”, he/she must repeat the course and must earn a “B” or better to progress. A student will only be allowed to repeat one course, one time and must do so before they progress in the program. A student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate.
  6. Faculty-guided evidence-based education project after successful completion of NSG 513, NSG 524, and NSG 525 is required and will be presented in NSG 597 - Nursing Education Practicum II. A scholarly presentation is required to disseminate the education project.
  7. Completion of an oral presentation and a written paper of the evidence-based education project will be the culminating required assignments in order to apply for graduation.
  8. Each student must complete an approved course of study within five years of the date of the first registration for graduate study to be eligible for graduation. Students must be enrolled in a course in the semester for which they apply for graduation.


The purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing Nurse Educator program is to educate baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses to function in the nurse educator role leading change to address educational needs and participate in the advancement of the nursing profession. Through fully online didactic courses and authentic practicum experiences, graduates will be prepared to educate diverse learners in institutions of higher learning and a variety of healthcare contexts. 

The 36-credit curriculum can be completed in four semesters. The curriculum includes courses in research and evidence-based practice, advanced health assessment, advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology, population health, finance, and policy, and informatics. The educational cognates integrate educational theories and research; the design and delivery of nursing education curriculum; and teaching and learning evaluation into three specially designed courses that emphasize the learning needs in healthcare: didactic instruction, clinical instruction, and distance learning. Finally, there are two sequential practicum courses at the end of the curriculum which provide practice experiences to apply the skills learned. The MSN Nurse Educator program provides advanced theory and practicum experiences emphasizing:

•    Nursing education in institutions of higher education for students in a variety of healthcare education programs.
•    Healthcare education for professional development of healthcare providers and for patients and families across the life span in a variety of healthcare contexts.

Completion of the program will enable nurse educators in the state of North Carolina to meet the requirements for the North Carolina Board of Nursing and enable the graduates to meet the education requirement for specialty certification examinations.

Nurse Educator Required Courses

Enrolling in NSG 513 before other nursing education foundation courses will prepare the enrollee for subsequent course work and lay a foundation for the MSN-NE program essentials.

NSG 513 is a pre- or co-requisite to NSG 511 and a pre-requisite to NSG 524 and NSG 525.

NSG 511 is a pre- or co-requisite to NSG 501 and NSG 510, and pre-requisite to NSG 516, NSG 524, NSG 525, NSG 582, NSG 584, NSG 592, and NSG 593.

NSG 513, NSG 524, and NSG 525 are pre-requisites to NSG 596 - Nursing Education Practicum I.  Taking these courses in sequence will prepare new enrollees for the teaching practicum experience and the development of an evidence-based project.

NSG 596 is a pre-requisite to NSG 597 - Nursing Education Practicum II.

A plan of study for enrollees admitted during any semester is displayed in the course list below. Students can adjust the number of courses or sequence provided they abide by the pre-requisite rules.

Elective (3 credit hours)

Nurse Educator students must take NSG 511 (min grade B) before enrolling in an elective. Students may choose one of the following courses for elective credit:

Credits outline

Graduate Nursing Core - 18 credits
Nurse Educator Specialty Core - 15 credits
Elective - 3 credits

Total: 36 credits

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