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Nursing Education

This program is coordinated and taught by faculty who have expertise in the area of Concept Based Curriculum and prepares graduates to teach in both traditional and concept based curricula. This on-line program offers opportunities for practicum experiences in various settings such as simulation, skills laboratory, specialty area clinical sites, on-line courses, and classroom settings. The program will prepare graduates to take the Certified Nurse Educator exam (CNE).

The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Education provides a primary focus on the pedagogies and core competencies of nurse educators in a variety of roles and settings.  It is expected that the nurse will also apply advanced nursing knowledge and skills based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) master’s essentials to an identified area of clinical practice. Graduates will be prepared to function as faculty in schools of nursing at associate and baccalaureate degree levels, and be prepared to pursue certification as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE).  Graduates will also be prepared to function as nursing leaders in inter- professional education, staff education, as unit based educators, patient educators, and nurse educators in community agencies or clinics. The Program of Studies has been designed for the student to develop advanced knowledge in educational theories, teaching-learning strategies, assessment strategies, curriculum development and program evaluation as well as advanced knowledge and skills in an identified area of nursing practice.  The courses are sequenced and culminate in the synthesis of knowledge and application of skills in areas of clinical interest in education.  Part time studies are offered to complete 39 credit hours for the master’s degree in nursing education.

The National League for Nursing (NLN) has identified core competencies for nurse educators and developed a certification exam for nurse educators to become recognized for excellence as Certified Nurse Educators (CNE). Qualifications for taking the exam are based on experience and completion of certain curricula.   Based on the new AACN requirements along with the NLN competencies for Nurse Educators and supporting NLN certification requirements, our newly revised curriculum reflects these competencies and current standards for nurse educators.


At the completion of the program, the graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective leadership skills and decision-making in the educational environment.
  • Demonstrate effective communication in intra-professional and inter-professional teamwork and collaboration
  • Analyze and apply biophysical and psychosocial concepts of health and illness to educational environments and practice settings.
  • Apply key concepts from advanced pharmacology, pathology and physical assessment to nurse educator roles and practice.
  • Develop, analyze and evaluate nursing curricula, teaching strategies, assessment and evaluation methods, and  program outcomes.
  • Critically utilize research findings that have relevance for intervening with patients and families and that are the basis for education of nursing students.
  • Integrate the use of information systems and communication technologies, resources and learning  principles in the education of  students, clients, and/or other health care team members
  • Synthesize and apply the core competencies of the AACN (American College of Nursing) and the NLN (National League for Nursing)  in different educator roles related to a variety of educational environments

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (e.g., B.S.N.) from an accredited college or university, with an upper-division major in nursing. (Graduates from non-accredited programs [N.L.N. or C.C.N.E.] and RN’s with baccalaureate degree in non-nursing fields are considered on an individual basis.)
  • Have a minimum grade point average for baccalaureate work of B (3.0) or better.
  • Submit evidence of RN licensure. If NCLEX results are pending at time of application, applicant should indicate this in the personal statement.
  • Complete the online application. The online application can be accessed by clicking on the link. Letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and a professional resume are required as part of the application process. See the online application guidelines for further information.


Part Time Curriculum Information  

Frequently Asked Questions

Why concentrate on Nursing Education at the master's level?

If you wish to teach in a nursing program or work as a nurse educator in a staff development or patient education position, the Nursing Education concentration will increase your understanding and expertise teaching adult learners in didactic and clinical settings.

What courses must I attend on campus at UNM?

All required courses as listed can be taken entirely on the Web with the exception of: a) practicum related hours in NURS 523 and NURS 592, and NURS 595 fieldwork. Practicum and fieldwork hours are conducted (if resources available) in an appropriate setting close to you.

What is the fieldwork for this concentration?

The NURS 595 course (fieldwork) is 4 credit hours, which translates to 192 clock hours. Fieldwork involves teaching in academic, staff development, and/or patient education settings. Fieldwork hours are completed near the end of the program.  Specific decisions about the fieldwork experience are negotiated with your advisor/instructor.

If I complete this master's degree, can I teach at the university level?

Most universities employ Master’s and Doctorally prepared faculty. Master’s prepared faculty typically have different assignments than doctorally prepared faculty.

Is there any particular order in which I should take my courses?

Students will be required to complete core courses and all other course work as per the Plan of Study designed on admission. 

How fast can I complete this concentration?

See specific part time plan of study to determine time to complete the program.