A Master’s of Nursing Education is the primary prerequisite for educators who aspire to instruct and mentor up-and-coming nursing students. And as the demand for qualified nurses continues to grow–far outsizing the supply of available nurses–the role of the nurse educator becomes even more valuable. Nursing educators will be responsible for grooming and developing the next generation of nurses to hold the line of our nation’s health and wellbeing.
And as the world has seen in recent years due to the world pandemic, having qualified nurses is among the most vital aspects of responding to national medical emergencies. Thus many existing nursing programs are seeing a bump in funding and support, while many new nursing programs sprout up in program catalogues. As such, prospective nurse educators will find that there are more options than ever before for earning a Master’s of Nursing Education, particularly in the context of online degree programs.
While online education was certainly trending towards the mainstream over recent years, the pandemic has urged ubiquitous integration. Today, many of the best nursing education programs offer online programs that are designed entirely for adult learners and working students. And oftentimes these programs offer accelerated tracks, flexible formats, and career-centric specializations so that students can enter the job market efficiently, primed to compete in the job market.
In this ranking, our researchers have done the legwork–scouring veritable mountains of data to identify the best online programs overall. The programs of this ranking are organized according to metrics of affordability, graduation rate, and overall prestige, as is conferred by existing rankings in trusted publications such as US News & World Report and The Princeton Review.
1 Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University (TWU) demonstrates a willingness to innovate while holding true to the support of women. TWU offers many nursing degree programs both in online and on-campus formats–from a nurse practitioner program, to a nursing education program, to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. TWU’s nursing programs are consistently recognized for offering a rare combination of affordability, flexibility, and academic rigor.
Specifically, students can earn a Master’s of Nursing Education at TWU that can be completed entirely online. Highly experienced faculty work closely with each student, grooming them for positions of leadership. At TWU’s Master of Nursing Education program, students will learn from the best of the best–and will learn how to pass on this knowledge to the next generation of nursing students.
2 The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) offers a selection of highly affordable nursing degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. What UTRGV does to distinguish itself is it offers students programs that are simultaneously some of the most affordable on this list while also providing a level of career-centric education that is typically more common in programs with larger infrastructure and tuition costs.
Students at UTRGV School of Nursing: Division of Health Affairs can earn a Master of Science in Nursing with a Nursing Education emphasis. The program is completed entirely through online coursework that emphasizes flexibility without sacrificing core learning objectives. Students of the program will learn how to work with students from vastly different backgrounds. Graduates of the program often go on to teach at two and four year universities, as well community colleges.
3 The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) College of Nursing and Health Innovation offers a selection of high-end nursing programs delivered at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate level. The College of Nursing and Health Innovation specializes in online nursing education, offering online degree programs that consistently rank among the best within their categories.
UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation offers students a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Nursing Education. The program is completed through 39 credit hours of coursework in as few as 19 to 21 months, making it one of the most efficient programs listed. The College’s specialization in online nursing education means that students will progress through classes that utilize cutting-edge technology to replicate the clinical experience of nursing and medical situations–an excellent selling point for students who want to ensure that they make no sacrifices to benefit from the convenience of online education.
4 University of Nevada, Las Vegas
The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) offers a number of affordable, career-focused degree programs. UNLV distinguishes itself through a clear commitment to offering students actionable curriculums that are designed to position students for success in the job market upon graduation. As such, program curriculums are constantly in flux as they adapt to the ever changing tides of industry.
THe UNLV Master of Science in Nursing program offers students three tracks to consider: Family Nurse Practitioner Track, Nursing Education Track, and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track. Only the Nursing Education Track is available to online students. Graduates of the nursing education program will be prepared to excel in the following areas:
- Utilizing research to continually evolve teaching ability
- Developing teaching plans to maximize student learning
- Assessing and evaluating academic programs, coursework, and student engagement
- Working as a leader in various professional settings
- Furthering the field of nursing education
5 Stony Brook University
The Stony Brook University School of Nursing offers a robust selection of nursing degree programs. Many of which can be completed entirely online through flexible coursework meant to accommodate even the busiest of working students. Stony Brook University designs each of its degree programs so that working adults can seek professional advancement without sacrificing their jobs or a health work-life balance.
The Stony Brook School of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing Education that is built around a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum. Students of the program will commit to a set of core learning objectives, which are meant to represent the high bar required to become a top-tier nursing educator. While the program’s curriculum is demanding with little flexibility and no room for elective offerings, students can enjoy the confidence that once completing it they will be prepared to build success in their careers as nursing educators.
6 Western Governors University
Western Governors University is a force of innovation and modernization in the higher education industry. Western Governors University (WGU) was among the first universities in the country to devote its resources to becoming a technologically advanced hub for online education. Since its inception in 1997, WGU has continually distinguished itself by offering tremendously affordable degree programs that are based entirely around positioning students for success in the job market.
WGU offers a unique nursing education program. Specifically, students can earn a fully online BSN-to-MSN in Nursing Education. 80% of graduates finished the program in just two years, making it a blindingly fast option for undergraduates who want to graduate with an MSN in Nursing Education. Not only is the program one of the most efficient on the market, but it is also the most affordable program listed in this article. Any prospective nursing educator will want to consider this option.
7 Ferris State University
The Ferris State University College of Health Professionals School of Nursing combines a selection of prestigious degree programs with a number of specialized tracks and certificate programs that can be completed entirely online on a flexible schedule. In short, Ferris State School of Nursing is quickly becoming a premier hub for nursing students around the country, and even around the world.
The Ferris State University School of Nursing offers a unique format for a graduate-level nursing education program. That is, students can earn a Master of Science in Nursing or an Accelerated RN-to-MSN with an optional Nursing Education Certificate. The certificate program enables students to engage a traditional MSN curriculum while becoming acquainted with the fundamentals of nursing education. This path however, will be best suited for those who are not looking to build careers entirely around nursing education and instead are looking to chart a road somewhere between professional nursing and nursing education.
8 East Tennessee State University
The East Tennessee State University College of Nursing offers the prestige and tradition associated with large state universities with decades of demonstrated excellence, combined with the cutting-edge technology and infrastructure of a university specializing in online education. In other words, the ETSU College of Nursing is a rare example of a College that expanded into online education smoothly with nothing but success and notoriety. Students who enroll in an online nursing degree at ETSU will benefit from excellence in the College’s four pillars: education, scholarship/research, service, and practice.
Online nursing students at ETSU can earn one the following MSN degree concentrations: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Education, Nursing Administration, and the Family Nurse Practitioner. The proficiency of instructors and overall program is demonstrated by the certification exam pass-rates: 100% Pass Rate on PMHNP Certification, 98% Pass rate on FNP Certification for 2020.
The program also differentiates itself by the focus provided to nursing education in the context of a rural environment. So students who are interested in taking their nursing education careers to a rural location will likely find this program to be a top contender.
9 Angelo State University
Angelo State University has updated many of its nursing degree program offeringings to reflect the national shortage of nurses. Its programs are relatively affordable, but really demonstrate their value in the quality of education offered. Students of these programs will participate in state of the art nursing education technology which is meant to simulate real-world situations. This technology is extremely valuable in online education, where students run the risk of missing out on certain real-world learning objectives.
Angelo State University offers a number of fully online Master of Science in Nursing programs. Among which is a Master of Science in Nursing Education program, which is fully accredited and recognized by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students of the program will progress through a comprehensive curriculum based on the following topics and courses:
- Curriculum in Nursing Education
- Teaching Strategies and Evaluation in Nursing Education
- Roles and Financial Management in Nursing Education
- Advanced Nursing Clinical Practice for Nurse Educators
- Capstone Practicum in Nursing Education
10 Winona State University
Winona State University offers a number of industry-aware nursing programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and even postgraduate level. Students can consider an RN-to-MSN pathway, as well as Master’s of Nursing programs with the following concentration tracks: Nurse Educator (NE), Nursing Leadership: Nursing and Organizational Leadership. Regardless of their chosen program, students will program through an evidence-based curriculum which promotes critical analyses and objective decision-making.
Specifically though, students of the Master’s level Nurse Education (NE) track will master the fundamentals of curriculum-design, student mentorship, and research. Students of the program will program through a fully online curriculum that covers the following specialized subjects:
- Molecular, Genetic and Immune Mechanisms in Disease
- Advanced Clinical Pharmacology
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Nursing Education: Theory and Research
- Nursing Education Curriculum & Program Design
- Nursing Education: Instruction and Evaluation
- Nursing Education: Instruction and Evaluation Practicum/Clinical