The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

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Updated November 22, 2022

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Review some of the best online MSN nursing education programs and explore what to look for when deciding to pursue the role of educator.
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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

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An online master of science (MSN) in nursing education combines clinical experiences and teaching fundamentals. Graduates can pursue nurse educator roles in academic or patient care settings. Learn about the best online MSN nursing education programs and what to consider when choosing the right one for you.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best ADN-to-MSN (RN to NP) bridge programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.


At a Glance: The Top 10 Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs

  • 1. The University of West Florida
  • 2. Texas A & M University—College Station
  • 3. Stony Brook University
  • 4. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • 5. Cox College
  • 6. Bellin College
  • 7. Western Governors University
  • 8. Cedarville University
  • 9. Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
  • 10. Purdue University Global-Indianapolis


Keep reading to learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program or go straight to our ranking of the best online MSN in nursing education.

Why Is Online MSN in Nursing Education Accreditation Important?

The following reasons highlight the importance of attending an accredited nursing program:

  • Accreditation ensures the high quality of the program.
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredits programs that appropriately prepare students for their role as nurses.
  • Graduates from accredited programs are more attractive to employers, leading to more employment opportunities and a higher earning potential.
  • Students enrolled in unaccredited programs may not be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Doctoral programs expect applicants to have a degree from an accredited program.
  • Accredited programs may not accept transfer credits from unaccredited ones.

Featured Online MSN Programs

The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs & Schools

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

University of West Florida offers an online MSN in nursing education. Working RNs can complete the degree asynchronously in 24 months. The 39-credit program explores the latest research, technologies, and evidence-based practices.

Three practicum classes provide hands-on experience in classroom and clinical settings. UWF offers one of the nation's most affordable nursing education programs.

Details:

  • Program: MSN in nursing education
  • Campus: Pensacola, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $425 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from an accredited nursing program; minimum 3.0 GPA; current RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.5 first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,450 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
31%
Students Enrolled
12,557
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Texas A & M University-College Station

  • College Station, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

RNs enroll part time in Texas A&M's MSN - nursing education online program. The 36-credit program prepares RNs for the certified nurse educator exam from the National League for Nursing. 

The curriculum covers topics like teaching and learning theory and educational assessment and evaluation. One of the nation's top nursing education programs, the MSN requires 45 clinical hours divided into two on-campus visits.  

Details:

  • Program: MSN - nursing education track 
  • Campus: College Station, TX
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $6,464 per semester for in-state learners; $12,818 per semester for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from an accredited nursing program; minimum 3.0 GPA (recommended); current RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: N/A
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99.3% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $63,660 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,941
Out-of-state
$34,190
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
68,726
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Stony Brook University

  • Stony Brook, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook offers one of the nation's best online nurse educator programs. The 45-credit MSN in nursing education enrolls RNs with or without a bachelor's in nursing. 

Nurses learn teaching strategies, curriculum design, and how to facilitate adult learning. The program emphasizes nursing research and evidence-based practice. Enrollees complete required clinicals at placement sites.

Details:

  • Program: MSN in nursing education
  • Campus: Stony Brook, NY
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $471 per credit for in-state learners; $963 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN or non-nursing bachelor's with a clinical practice portfolio; minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA; current RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: N/A
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $85,900 for bachelor's graduates; $105,660 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$24,740
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
26,814
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Edinburg, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley teaches classroom and clinical instructional strategies in the fully online MSN in nursing education. The 36-credit program uses a traditional 16-week-semester format. 

RNs complete 90 clinical hours, including a practice intervention project. Students begin the program, one of the nation's most affordable nursing education programs, in the fall semester.

Details:

  • Program: MSN in nursing education
  • Campus: Brownsville, TX
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $724 per credit for in-state learners; $1,132 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from an accredited nursing program or a non-nursing bachelor's degree and prerequisite coursework; minimum 3.0 GPA; an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.5% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $61,330 for bachelor's graduates; $106,420 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$6,664
Out-of-state
$16,792
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
29,113
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Cox College

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

A private school located in Springfield, Missouri, Cox College specializes in nursing education. The online MSN - nurse educator track prepares working RNs for national certification. Full-time enrollees can complete the program in 24 months. 

The 36-credit curriculum includes didactic coursework and clinicals in the RN's community. All students pay the same affordable tuition for one of the best-ranked online MSN education programs. The program enrolls students in the fall semester.

Details:

  • Program: MSN - nurse educator track
  • Campus: Springfield, MO
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $600 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from an accredited nursing program; minimum 3.0 GPA; an unencumbered RN license 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $53,360 for bachelor's graduates; $97,960 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$10,080
Out-of-state
$10,080
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
39%
Students Enrolled
956
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Bellin College

  • Green Bay, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bellin College prepares healthcare professionals exclusively. The college offers the MSN - nurse educator track online to nurses in Wisconsin. RNs can enroll full time or part time. They can complete the 39-credit nursing education program in 24-36 months.

The curriculum provides training in evidence-based practice and instructional design. Learners also study curriculum development and assessment. The college arranges clinical placement sites.

Details:

  • Program: MSN - nurse educator track
  • Campus: Green Bay, WI
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $755 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from an accredited nursing program; minimum 3.0 GPA; a WI RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24-36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,979 for bachelor's graduates; $98,213 for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$21,050
Out-of-state
$21,050
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
649
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Description:

One of the nation's largest virtual colleges, Western Governors University offers an MSN in nursing education that emphasizes evidence-based practice. RNs develop expertise in areas like informatics and curriculum design.

Nurses work with academic mentors and interprofessional stakeholders during a required field experience. Enrollees can complete the degree in 24 months. One of the most affordable nursing education programs, WGU charges per-term tuition. 

Details:

  • Program: MSN in nursing education
  • Campus: Salt Lake City, UT
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $4,240 per six-month term
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN and unencumbered RN license in nurse's state of employment or residence
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months on average
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.7% first-time pass rate 
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $75,430 for bachelor's graduates; $86,988for master's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$6,380
Out-of-state
$6,380
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
136,139
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#8 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Cedarville University

  • Cedarville, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Cedarville University offers one of the best online nurse educator programs for RNs who want advanced training that integrates a biblical foundation. The 38-41-credit MSN – nurse educator curriculum includes training in teaching and learning strategies. Enrollees also study curriculum and development.

RNs complete 300 clinical/practicum hours. Learners can enroll full time or part time. The program offers start dates in August, January, and May.

Details:

  • Program: MSN - nurse educator
  • Campus: Cedarville, OH
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $648 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from a regionally accredited school; minimum 3.0 GPA (preferred); and unrestricted RN license in the United States
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.2% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $56,530 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$31,122
Out-of-state
$31,122
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
4,302
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

  • Lancaster, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Description:

Students attend Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences for some of the nation's best graduate nursing education programs. The 39-credit MSN - education blends online learning and three face-to-face sessions held on campus in Lancaster.

The curriculum explores topics like teaching strategies, educational assessment, and leadership in healthcare. RNs study the role of nurse educator in clinical practice and academic settings. PA College offers a flat tuition rate for all. 

Details:

  • Program: MSN - education
  • Campus: Lancaster, PA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $896 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: A BSN from an accredited college; minimum 3.0 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.3% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $67,180 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$28,540
Out-of-state
$28,540
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
1,811
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
63% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 The Best Online MSN in Nursing Education Programs of 2022

Purdue University Global-Indianapolis

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Description:

Purdue University Global's robust online MSN offers personalized nursing education. The 81-90-credit MSN - nurse educator concentration requires coursework and a mentored clinical that prepare enrollees for advanced practice and national certification.

Participants develop an evidence-based practice project that focuses on improving healthcare outcomes. Purdue University Global offers one of the nation's most affordable online MSN education programs. RNs choose from multiple start dates. 

Details:

  • Program: MSN - nurse educator concentration
  • Campus: Indianapolis, IN
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition:$420 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: A bachelor's degree in nursing; minimum 2.5 GPA; a current, unencumbered RN license in a U.S. state
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,220 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$13,356
Retention Rate
100%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
38,138
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How Online MSNs in Nursing Education Work

When compared to in-person programs, online programs can be completed entirely online or with minimal campus visits. On-campus requirements may include meeting with instructors, attending lectures, or completing labs.

Online courses are either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous courses happen in real-time with students and instructors interacting at a scheduled time. Asynchronous courses contain lessons that students complete on their time through the use of videos, podcasts, and other online tools.

While you might not have to complete any courses on campus, depending on your program, your teaching practicum will be in person. Practicums allow for the practical application of what you learned in your courses to a real-life educational setting under the supervision of an instructor or mentor.

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in an Online MSN in Nursing Education

When deciding on an online MSN program, it's important to consider several key characteristics. Knowing a program’s admission requirements, accreditation, length, and format lets you determine if the school is the right fit. You can then avoid applying to programs that don't meet your academic and professional needs.

1. Admission Requirements

Although nursing schools may have similar admission requirements, some want applicants to meet specific criteria for previous academic, clinical, and professional experiences. You do not want to waste time applying to programs with prerequisites you do not meet.

2. Program Curriculum

When focusing on a specific specialization such as nursing education, most programs will follow a similar curriculum. However, certain schools may offer students a variety of courses to choose from. Look for a program with courses that align with your professional goals.

3. Clinical Experience

Most nursing education programs require students to complete a teaching practicum designed to give them experience teaching under the supervision of a mentor. Schools typically assist with placement for a teaching practicum. You want to know when and how long these practicums are to make sure they fit your schedule.

4. Accreditation

Accreditation indicates that the program meets the highest education and training standards. Choosing a program that is not accredited can limit professional and academic opportunities.

5. Program Length

Knowing the program’s length helps you determine if the time commitment works for you. Most online programs offer part- and full-time options. Full-time students complete the program faster, but it limits their ability to simultaneously hold a job. Part-time students can stay employed, but it will extend the length of the program.

6. School Graduation Rate

A nursing school's graduation rates are based on the percentage of students who complete their program within a certain timeframe. Higher graduation rates are an indication of a high-quality program.

7. Online Learning Format and Requirements

Some programs are completely online, while others require certain on-campus requirements. All schools will require students to complete their practicum in person. Decide what works best for you by determining if you can meet any on-campus requirements, if your schedule allows you to attend in-person practicums, and if the delivery format fits your needs as a student.

Applying to an Online MSN in Nursing Education

Before applying to an online MSN program for nursing education, you want to make sure you meet the conditions for acceptance. Graduate nursing programs look for candidates with the right academic and experiential backgrounds.

While admission is highly competitive and schools may look for specific prerequisites, many programs seek applicants who meet the following conditions:

1. Admission Requirements

Applicants must have an unrestricted and unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license, a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from an accredited hospital-based program, and at least two years of clinical experience.

2. Admission Materials

General admission materials include post-secondary transcripts, professional references, a written statement of professional goals, and a resume.

3. GPA Requirement

3.0 GPA or higher

Paying for an Online MSN in Nursing Education

One of the most important contributing factors in choosing a program is the cost. The cost of operating buildings, maintaining on-site faculty and staff, and providing health-related services is often subsidized with tuition and fees. Because online students do not use all of these resources, schools may offer lower costs for remote programs.

To help pay for their nursing degrees, students have access to various financial aid options. They can apply for scholarships, grants, or loans to help reduce the financial burden. Scholarships and grants provide funds based on merit, need, or academic performance, while loans are borrowed money that must be paid back after the program's completion.

What Can You Do as a Nurse Educator?

A nurse educator's primary responsibility is preparing future generations of nurses for employment. Nurse educators typically work in healthcare facilities or educational institutions, including universities, community colleges, technical schools, and vocational schools.

Those who work in healthcare facilities are responsible for helping nursing staff develop and maintain skills, keeping up to date on new regulations, advising nursing staff on best practices, evaluating nursing students, and interacting with patients, families, and coworkers.

Nurse educators who work in academic settings develop curricula, teach classes through lectures and discussions, assess student performance, evaluate educational programs, and conduct research on best practices.


Frequently Asked Questions About Online MSNs in Nursing Education


Is an MSN in nursing education worth it?

Determining if an MSN in nursing education is worth it depends on the individual. Nurse educators often benefit from high job satisfaction knowing they are preparing future generations of nurses. They can work in various settings, including academic and patient care. Working in nursing education can also be less stressful than clinical nursing.

However, nurse educators, compared to all other MSN jobs, are the lowest paid, especially in academic institutions. According to the Payscale, nurse educators earn an average salary of $78,910 as of October 2022.

How long does it take to become a nurse educator?

It can take 8-10 years to become a nurse educator from start to finish. This includes the four years needed to earn a BSN, two years of clinical experience, and 2-4 years to complete an MSN program.

What do nurse educators do?

Nurse educators work in nursing schools, hospitals, and community health settings preparing the next generation of nurses and ensuring ongoing education for experienced nurses. They can also work in academic settings. Their main responsibilities include developing lesson plans, providing direct instruction, and assessing and evaluating learning outcomes.

Can I become a nurse educator online?

Yes, you can become a nurse educator online. However, students must complete a teaching practicum in person. Some schools may also require a certain number of on-campus visits throughout the program.


Page Last Reviewed: October 10, 2022

Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.


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