GCU Helps Ease Nurse Educator Shortage with Convenient Web-Based MSN
Educators Divide Time Between Teaching and Clinical Practice
Degrees in Nursing Education are fast becoming a staple in many graduate nursing programs as a means to head off the growing nurse shortage. Industry predictions paint a dire picture of healthcare in a couple of decades. More nurses are leaving healthcare than there are those coming into the field as new recruits. While this may not sound so bad, the shortage has been growing for some time with little resistance and little response. Grand Canyon University's online Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Education offers a partial solution to the problem, at the same time that it appeals to working RNs whose careers and families preclude them from face-to-face degree education.
Role of Nurse Educators
The Nursing Educator degree is timely in that it attempts to address the remarkable lack of trained nurse educators; a primary facet of the ongoing nurse shortage. Distance learning programs may offer a partial solution: convenient and accessible graduate nursing programs targeted to a population of professionals not formerly able to return to school. The element that the degree itself cannot supply, however, is the interest in the field of education.
What the industry is trying to disseminate on the field of nursing education is its advantages as a full-time or part-time career, as well as its flexibility. Many nursing educators maintain part to full-time careers as practicing RNs within their chosen specialties. The dusty academician is rare. Contemporary educators with real world know-how of relevant and up-to-the-minute skills and concepts are expected for competitive positions.
Requirements for Admission to the MSN in Nursing Education
Candidates applying for the MSN in Education must have a completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and a valid RN license. Applicants must be willing to work conveniently on their own time, but adhere to a program structure that maps out assignments and courses.
This is a 37-credit hour degree with a built-in clinical requirement. Distance learners may schedule their clinicals locally with approved sites and mentors. The Education curriculum cannot be dispensed until the core graduate nursing courses are taught. Core curriculum includes advanced topics in: nursing theory, nursing research, roles of advanced practice nurses, patient assessments, and pharmacology. To this general foundation, education-specific courses are added: design and development of nursing curriculum, methods of course evaluation, teaching and learning theories, and design and administration of online nursing programs.
The unique aspect of this particular curriculum is the inclusion of coursework that directly addresses the role of a nurse educator, ironically, in distance learning environments. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.
Yes, there are expanding opportunities for Nurse Educators, many, not surprisingly right within the realm of distance learning. Traditional faculty jobs exist also, many at community colleges where recruitment of the largest volume of next generation nursing students is carried out. But positions for nurses with teaching capabilities exist in many sectors of healthcare. Community health agencies often need nurses skilled in information design and with teaching abilities; and hospitals employ health care professionals with abilities to devise and administer in-house training and continuing education programs. Nurse educators are one of the most sought after nursing professionals and GCU provides a timely program.
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