Competency Skills Basis for WGU's Graduate Nursing Degree in Education

Western Governors University.

School Overview
 Serves: USA
 Accredited by: NWCCU
 Enrollment: Monthly
 Financial Aid: Yes
 Scholarships: Yes

Become a Nurse Educator: Online MSN Leads to Teaching Positions

Nurse Educators have never been more in demand than they are now. There is a rapidly growing shortage of nurses: those retiring or leaving the profession outpace the number of new recruits. While the industry has stepped up efforts to attract new nurses, advertise good jobs, autonomy, and career mobility, the lack of adequately trained educators has resulted in scores of potential nurse candidates being waitlisted at college campuses across the U.S.

Western Governors University is a 100% online campus with goals to produce professionals that possess expert level skills and knowledge within their fields. The institution is the only one of its kind to offer competency-based, online education, including the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Education degree.

Nurse Educators, by most standards, are no longer the dusty academics they once may have been. Like other areas of business and industry, the nursing world desires educators with high-level scholarly skills, but with a foot still in the clinical arena. In other words, most educators divide their time between the instructional environment and within some facet of nursing. This way they provide the most contemporary, cutting edge information demanded by today's students.

Requirements for the MSN Education

Applicants must have a completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and a valid RN license. There is no GPA requirement. Candidates must be willing to focus on assignments and material as part of their Academic Action Plan and meet regular assessment goals to remain on course for their degree. Online programs offer flexibility and a 24/7 convenience, but may be more demanding than traditional programs when it comes to self-motivation and critical thinking.


WGU programs are built on a foundation of competency-based learning. Participants work closely with academic mentors to plan a customized "curriculum." Each student is assessed for academic competency and an Academic Action Plan is developed. This plan becomes the educational proposal or curriculum to which each student sticks. Mentors provide assignments and any relevant coursework within "domains of study" necessary to meet regular assessments. Besides the concentration in nursing education, participants must meet competencies relative to general MSN degrees, such as advanced nursing practice, advanced research, and policies, ethics, and general healthcare systems.

Areas of academic competency for the education concentration include skills and knowledge related to: design and development of nursing curriculum, teaching strategies, learning and instruction, and curriculum evaluation. WGU is accredited by four regional accrediting agencies.

Career Opportunity

Nurse educators with their MSN in Education will find plentiful jobs within various facets of healthcare and education. Community colleges employ many nurses with these credentials. Jobs within hospital environments, as instructional designers and coordinators, offer another career option, especially within institutions where in-house continuing education and training programs figure prominently. Nurse faculty at higher levels of instruction, such as those within baccalaureate and graduate nursing schools, are required to earn their Ph.D. in nursing education.


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