Master of Science in Nursing—nurse educator track

Nursing Curriculum at Messiah CollegeThe curriculum for the Master of Science in Nursing is designed to prepare nurse educators at the graduate level to have the opportunity for entry level teaching positions in undergraduate nursing education programs or to serve as clinical nurse educators in clinical practice settings. There are two levels in our curriculum design: the first level includes seven core nursing courses (20 credits) and the second includes five courses specific to nursing education which include clinical components (19 credits), for a total of 39 credits.

Additionally, we offer an optional course (3 credits) for students who want to complement their total clinical hours earned with an additional clinical experience in a specific specialty area of nursing practice. Graduates of the MSN nurse educator track will be prepared to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator examination after meeting the eligibility requirements.

The program can be completed in three years, but must be finished within six. Courses are offered in 4, 8 or semester-long formats throughout the year. Courses without a clinical component will be entirely online, with the exception of NURS 500, which includes an orientation component. Courses with a clinical component will meet using a hybrid format.  Hybrid instruction includes both online coursework and traditional class meetings (or if the student is at a distance, synchronous connections via Adobe Connect) during the first and last weeks of the course. Each meeting lasts three hours one evening. Clinical experiences are completed during a single semester at approved sites.

The master’s in nursing program follows a cohort model. However, a student will be permitted to begin courses after the first course of level one with the understanding that progression to level two of the program will occur only after the student has completed all level one courses. In other words, a student may start to take courses in level one, but will have to wait to move to level two courses and therefore would join a different cohort after completion of all level one courses.

RN-MSN degree option: Master of Science in Nursing-nurse educator track

This degree program is designed for registered nurses who have earned an associate degree or nursing diploma and wish to streamline their education to earn a Master of Science in Nursing that will advance their career in nursing education. A total of 150 credit hours are required to complete the RN-MSN program; 120 credit hours are counted toward undergraduate requirements and 30 credit hours are counted toward graduate requirements. Courses may be transferred into the RN-MSN program as long as at least 60 credits are completed at a four-year institution and at least 30 credits are completed at Messiah College. Upon completion of 150 credits, students are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing.

Course Delivery

Undergraduate general education and undergraduate nursing courses taken at Messiah College will be delivered by a traditional undergraduate calendar timeframe. Undergraduate courses will be offered on campus during the day and also in the evenings. The exception to on-campus courses would be those that are taken during Messiah College’s undergraduate summer session, where courses are offered online and have no residency requirement. Graduate nursing courses being substituted for undergraduate credit will be delivered in an accelerated graduate calendar timeframe and be offered primarily online. Students pursuing the RN-MSN option will work closely with the nursing graduate program director to develop a customized plan of study that best meets their individual situation.

Student Status

In the RN-MSN program, students are expected to complete the undergraduate courses prior to completing the graduate courses and accordingly will be categorized as undergraduate students until they have earned 120 undergraduate credits. Once the RN-MSN student reaches this point, the graduate program in nursing will review the student’s file and GPA to assure expectations and the minimal 3.0 standard have been met. The RN-MSN student will receive notification in writing when his/her status has been changed from undergraduate to graduate. Upon achieving graduate status, the RN-MSN student is eligible to enroll in NURS 503, Advanced Pathophysiology, and proceed through the MSN curriculum. Regardless of undergraduate or graduate status, the RN-MSN students will abide by the expectations set forth in the graduate student handbook at all times.

Financial Aid Note

RN-MSN students with an undergraduate status are eligible to apply for financial aid available to undergraduate students, and likewise when RN-MSN students reach graduate status they are eligible to apply for financial aid available to graduate students. RN-MSN students (regardless of undergraduate or graduate status) are not eligible for Messiah College Institutional Aid. At all times, the graduate, not undergraduate, schedule of fees applies to the RN-MSN students.

Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Nursing Education

Messiah College also offers a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Nursing Education designed for registered nurses who hold an advanced degree in nursing (MSN, DNP, or Ph.D.) without a nurse educator focus. This 15-credit certificate consists of both theory and clinical experiences. Those who complete this certificate program will be prepared to take the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator exam after meeting the eligibility requirements.