MSN and CAGS nurse educator
Messiah College's MSN nurse educator program will prepare you to mentor and teach nursing students and staff in academic and clinical settings, and it includes RN-MSN options. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in nurse education is designed for those who already have an advanced degree but who would like to pursue a career as a nurse educator. Messiah College’s MSN nurse educator is guided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing (2011).
MSN nurse educator
The 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 (21 credits) and the second includes five courses specific to nursing education which include clinical components (18 credits), for a total of 39 credits.
An optional course (3 credits) is offered 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 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 two years, but must be finished within six. Courses are offered throughout the year in 6-, 8- 14- or 17-week sessions. Courses without a clinical component are offered asynchronously online, with the exception of NURS 500, which includes a synchronous orientation component, and NURS 506, which includes two synchronous class sessions. Courses with a clinical component will meet asynchronously online with synchronous online sessions held two to three times during each course. Students living a commutable distance from the Messiah College campus have the option to attend synchronous class sessions on campus.
The 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 at any time, but will have to wait to move to level two until all level one courses are completed and would then join a different cohort when moving to level two of the curriculum.
RN-MSN nurse educator – post ADN or diploma (option one):
The RN-MSN option one 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.
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.
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 option one students with an undergraduate status are eligible to apply for financial aid available to undergraduate students, and likewise when RN-MSN option one students reach graduate status they are eligible to apply for financial aid available to graduate students. RN-MSN option one students (regardless of undergraduate or graduate status) are not eligible for Messiah College Institutional Aid.
RN-MSN nurse educator – post non-nursing baccalaureate degree (option two):
The RN-MSN option two is designed for registered nurses who have earned an associate degree in nursing or nursing diploma and a non-nursing bachelor's degree, and wish to streamline their education to earn a Master of Science in Nursing that will advance their career in nursing education. A minimum of 150 credit hours are required to complete the RN-MSN program consisting of: 120 undergraduate credit hours transferred from a regionally accredited non-nursing bachelor's degree program, three specified undergraduate nursing courses, one specified graduate nursing course (substituted for undergraduate nursing requirement), and 36 additional graduate nursing credit hours.
RN-MSN option two students may take required undergraduate nursing courses at Messiah College in a traditional classroom format within the undergraduate calendar time frame, or may take required undergraduate nursing courses online with the permission of the graduate nursing program director. The graduate nursing course being substituted for undergraduate credit will be delivered in an accelerated graduate calendar time frame and be offered online. Students pursuing the RN-MSN option two will work closely with the graduate nursing program director to develop a customized plan of study that best meets their individual situation.
RN-MSN option two students must complete required undergraduate nursing courses prior to beginning graduate nursing courses. Since RN-MSN option two students already hold a BA or BS degree in a non-nursing discipline, they will be categorized as graduate nursing students. RN-MSN option two students will be required to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in both undergraduate and graduate nursing courses taken. RN-MSN option two students will abide by the expectations set forth in the graduate student handbook at all times.
Financial aid note
RN-MSN option two students will be advised to work closely with the graduate financial aid officer if financial aid is needed. RN-MSN option two students are not eligible for Messiah College Institutional Aid.
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.
Two-year MSN option
The MSN program now offers a two-year degree option to help motivated students reach their education and career goal at an accelerated pace.