College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Educator

The Nurse Educator concentration is designed for nurses who want to learn how to design curriculum and courses utilizing technology and teach as a nurse educator in acute care settings, long-term care, academic settings, and in a variety of community-based healthcare organizations. Students will also be prepared to step into emerging nurse educator roles such as nurse educator entrepreneurs and consultants designed to improve patient outcomes as new health care delivery models develop. This program is grounded in a Caring Science model to teach theoretical and the evidence-based practice of nursing. Students will learn how to design teaching plans, implement evidence based teaching strategies, design and evaluate curriculum and implement active teaching methods to engage students in a student-centered learning environment. This program provides opportunities to work with teaching mentors/preceptors.

Tuition Rate:
$12,350 (including fees)
Monthly Payment Plan:
$325 per month for 36 months


Applicants must meet the general GRADUATE REQUIREMENTS.

Program Requirements

This program is designed to be completed in 24 months. An accelerated pathway is available and can be completed within 12 months.

For more information about program requirements, completion and licensure refer to the UNIVERSITY CATALOG.

Core Requirements

MSN560: Transitions in Practice: The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse

This course focuses on the role and accountabilities of advanced practice nurses. Emphasis is on historical and contemporary contexts, major themes and theories crucial to successful development; execution of and leadership in advance practice nursing. Focus is also on the impact and evolution, certification, legal issues, ethics, best practices, standards, standardized procedures, prescriptive authority, and professional activities inclusive of advanced practice nursing roles.

MSN561: Theoretical Foundation of Advanced Practice Nursing

This course will analyze major nursing theories and explore theories from related fields. This course will apply the knowledge of nursing theory to evidence-based practice in domains of clinical, research, leadership, management and education. Students in this course will explore in depth the core concepts of Jean Watson’s Caring Science Theory. The student will develop a personal theoretical framework for their practice of advanced practice nursing- clinical practice, education, or administration.

MSN563: Evidence Based Inquiry for Scholarship and Practice

This course is designed to prepare the advanced practice nurse for utilization of existing knowledge to provide high quality health care, initiate change and improve nursing practice incorporating the principles of caring science. Emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of research and evidence, problem identification within the practice setting, awareness of practice outcomes, and the clinical application of evidence based practice. Reasoning and critical thinking will be applied to explore qualitative and quantitative research methods. Understanding of statistical methods and critical analysis of data for the purpose of validating evidence will be integrated into course content. Integration of knowledge from the humanities and science within the context of nursing science will be discussed. The student will define a clinical problem and design the evidence based practice project approach that will be developed in MSN 600: Evidence Based Capstone.

MSN565: Nursing Leadership and Health Policy

This course will focus on providing students with the skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities that confront nursing leaders in complex healthcare environments. Techniques to develop successful leadership methodologies will include the use of multiple technology platforms, social media, e-leadership along with other emerging tools for the optimization and development of the nurse leader. Emphasis will be placed on the responsibilities of the nurse leader to understand and drive health policy at the local, state, national and international level. Advanced nursing leadership to ensure nursing workforce diversity for optimal outcomes of patients and healthcare delivery teams and advocacy for vulnerable populations will be explored.

MSN600: Evidence-Based Capstone Project

This culminating integrative course provides the opportunity for students to develop and design an innovative evidence based project (PICO-T) that was identified and defined in MSN563. The capstone project must be founded in evidence based practice and either be supported by evidence in peer-reviewed literature or provide outcomes in identifying the effectiveness of the project. The students will be guided in the process of evidenced based project development, including formulation of goals and objectives, refinement of project design, implementation strategies, development of tools, data collection, identification of resources and evaluation. Through group discussion, students will participate in a process of peer consultation and critique in support of project refinement. Faculty will supervise students in developing their capstone project in conjunction with other educational resources that are selected by the students. The faculty will advise and approve the final project according to students’ specialty area. The projects may include electronic practice portfolio, a quality improvement project, an evaluation of a new practice model, clinical practice project, poster presentation, and manuscripts submitted for publication.

MSN Advanced Practice Requirements

MSN553: Advanced Health and Physical Assessment Across the Lifespan

The focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to expand upon basic health assessment skills and includes strategies for history taking and for physical, functional, developmental, and psychosocial assessment that recognizes and includes normal individual, cultural, and developmental variations and pathophysiological changes across the lifespan. Comprehensive and focused data collection and physical examination strategies culminating in a differential diagnosis will be addressed. An overview of appropriate protocols for performing health screening, ordering, performing, and interpreting laboratory, radiographic, and other diagnostic data, as well as verbal case presentation, documentation and record keeping is included. Students will complete a full head to toe assessment.

MSN570: Advanced Pathophysiology across the Lifespan

This focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to apply concepts of pathophysiology from the cellular level to disease process for assessment of patients with a variety of conditions across clinical settings. The concepts and principles of normal physiology, pathophysiology, and genetics are emphasized. Current research is used to explore disruptions in normal physiological functioning. The impact of positive health behaviors on pathophysiology is addressed. A systems approach and psychophysiological interrelationships are used to analyze the disease processes and their causative factors. The course stresses critical thinking and decision-making in clinical settings based on these concepts.

MSN571: Advanced Pharmacology across the Lifespan

The focus of this course for advanced practice nursing students is to expand theoretical and evidence-based knowledge and promote synthesis of pharmacotherapeutic concepts across the lifespan. The application of knowledge of pharmacological principles to prevent and/or treat specific conditions will be emphasized from a systems approach. Iatrogenic problems caused by the pharmacologic agents will be explored. Drug classifications, cost-effective drug therapy, management and monitoring of therapy including over the counter and herbal preparations and educating/counseling strategies will be included. Ethical, legal, cultural considerations and safety standards of pharmacotherapeutics will be discussed in relationship to the advanced practice nursing role. Legalities and regulations around prescription-writing privileges will be addressed, including standardized procedures and furnishing numbers. The course is also designed to meet the California BRN pharmacology course requirements for the NP to furnish drugs or devices pursuant to the business and professions code, Section 2836.1.


MSN530: Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies

This course will focus on curriculum development processes – planning, design, implementation and evaluation of curricula in nursing education and active teaching strategies to promote learner engagement and accountability in learner-centric settings.  Essential components of a nursing curriculum will be analyzed by each student based on selection of one existing pre-licensure, CCNE-accredited BSN nursing program.  U.S. trends in 21st Century higher education and the impact of national nursing and regional accreditation bodies on nursing education will be explored.  Construction of an in-depth, faculty-approved lesson plan with the inclusion of SMART learning objectives for a select group of patients, nursing staff or students in an academic setting will be required, implemented in a brief teaching session and learning outcomes evaluated by each student. Students will develop a personal professional teaching philosophy which includes preferences for contemporary adult learning theory, Watson’s Caring Science philosophy applied to the practice of teaching adult learners and preferred active teaching-learning strategies.  Current and emerging educational instructional technologies adapted for use in nursing education will be presented, ie, varied learning platforms, online technologies, multimedia;  interactive software, telehealth, simulation learning online, in clinical and lab settings and in traditional academic settings.

MSN 577: Test Construction, Assessment and Evaluation of Learning Outcomes

This course examines the principles and practices used for assessment of learning in nursing education and evaluation of learning outcomes. Students will develop expertise in writing learning objectives and constructing a variety of commonly used testing formats.  Students will  develop expertise in interpretation of item analysis for the improvement of educational outcomes. Assessment of learning and learning outcomes in classroom, skills lab, clinical and online settings will be explored.

MSN578: Teaching Residency for Nurse Educators

A total of 100 hours of clinical practice time is required in the teaching residency which affords the student decision-making opportunities in the specialist nurse educator role through the application of adult educational theories, evidence-based educational concepts and active teaching strategies for learners in a healthcare or academic setting. The specialist nurse educator role will be analyzed and applied in collaboration with a master’s or doctoral prepared nurse preceptor with experience teaching students or staff or patients in an academic or other healthcare specialty clinical setting. Evidence-based educational strategies will be developed into a comprehensive teaching-learning plan to engage learners in active learning, implemented, and learning outcomes evaluated.  Clinical teaching residency evaluations will be performed by preceptors using evaluation rubrics and outcomes evaluated by course faculty. Clinical residency hours and activities will be entered online by students weekly into Project Concert, monitored and evaluated weekly by course faculty.

Nurse educator majors who reside in the state of Tennessee, are required to complete teaching residency hours in a nursing clinical specialty area with a nurse preceptor who has expertise in the specialty and teaching experience with patients, staff or others.