What are Some Prerequisites to a Master’s in Nursing Education Program?

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Updated August 4, 2020

Entering a Master's in Nursing Education program is a big step for RNs that will involve satisfying certain prerequisites mandated by their university's admission staff. Graduate applicants who meet the criteria will find that their MSN in Nursing Education is in high-demand to curtail the United States' teaching shortage though. According to the AACN, the nation's nurse faculty vacancy rate is 7.9 percent. It's estimated that 64,067 nursing students are rejected each year due to a deficit of available nurse educators. Registered nurses are increasingly pushed to join the ranks of MSN-level college professors who train tomorrow's clinical leaders. The BLS reports that post-secondary nursing instructors reap a mean annual wage of $75,030 after graduation. If you're interested in teaching, here are the four conditions most MSN in Nursing Education programs call for.

Resource: 30 Best Affordable Online Master's in Nursing Education

Accredited Bachelor's Degree in Nursing

What do the country's more than 300 accredited MSN programs have in common? They all require candidates to have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from colleges with CCNE or ACEN approval. The sole exception is the RN-to-MSN degree completion track, which allows associate-level entry with extra credits. Most Master's in Nursing Education degrees share similar course prerequisites that must be graded "C" or better too. For example, MSN applicants should have classes like anatomy, statistics, chemistry, biology, and health assessment on their record.

Valid Registered Nursing Licensure

It's impossible to start an MSN in Nursing Education for instructing RNs without actually going through the motions of becoming a registered nurse yourself. State boards of nursing typically require licensing candidates to submit a transcript, passport-style photograph, social security number, and background check or fingerprinting. Nursing school grads then sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN). This multiple-choice exam takes a maximum of six hours to finish 75 to 265 questions in eight nursing subcategories, such as pediatric and psychiatric.

Satisfactory Graduate Exam Scores

Passing the NCLEX-RN isn't the only testing prerequisite for many MSN in Nursing Education degrees either. Graduate programs will often evaluate applicants' readiness for the rigors of master's-level courses with entrance exam scores. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is perhaps the most popular for judging verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Available three times per month, the computer-delivered test uses a 130-170 scaled score for each subsection. The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a shorter alternative completed in 60 minutes for 120 multiple-choice questions.

Direct, Patient-Facing Healthcare Experience

Getting hands-on experience at the bedside between your BSN and MSN isn't always required, but it's highly recommended. Nursing Education programs prefer admitting nurses who will be able to instruct from actual experience, not just textbooks. Build your résumé to include at least two to five years of full-time work with patients. Nursing jobs are found in hospitals, physicians' practices, assisted living facilities, prisons, military bases, and more. Your search shouldn't be too challenging since the BLS predicts 439,300 new RN positions by 2024..

For 2017, CNN Money recognized nursing faculty for having America's 74th best job with 10-year job growth at 19 percent and an "A" rating for benefit to society. Spending 18 to 24 months of uninterrupted study in graduate school for an MSN can open this rewarding pathway to impart clinical knowledge on future RNs. Once your fulfill the prerequisites for a Master's in Nursing Education, you'll be trained to advise young nurses in both college classrooms and healthcare facilities for good patient outcomes.

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