School of Nursing

Nurse Educator Role Specialty

In our Nurse Educator role specialty, you’ll learn strategies for teaching various groups, including nursing students, practicing nurses, other healthcare providers, and patients.

Nurse Educator Role Specialty at a Glance:

  • Online coursework + optional on-campus immersions
  • 36 credit hours + 225 practicum contact hours
  • 6 trimesters (2 years), although acceleration options are available*
  • Sept., Jan. & May start dates, plus midterm starts

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress, traditional vs. accelerated pathway, credits transferred and other factors.

Teach what you practice

What does a nurse educator do? Key players in promoting innovations in healthcare education, nurse educators help the next generation of nurses prepare for success in the diverse, constantly evolving world of healthcare.

In our Nurse Educator role specialty, you’ll learn strategies for teaching various groups, including nursing students, practicing nurses, other healthcare providers, and patients. You will be equipped to teach across diverse settings with other nursing professionals, from nursing schools to healthcare organizations to community health clinics. You’ll develop your skills in curriculum design, presentation, clear communication, and mentorship in preparation for your nursing instructor career. Many nurse educators teach part-time while also working in a practice setting, a balance that allows them to share their clinical expertise with students and to oversee team learning experiences in the clinic.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Post-Graduate Nursing Certificate students at USAHS may pursue the Nurse Educator specialty.

On-Campus Immersions

To accelerate course completion and meet your nursing faculty and peers, you may choose to participate in one or more optional on-campus or virtual immersion weekends. These weekends are a chance for you to broaden your perspective in the nursing practice by collaborating with your interprofessional peers, hone your presentation skills, network with alumni and healthcare professionals, meet one-on-one with your program director, and more.


As a role specialty within the MSN, this nursing program requires 225 clock hours of practica over two courses in the final terms—one in a practice setting and the other in an academic setting. (Post-Graduate Nursing Certificate students in this role specialty do not complete practica.) You can complete your practica with preceptors who are nurse educators and who meet accreditation and state licensure requirements. You’ll gain experiential knowledge about the role of a nursing instructor from a mentor who is working in this capacity. A dedicated advisor will work with you to secure practica sites. (Students should plan on the need to travel and on some occasions, relocate for practica.)

Nurse Education Certifications

Graduates of our Nurse Educator role specialty will be ready to pursue the following certifications:

  • Nursing Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) by the National League for Nursing (NLN)
  • Nursing Professional Development (RN-BC) by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

Nurse Educator Role Specialty Learning Outcomes

In addition to the program learning outcomes, graduates of the Nurse Educator role specialty will be able to:

  • Develop curricula based on institutional mission, professional standards, educational theory and research, societal needs, and ongoing nursing program evaluation.
  • Design learning environments that provide challenges and opportunities for growth for the learner while ensuring safety, support, and resources for learning.
  • Facilitate learning using a variety of teaching strategies based on theory, best evidence, teacher expertise, and appropriateness to the learner.

  • Utilize formative assessment methods to provide valuable feedback to support learner development and growth.
  • Design summative evaluations that are fair and objective to determine achievement of learning outcomes.
  • Implement the role of an academic nursing educator, a professional development specialist, or a patient educator in a professional, respectful, and ethical manner.

More Nursing Role Specialties

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The Family Nurse Practitioner program will help you work with people of all ages to diagnose and treat conditions, prescribe medication, and order tests, working from a strong focus on health promotion and education to improve outcomes.

Nurse Executive Role Specialty

As a nurse executive, you’ll have the opportunity to innovate new processes, influence policies, and improve patient care. As you lead diverse teams and mentor staff, you can advance the role of nursing in your healthcare organization.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner–Primary Care Role Specialty

In our Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner–Primary Care (PMHNP-PC) role specialty, you will learn to provide a full range of specialized services that together constitute mental health and psychiatric care and treatment.

Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Role Specialty

Manage the care of patients from young adulthood to old age. Top practice settings for AGNPs include hospital outpatient clinics, hospital inpatient units, and private group practices.

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