Eastern Michigan University School of Nursing moves Master of Science in Nursing Education program fully online

Program’s shift online to help meet the current increased demand for nurse educators due to rise in nursing student numbers

Illustration of a woman participating in an online class.

YPSILANTI – The Eastern Michigan University School of Nursing has moved its Master of Science in Nursing Education program fully online, making it accessible nationwide.

EMU’s Master of Science in Nursing Education program (MSN) prepares students for work as educational leaders in nursing programs. During the program, students learn to design, assess and evaluate educational programs for nurses through an interdisciplinary approach.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for professional registered nurses continues to grow.”  The program’s shift to being fully online and accessible to students across the country will help to meet the current increased demand for nurse educators in the industry.

“EMU has always been focused on education first and preparing educators” said Jennifer Avery, EMU associate professor and Associate Director of Graduate Nursing Studies. “That’s really one of the reasons the MSN was the School of Nursing’s first master degree. We have tons of students in our RN to BSN program that wanted to continue their education with us online, so this shift will be extremely valuable for not only our students, but others looking to further their education through an online MSN.”

The program allows for interested applicants to start one of two ways, provides flexibility of who the program is available, affordable, and produces successful graduates!

How to start and the flexibility

The program can be completed in two years and be started in two different ways based on student preference. 

The more traditional way to complete the program is to take the core nursing master’s level courses followed by two semesters of teaching-focused content (how to develop a syllabus, how to evaluate students, etc.). Within the teaching-focused semesters, students complete a teaching practicum that is focused on gaining experience to prepare students to be nursing faculty at an academic institution.

The alternative way to complete the program is to take the teaching certificate courses first through completing the Graduate Certificate in Teaching in Healthcare Systems. This route allows students to determine if teaching is for them, and also allows them extra time to complete any needed program pre-requisites.  After completing the teaching certificate, students have the option to keep going to earn their MSN.

The teaching certificate is also unique in that, unlike those pursuing their MSN, students achieving only their teaching certificate don’t have to be a nurse. It’s meant to be a general degree to fit within any discipline. The only main admission requirement for the certificate is to have earned a bachelor’s degree.

Both routes to complete the MSN program take two years to complete.

Federal Nurse Faculty Loan Program

Another benefit of EMU’s MSN program outside of being now fully online and flexible in the way you complete it, is its participation in the Federal Nurse Faculty Loan Program, a program that provides funding to accredited schools of nursing to offer forgivable loans to students enrolled in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to become nurse faculty.

Graduates must attain a nurse faculty position within 1 year of graduation and up to 85% of the loan is forgiven by the federal government over four years of full time teaching.  “This program is great, because it makes the degree much more affordable for students looking to earn their MSN,” said Avery.

The program at work at EMU

The program has historically proved extremely successful, particularly in terms of how many students end up graduating with their MSN and teaching with EMU or other area nursing schools.   In fact, 16 instructors currently teaching at EMU received their MSN degrees here and taught over 20 courses this Fall. 

Now one of very few online programs based in Michigan for Nursing Education, more information on the degree at EMU can be found on the program’s homepage.  

For questions on how to apply, contact Deanna Kowaleski at dkowales@emich.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

January 06, 2021

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Morgan Mark