Inspiring the next generation of nurses.

Nurse educator roles are in high demand. The Master’s of Science in Nursing program Nurse Educator track prepares graduates with the knowledge and experiences necessary to assume educator roles in academic or non-academic settings. Graduates are educationally prepared to sit for the NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination and are eligible to take the certification examination once they have met all of the criteria specified by NLN.

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The Program

The Nurse Educator (NE) track is a 42 credit track offered in a full-time and part-time plan of study in a fully online format*. Graduates of the NE track are prepared to fulfill the Nurse Educator role in clinical and academic environments.  Students complete a 225 clock hours of experiential learning in clinical and academic settings.

*Students may be required to complete up to 8 hours on on-campus time to complete Advanced Health Assessment requirements. Student must also complete 225 hours of preceptor-guided experiences in clinical and academic settings.

Full-time spring plan of study
Part-time spring plan of study
Full-time fall plan of study
Part-time fall plan of study

MSN core courses, 25 credits:

Examination of the profession of advanced nursing practice and its contribution to the nursing profession, healthcare team, and society. Students explore theoretical principles from nursing and other disciplines that contribute developing leadership, collaborative, communication, change agent and advocate skills. Emaphsis is placed on professional and ethical behaviors as a basis for role development and role clarity.

Evaluation and integration of evidence into practice to improve outcomes in diverse populations is explored. Students will critically evaluate study rigor and findings using evidence-based models. Quality improvement processes, outcomes measurement, and dissemination options are examined. Emphasis is placed on the ethical considerations of study design, methods and outcomes and the development of skills necessary to translate evidence into a variety of practice settings.


Examination of the economic, legal, and regulatory factors that influence organizations. Emphasis is placed applying leadership skills to systematically appraise the function of organizations and identify effective quality improvement initiatives within the context of interprofessional teams. Students also will explore the roles of nurse leaders in using data-driven budgeting, cost containment and productivity, staffing and staff development to promote safe and effective delivery of health care and services.

The graduate student is provided the opportunity to expand knowledge of the health behavior models and methods for maintaining or enhancing health. Variants in health including environmental, social, and human diversity issues are emphasized. The development and application of social and political policy for interdisciplinary approaches to health promotion are explored. The student is afforded the opportunity to examine the process of health promotion that enables individuals, families and communities to increase control over and improve their health across the life span. Epidemiology will be used as a tool to examine health promotion and disease prevention.


Focus on the political and social structures that shape health policy and their impact on health delivery and outcomes. Emphasis is placed on the relationships between health policy and financial, legal, regulatory, ethical, quality and safety factors. Students also will explore global, national and regional health policy and trend related to population health and health outcomes.

Focuses on the study of pathophysiological processes and alteration of physiology that occur with injury and/or disease. Emphasis is placed on the interactions between etiologies, genetic, environmental, developmental factors, and disease across the lifespan. Students will incorporate literature-supported evidence and clinical reasoning skills to distinguish alterations in multiple organ systems.


NUR 540 Advanced Pathophysiology, Admission to MSN program or Department approval

Expansion of assessment knowledge and skills, through didactic, laboratory practice and simulation. Students develop skills in obtaining and documenting comprehensive and episodic assessments in individuals across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on patient-centered assessment including age, gender, culture, health promotion, and health risk. Students develop advanced history and physical assessment skills and apply them to the differential diagnosis process, using evidence-based guidelines and practices.


Focus on the pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of broad categories of pharmacologic agents across the lifespan. Students will gain knowledge of the pharmacologic action of drugs and the evidence-based application of pharmacotherapeutics in health promotion, disease prevention, and management of disease across the lifespan.


First of two courses where students develop a scholarly portfolio to demonstrate achievement of program outcomes and specific role competencies. Scholarly portfolios will include exemplar work demonstrating achievement of the program outcomes and role competencies, scholarly reflections specific to professional growth and lifelong learning, and curriculum vitae.


Final of two courses where students develop a scholarly portfolio to demonstrate achievement of program outcomes and specific role competencies. Scholarly portfolios will include exemplar work demonstrating achievement of the program outcomes and role competencies, scholarly reflections specific to professional growth and lifelong learning, and curriculum vitae.

Nurse educator specialty, 17 credits:

Exploration and critique of philosophical and theoretical foundations of teaching and learning in a variety of nursing education settings. Emphasis is placed on who the learner is, the diversity of learners, and an understanding of the use of self as an educator. Students gain a comprehensive view of the educator’s role in curriculum development, evaluation, and design and will be challenged in think critically about ways to ensure that learning is meaningful.

Principles and processes of curriculum development and instructional design are introduced to familiarize the nurse educator with the teaching/learning processes in nursing education, staff development, and patient education. The focus is to design practical strategies to facilitate learning across cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains with the use of technology. Emphasis is on application of innovative teaching techniques and evaluation of educational experiences in nursing education.

Application of assessment strategies that facilitate and determine student learning builds on principles of assessment and evaluation of learning in academic, online, and clinical settings. Students will explore content about assessment verses evaluation: formative and summative assessment, test item development and analysis, evaluation rubrics, standardized testing blueprints, and evaluation of clinical performance. Legal and ethical issues in higher education and nursing practice are explored.

Effective use of leadership skills to promote learner-centered teaching as a change agent. Information technology skills are enhanced by exploring the use of learning management systems, virtual reality platforms, and simulations in academia. Emphasis will be placed on the application of instructional technologies from the perspective of theory, research, practice, and promoting future trends.

Preceptor-led and faculty guided application of nurse educator knowledge and skills within a healthcare organization. Emphasis is on designing health information and patient education materials through synthesis of empirical evidence using health literacy skills and expert knowledge in nursing practice.


Preceptor-led and faculty guided application of nurse educator knowledge and skills in the classroom, clinical practice and/or skills lab setting to enhance role development. Emphasis is on the development of content design, implementation of teaching strategies, and evaluation methods used in education. Issues and trends, including legal and ethical, impacting the future role of the nurse educator is highlighted.

The Marian University Nursing Programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This accreditation is based on four standards which measure the Nursing Programs’ ability to achieve the mission, goals, and expected outcomes of the programs. The extent to which the Nursing Programs achieve the mission, goals, and outcomes determines the quality of the educational program and preparation of students to enter the profession of nursing.

Standard I: Program Quality – Mission and Governance

The mission, goals, and expected program outcomes are congruent with those of the parent institution, reflect professional nursing standards and guidelines, and consider the needs and expectations of the community of interest. Policies of the parent institution and nursing program clearly support the program’s mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The faculty and students of the program are involved in the governance of the program and in the ongoing efforts to improve program quality.

Standard II: Program Quality – Institutional Commitment and Resources

The parent institution demonstrates ongoing commitment to and support for the nursing program. The institution makes resources available to enable the program to achieve its mission, goals, and expected outcomes. The faculty, as a resource of the program, enable the achievement of the mission, goals, and expected program outcomes.

Standard III: Program Quality – Curriculum and Teaching-Learning Practices

The curriculum is developed in accordance with the program’s mission, goals, and expected student outcomes. The curriculum reflects professional nursing standards and guidelines and the needs and expectations of the community of interest. Teaching-learning practices are congruent with expected student outcomes. The environment for teaching-learning fosters achievement of expected student outcomes.

Standard IV: Program Effectiveness – Assessment and Achievement of Program Outcomes

The program is effective in fulfilling its mission and goals as evidenced by achieving expected program outcomes. Program outcomes include student outcomes, faculty outcomes, and other outcomes identified by the program. Data on program effectiveness are used to foster ongoing program improvement.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013). Standards for accreditation of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. Washington, D.C.: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

NLN Core Competencies of Nurse Educators (2005)

Nurse educators:

  • Are responsible for creating an environment in classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings that facilitates student learning and the achievement of desired cognitive, affective, and psychomotor outcomes.
  • Recognize their responsibility for helping students develop as nurses and integrate the values and behaviors expected of those who fulfill that role.
  • Use a variety of strategies to assess and evaluate student learning in classroom, laboratory and clinical settings, as well as in all domains of learning.
  • Are responsible for formulating program outcomes and designing curricula that reflect contemporary health care trends and prepare graduates to function effectively in the health care environment.
  • Function as change agents and leaders to create a preferred future for nursing education and nursing practice.
  • Recognize that their role is multidimensional and that an ongoing commitment to develop and maintain competence in the role is essential.
  • Acknowledge that scholarship is an integral component of the faculty role, and that teaching itself is a scholarly activity.
  • Are knowledgeable about the educational environment within which they practice and recognize how political, institutional, social and economic forces impact their role.


The mission and philosophy of the Marian University nursing programs serve as a foundation for the development of graduate nursing program goals, which are to:

  • Provide nursing programs grounded in Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • Prepare learners for life-long learning in formal and informal settings.
  • Provide nursing education that prepares students to practice nursing in various setting with diverse populations.

The Master of Science in Nursing program offers two specializations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator. Both specialties prepare graduates for advanced nursing practice. The program also promotes continuing education and professional growth. Students in both specializations of the Master of Science in Nursing program receive the MSN degree.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Marian University Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, graduates demonstrate the processes of acquiring/generating knowledge, critical thinking, valuing, decision making, and communicating to:

  • Demonstrate strong critical thinking and decision-making skills;
  • Nurse Practitioner Pathway: Critically and accurately assess, plan, intervene, and evaluate the health and illness experiences of clients (individuals, families, and communities) to improve health care delivery and outcomes of patient care at the health care provider level;
  • Nurse Educator Pathway: Critically and accurately assess, plan, implement, and evaluate educational programs available to nursing students, staff, and clients to improve delivery of education and to promote health outcomes.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing with professional and non-professional individuals.
  • Analyze, synthesize, and utilize knowledge required throughout the course of study

The following percentage rates show students that were employed as Nurse Educators after graduation:

December 2013 – 33%
May 2014 – 50%
December 2014 – 100%
May 2015 – 100%

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Marian University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.}

Applications to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program are open and reviewed on a rolling basis for both fall and spring semester cohorts. Deadlines for applicant submission is July 1 for Fall semester start and December 15 for Spring semester start.

Admission to the graduate program is competitive with selection of students based on academic acumen, congruent professional goals with program track, work experience (if applicable) and professional references.

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program are required to submit a completed admission packet to the Admissions Office by the deadline specific to the starting term. Application requirements are as follows:

Spring 2019

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program are required to submit a completed admission packet to the Admissions Office by the deadline specific to the starting term.  Application requirements are as follows:

  • $50 non-refundable application fee (this fee will be applied to tuition costs if they applicant matriculates into the MSN program).
  • Earned Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from a NLNAC or CCNE accredited program.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities attended.
  • Unencumbered Wisconsin Registered Nurse (RN) license.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) for the BSN degree.
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate course in statistics within the last five (5) years. Statistics course must include content on descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Two (2) professional references.
  • Resume/curriculum vitae.
  • *Professional goal statement.

*Professional goal statement

All applicants will submit a 4 page, double-spaced maximum length goal statement that addresses the following (please use these as headings):

  • Reasons for choosing Marian University
  • Reasons for choosing the program track (Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator)
  • Personal and professional attributes that will contribute to your success in graduate school
  • Preparations for the rigors of graduate education
  • Short and long-term professional goals


“Marian University created such a welcoming environment that I have achieved two degrees here and become part of the undergraduate faculty. The balance of the hybrid program benefits any adult learner who wants the flexibility of online with personal attention of small class sizes. The online teaching certificate built into this program makes graduates market ready for a variety of academic careers. A highly recommended program.”

Rachel Loduha, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor
Marian University

Dr. Mary Polchert
Associate Professor

Dr. Janice Edelstein
Associate Professor


Apply Now

Marian University Admission Office