2006 - 2007 Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSNEd)

Mission | Program Goals | Admission | Progression in the Program | Probation | Graduation Requirements | Program Requirements | Certificate | MSNED Requirements

Westminster College School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a master's degree in Nursing Education for nurses interested in a faculty appointment in higher education, a joint faculty appointment between a school of nursing and a nursing service organization, or a staff development position in a health care facility.

A Nurse Educator Certificate is awarded at the completion of the first five courses (fifteen credits) in three semesters. The MSNED may be completed in two additional semesters. If the student desires to pursue the MSNED, upon admission to the graduate nursing program, the first fifteen credits may be applied towards the MSNED.

The NLN's Competency Model and Patricia Benner's Novice to Expert Nursing Model are the frameworks used for this two-phase program. These models provide the basic competency parameters for nurse educators to be prepared at a level 1 (novice nurse educator) or level 2 (experienced nurse educator). This approach enables the School of Nursing and Health Sciences to provide a two-track program which levels the curriculum and credentials of its graduates. A student may focus on either staff development or teaching nursing students in a collegiate setting.


The Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSNED) at Westminster College educates practicing nurses to teach professional nursing. This curriculum-based program prepares nurses to be more effective nurse educators in a clinical, college or university setting within the teaching-coaching domains of practice. Nurse educators are expected to be content experts as well as competent to provide staff education to groups, including nursing students (graduate and undergraduates), peers, and interdisciplinary members of the health care team. The MSNED program builds on the philosophy that the excellent nursing educator thinks critically, communicates effectively, understands personal values, is sensitive to the values of others, and incorporates ethical principles into practice. The program enhances the nursing educator's understanding of theoretical, empirical, and practical knowledge related to the burgeoning amount of health care information and offers methods to navigate the information in a thoughtful, comprehensive and supportive manner within their educational pedagogy.

Program Goals

The goals of the program are accomplished through courses, seminars and research opportunities evolving within the School of Education and School of Nursing and Health Sciences programs offered at Westminster College.

The graduate of the Master of Science in Nursing Education will be prepared to:

  1. Assume leadership in curriculum, instruction and evaluation by:
    a. acquiring, updating and enhancing integration of theory and practice of instructional methodologies, adult learning theories, cognitive abilities, learning styles and motivation
    b. exploring the influence of diversity within assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing education
  2. Apply scholarly inquiry skills in the context of nursing education by:
    a. developing, planning and evaluating curricula within contextually diverse settings
    b. using critical reflection to articulate organized, scholarly writing and
    c. conducting pedagogical research collaboration through data collection or other applicable methods, analyze, and disseminating research findings and in a rigorous and scholarly manner articulate excellent verbal and written format and/or presentations.
  3. Apply the knowledge and skills associated with collaboration to implement and enhance best practices in the teacher and the scholar roles by:
    a. contributing significantly to the development of the faculty-scholars who will assume leadership roles in teaching-coaching domain of practice and contribute to the ongoing development of the science of nursing education.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the program is based on an evaluation of demonstrated academic ability and professional experience. Students enter the program at the beginning of fall semester and may complete the 15 credit requirement for the Nurse Educator Certificate within three semesters, including one summer.

Requirements for admission are (1) an unrestricted RN license (2) position as an instructor in staff development or other practice that support entry into an advanced degree program focused on instruction. Individuals with a master's degree are qualified to enroll in the Nurse Educator Certificate component of the MSNED program.

A candidate for admission must submit the following materials to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. A completed graduate admission application form with $40 application fee.
  2. Evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college, university, or recognized international college or university.
  3. A copy of your current unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in Utah (must be in good standing).
  4. A commitment to the teaching role in nursing.
  5. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education indicating a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  6. A goal statement.
  7. Three professional recommendations from colleagues who can describe your nursing/clinical/teaching and practice goals.
  8. A personal résumé detailing professional work experience, to include relevant job titles, work experience, responsibilities and related activities.

Upon completion of these steps, the individual's application materials are submitted to the Graduate Admissions and Progression Committee. A personal interview with nursing faculty will be arranged. The student will be asked to provide a written exemplar reflective of their nursing expertise. Once accepted to the MSNED program and/or Nurse Educator Certificate option, applicants must submit a $250 tuition deposit which guarantees a place in the entering class.

Progression in the Program

The student must:

  1. Maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0
  2. Receive a grade of B or higher in all courses.
  3. Maintain a current Utah RN license in good standing.
  4. Complete the master's program within four (4) years or the Certificate option within two (2) years.
  5. Complete all thesis/project proposal/defense work during the fall and spring semesters only.

Academic Probation and Suspension Policy

Students in the Master of Science in Nursing Education program and the Nurse Educator Certificate option are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0. Students whose GPA falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students placed on academic probation must earn a semester GPA of at least 3.0 the next semester in which they enroll. Academic probationary students who fail to earn a semester GPA of at least 3.0 that semester will be dismissed from the Master of Science in Nursing as well as the Nurse Educator Certificate option.

Academic probationary students whose semester GPA is 3.0 or higher but whose cumulative GPA still remains below 3.0 will be continued on academic probation. Academic probationary students whose cumulative GPA reaches 3.0 or higher will be returned to good academic standing. To qualify for graduation, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Program Probation and Dismissal Policy

A student may receive a practicum/classroom warning of probationary status at any time during a field or classroom experience if the instructor determines that the student's performance is unsatisfactory. The written warning will outline what the student must do to meet the course requirements. Students who have been placed on program probation will be formally evaluated at the end of that course. Program probation will be removed if the student is able to successfully meet the objectives by the end of the course. Students must be removed from program probation to progress to the next course. However, any program probationary status will be documented in the student record.

A student will be dismissed from the nursing program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Violations of the academic honesty policies.

  2. Violation of the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses guidelines for ethical practice, or the National Student Nurses' Association Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct.

  3. Failure to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of B or higher.

  4. A documented pattern of unprofessional behavior in the classroom or clinical setting.

  5. Unsafe practice during the field experience.

  6. A grade of B- or below in a second nursing course OR a repeated nursing course during the entire program.

Appeals for Readmission

Students dismissed from the nursing program related to field/classroom deficiencies must petition the Admission and Progression Committee for readmission if they wish to reenter the program. Matters of personal concern to the student will be considered at this time. The Admission and Progression Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences regarding readmission to the nursing program.

Students have the right to appeal decisions of academic evaluation or dismissal through the Academic Grievance Process of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The procedure for appeal is outlined in the Graduate Nursing Student Handbook.

Graduation Requirements

Candidates for graduation should apply to the Registrar's Office approximately two regular semesters prior to planned completion of graduation requirements. Applications for December graduation are due in September and applications for May and August graduation are due in October. Please see the Academic Calendar for more specific dates. Candidates are notified of remaining degree requirements within four weeks after applying for graduation.

To be eligible for a master's degree or graduate certificate, students must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Meet all credit hour and other course requirements.

  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above.

  • Be enrolled at Westminster College during the semester in which they wish to graduate.

  • Maintain good academic standing.

  • Earn a grade of B or higher in all graduate courses.

Note: Only graduate-level coursework may be applied toward degree or certificate requirements.

The final responsibility for being informed about, and adhering to, graduation requirements rests with the individual. Continued communication with the faculty advisor is advised.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for graduation. Although a minimum of 30 credit hours is required, students may desire, or need to complete, additional hours to enhance their graduate degree. Planning this graduate degree program is the responsibility of the student in collaboration with his/her advisor.

Nurse Educator Certificate Plan of Study

First Year of MSNED Program


Year 1 Prerequisites: none

MED 613 Theories of Adult Learning and Development (3/0)

MED 634 Teaching Adults (3/0)

MED 635 Adult Education Program Planning and Evaluation (3/0)

MSN 611 The Influence of Diversity on Assessment in Nursing Education (3/0)

MSN 673 part 1 Practicum/Seminar for the Nurse Educator

MSN 673 part 2 Practicum/Seminar for the Nurse Educator

1 formative seminar discussion and 1 summative seminar discussion-(2/0)

1 credit of field experience (1/0)

1st Year Subtotal:

15 credits

Nurse Educator Certificate Option Total:

15 credits

The program is offered for academic credit. A Nurse Educator's Certificate is awarded at the completion of all five courses over the three semesters. In collaboration with the Westminster College Graduate School of Education, the Adult Learning Certificate is awarded, as well as the Nurse Educator Certificate from the Westminster College School of Nursing and Health Sciences. If the student desires to pursue an MSN, upon admission to the graduate nursing program, these credits may be applied toward the MSNED degree. An MSN in Nursing Education may be completed in two (2) more semesters.

Master of Science in Nursing Education Plan of Study

Second Year of MSNED Program


Year 2 Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of the Nurse Educator Certificate option

MSN 590 Research in the Practice Setting for Nurse Educators (4/0)

MSN 640 Teaching in Healthcare Learning Environments2 credits of seminar discussion + 6 credits of field experience (2/6)

MSN 610 Masters Project/Thesis for the Nurse Educator (3/0)


2nd Year Subtotal:

15 credits

Master of Science in Nursing Education (2-year) Total:

30 credits