Program Overview

The online RN-MSN in Nursing Education program at Spring Arbor University is CCNE accredited that acts as a bridge from an RN to MSN status. You’ll learn the necessary skills for a nursing educator while continuing to practice as a nursing professional.

  • Develop lesson plans, teach courses and oversee students’ clinical practices.
  • Enjoy direct access to nurse educators known for actively improving the quality of nursing
  • Gain a strong core in patient-centered care and evidenced based practice combined with learning essential teaching skills such as educational theories and curriculum design.
  • Go from theory to practice as you apply classroom knowledge to real world situations including diagnosis and treatment of normal and pathophysiological changes
  • Earn your MSN while continuing to work as a nursing professional for less money and less time than if you were pursuing your BSN first.

Work with a dedicated Student Success Coach who will walk beside you every step of the way. Join and gain personal connections with your peers, faculty and other healthcare professionals in an enhanced virtual learning environment.

Fill out the form on this page to download a program brochure; or, use our easy online scheduling tool to book an appointment with an admissions advisor now.

Program Delivery

RN-MSN in Nursing Education online courses take place in Blackboard, an interactive learning community that allows you access to your classes and curriculum at your schedule. SAU’s online master’s of nursing and nursing education takes into account the life of busy nursing professionals. As a result, enjoy one six-week course at a time so no worrying about making a specific class between shifts or rotations. There is one 3-day practicum on campus in Michigan, and you can complete your practicum in your area.

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Careers & Outcomes

Nursing educators teach the generation of RNs, BSNs, and some MSN students. With an online degree in nursing education, graduates can teach and practice. In addition nurse educators and nursing professionals choose to specialize in a number of fields including gerontology, community health, obstetrics and medical/surgical fields, among others.

The average annual wage for a nursing instructor is more than $60,000.  Career settings for nurse educators include a number of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in addition to hospitals or community health care settings.

If you’re interested in entering the diverse world of a master’s of nursing specializing in nursing education, fill out the form on this page to download a program brochure; or, use our easy online scheduling tool to book an appointment with an admissions advisor now.

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Admissions & Tuition Information

Admission Requirements

  • Associate degree in nursing or diploma in nursing leading to RN licensure
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended
  • A 3.0 GPA calculated from the most recent 60 academic credits
  • An unrestricted, unencumbered, current nursing license from the state of employment; license must be kept current throughout the program
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A two-page goal statement that explains your rationale for pursuing a graduate nursing degree
  • Completed application

Fill out the form on this page to download a program brochure; or, use our easy online scheduling tool to book an appointment with an admissions advisor now.

Cost & Financial Aid

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is $565 per credit hour and the Master’s of Science in Nursing is $665 per credit hour. Nurses who qualify may receive financial aid, visit the financial aid page for more information.

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Program Curriculum

All students in the MSN program complete the core course requirements with students from various practice backgrounds along with integration of the three area concentrations in an interactive learning environment. Core courses are taken sequentially. The Nursing Department reserves the right to change curriculum requirements based on professional or accreditation recommendations.

Complete the core course requirements with nursing students from an array of practice areas and choose three area concentrations to focus on. Core courses are taken sequentially..

Online RN-MSN/ED Nursing Education Courses

  • NUR 318 Adult Development, Life Planning, and Research Writing (3)
  • NUR 321 Professionalism/Professional Values (3)
  • NUR 341 Patient Centered Care I (3)
  • IDS 300 Biblical Perspectives (3)
  • NUR 452 Evidence Based Practice I (broken up over 21 weeks) (3)
  • NUR 442 Patient Centered Care II (3)
  • NUR 360 Information Management/Patient Care Technologies (3)
  • NUR 344 Clinical Prevention/Population Health (3)
  • NUR 453 Evidence Based Practice II (broken up over 21 weeks) (3)
  • NUR 434 Quality Leadership (3)
  • IDS 400 Values: Personal and Social (3)
  • NUR 510  Moral & Ethical Decision Making (residency) (3)
  • NUR 522  Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Practice (3)
  • NUR 532 Organizational & Systems Leadership (3)
  • NUR 551  Applied Research Methods (3)
  • NUR 612  Advanced Pathophysiology (3)
  • NUR 618  Advanced Pharmacology (3)
  • NUR 602  Advanced History & Physical Exam (residency) (3)
  • NUR 693 Population Health (3)
  • NUR 683 Health Policy & Politics (3)
  • NUR 625 – Educational Theory & Curriculum Design (3)
  • NUR 635 – Innovative Strategies (3)
  • NUR 650 – Education Practicum for Adult Learners (3)

Course Descriptions

NUR 318 Adult Development, Life Planning, and Research Writing

In this first course, the student will explore elements of his or her personal and professional life journey and how this affects readiness for returning to college as a working adult. This exploration includes examining the student’s learning style and personality preferences as well as reflecting on major life tasks and identification of key tasks yet to be accomplished. In addition, the student will begin to understand the unique challenges that an adult faces when returning to school and the importance of time management. Integrated writing assignments will assist the student in developing practical skills such as using online library services; assessing writing, grammar, and mechanics; and beginning to master APA formatting and style along with the necessary critical thinking and writing skills essential to the successful college experience. The student will begin to develop his or her electronic portfolio.

NUR 321 Professionalism/Professional Values

This course further develops and strengthens core professional values by emphasizing the pursuit of practice excellence.  The ANA Standards & Scope of Nursing Practice and Ethical Code for Nurses are examined as well as professional associations and practice regulating bodies. The course explores the role of nursing theory to guide practice.  The formal literature review process and the value of evidenced-based practice (EBP) are introduced.  E-portfolios are introduced as a method of documenting academic progress and professional development.  The course provides foundational professional concepts in legal, ethical, and patient-centered care in preparation for future courses across the educational continuum and roles in advanced practice nursing.

NUR 341 Patient Centered Care I

This course has a gerontology focus that utilizes the principles and techniques of holistic nursing assessment and care planning guided by evidence-based interventions and nursing theory.  How an aging population affects the health care system and nursing practice are explored.  Nursing assessment incorporates review of systems, health promotion, preventative care need, and palliative care planning.

NUR 452 Evidence Based Practice I

Three (1) credit components will be taken concurrently with carousel courses.

These one-credit component/modules are designed to guide the baccalaureate student to identify practice issues, appraise and integrate evidence, and evaluate outcomes.  The e-portfolio is used as a tool to document competencies, track academic progression through the six EBP components, and document academic preparation as students navigate the Capstone project.

  1. The student will learn the value of evidence-based practice (EBP), the use of EBP to support quality and safety measures in practice, and models for applying evidence to clinical practice. The concept of the Senior Project is introduced. Student’s identify educational need in practice or a patient safety issue and then search the databases to begin a literature review to gather evidence to support that issue for their Senior Project. Students learn the basic steps of the Excel spreadsheet to document their ongoing literature review.
  2. The student is introduced to the basic elements and concepts of statistics and the use of statistical data in nursing research studies. The student’s continue to define their chosen practice or educational topic for the Senior Project and continue the literature review.  Excel instruction progresses during this component to build on the skills obtained in the first component.
  3. The student learns the value of research, implications for practice, and the steps of the research process. Ethical issues and the advocacy role of the nurse in protecting the rights of human subjects are recognized. Students learn how bias can influence the design and the implications are explored. The course stimulates critical thinking through locating, evaluating, and critiquing research studies and provides the opportunity to develop a practicum proposal based on scientific research and evidence-based practice. The literature review process continues throughout the course with a written proposal for the Senior Project submitted at the end of Component 452.c.

NUR 453 Evidence Based Practice II

Three (1) credit components will be taken concurrently with carousel courses.

  1. After reviewing the basic elements and concepts of the research process including levels of measurement, measurement tools, data presentation and descriptive statistics.
  2. Students learn to use Excel for statistical equations in preparation for the utilization of nursing research and using data to make evidence-based changes in practice.  Integration of the most widely used statistical methods and the use of Excel promotes deeper understanding within the context of health care research and evidence based nursing practice.
  3. Additional concepts of statistical analysis and major epidemiological study designs are explored.  Statistical concepts are applied to evidence based nursing practice.

IDS 300 Biblical Perspectives    

As a Christian liberal arts university, Spring Arbor University is committed to nurturing an appreciation for the resources of the Scriptures for creative personal faith and human life in the modern world. This course is designed to foster knowledge and understanding of the literature and history of the Bible and integration of faith, living, and learning.

NUR 442 Patient Centered Care II

Evidence-based health techniques for disease prevention, health promotion, and self-management of chronic conditions are investigated.  Younger adult assessment and health history interview techniques are explored.  The assessment findings are used to formulate a holistic, culturally sensitive health promotion plan and apply a theorist as a basis for care. The course focuses on effective communication in facilitating client movement toward health and wellness.

NUR 360 Information Management/Patient Care Technologies   

This course emphasizes the use of technology and information systems for clinical decision-making. Students learn the skills necessary to use information management and patient care technologies to deliver safe and effective care. The course explores quality improvement- information systems that monitor patient outcomes and required regulatory reporting.  Ethical and legal issues related to the use of IT, including copyright, privacy, and confidentiality issues are investigated.

IDS 400 Values: Personal and Social

This is a capstone course in which the student formulates a philosophy of life providing the base for such concerns as professional ethics, accountability in government and nursing practice, respect for human rights, and a responsible lifestyle in our contemporary world.   Ethical theories and personal values are examined through readings, analysis of issues and classroom discussion.

NUR 344 Clinical Prevention/ Population Health  

The course discusses theory and concepts of community/public/global health including health care systems in transition, health policy, and epidemiology.  The Public Health/Community Health Nurse’s (PH/CHN) role as partner with the community in health promotion, disease and injury prevention, and population health are applied to patient scenarios.  Students utilize teaching, learning, and behavioral change theories and concepts do plan care.

NUR 434 Quality Leadership

This course focuses on the professional nurse’s role in applying the principles of leadership and management to navigate systems in healthcare organizations across the continuum of care. The course explores the nurse leader’s role in quality and safety, the regulatory environment, policy, and advocacy for EBP. The course provides opportunities to improve critical reasoning, interdisciplinary communication techniques, and conflict resolution.  Change management and conflict resolution theories are utilized in practice situations.

NUR 494 Senior Project   

This course provides the student with the practical experience of applying and integrating the concepts and theories learned so far in the program to a setting (community or clinical).  Students assess and identify a patient safety or care process problem, a practice discrepancy, or an educational need supported by research through a comprehensive literature review. Using the nursing process, student’s design and implement their project and the BSN portion of the program culminates with a project presentation to faculty, peers, and interested parties.

NUR 510 Moral & Ethical Decision Making

This course provides a meta-cognitive foundational approach to advanced nursing practice in the contemporary world. It explores worldview presuppositions with an emphasis on a Christian perspective and development of a consistent, conscious understanding of reality.

NUR 522 Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Practice

This course promotes examination, analysis and synthesis of a variety of conceptual frameworks, models and theories that provide a foundation for research and applied practice in the areas of nursing, business and education. Philosophical ideation, beliefs, scope and assumptions of select theories and models will be explored.

NUR 532 Organizational & Systems Leadership

The focus is on understanding the professional role of the advanced practice nurse. The processes associated with role development, socialization and effective collaboration with diverse interdisciplinary partnerships will be examined.

NUR 551 Applied Research Methods

This course focuses on the significance of research to the development of a profession and the practical application of statistics to evidence-based outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on design, methodology and data collection relative to development of a research-based capstone project or thesis.

NUR 612 Advanced Pathophysiology

This course provides advanced knowledge and clinical application of normal and pathophysiologic mechanisms related to altered health status and disease processes. Diagnosis and treatment skills will be analyzed, interpreted and evaluated for changes in normal function seen during illness/disease and when assessing an individual’s response to treatment.

NUR 618 Advanced Pharmacology

This course will provide the advanced practice nurse with the knowledge and skills necessary to assess, diagnose and manage pharmacologic agents, alternatives to pharmacological interventions and therapeutic modalities. Prescriptive authority, including responsibilities and legalities, will be discussed, including controlled substances and the potential for abuse.

NUR 602 Advanced Assessment & Diagnostic Reason

This practicum will prepare students with the core knowledge and competencies needed to complete a comprehensive assessment using client data to detect signs and symptoms of pathophysiological changes and psychosocial variation from an individual, family or community perspective. Effective strategies will be developed to address health care issues, including health promotion, communication and client-teaching skills using a holistic approach. The practicum will provide clinical opportunities to further refine and practice the history taking and physical examination skills necessary for competence as an advanced practice nurse.

NUR 693 Population Health

The focus of this course is on integrating the learning from previous courses to design treatment and evaluate outcomes for the most vulnerable groups, particularly the systems of care that manage services for frail elderly, the chronically ill, and other similarly compromised patients.

NUR 683 Health Policy

The focus is on the knowledge of professional responsibility to support policy issues associated with humane health care that promotes dignity, respect and justice. Practical skills such as working with the media, product and service evaluation, advocating for the health care needs of vulnerable populations, and seeking program grants will be addressed.

NUR 625 Educational Theory & Curriculum Design

This course utilizes learning theories to design a teaching/learning project. Strategic planning steps such as needs assessment, behavioral objectives, instructional design and delivery for non-traditional learners will be explored.

NUR 635 Innovative Strategies

Students will delve into the selection and application of instructional strategies for traditional and online learning environments. A variety of approaches for learning experiences in higher education, professional/staff development, and community programs for individuals or groups will be used.

NUR 650 Education Practicum for Adult Learners

The practicum provides individually supervised field experience in online and traditional settings that integrates adult learning theory with practical teaching situations.


Fill out the form on this page to download a program brochure; or, use our easy online scheduling tool to book an appointment with an admissions advisor now.


The Nursing Department reserves the right to change curriculum requirements based on professional or accreditation recommendations.

PLEASE NOTE – PSY351 Statistics for Behavioral Sciences is also required FOR ALL MSN programs (if Student has not taken a comparable statistics course, this is required to be taken during the MSN program. The Student is notified of this upon acceptance into the program.)

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