Nursing Education MSN

Continuing education for nurses to inspire and mentor

Nurse educators are integral to the health care system. Without them, the next generation of nurses would be ill-prepared for an ever-changing health care industry.

The role of a nurse educator is to invest in their students. They impart not only their nursing expertise, but also their sense of caring and compassion. Are you ready for a new challenge where you can positively impact more people?

Continuing education and staff development for nurses is instrumental in stemming the nurse shortage. If you’ve dedicated your nursing career to guiding patients, but are interested in broadening your imprint, the role of a nurse educator is worth exploring.

Enter East Carolina University’s master in nursing education concentration online

ECU’s master of science in nursing with education concentration prepares you for the role of a nurse educator in any setting.

Our MSN with a nursing education concentration is primarily online to provide maximum flexibility. To ensure you receive a well-rounded experience, our faculty works with you to locate teaching practicum preceptors and sites relevant to your area of interest near where you live.

In ECU’s master of science in nursing in education concentration program, you’ll advance your nursing knowledge to the graduate level for both practice and nursing education. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding about how to teach diverse learners in varied settings.  You’ll develop teaching skills by engaging with emerging technologies that will help you meet nurse educator requirements. You’ll also expand your interdisciplinary skills to help you secure a nurse educator role.

Why ECU’s master of science in nursing with education concentration online?

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing, along with our other health science colleges, are the top producers of health care professionals in North Carolina.

Exceptional faculty

The faculty members of ECU’s master of science in nursing online program maintain active clinical practices or pursue research. They understand the nurse educator requirements you’ll need to succeed. You’ll not only benefit from their extensive knowledge in the classroom, you’ll receive personalized mentorship as well.

State-of-the-art facilities

ECU’s 303,000-square-foot health science building houses the College of Nursing, College of Allied Health Sciences and Laupus Health Sciences Library. We made the $60 million investment to give you access to the equipment you need to earn your MSN with a nursing education concentration. Eight simulation labs give you access to a fully functioning operating suite and computerized manikins.

Our College of Nursing is a four-time designated Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by NLN.


General scholarships up to $5,000 are available to MSN nursing education students. ECU also shares information regarding available Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant funds.

Professional connections

Pirate Nurse Notes, our e-newsletter, enhances your master of science in nursing online experience and broadens your ability to excel in your role of a nurse educator. It covers every aspect of nursing, including continuing education for nurses. It connects you to colleagues through powerful storytelling.

Courses you’ll take to earn your MSN with a nursing education concentration

East Carolina University’s master of science in nursing education concentration thoroughly prepares you to meet nurse educator requirements with courses such as:

  • Theory for the Practice of Advanced Nursing
  • Health Assessment for Advanced Nursing
  • Educational Concepts, Theories, and Strategies in Nursing
  • Healthcare, Finance, and Economics

ECU’s MSN with a nursing education concentration curriculum, combined with lab activities and teaching practicum, gives you the in-depth knowledge you need for the role of a nurse educator.

What can you do with your MSN with a nursing education concentration?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurses, midwives, and nurse practitioners is expected to grow 45% through 2030. It’s a rate much faster than the average for all occupations, and the corresponding need for nursing instructors will grow as well. Continuing education for nurses is key to meeting the demand.

Working in a clinical environment

The role of a nurse educator in a hospital setting involves demonstrating responsiveness and flexibility. ECU’s master of science in nursing online prepares you to:

  • Use simulation-based strategies that mirror real-world situations.
  • Serve as a clinical tutor while working directly with patients.
  • Evaluate nursing programs to elevate care.
  • Promote collaboration among health care and other hospital professionals.

The role of a nurse educator in an academic setting

While you’ll incorporate the same teaching tools used in a clinical setting, instructing in academia is focused on teaching aspiring nurses about patient care. Continuing education for nurses in higher education will afford you the opportunity to:

  • Plan, implement, and evaluate curriculum
  • Use active learning strategies to lead class discussions
  • Teach clinical and lab courses
  • Supervise lab work and clinical rotations

Take your nursing skills to the next level

Graduates of our MSN with a nursing education concentration are clinical scholars who understand the integration of the science and art of nursing. They are leaders who are improving health care for everyone. Ready to join them?

Degree programs related to your MSN with a nursing education concentration

If you’d like to add to your credentials, East Carolina University offers a strong post-MSN certificate program. Continuing education for nurse concentration areas include:

  • Neonatal
  • Midwifery
  • Anesthesia
  • Psychiatric
  • Gerontology

We also offer an additional post-MSN certificate in Nursing Education (PDF), which qualifies you to take the Certified Nurse Educator Exam.

East Carolina University also offers a Nursing DNP.

Accreditation for ECU’s master of science in nursing  online

East Carolina University’s College of Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Our nurse-midwifery program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.

In addition, ECU is the only public university in North Carolina fully accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare for its nursing simulation program.


The following faculty members will be your instructors as you move through the Nursing Education concentration:

  • Alison Swift PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, Concentration Director
  • Shannon Powell PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, CDP,
  • Elizabeth De Jesus Toderick DNP, RN, CNE
  • In addition, other experienced faculty members within ECU College of Nursing may also teach Nursing Education concentration courses.


The Nursing Education concentration requires a minimum of 37 semester hours (40 semester hours if students have no prior academic nursing teaching experience). A model curriculum guide follows.

MSN-Nursing Education Preceptors

Thank you to our MSN-Nursing Education Preceptors. Please use the resources linked below as an orientation to the preceptor role for our ECU MSN Nursing Education Concentration practicum students. The slideshow is a large file, so we have provided a streaming video alternative.


Want to learn ways you can support this important work? Contact our Director of Development.