Nurses and doctors meeting at a conference table

Nursing (MSN) - Education Track

Nursing students who choose the education track are provided with advanced level preparation in the principles of education.

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What is an MSN in Nursing Education?

It’s widely known that a master’s degree in nursing education can lead to higher earnings and better career opportunities, but earning your MSN from a prestigious university like Xavier can open the door to the nursing science career you’ve always wanted. If you are a registered nurse looking to move into a managerial, educational or consultative health care role, Xavier offers the option to earn an online MSN for registered nurses. This 37-credit online MSN program is designed for registered nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

The online MSN program trains nurses to serve and lead, empowering students to provide the best possible care while taking on additional responsibilities and higher-level functions in health care. Earn an advanced degree online from a nationally-recognized program – Xavier’s MSN is one of only 17 online programs in the U.S. to be endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation – on a schedule that works for you.

Note: This online MSN degree program is not a pre-licensure program and will not provide licensure in any state.

What Can You do with a Master’s Degree in Nursing Education?


Nursing students who choose the education track are provided with advanced level preparation in the principles of education. Graduates of this nursing education program are prepared to use their advanced knowledge and clinical experience to assume professional leadership roles that encompass all educational settings as nurse educators, consultants, staff educators, clinical nursing faculty, and continuing education providers. Students on track for an advanced nursing degree will be able to expand knowledge of the principles and techniques of education in modern society, enhance specific knowledge in the development and provision of educational programs, and apply education principles to the education of student nurses, nurses, and the public in various clinical settings.

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Why Xavier Online?

You’ll get more from your online education, from the personal attention of faculty to rigorous courses taught in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.

Personalized Experience

You’ll get the personal attention and flexibility needed to reach your goals at your pace. Our invested professors and small class sizes will set you up for success.

Jesuit Values

Our Jesuit Catholic values are based on a vision of a world changed for the better, emphasizing service and community engagement in addition to academics.


We offer exceptional online programs at an affordable cost. Numerous financial aid resources are available for our online students, making education more affordable.


Online Nursing (MSN) - Education Track Course Requirements

37 credits

Xavier’s online MSN program consists of 37 credit hours. These required 37 hours include 20 credit hours of core courses, 11 credit hours specific to the education track, and 6 credit hours of synthesis and application courses (including 2 practicum courses and a scholarly project*).

*We encourage students to research opportunities for practicum/projects and professional roles for the specific tracks (forensics and education) as part of the application process. Understanding local opportunities will help applicants determine the best tracks for their professional advancement.

Online Nursing (MSN) – Education Track Core Courses 20 credits

The MSN core courses include theoretical and practical knowledge, which serve as the foundation for advanced nursing education in a variety of roles. Core courses focus on three major themes which are consistent with the philosophy for the graduate program: Critical systematic inquiry, professional and personal development and management of information and resources in a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Courses include:

This course examines ethical frameworks, such as theories of justice, rights-based ethics and virtue ethics and their significance to the delivery of health care. Analysis of ethical dilemmas focuses on differentiating what is called traditional and modern ethical frameworks for decision-making. Application will be made within the parameters of nursing’s metaparadigm (person, nursing, caring, healing, health, environment) using personal and professional processes of valuing, unconditional acceptance and deciding in the preservation of wholeness and dignity.

Introduction to the role of theory in knowledge development and its relationship to nursing research, practice, and administration. Critical analysis of selected theoretical models within the discipline of nursing and of theories and concepts from other disciplines as used in nursing. Concepts related to the application of the theoretical concepts in providing holistic care are explored. Examination of the application models, theories and concepts in nursing practice, administration and research.

Exploration of modes of inquiry for systematic study of the application, use and evaluation of nursing innovations in clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on the identification and solution of clinical problems through scientific inquiry. Research is examined for evidence-based practices which include a critical review of research studies, nurse’s expertise and patient/family preferences. Discussion entails the importance of dissemination of research findings.

This course is designed to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge essential for the master’s prepared holistic nurse working in complex interprofessional technological healthcare systems. This course addresses basic computer and information management competencies. The student will also learn to manage and use healthcare data in decision making. Legal, ethical and practical ramifications of information technology in healthcare are examined. The major focus in this course is the management of information that supports improve health outcomes.

This course provides an overview of health care policy, including formulating and analyzing policy at the institutional, local, state, federal and global levels. Issues regarding the nursing work environment as well as social determinants and healthcare delivery/ regulation will be discussed. The influence of socio-cultural, economic, political, ethical, legal and historical context on nursing and health care policy will be explored. The role of the master’s prepared holistic nurse in health policy decisions in the public and private sectors will be explicated.

This course focuses on leadership and management concepts that are essential for holistic nurse leaders at various levels throughout the healthcare organization. The focus is to prepare holistic nurse leaders for collaborative practice in complex healthcare organizations through examination and application of effective leader behaviors.

Principles and biostatistical methods used in the study of the distribution and determinants of injury and disease through the interaction of environment and genetics in human populations (HP2020) are presented for use in the holistic development, implementation, and evaluation of primary, secondary and tertiary preventive and acute health care services in a variety of settings. Resources for epidemiological investigations within organizations and communities are introduced. Opportunities are provided to use the epidemiological and biostatistical methods of reasoning for determining causal inferences about the distribution and determinants of injury and disease (HP2020). Evidence-based innovative and evaluative health care delivery plans for clinical prevention and population health are developed using epidemiological and biostatistical data.
Prerequisites: NURS 502

Education Track Courses 11 credits

Students who choose the education track are provided with an in-depth study of the principles of education to be applied to the education of nurses. Graduates of this track are prepared to teach in health care or educational settings as nurse educators, staff educators, clinical faculty and continuing education providers. Students in this track will be able to expand knowledge of the principles and techniques of education in modern society, enhance specific knowledge in the development and provision of education programs and apply education principles to the education of student nurses, nurses and the public.

This course combines needed knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and assessment for the student nurse educator. This course assumes knowledge of basic pharmacology, assessment, and pathophysiology. The course focuses on advanced pharmacology and the role of masters prepared nurse on pharmacotherapeutics. Advanced clinical application of drug therapy and concepts relating to the mechanisms of drug actions, interactions, and adverse reactions, including immunologic-idiosyncratic-allergy drug responses will be explored. In addition, emphasis is on advanced pathophysiology clinical problem-solving as it relates to adverse effects and illnesses in persons having acute, chronic, and long-term health care problems. Knowledge of pathophysiology is used to predict illness progression and response to therapy, which is used to guide and teach patients and families regarding holistic care. In addition to advanced pharmacology and pathophysiology, this course prepares nurses to conduct and communicate accurate comprehensive holistic, health assessments for clients and families across the lifespan. The students learn how to perform, organize, analyze and document complete physical, psycho-social assessments. As part of the health assessment, the student will identify pertinent health or potential health issues including the cultural, occupational, and environmental factors integral to those issues. The student will define appropriate health preventative and maintenance strategies to address common and complex health care concerns within an evidence-based practice framework

This course provides a framework for facilitating learning and understanding the adult learner within academia and the healthcare environment. It explores theoretical foundations, principles for teaching/learning, factors that impact readiness to learn, tips for online teaching and how to create learning objectives.

This course provides the student with information concerning the selection and utilization of pertinent teaching strategies that can be used with adult learners pursuing knowledge within the healthcare environment. The student will obtain knowledge concerning how these teaching strategies can be used in this endeavor as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Selection of appropriate teaching strategies will be explored in relation to learning styles and information to be presented. Evaluation means to ascertain the effectiveness of each strategy will also be presented.

This course provides the student with the necessary information needed to pursue the nurse educator role. After completion of this course, the student will be able to function as either an academic nursing faculty member or a corporate/staff nurse educator. Roles and responsibilities of nurse educators will be addressed. These responsibilities include teaching; service; scholarship; curriculum planning; curriculum/educational offering development; maintaining records; mentoring; student advising; student accommodation; application for continuing education; implementing and educational offering/didactic content; test development; and evaluation of educational offerings, students/staff, courses and programs.
Prerequisites: NURS664 and NURS660

Online Synthesis and Application Courses 6 credits

This course is designed for application of theory and principles from all previous courses, with particular emphasis in the area of concentration (administration, forensics, informatics, education, school nursing, etc.). Individually modified course objectives, supervised experiences, periodic seminar discussions and written practicum logs are methods used to facilitate the learning experience.

This course is designed for application of theory and principles from all previous courses, with particular emphasis in the area of concentration (administration, forensics, informatics, education, school nursing, etc.). Individually modified course objectives, supervised experiences, periodic seminar discussions and written practicum logs are methods used to facilitate the learning experience.

This course incorporates the design and development of a scholarly project that demonstrates synthesis of pedagogical strategies and concepts attained throughout courses within the MSN curriculum. The project shall be aimed at addressing an identified issue in the field of nursing, the scope of which may be varied. Elements integrated into the course/project include but are not limited to: nursing theory, change theory, critical thinking, microsystem assessment, communication, EBP, research, ethical and cultural considerations, informatics strategies, health practices and care management, improvement of patient outcomes, holistic care, awareness of healthcare related issues, intrinsic and extrinsic forces, organizational frameworks and considerations, and resource utilization. Project topics must be approved by the track chair/coordinator.


We also offer a Post Master's Education Certificate for Nurses with an MSN

This fully online, 10-credit-hour certificate program is designed to prepare you for a career as a nursing educator.


Our Admission Process is Easy, on Your Phone or Computer!

Admission information for MSN-Education track applicants:

  • Once admitted into the program, students may start online classes in August, January or May (fall, spring or summer semesters).
  • Applications for this program are accepted throughout the year. Applicants are notified of the admission decision as soon as possible.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit completed applications in a timely manner to allow for review and processing. Applications are processed immediately upon receiving all required materials.
  • The admission committee considers all information contained in the admission application, including prior grades, test scores and evidence for potential for success in graduate study.
  • No admission tests (i.e. GRE) are required for applying to this graduate nursing program.

Applicant Requirements

  • Be a registered nurse with an unencumbered RN license in the state where practicum experiences are to be completed. A minimum of 1 year of nursing experience is required, a strong candidate will have a minimum of 2 years of nursing experience.
  • Hold a BSN and be a graduate of a regionally accredited college or university’s nursing program with CCNE or ACEN (formerly NLNAC) accreditation (College of Nursing will verify).
  • An undergraduate statistics course with a grade of C or better is required for admission.
  • Applicants who do not have a BSN (BS in Nursing) cannot be accepted into the online MSN programs but should consider the MSN direct entry as a second degree – MIDAS Program.
  • A strong applicant will have a 3.0 GPA.

To be considered for admission, students must submit the following:

Get Started on Xavier University’s free online application. You can begin the process in just a few clicks.


One official transcript directly from all colleges or universities that you have attended for any undergraduate and graduate course work. Applicants must have a degree from a regionally accredited university. A strong candidate will have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. Send transcripts to:

Xavier University
ATTN: Admission Processing Center
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207-5131

For electronic transcripts, send to:

Current résumé or curriculum vitae outlining nursing experience. 

A 3-page goal statement that addresses the following points:

  • Why are you applying to Xavier University?
  • What MSN track are you applying for and why? How do you plan to use the degree and specialty?
  • What experiences have prepared you for graduate study? (or have influenced your desire to pursue graduate studies)
  • Graduate school is challenging and a large time commitment, especially with working, family, other responsibilities. What are your plans and strategies for being successful in your graduate program?
  • We also consider the writing quality of this essay. If writing is a challenge for you, also address strategies to help you in this area.

3 professional recommendations, (Please provide contact information for recommenders in the online application. An electronic form will be sent via email.)

A strong candidate will provide:

  • At least reference from a direct manager or supervisor who evaluates their clinical work.
  • Two references will be from someone with a masters or doctoral degree

State Authorization

View the complete list of approved states on the State Authorization page.


Get More from Your Education with a Graduate Degree from Xavier

At Xavier, we understand that no two degree programs and no two students are alike. Therefore, we structure every online degree program to address the unique needs of individual students and have created unique fee structures for each degree program, as well.

Per Credit Hour

The amounts listed are for the 2023-2024 academic year, and include classes from Summer 2023 through Spring 2024. Tuition cost is per credit hour unless otherwise stated. For the full, official listing, please visit
Xavier University reserves the right to correct any computational or clerical errors.

Ready to Get Started?


Students enrolled in Xavier’s online programs take classes with the same world-class faculty as our traditional students.

Dr. Enslein EdD, MSN, RNC-OB, CNE is a Certified Nurse Educator who earned her doctoral degree from Northern Kentucky University, a MSN from Ball State University, a BSN at Wright State University, and an ADN at Miami University. Her research areas of interest are methods of promoting nursing students’ clinical judgment/reasoning, nursing informatics, infant mortality and public health nursing, and the lived experience of prelicensure nursing students. She has many years of experience as a registered nurse in the clinical setting in labor and delivery and the NICU in both Ohio and Texas. She has been in the nursing faculty role since 2012. She received the Case Competition award at the 2017 International Leadership Association annual conference in Brussels for her work in Infant Mortality. She is a member of the Beta Rho Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Dr. Wiles DNP, RN, CNL, earned a BSN at Spalding University in 1990, an MSN from Xavier University in 2008, an MEd from Xavier University in 2009, and a DNP in educational leadership from Case Western Reserve University in 2016. Previous to entering academia, she worked ten years in medical-surgical nursing and eight years in critical care. Her research area of interest is promoting nursing students’ clinical judgment to enhance patient safety and quality care through the use of various teaching strategies, including high-fidelity patient simulation.
She has many years of experience as a registered nurse in the clinical setting. She began her career at Deaconess Hospital in Cincinnati, where she spent ten years as a staff and charge nurse in oncology, neurology, and medical-surgical nursing. She spent the next eight years working at Bethesda North Hospital in the ICU/CVRU and PICC team, during which time she was ACLS and CCRN certified. During this time she was well-known as a clinical leader with the ability to communicate and collaborate with all members of the interprofessional team, in order to promote patient safety and quality of care. She has been in the nursing faculty role for several years. She received the Miriam Agnes Payne Award in 1990. She is a member of the Omicron Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Ms. Acosta MSN, RNC-EFM has over 10 years of experience as an RN, rooted in women’s health and maternal newborn care, ranging from women’s health outpatient clinic to high-risk labor and delivery and everything in between. Was an Assistant Nurse Manager as well as a Clinical Program Developer in a Level IV maternity unit. Earned her BSN from Bellin College in Green Bay, WI, and completed her MSN in the Education Track here at Xavier University. Her passion for education made the transition to working in academia exciting, and she feels it is an honor to help guide students on their own journeys to becoming nurses and nurse educators.


This online MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the premier accrediting agency for baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. It is also endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation.

This nursing practice program is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing (OBN).

The typical salary in the state of Ohio for a Nurse Educator with an MSN is just over 70,000 dollars a year as a nurse educator with an MSN commonly has more experience which leads to better patient outcomes. This salary estimate is an average and can be higher or lower depending on the specific field a Nurse Educator with an MSN works in. It is also important to factor in possible local nursing shortages and shortages of other health professionals in different areas when looking at possible salaries.

These online programs are endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation (AHNCC). Only seventeen schools in the nation currently have this endorsement, and this endorsement permits graduates to sit for the Holistic Nurse Certification (HNC) examination. The MSN Education Track program (and the PM certificate program in Nursing Education) prepares graduates to sit for the NCC Certified Nurse Educator exam. The MSN FNP program (and the PM Certificate Program) prepares graduates for FNP certification through either ANCC or AANP certification boards.

No. The MSN degree is from Xavier University and is awarded on meeting coursework standards that are independent of course delivery mode. Participants will earn an MSN degree.

Yes! Xavier University and the College of Nursing have been consistently recognized at the national level for having one of the best online MSN programs for nursing education. See a list of all of nursing school awards by program on our Rankings page.

No, online courses charge the same rate as all other courses.

Students may find that they can get to know their professor/instructor and other nursing practice students better in an online course than in a traditional face-to-face course. There are many options for interacting with your instructors and classmates in your online program, including discussion boards, video or audio files from your instructor, email and video conferencing. There may be additional opportunities for interaction available based on the course and instructor.

Courses are offered in semester-long increments in most cases. Depending on the course and semester, there are a couple of courses that are 6-10 weeks in length.

Participation expectations vary by professor. Courses will be asynchronous with no set meeting times; however, practicum and scholarly project courses may include an online synchronous session (at the discretion of the instructor) at the end of the semester for student sharing/collaboration purposes. Nursing administration and faculty in this program are very sensitive to the need for flexibility of working professionals.

We recognize that students may be in the process of completing other baccalaureate degrees or an associate degree while also enrolled, therefore online MSN programs allow a maximum of 6 years for completion.

Some potential nursing career paths may include:

  • Nurse educator, staff educator, clinical instructor, educational nursing care consultant and continuing education provider.

The education track of the MSN program helps better prepare students by requiring 2 practicum experiences via NURS 703 and 705. Each course requires 90 hours of practicum with an MSN-prepared nurse educator. Students are responsible for finding their own preceptors, and preceptor approval is required from the course faculty. Faculty advisors may help in locating and securing a practicum preceptor.

None of the MSN programs or Post Master’s certificate programs here (Education, FNP, Forensics) provide nursing licensure in any state. Nursing licensure is a pre-requisite for admission to these programs. 

If you would like to continue your collegiate nursing education beyond a master’s degree, Xavier also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Population Health Leadership (DNP) program.

The College of Nursing at Xavier University would like to invite you to a Virtual Question and Answer session with the Directors for the MSN Education, Family Nurse Practitioner, Forensic and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Programs as well as Post master’s Certificate Programs for each track.

June 26, 2024 @ 7:30 pm EST – Register Here

July 17, 2024 @ 7:30 pm EST – Register Here