• Master of Science Nursing: Nurse Educator Specialization

    Nurse educators are the key resource in preparing a nursing workforce that will provide quality care to meet the health care needs of our population. They practice in academic and clinical settings, and they must be competent clinicians. However, while being a good clinician is essential, it is not necessarily sufficient for the educator role.

    The Nurse Educator Specialization program is designed to expand the knowledgebase of registered professional nurses to prepare them for the role of nurse educator in four areas:

    • Higher education
    • Vocational education
    • Staff education
    • Patient education

    The program will provide theoretical and practical knowledge in the areas of curriculum development, instructional design, advanced teaching methods, and program evaluation.

    Worcester State University offers three routes of entry for registered nurses seeking a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The pathways are:

    • Traditional entry: for students with a B.S. degree in Nursing
    • Bridge program: for registered nurses with a non-nursing B.A. or B.S. degree
    • RN-to-MS fast track: For associate-degree or diploma-prepared registered nurses seeking to proceed directly to the Master of Science in Nursing degree

    The curriculum is based on the practice dimensions of the nurse educator role, recommendations of the National League for Nursing, and the American Nurses Credentialing Center Essentials of Master’s Education. Graduates of the Nurse Educator Specialization program are eligible to sit for the National League for Nursing Certified Nurse EducatorCM examination after meeting the experiential requirement. Graduates are also eligible to sit for the ANCC certification examination in nursing professional development.

    This 36-credit hour program is designed for students who have established an expertise in a clinical area and are now interested in nursing education. The curriculum includes coursework related to high fidelity patient simulation strategies as well as other emerging technologies and related teaching methodologies to improve education outcomes.

    The Nurse Educator Specialization curriculum is designed to meet the learning needs of students who are working full-time. Most courses are taught in the blended-learning format, which combines the best of face-to-face and online learning. The blended-learning format significantly reduces the amount of time students spend on campus, while maximizing their interaction with faculty members and fellow students.

    A post-graduate certificate program in nursing education also is available to students who have earned the Master of Science in Nursing degree. 

    Admission Requirements

    Traditional Entry:

    • Baccalaureate degree in Nursing
    • Introductory or undergraduate courses in statistics and research
    • Unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Massachusetts
    Bridge Program     
    •  B.A. or B.S. degree in non-nursing discipline 
    • Introductory or undergraduate courses in statistics and research
    • Unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Massachusetts

    RN- to- MS Fast Track

    • Associate of Science degree in nursing or diploma in nursing
    • Unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in Massachusetts
  • RN-to-MS Fast Track Program
    The RN-to-MS Fast Track program provides an opportunity for associate-degree and diploma-prepared nurses to obtain the Master of Science in Nursing Degree from WSU. The RN-to-MS Fast Track Program curriculum is characterized by flexibility and recognition of the diversity of the students who enroll.

    The RN-to-MS Fast Track program allows students to work toward their Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees in one integrated program. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), generally required for admission to master’s degree programs, is NOT required for admission to the RN-to-MS Fast Track program.

    6 graduate credits (500 level) taken while completing the undergraduate senior year count toward both degrees only when the student meets the criteria for the Fast Track program, completes an application to the graduate nursing program through the Graduate School, and is accepted into the RN-to-MS Fast Track program during the first semester as a student in the RN-to-BS program.

    Students can typically complete the RN-to-MS Fast Track program in 9 part-time semesters. Only course grades of B- or above can be counted toward the Master of Science in Nursing degree.

    Fast Track students must take courses in the M.S. program the semester after completing the requirements for the B.S. degree. Otherwise 500-level courses taken in the senior year will count only towards the RN-to-BS degree unless they are in excess of the credits required for the B.S. degree.

    Admission Process for RN-to-MS Fast Track Program
    The RN student applying to WSU as a transfer student can receive up to 65 credits transferable from associate degree colleges and a maximum of 90 credits from four year colleges or universities. WSU has articulation agreements with many area colleges for transfer credits (up to 23 credits may be approved for nursing credits).

    The RN student who graduated from a nursing diploma program will automatically be granted 29 credits toward the B.S. degree. All RN students must hold a current license to practice nursing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    Students interested in applying to the RN-to-MS program are advised to contact the Nursing Department at 508-929-8129.

    This program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036.