If you have always dreamed of teaching nursing, the growing demand for nurse educators could open up many opportunities in your chosen career. In West Virginia, hundreds of qualified applicants for nurse training programs were turned away in 2013, largely because of a shortage of faculty and clinical sites. As schools across the country report a similar need for nursing teachers, federal labor forecasts predict those jobs are likely to grow at a much faster pace than normal in the years to come.
Nursing educators are charged with teaching new nurses in classrooms and clinical settings. They lectures students on nursing topics, prepare course materials, oversee novice interns and researchers, and supervise students’ class assignments, laboratory, and clinical work. Nearly nine out of 10 nursing instructors have earned a master’s or doctorate degree, according to the federal Occupational Information Network.
With BestNursingDegree.com, you can find and compare nursing programs to make the right choice. Also, consider online Nurse Educator programs, which may offer a more flexible way to earn your degree, without giving up your quality education standards.
In West Virginia, this advanced training is available at three colleges and universities. Here are a few in-state options to consider:
At this Huntington-based university, the Master of Science in Nursing Education program is offered entirely online. This degree track requires 36 hours of credit, including a core curriculum of essential nursing topics, 18 credits in advanced nursing education studies, and electives that may include a thesis or coursework. Your required classes include topics like classroom assessment, computing and instructional design, and educational psychology. If you already have a graduate degree, Marshall also offers a 21-credit, Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education. After completing your studies, you will be eligible to take the National League of Nursing Certification Nurse Educator Exam.
A limited number of spots are available in this competitive program. Marshall has a multi-tiered admission standard where the scores required on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) vary according to your undergraduate grade-point average (GPA). If you have an undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher, you do not need to take the GRE.
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling Jesuit prepares students to become nursing faculty through its online nursing education specialist program. The Master of Science degree combines core nursing curriculum with education specialty classes and clinical coursework. Specialty classes include topics such as educational technology, curriculum and instruction, and evaluation. The clinical module includes classes like advanced pathophysiology and advanced pharmacology. Any clinical or practicum hours can be completed in your home community.
To be admitted to the program, you must have a baccalaureate nursing degree, three letters of recommendation, a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and a total score of 800 on two of three sections of the GRE.
West Virginia University
West Virginia does not offer a specialty program in nursing education, but its doctorate program in nursing is designed to prepare nurses for roles in teaching, service, and research. You can earn your Ph.D. with three years of coursework through this part-time program. Classes are held online during the fall and spring, but are offered in person in the summer. The program culminates with a qualifying examination, research and dissertation, and a written and oral dissertation defense.
As a PhD candidate, you will take 54 credit hours of post-master’s courses in core nursing topics, cognate classes, and research topics. Every student chooses an area of concentration based on his or her scholastic interests. Although most of your work will be done online, you must attend events at the home campus in Morgantown for two days every fall and spring.
Financing Your Master’s Degree in Nursing Education
The national shortage of nursing educators has prompted some incentives to attract new faculty. The West Virginia Center for Nursing offers two scholarship programs for students who pledge to work in the state after graduation:
- The LPN Teaching Certificate Scholarship Program. If you are a West Virginia resident employed as a licensed practical nurse educator in the state, you may be able to apply for $1000 per academic year while pursuing additional teaching credentials. Scholarship recipients must agree to work as faculty members in LPN nursing schools at a rate of one year for every $1000 in scholarship money.
- The MSN and Doctoral Scholarship Program. West Virginia residents who work as nursing educators in the state can receive up to $15,000 to enroll in approved programs that enhance their role in the nursing workforce. If you are awarded this scholarship, you must make a commitment work as a faculty member in a West Virginia nursing school after graduation.
West Virginia employed about 340 nursing instructors in 2013, earning an average annual wage of $57,440, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the average age of West Virginia’s nursing faculty at 51, nursing advocates are hoping the number of qualified teachers will increase so schools have an adequate number of educators to meet their need.
To find the specific degree program you are interested in, simply view our school listings below. There you will find links to submit a request for program information. You are welcome to request information from multiple schools. Once you receive program materials, you can review them to decide which school can best meet your career goals and lifestyle.