“We conducted a needs assessment in the community and found that graduate degrees were a top 3 priority for nurses in Southern Indiana,” says Dr. Opsahl. “We also wanted to address a projected shortage of highly-trained nurses in the community by increasing the faculty who will be able to teach them. We decided to offer the MSN in Nursing Education because it addressed a need and was a top area of interest.”
As one of the School of Nursing's three core campuses, IU SON, Bloomington's master's program will follow the same guidelines as the schools located in Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. The program's curriculum will be broken down into 42 credit hours – 22 core and 20 nursing education courses – and 150 practicum hours in the field. The new master's program is distance-accessible, meaning that it can be completed from where the student lives or works, with some courses offered via live videoconferencing and others offered online. Practicum hours can also be completed in students' local communities.
“Our new MSN program is designed to accommodate nurses’ busy lifestyles,” says Dr. Opsahl. “The structure of our program encourages active nurses to set aside a little time each day to advance their own careers and the careers of the next generation of nurses.”
Students in the Master’s in Nursing Education program will be exposed to a wide variety of topics meant to prepare them for a career in nursing education. They will learn leadership styles, policies and procedures, governmental relations, data analysis, development of concept-based curriculum, evaluation of teaching approaches, and research methods. Graduates of the new program will find employment opportunities available in a wide variety of settings including academia, hospitals, community health centers, private industry, and more and with such job titles as nurse educator, professor, lecturer, director of clinical education, or school head nurse.