photo of a group of nurse educators

Nurse Educator

Preparing Health Care Providers for the Changing Health Care World

The Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing's online nurse educator option specifically prepares nurses to work as educators and faculty for nursing programs. The degree focuses on preparing students with the required competencies to seek eligibility for the National League for Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam.

There is a significant shortage of nursing faculty across the United States, and this program is designed for those nurses called to teach. Students who complete the program will be ready to fill one of the more than 1,000 vacant faculty positions available nationwide.

There are funds available to graduate students pursuing a career in health care education through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). On graduating, up to 85% of the total amount borrowed can be forgiven if you teach four years full time in a school of nursing. Since the program is a federal program, you are not limited to any one state for employment. These funds are available on a first come, first serve basis. Contact the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing for NFLP details, or download the fact sheet.

Why Samford?+

Nurse educator students:

  • Earn an M.S.N. degree online in five semesters (full time)
  • Participate in cutting edge, web-based learning with practicum experiences close to home
  • Access all coursework and resources anywhere, anytime from any internet-connected electronic device
  • Receive personal attention from caring and supportive Samford faculty and advisors
  • Experience a rich tradition of high academic standards and quality education practice
  • Visit Samford's beautiful campus in Birmingham, Alabama, for three required sessions during the program
  • Gets the opportunity to participate in the Nurse Faculty Loan Program


The nurse educator program prepares you to:

  • Assume the role of the nurse educator in an academic or health care setting
  • Apply teaching and learning theories, current research findings and knowledge of educational trends and professional standards to instructional design
  • Utilize knowledge of continuous quality improvement methodology to evaluate all components of instructional design
  • Provide a learning environment that will assist learners to become active, self-directed, problem solvers with a commitment to lifelong learning

Students who begin the graduate program in August will be on track to complete the nurse educator program in five semesters. Classes are offered online, however, students must attend scheduled on-campus class times approximately 2-3 times during their program of study. Students are required to attend a mandatory three-day on-campus orientation at the beginning of the program.

Admission Requirements & Criteria+

Nurse Educator Admission Deadline

Entry Month: August 2015
NursingCAS Deadline: June 15

Admission Criteria for Nurse Educator

  • Unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse
  • B.S.N. from NLNAC or CCNE accredited program
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A Likelive video submission (link to this site will be provided when NursingCAS application has been submitted.)
  • One undergraduate course in nursing research with a grade of C (2.0) or better
  • One undergraduate health assessment course with a grade of B (3.0) or better
  • International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Minimum MAT or GRE score within the last 5 years
    1. MAT: 402
    2. GRE Old test: combined score (verbal and quantitative): 1000, Analytical writing 4.0
    3. GRE New test: Verbal: 153; Quantitative: 144; Analytical writing: 4.0
    4. The MAT or GRE is waived if the applicant has a cumulative GPA of 3.20 overall or a 3.20 GPA of the last 60 hours taken. Post-graduate applicants (applicants who have successfully completed a graduate program) with a 3.0 or above are also waived.
  • If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $750 is required to secure admission into the program. This fee is applied to the first semester's tuition.

Application Process+

Nurse Educator Application Process

The steps below outline the application process for the nurse educator program. To apply, you are required to submit both an application through the nursing centralized application process (NursingCAS) as well as a supplemental application form. Before starting these applications, we recommend that you complete the following checklist:

  • Obtain student copies of your college transcripts to assist you in completing the coursework section for the application.
  • Carefully read the "Before you apply, Instructions, Code of Cooperation and FAQ" sections at before you get started.

    As stated on the NursingCAS site, the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) simplifies the process of applying to nursing programs. Compete one application and send it along with other information to our centralized service. NursingCAS will verify your application for accuracy, calculate your GPA and send your materials to the nursing programs you designate. These sections detail critical components of the centralized application process.

  • Request official transcripts from each institution attended by using the transcript request form in NursingCAS.

    Complete the form, submit it to the registrar's office of each institution attended and instruct them to enclose the form with your official sealed transcript. Transcripts must be sent to the NursingCAS Transcript Department. NursingCAS accepts official transcripts sent directly from the registrar's office only. Please send transcripts as early as possible and no less than four to six weeks before the application deadline due to the time needed by NursingCAS to verify your application.

  • Pay the initial service fee of $65 when submitting the NursingCAS application.
  • Submit evidence of current unencumbered license as a registered nurse through NursingCAS on the Professional Experience/Certifications section.

    Include state of issuance, number and expiration date.

  • Obtain three letters of recommendation from 1) current or previous professor; 2) supervisor; and 3) professional colleague.

    These letters of recommendation will be submitted through NursingCAS. The references should attest to the applicant's academic ability and potential.

  • Submit official test scores to Samford University Graduate Nursing Program.
  • Submit a Likelive video.

Conditional Admission

Should any of the above conditions not be met, the applicant may be considered on an individual basis for conditional admission. In the event of conditional admission, the applicant must complete the first nine credits of the required graduate nursing curriculum at Samford University with a B or better in each course attempted. Failure to meet the requirement as stated will prevent progression in the graduate program.

Plan of Study & Clinical Requirements+

Nurse Educator Curriculum

The nurse educator curriculum requires 38 credit hours.

Plan of Study

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John Derrick
Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing

John Derrick's Story

A 2008 graduate of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, was called to help provide needed care to vulnerable children around the world.

Watch My Story

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Graduate Admission
Allyson Maddox
Director, Graduate Student Services