Courses RN-to-MSN Nursing Education

Master of Science in Nursing

Course Requirements

Total program points: 27

Total quarter credits: 54

Our programs are based on quarter credits, rather than semester credits. One quarter credit equals 2/3 semester credit. Quarter credits are unique to GuidedPath, while program points are unique to FlexPath.

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Practicum Requirement(s):

Minimum of 100 practicum hours. See the Practicum section, below, for more information.

Bridge courses:

Health Assessment and Promotion for Disease Prevention in Population-Focused Health

In this course, learners apply concepts, frameworks, and models used to foster health promotion and disease prevention, particularly in diverse and vulnerable populations. Learners evaluate individual and population wellness from multicultural, ethnic, traditional, and spiritual perspectives. Learners examine factors that cause disparities in wellness among people in diverse and vulnerable populations. By analyzing effective health assessment methods and communication strategies, learners identify best practices for developing a population-focused approach to health promotion and disease prevention. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Introduction to Nursing Research, Ethics, and Technology

Learners in this course gain and demonstrate knowledge of nursing research, ethics, and information technology in health care settings. Learners apply the basic principles of nursing research and ways that information systems and patient care technologies contribute to improving patient outcomes. Learners also evaluate ethics in nursing research and scholarship and how evidence-based practice relates to the effective use of information technologies in nursing practice. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Leadership for Nursing Practice

In this course, learners examine and apply theoretical concepts and leadership competencies for nursing practice. Learners evaluate evidence-based best practices and behaviors that support effective nursing leadership in health care settings, and analyze strategies for coordination, delegation, and goal setting and performance improvement. Learners also assess concepts and principles of health care policy, legal and regulatory issues, and quality control in health care and the nursing profession. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits

Core courses:

Communication, Collaboration, and Case Analysis for Master’s Learners

This course prepares learners for master’s-level course work in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Throughout the course, learners analyze how the role of the practitioner-scholar guides leadership in the health care field and determine the ways in which they can effectively use communication strategies expected of health care professionals. In particular, learners examine the attributes that contribute to effective and ethical health care leadership, including professional collaboration, communication, inclusion, and decision making. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Health Care Law and Policy

In this course, learners examine the political, legal, and regulatory issues impacting health care organizations and environments. Learners analyze the effects of health care policy on health care practice and service delivery, with particular emphasis on the strategies used to monitor and maintain legal and regulatory compliance. Learners also identify and apply health care policy and law concepts that promote organizational improvement.

4 quarter credits
Economics and Decision Making in Health Care

This course helps learners develop and demonstrate concepts, principles, issues, and trends in health care economics and the economic decision-making practices employed in the health care environment. Learners analyze the political, legal, regulatory, organizational, demographical, and multicultural implications of business decisions on health care economics; explore the ways economic and stakeholder influences affect operational planning and decision making; and practice applying performance monitoring and process management measures as part of the decision-making process. Learners also examine cost-effective problem solving; community- and population-based orientation; and effective use of health care market research, analysis, and assessment.

4 quarter credits
Evidence-Based Practice for Patient-Centered Care and Population Health

Learners in this course acquire an understanding of the nature of evidence and its relative value and weight in making clinical decisions that impact patient and population outcomes. In particular, learners assess appropriate methods and analytic approaches in order to investigate, evaluate, and synthesize the best available evidence for potential solutions and innovations. For BSN and MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Quality Improvement of Interprofessional Care

In this course, learners develop and demonstrate competence in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interprofessional quality improvement initiatives. Learners investigate models for quality improvement, with an emphasis on outcome identification and measurement. Learners also examine quality within the context of patient safety through adverse event and near-miss analyses. For BSN and MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Biopsychosocial Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice 1

Learners in this course develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to integrate select biopsychosocial concepts into professional processes that promote quality and cost effective patient and systems outcomes, with particular emphasis on the ways in which these concepts impact the National Academy of Medicine’s six aims of health care improvement: Safe, Effective, Patient-centered, Timely, Efficient, and Equitable. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Biopsychosocial Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice 2

Learners in this course develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to integrate select biopsychosocial concepts into professional processes that promote quality and cost effective patient and systems outcomes, with particular emphasis on the ways in which these concepts impact population health, as defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
MSN Practicum and Capstone †

Learners in this course develop their critical thinking skills and gain advanced nursing knowledge in preparation for master’s-level nursing practice in a designated specialization. Learners create and implement a personalized practicum experience under the supervision of a preceptor at a site of their choice and demonstrate synthesis of professional and academic growth and practice. Throughout the practicum, learners also develop and maintain an electronic portfolio that includes coursework products, demonstrations of competency and outcome achievement, and practice experience documentation (number of hours, preceptor evaluations, achievement of objectives, and contributions to the organization). For MSN learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

The Nurse Educator Role

In the course, learners examine the tripartite faculty role of teaching, service, and scholarship and the responsibilities associated with functioning as a nurse educator in an academic or health care environment. Learners also analyze nurse educator competencies and the professional development activities expected of those who fill this multidimensional role. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Teaching and Active Learning Strategies

In this course, learners examine how the application of educational theory and teaching strategies facilitate learning in the classroom, online, in the laboratory, and in clinical settings. Learners also investigate concepts associated with the domains of learning, learning styles, student engagement, and classroom management techniques. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Curriculum Design, Development, and Evaluation

In this course, learners examine curriculum frameworks and models used in nursing education. Throughout the course, learners demonstrate their understanding of these frameworks by beginning to develop curricula that are designed to reflect professional nursing standards and contemporary health care trends and that are structured to achieve expected student outcomes. Learners also investigate the evaluation process used to assess curriculum design and identify accreditation and regulatory requirements that impact nursing curricula. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Integrating Technology into Nursing Education

In this course, learners examine the integration of current and evolving technology into nursing education. Learners investigate the use of multimedia, social media, computer-based technology, learning management systems, simulation, technology tools for outcomes assessment, and the process for selecting the appropriate technology. Learners demonstrate their ability to integrate technology in an academic or health care environment by developing a relevant project and accompanying evaluation plan. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing Education

In this course, learners investigate a variety of strategies used to assess and evaluate student learning in the classroom, online, in the laboratory, and in clinical settings, as well as within all domains of learning. Learners develop and demonstrate the skills required to use assessment and evaluation data to improve the teaching-learning process, measure the achievement of learning outcomes, and evaluate program effectiveness. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits






At least 66 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

† Learners are responsible for the cost of their travel, accommodations, food, and other expenses associated with this course.

Alabama residents are not eligible to enroll in this program.

This specialization does not prepare graduates for licensure as an RN or APRN.

Learners enrolled in the RN-to-MSN Nursing Education specialization are required to maintain a current, unrestricted RN license throughout their program.

GuidedPath courses and FlexPath courses fulfill the program requirements and prerequisites for each delivery model. 



Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with a specialization in Care Coordination; RN-to-MSN Care Coordination; Care Coordination, FlexPath option; RN-to-MSN Care Coordination, FlexPath option; Nursing Education; RN-to-MSN Nursing Education; Nursing Education, FlexPath option; RN-to-MSN Nursing Education, FlexPath option; Nursing Leadership and Administration; RN-to-MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration; Nursing Leadership and Administration, FlexPath option; or RN-to-MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration, FlexPath option are required to complete 100 documented hours of hands-on practicum experience. Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with a specialization in Nursing Informatics; RN-to-MSN Nursing Informatics; Nursing Informatics, FlexPath option; or RN-to-MSN Nursing Informatics, FlexPath option are required to complete 200 documented hours of hands-on practicum experience.

The practicum experience requires learners to synthesize and expand the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program by applying evidence-based methods to practice. Learners are responsible for finding an appropriate preceptor to oversee the practicum experience. With their preceptors, learners engage in in-depth work within a practice environment that reflects course outcomes. The practicum experiences offer learners an environment in which to apply their knowledge and skills. Practicum takes place at a professional site at which learners, with the support of program faculty and their on-site preceptors, participate in advanced practice initiatives. These could include program evaluation, quality improvement, and advanced practice techniques. Learners use the practicum experience to help them achieve the MSN program outcomes and competencies and the learning objectives related to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.

Additionally, learners are required to document their practice practicum experience in associated online coursework. The associated practicum courses provide systematic opportunities for feedback and reflection. Practicum hours are considered complete once all program required practicum hours have been successfully achieved. Partial completion of practicum hours requirements cannot be verified for licensure or transfer of credits.

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

FlexPath Self-Paced Learning Option

If you’re highly motivated, looking to save time and money, and crave the freedom and flexibility of setting your own pace, you may want to consider FlexPath. Rather than face weekly deadlines, you’ll work at your own pace to complete a series of assessments for each course.

There’s no limit to the number of courses you can complete per session — you’ll still pay the same flat tuition rate every 12 weeks.

Learn more about FlexPath Self-Paced Learning

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Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this program.

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