University of South Alabama College of Nursing    

Nursing Education

The Nurse Educator Option is an additional credential that prepares professional nurses to assume entry-level teaching positions in collegiate and hospital settings. Graduates are eligible to seek national certification as a nurse educator. The certification examination is offered through the National League for Nursing. Roles within Nurse Educator practice include:

• Educator in a collegiate or post secondary setting
• Researcher
• Collaborator
• Consultant
• Case Manager
• Health Educator
• Program Planner
• Staff Educator
• Patient Educator

Nurse Educator    
Educational principles, leadership, strategic planning, and a vision for nursing education in rural, underserved, and culturally diverse communities are characteristics of the Nurse Educator role.    

The College of Nursing is pleased to announce that we were recently awarded funding for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program. This funding is available for all MSN or DNP students, regardless of specialty, provided they take the nurse educator course work and get employment after graduation as a nurse educator. The funding is awarded as a loan, not a scholarship or grant. Up to 85% of the loan is forgiven over a four year period after graduation provided the recipient is employed as a nursing faculty member in a school/college of nursing. If you are interested in discussing the loan requirements or applying for the funding, please contact Dr. Cathy Dearman, Associate Dean for Research and Development at 251-445-9426 OR email her at

Online Curriculum

The nurse educator option can be layered onto any advanced specialist or advanced generalist preparation. The educator option is completely online which is ideal for nurses in remote areas and for those who are bound by work and family obligations. The interactive online classroom provides opportunities for active learning, discussion, problem solving, debating, critical thinking, research, networking, and community building based on advanced clinical skills.

Find USA Nurse Educators on Facebook   

Nursing Education Curriculum

Note: Your ability to progress in the curriculum is dependent upon you following the schedule you are provided by the graduate office. For example, some courses are only taught once each year and many others have pre-requisites. If you are unable to enroll as projected, contact the graduate office for a revised schedule (251) 445-9410    

Nurse Educator Certification*

The Nurse Educator sub-specialization option at the USA College of Nursing prepares one to sit for certification as a nurse educator which is offered by the National League for Nursing (NLN). The Nurse Educator Certification Exam is available to both those who have graduated from a Nurse Educator specific educational program as well as others who have a master's in another specialty but significant experience as an educator. Graduates of the USA College of Nursing who have completed all nurse educator sub-specialization courses are eligible to seek certification after 2 years of experience as a nurse educator. Persons who are not educationally prepared as nurse educators must have 5 years of full-time nursing education experience before seeking certification. For additional information, please see the NLN web site ( under nurse educator certification. If you have questions regarding the requirements for certification, please contact NLN directly.

*Changes in certification company's requirements may necessitate the College of Nursing having to alter the curriculum for students enrolled in the program. The college will make every attempt to minimize the effect on students, but may need to add courses, etc. to ensure the program remains in compliance with any new standards.

Orientation to the Nurse Educator Option

The Nurse Educator option focuses on the multifaceted roles of the nurse educator: educator, collaborator, scholar, manager, and clinical practice. Nurse Educators are responsible for building and maintaining competence in each of these roles and develop expert skills in three of them: educator, collaborator, and scholar. All Nurse Educator coursework is offered in conjunction with another advanced practice focus area such as Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) or Nurse Practitioner (NP). View current requirements for any of these other tracks by visiting their respective web pages.

All clinical is preceptor based in the student’s home area. Students must identify preceptors who will guide their development within each of the clinical courses. The preceptors MUST be master’s or doctoral prepared and be actively engaged in all aspects of the nurse educator role. All preceptor arrangements must be approved by faculty in advance of the semester in which the student enrolls in the clinical course.

Negotiating clinical agency contracts can be quite a lengthy process. Negotiations in the past have taken as long as 3 months, so start this process well in advance of registering for a clinical course. Students are responsible for assuring that the contract is fully operational PRIOR to starting any clinical hours. NO clinical time can be spent in any facility with which we do not have a clinical affiliation agreement. Please see the Current Students tab on the main CON web page for all practicum forms.


Nurse Educator students can contact Dr. Cindy Morgan at or Dr. Cathy Dearman at or 251-445-9426 for specific questions regarding course planning, etc. The schedules at the links (see above) are examples; each student will be sent a schedule to follow for all coursework upon admission. Because the individual schedules indicate course sequencing, there is no requirement for students to “be advised” on a semester basis unless they are experiencing difficulties or have questions.

Registration and fee payment is accomplished online.


Please feel free to email Specialty Coordinator, Dr. Cindy Morgan at or

For Additional Information

Graduate Studies
USA College of Nursing - HAHN 3086
5721 USA Drive N.
Mobile AL 36688-0002
(251) 445-9400
FAX: (251) 445-9416

The BSN, MSN, and DNP programs at the University of South Alabama College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education,
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 887-6791
University of South Alabama - Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 (251) 445-9400
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