MSN or PhD to teach nursing?

  1. 0
    Hello Nurse Educators,

    I am soon to graduate with my MSN-Nursing Education, and am wondering if I need a PhD to teach nursing? My goal is to teach at the university level/online, although I am open to teaching any level of nursing, to get my foot in the door. My specialty is adult Med/Surg.

    So, do any of you have or plan to get a PhD in nursing or education?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sunflower3
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    depends on your State's requirements (if in USA). My state requires a minimum of one degree higher than what you are teaching, with the exception of PhD. Only PhD's can teach doctoral candidates. So if you teach an ADN program you must have a MSN or be within 18 hours of graduating with MSN. BSN teachers must have MSN minimum in my state.
  4. 2
    States have different rules about faculty educational requirements. So do different schools. As a general rule though ... you can teach undergraduates with an MSN and maybe teach a couple of graduate schools (e.g. supervise clinicals, etc.). However, your career advancement possibilities will be limited with only an MSN.

    Some of the higher level roles in academia (and maybe some of the more desirable teaching assignments, depending on your interests) may not be available to you. For example, large research universities often require PhD's for the higher ranks of the professorate (full professor, associate professor, tenure, etc.) -- or to be a program director, course coordinator, etc.

    In short, with only an MSN, you will have job opportunities -- but not as many at the higher end of the pay scale and responsibility continuum as you would with a PhD.

    You'd have to check with your local schools to see the particular requirements where you live.
    BBFRN and Sunflower3 like this.
  5. 0
    llg,

    This is very helpful-a big Thank You for the guidance! I see that I need to continue on with my original plans and get started on my PhD. I suppose even having 'PhD Student' on my resume will be advantageous, in the meantime!

    Thanks,
    Sunflower3
  6. 0
    I disagree with the above post. I think it depends on where you live. In my area the only jobs for PhD nurses is teaching in one university and there are no openings (of which I am aware). But MSN prepared nurses can teach in 3 local ADN programs, two BSN programs and hold positions in various hospitals and other facilities. If I had continued with my education I would have had to move and did not want to do that.
  7. 1
    Quote from classicdame
    I disagree with the above post. I think it depends on where you live. In my area the only jobs for PhD nurses is teaching in one university and there are no openings (of which I am aware). But MSN prepared nurses can teach in 3 local ADN programs, two BSN programs and hold positions in various hospitals and other facilities. If I had continued with my education I would have had to move and did not want to do that.

    Are you saying they wouldn't ALLOW a PhD to teach in those programs? I've never run into that before. A PhD may not be required, but I never heard of a college level program that PROHIBITED them.

    But as I said, it depends on the local conditions and your interests in teaching. If you want to teach at a major university or BSN level program, then a PhD is an advantage -- and may be required for career advancement. However, if you just want to teach entry-level students, then the PhD is less of an advantage. It all depends on what type of teaching you want to do and how high up the academic career ladder you want to go.
    VickyRN likes this.
  8. 0
    I think having a PhD could limit getting your teaching job since the school would have to pay you more than they'd have to pay a MSN educator. It would be good to start teaching as a MSN, to get your foot in the door, and then go for your PhD or DSN or DN or DNP.

    I live in Indiana. Here BSN educators can teach LPN and ADN students. BSN educators can teach clinicals for BSN students but must be working on their MSNs. Once a person has the MSN, the pay increases substantially and the educator can teach any BSN level course.

    Schools usually require their full time faculty to be working toward a doctorate, if they want to continue teaching. I know several faculty members who did that work one course at a time over a long period of time.
  9. 0
    Quote from Sunflower3
    Hello Nurse Educators,

    I am soon to graduate with my MSN-Nursing Education, and am wondering if I need a PhD to teach nursing? My goal is to teach at the university level/online, although I am open to teaching any level of nursing, to get my foot in the door. My specialty is adult Med/Surg.

    So, do any of you have or plan to get a PhD in nursing or education?

    Thanks in advance,
    Sunflower3
    Yes, it does depend on your geographic area. But, most of the time you need a PhD for BSN programs but not for clinical. MSN is fine for clinical adjunct. MSN degree is fine for all other programs below a BSN. Of course, must have a PhD for a MSN program. most online programs require a PhD except PN programs. Check out www.higheredjobs.com for a list of faculty positions. Hope this helps.
  10. 0
    Hi all,

    I am rereading these and very intriguing to find out that MSN prepared nurses can teach in BSN programs as full faculty. I live near Boston and it is definitely against BORN to have anything less than a PhD as FT faculty for a BSN program and never a MSN for anything w/ a doctoral program. And, Deans of Nursing in MA have to have a PhD even in ADN programs or be working towards it. BSN programs must have a PhD and many creditiantials as a Dean. Very strict here so again depends on your location.
  11. 0
    Quote from Lstcats
    Hi all,

    I am rereading these and very intriguing to find out that MSN prepared nurses can teach in BSN programs as full faculty. I live near Boston and it is definitely against BORN to have anything less than a PhD as FT faculty for a BSN program and never a MSN for anything w/ a doctoral program. And, Deans of Nursing in MA have to have a PhD even in ADN programs or be working towards it. BSN programs must have a PhD and many creditiantials as a Dean. Very strict here so again depends on your location.
    Some of it may have to do with "areas of need." Fore example, in Oregon, if I remember correctly, a school can maintain its accreditation with MSN faculty if they can prove that the extant pool does not include enough doctorally prepared faculty.


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