Capella University RN to MSN Program


Capella University RN to MSN Program

Capella University has two options for the online RN to Master of Science in Nursing degree. One track is open to nurses who have completed a bachelor's degree in nursing and the other option is for nurses who have completed a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. This second option, called the RN to MSN Bridge, incorporates some of the courses found in a BSN program so that on completion, a student in the Bridge program will have received all of the nursing training offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The MSN specializations that require extensive field work aren't available through this program, but for nurses interested in teaching or acting as an administrator the Capella program is a good choice.

RN to MSN with Nurse Educator Specialization

Elements of this program focus on the evolving health care policy and regulations that increasingly dictate obligations of nurses at every level. The HIPAA laws are one important level of regulatory policy; state and local requirements are another. A nurse educator must be well versed in the policies that play a role in nursing as they are set forth in all healthcare statutes. Some institutions that provide services to walk-in patients often have a need for a forensic nurse, for example. There are often local ordinances that define the requirements for examining patients that may be victims of abuse. A nurse educator provides the academic overview of regulatory laws and administrative bodies that are important for nurses working in today's healthcare system.

Technology also plays a major role in advanced practice nursing. Professionals enrolled in a RN to MSN program that are studying to be Nurse Educators are going to learn the structure and function of nurse informatics and health informatics in general. These databases are essential to effective, organized medical care especially in large facilities. They are used to transport information among physicians, nurses, labs, nuclear medicine facilities, accounting professionals, and any department engaged in coding and billing.

RN to MSN Bridge

The RN to MSN Bridge program at Capella is designed for licensed nurses who hold a baccalaureate in some academic discipline other than nursing. The Bridge degree incorporates nursing classes that a RN with an associate's degree may not have encountered in school; most bridge programs roll out the upper level undergraduate courses first and then the student moves into the MSN course work. This program is also an option for clinical nurse leaders who are working in an educational capacity already and wish to obtain a formal credential in the field. Nurse educators work in every academic environment where nursing students may be found, from continuing education to post secondary education to the military.


An example of the importance of technology for this profession is provided by some of the course included in the core MSN curriculum as well as for the Nurse Educator specialization: they include Information Systems for Nurse Educators, Assessment & Evaluation in Health Education, and Research & Technology for Advanced Nursing Practice. Among the courses oriented to laws and professional standards are Policy, Regulations & Ethics in Advanced Practice Nursing, Role of the Professional Practice Nurse, and Foundations & Frameworks for Professional Nursing Practice.