What Is an EdD Nursing Education Degree?

Earning your Ed.D. nurse educator degree helps you prepare to teach at the college/university level and within healthcare organizations. Nurse educators usually work with students who want to become RNs and APRNs. Some also work with those who are already in their desired professions, teaching them current best practices in the field.

The Ed.D. in Nursing Education is unique because it is a Doctor of Education degree rather than a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in nursing education or nursing education PhD. An Ed.D. in Nursing Education is primarily designed for educators who want to specialize in nursing education. The program typically emphasizes teaching strategies, curriculum development, and educational leadership. Graduates of an Ed.D. program in Nursing Education are prepared to work as faculty members or administrators in nursing schools or other educational institutions. This degree is often more focused on the practical aspects of teaching, learning, and leading in nursing education and is a little less common than DNP or Ph.D. programs in the field.

It usually takes three to five years to complete an Ed.D. nurse educator program. You’ll likely need between 50 and 70 credits to complete your program. While the courses required will differ from program to program, standard courses required for graduation include leadership in nursing education, clinical teaching in nursing education, teaching and learning strategies in nursing education, curriculum development, trends and issues in nursing education, and distance education in nursing. You’ll also need to complete a research component for your program, including courses involving research methods, statistics, and nursing science. 

2024 - Best Ed.D. in Nursing Education Programs

NurseEducator.com's EdD in Nursing Education rankings are based on a comprehensive methodology that takes into account multiple factors, including affordability, availability of resources, quality of faculty, program diversity, and student success. Our rankings are based on an analysis of completion rates, cost of living, competitiveness of the institution, diversity of programs offered, and years of faculty experience. To learn more about our methodology, click here. With this in mind, NurseEducator.com has created an up-to-date ranking of the best EdD in Nursing Education programs—helping students make the best decision for their future.


Bryan College of Health Sciences

Lincoln, NE

Bryan College of Health Sciences is a private, non-profit college located in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is a small college with just over 1,200 students and offers more than ten different health science programs. Bryan College also offers an EdD in Nursing Education, allowing students to pursue a terminal degree in the field of nursing education.


Western Connecticut State University

Danbury, CT

Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) is located in Danbury, Connecticut. It is a public university with an enrollment of over 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. WCSU offers a range of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, including an EdD in Nursing Education. It is an affordable, accredited university with a commitment to providing high-quality education and engaging student experiences.


The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

The University of Alabama is a public research university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is the state's flagship university and is the largest university in the state, with an enrollment of nearly 38,000 students. The university offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including an EdD in Nursing Education.

Ed.D. Nurse Educator Prerequisites

The Ed.D. in Nursing Education is a terminal degree program that prepares nurse educators to become leaders in the academic and healthcare sectors. To be eligible for admission to an Ed.D. Nurse Educator program, candidates typically need to meet certain prerequisites, including:

  • A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree from an accredited institution
  • An active and unrestricted registered nurse (RN) license
  • A minimum GPA requirement (often 3.0 or higher)
  • Professional experience in nursing education or related fields
  • GRE or other standardized test scores (may be waived for applicants with extensive experience)

In addition to these prerequisites, some Ed.D. Nurse Educator programs may also require letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an interview with the admissions committee. Completing an Ed.D. nurse educator program can lead to advanced career opportunities in nursing education, research, and leadership roles.

Are Online Ed.D. Nuring Education Programs Available?

Yes, fully online Ed.D. nurse educator programs are available, allowing you to complete your coursework independently. Many nurses find this an ideal option, as busy nursing schedules can make it hard to attend traditional classes. 

When you search for online Ed.D. nurse educator programs, you’ll want to choose programs that offer an asynchronous option if you need to work around an ever-changing schedule. Asynchronous classes allow you to complete your coursework on time rather than requiring you to be online at a specific time to participate in class (these are called synchronous classes). 

Nuring Education Ed.D. vs. Other Doctorate Degree Types

As a nurse, it can be challenging to figure out what type of doctoral program best fits your needs. In addition to the Ed.D., you can also get a Ph.D. in nursing or a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) at the doctoral level or an MSN in Nursing Education at the graduate level. All of these degrees can be a smart path forward, depending on your individual career goals. 

The Ed.D. in nursing can set you up for a career teaching new nurses but will often take you out of working directly with patients. A Ph.D. program will prepare you to participate in research. If you love statistics and are interested in contributing to research in the field, this may be the right option for you. A Ph.D. program will also typically remove you from providing direct patient care. A DNP program can allow you to continue treating patients while preparing you to move into leadership within your healthcare organization. 

Take your time and think about your future career goals before deciding on a doctoral program. Talking with your supervisor within your organization can be a smart move in helping you decide what type of doctoral program will be the right fit for your future.

Nurse Educator Degree Type Comparison

Degree TypeDescription LengthTypical Career Outcomes
MSN Nurse EducatorA Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a specialization in Nurse Education.2-3 yearsNurse educator positions in academic institutions, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. May also pursue leadership positions in nursing education.
Post-Master’s Certificate Nurse EducatorA post-master’s certificate program focused on nurse education.1 year or lessDesigned for nurses with an MSN or DNP who want to specialize in nurse education. Can also be taken as a standalone certificate for those who already have a graduate degree in nursing.
DNP Nurse EducatorA Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with a specialization in Nurse Education.3-4 yearsAdvanced nurse educator positions in academic institutions and healthcare organizations. May also pursue leadership roles in nursing education or clinical practice.
Ph.D. Nurse EducatorA Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing with a focus on nursing education research.4-5 yearsTenure-track academic positions, research roles in healthcare organizations, and leadership positions in nursing education.
Ed.D. Nurse EducatorA Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) with a specialization in Nursing Education.3-4 yearsDesigned for nurse educators who want to pursue leadership roles in academic institutions or healthcare organizations. May also be useful for those who want to focus on nursing education policy and advocacy.
Note: Program lengths may vary depending on the specific institution and program. These are just general estimates.

List of Ed.D. Nursing Education Degree Programs

In search of an online or campus-based Ed.D. Nurse Educator program near you? Explore our state-by-state listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


EdD Programs
50 University Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
(205) 348-6639


501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 392-7278

EdD Programs
181 White Stree
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 837-8200


1990 Heath St
Waterloo, IA 50703
(319) 226-2000


5035 Everett Street
Lincoln, NE 68506
(402) 481-3801

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Share This: