Here you’ll discover a breakdown of RN to MSN nursing administration degrees, tips on online RN to MSN nursing administration programs, a list of nursing administration certifications, and important points about state licensure. Unsure about the terms? Check out the debates on nurse administrator vs. nurse educator, nurse manager vs. case manager, and nursing leadership vs. CNL. Need help with the job hunt? Have a look at the sections on nursing administration jobs & salaries and nursing administration conferences, organizations & resources.
Already made your decision? Skip ahead to our Directory of RN to MSN Nursing Administration Programs.
What is Nursing Administration?
Definition of a Nurse Administrator
Nurse administrator is an umbrella term that covers a large number of mid-level management roles (e.g. nurse manager, director of nursing, etc.) as well as high-level positions such as nurse executives (e.g. CNOs, CNEs, etc.).
If you choose to go down the administration route, your work won’t involve a lot of clinical time (if any at all!). You’ll still be devoted to patient-centered care, but you’ll be in a supervisory role that involves a lot of financial & administrative duties.
- Mid-Level: On any given day, nurse administrators may be planning daily activities, staffing units, creating staff budgets & financial reports, developing policies & procedures, recruiting & training new nurses, conducting performance evaluations, and working as a liaison between staff and hospital brass.
- High-Level: Nurse administrators that advance to executives may be heavily involved in quality improvement action plans, healthcare systems design, project & capital budgeting, cost analyses, equipment purchases, technology implementation, healthcare policy, government regulations, HR management, and more.
Common work settings include medium-sized and large institutions such as:
- Managed care organizations
- Nursing homes
- Mental health facilities
- Private clinics
- Physician offices
- Non-profit and government agencies
- Insurance companies
Types of Nurse Administrators
- Nurse Manager
- Clinical Nursing Manager
- Nursing Supervisor
- Assistant Director of Nursing
- Director of Nursing
- Director of Patient Services
- Clinical Nurse Director
- Quality Improvement Director
- Nurse Executive
- Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
- Chief Nursing Executive (CNE)
- Chief Operating Officer (COO)
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Vice President (VP) of Nursing
- Vice President (VP) of Case Management
- Vice President (VP) of Patient Care Services
- Commissioner of Health
AONE has a useful list of nursing administration job descriptions (open to members). You may also want to check out AONE’s website on Nurse Leader Competencies, which includes details on nurse managers, nurse executives, and C-level positions (e.g. CNO, CNE, CEO, etc.).
Note: The term “nurse leader” usually equates to an executive position. However, the phrase “clinical nurse leader” refers to a unique clinical role at the point of care. See our section on nursing leadership vs. CNL for more info.
Nurse Administrators & State Licensure
Generally speaking, nurse administrators need to have an RN license. This is the minimum standard for nursing administration certifications and the qualification listed in most job descriptions (especially for mid-level positions). You can be a RN and qualify for high-level executive positions (e.g. CNO, CNE, etc.) as long as you have relevant years of senior management experience.
Graduate programs with a specialization/track in nurse administration (e.g. nurse executive, nursing leadership, healthcare administration, etc.) may prepare you for certifications; they will not prepare you for RN or APRN state licensure.
Long-Term Care Administrators & State Licensure
Long-term care administrators in licensed nursing homes & residential care facilities are often required to hold a separate state license. The best place to go for info on this field is the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB). Here you’ll find details on individual state licensure requirements for:
- Nursing Home Administrators (NHAs)
- Residential Care/ Assisted Living Administrators (RC/ALs)
NHA licensure candidates are required to pass the NAB exam; they may also be required to pass a state exam. The minimum degree requirement for NHAs in all states is an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
Nursing Administration vs. Other Specialties
Nurse Manager vs. Case Manager
Our directory contains RN to MSN degrees in nursing management and case management. Depending on the program, they may be preparing you for separate job functions:
- Nurse Manager: Nursing managers work in mid-level seniority jobs that involve all aspects of administration (e.g. schedules, budgets, strategic planning, operations and care delivery, etc.). These “macrosystem” positions tend to pay well, but they rarely involve in-depth clinical work with patients. For instance, nurse managers often have a lot of mentoring & staff leadership responsibilities.
- Case Manager: Case managers work directly with patients & families. They might be expected to conduct a 360º assessment of a patient’s needs, develop a case management plan, counsel patients & families on their healthcare options, collaborate with the healthcare team on treatments & services, help patients transition through the continuum of care, and act as fierce patient advocates. That means the graduate program could include clinical courses (e.g. advanced pharmacology) and training in patient care.
To get the inside scoop on the differences, compare the responsibilities for “nurse managers” and “case managers” under current job descriptions. You might also want to look at the requirements for case manager certifications:
- The Certified Case Manager (CCM), which is offered by the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
- The Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC), which is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Want the good news? Some nursing administration degrees include case management & care coordination in the coursework. There are also graduate programs that address both fields (e.g. MSN in Health Systems Administration with Case Management). Check the curriculum before you make a decision!
Nurse Administrator vs. Nurse Educator
Once you reach the graduate level, you could be facing a fork in the road—do you want to teach or lead? Here are some important points to consider as you make your decision:
- Nurse Administrator: Nurse administrators have multiple supervisory duties. Although their jobs can involve program planning, mentorship of junior staff, and training initiatives, their focus is the strategic management of personnel and resources, not one-on-one education. They spend most of their day with managers, nurses, patients, and medical staff.
- Nurse Educator: Nurse educators supply new & practicing nurses with advanced knowledge and skills (often in a specific specialty). In addition to teaching, they get to create new curricula and courses, monitor & evaluate the success of education programs, and engage in pedagogical research. To keep their clinical skills sharp, nurse educators often continue to work part-time as RNs or APRNs. They spend a lot of time with student nurses.
Are you a “big picture” thinker who enjoys juggling organizational responsibilities (e.g. resource allocation, patient care, protocol compliance, personnel issues, financial planning)? Explore the administration degrees in our directory. Are you a creative communicator who would like to nurture & educate nurses throughout their careers? Have a look at our guide to RN to MSN Nurse Educator Programs.
Nursing Leadership vs. CNL
As you start looking at future career options, you’re going to see openings for nursing leadership and clinical nurse leader (CNL) jobs. We cover the differences in detail in our guide to RN to MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Programs, but here’s a quick summary:
- Nursing Leadership: This usually refers to mid- to high-level administrative work (e.g. Director of Nursing, CNO, etc.). Nurse leaders & executives don’t need to have a master’s degree, but they’ll usually be expected to hold a BSN. They often end up supervising CNLs.
- Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL): This is a point of care role that involves clinical care and on-the-ground decision-making. CNLs must earn a master’s degree and go through a CNL certification process. They report to a nurse manager or director.
RN to MSN Nursing Administration Programs
RN to MSN Nursing Administration: Overview
RN to MSN Nursing Administration programs are custom-built for working RNs who have a diploma or an associate’s degree (e.g. ASN/ADN) and want to pursue an MSN or MS to become nurse executives, managers, and other administrators. There are also RN to MSN Nursing Administration programs aimed at RNs with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.
You’ll have a huge amount of choice in this field! In our directory, you’re going to see programs with titles like:
- Nursing Administration
- Healthcare Administration
- Nursing Management
- Health Systems Management
- Nurse Executive
- Nursing Leadership
- Healthcare Leadership
Many of these degrees are similar, so check the curriculum to discover their primary area of focus. In most cases, they’ll fall into three major categories:
- Concentration/Track: RN to MSN programs that begin with a general set of nursing subjects and then allow you to focus on administration & management concerns. You’ll find plenty of on-campus and online degrees in this category. If you’re interested in C-level jobs (e.g. CNO, CNE, CEO, etc.), be sure to look at RN to MSN Nurse Executive options.
- Dual Degree: RN to MSN programs that help you earn an MSN and an MBA (e.g. Nursing Administration/MBA, Health Systems Administration/MBA, etc.). It’s important to note that a number of employers now expect CNO and CNE candidates to have an MBA. Our guide to RN to MSN/MBA Programs has more details.
- Case Manager: Programs that focus specifically on case management skills. This is a field for lower-level RN managers (see our section on nurse administrator vs. case manager), but we wanted to mention that there are a few programs in the directory that tackle it.
Note: Programs with the title of “Nursing Leadership” or “Nurse Leader” are not the same as “Clinical Nurse Leader” (CNL) or “Clinical Leadership” programs. CNL is a specific role that involves clinical work at the point of care. It’s not a management & administrative position. We talk more about it in our guide to RN to MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Programs.
RN to MSN Nursing Administration: Admissions
RN to MSN Nursing Administration programs share the same general prerequisites as many other advanced nursing programs (e.g. NP, CNM, CNS, CNL, etc.). You’ll typically need to have:
- A diploma or associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in another field from a regionally accredited institution
- A current RN license
- At least one year of RN clinical experience—this requirement is sometimes waived for non-clinical programs (e.g. nursing administration)
- A baseline undergraduate GPA (usually 2.75-3.0)—if your GPA is not strong, some schools may want to see GRE or GMAT scores
- Letters of professional/academic reference
RN to MSN Nursing Administration: Undergraduate Phase
Before you can sink your teeth into the master’s degree, you’ll be required to earn good grades on upper-level undergraduate courses at the university.
The length of this phase will depend on whether you have an associate’s degree/diploma or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, but most undergraduate coursework takes 6 months-2 years to complete (i.e. ~3-6 courses).
Common titles for RN to MSN undergraduate courses include:
- Concepts & theories in nursing
- Research & evidence-based practice
- Nursing leadership & healthcare policy
- Community-based nursing
Schools of Nursing almost always list statistics & health assessment as standard prerequisites. You can transfer your course credits, but if you haven’t studied these subjects during your undergraduate years, you will need to complete these two courses through the school.
RN to MSN Nursing Administration: MSN Curriculum
After you’ve completed your undergraduate courses, you can start the MSN part of your program. Because they don’t have to focus on clinical & medical skills (e.g. advanced pharmacology), RN to MSN Nursing Administration degrees are a little more “loosey-goosey” than other programs.
However, most degrees will try to cover the foundations outlined in ANA’s Nursing Administration Scope and Standards of Practice, AONE’s Nurse Leader Competencies, and nursing administration certifications. You could be taking:
- Core Courses: Fundamentals related to advanced practice nursing & administration (e.g. evidence-based practice; nursing theory & research; healthcare policy; health information & patient care technologies; healthcare informatics; biostatistics; education & teaching; etc.)
- Concentration Courses: Courses that address high-level nursing management concerns (e.g. quality & safety management; finance & operations management; project management; micro & macroeconomics; HR management; healthcare delivery systems; leadership for executives; strategic planning; etc.)
- Electives: Schools will occasionally allow you to choose an elective (e.g. women in leadership), but most programs have a set curriculum.
On top of traditional classroom work, almost every RN to MSN Nursing Administration degree is going to include a final-year capstone project, clinical practicums, and/or an internship.
RN to MSN Nursing Administration: MSN Clinical Hours / Practicums
Unlike other advanced nursing programs (e.g. NP, CNS, CNM, etc.), there is no minimum hour recommendation for practicums in nursing administration programs. That means Schools of Nursing are free to decide how much clinical work they want to include in the RN to MSN Nursing Administration curriculum.
For example, we’ve seen nursing administration programs that include:
- 120 clinical hours: One 60-hour practicum and one 60-hour capstone
- 120 clinical hours: 10 hours per week for 12 weeks + 15 hours of individual meetings & seminars
- 252 clinical hours: One practicum focused on healthcare leadership & one on healthcare management
- 525 clinical hours: In-depth residency in nursing & healthcare administration
As you might expect, these clinical hours won’t involve much direct patient care. Instead, you’ll be immersed in administrative activities & real-world applications. You may be tackling various management challenges, developing healthcare programs & projects, creating patient-centered care management plans, addressing issues related to HR, attending meetings—basically everything you’ll have to deal with in your future job!
If you’re interested in working in a specific healthcare setting during your practicum, pay attention to the School of Nursing’s local partnerships. For example, the University of Mississippi has close ties with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and four local area hospitals. Drexel’s program includes an international study abroad experience in Costa Rica (i.e. a developing country).
Online RN to MSN Nursing Administration Programs
Are Online RN to MSN Nursing Administration Programs Available?
Yep! Because administration programs don’t have the same stringent practicum requirements as advanced clinical roles (e.g. NP, CNM, CNA, etc.), our directory contains tons of Online RN to MSN Nursing Administration degrees. You can have your pick of strong ACEN- and CCNE-accredited schools. Some will even help you earn a BSN along the way.
- Undergraduate Phase: Just like on-campus programs, you’ll be expected to earn good grades in upper-level undergraduate courses from the university before you can tackle the MS or MSN. These courses are almost always offered online, so you can work while you study.
- Graduate Phase: You’ll usually be able to take all of your standard MS or MSN courses online; many courses are offered in an asynchronous format (i.e. you can log into class at any time). Your clinical hours will be completed under the supervision of a preceptor in your home community. Administrative clinical practicums are often short (e.g. ~120 hours) and designed to fit into your full-time schedule.
Better yet, nursing administration programs won’t include a lot of on-campus visits or training weekends. In certain cases, you may be expected to show up for an initial orientation, but a lot of degrees start with a web-based orientation or introductory session instead.
Note: Do you live near a great School of Nursing? You could consider a hybrid program. You’ll have to travel to campus for some of your MS or MSN courses during the evenings and/or weekends, but you’ll get the benefits of networking and in-person instruction.
Online RN to MSN Nursing Administration Programs & State Authorization
As we mentioned in our section on nurse administrators & state licensure, nurse administrators do not need to go through a state licensure process to become APRNs. If you have an RN license and a relevant nursing administration certification (e.g. NE-BC), you’re in good shape.
That also means that lot of the hiccups involving distance learning & clinical training vanish. Because administrative RN to MSN degrees don’t lead to advanced practice licensure, you should be eligible for a number of online programs, regardless of your state of residence.
Having said that, we recommend you take a look at your School of Nursing’s State Authorization or State Regulation page and talk to the program coordinator before you select a degree. Because of interstate agreements, schools still cannot accept certain applicants. For example:
- On its State Authorization & Licensure Information website, Clarkson College notes that it cannot accept graduate nursing students from certain states, and it’s only able to offer limited online programs to Massachusetts residents.
- On its MSN program website, East Tennessee State University notes that admission to its online MSN cannot be guaranteed to all applicants. Students from a number of states are ineligible to apply.
- On its Online MSN with a Specialization in Nurse Administrator – RN to MSN program website, South University has a similar state exclusion list.
Nursing Administration Certification
Overview of Nursing Administration Certification
When it comes to nursing administrative certifications, you have options. The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) all offer relevant credentials.
- Nurses in mid-level positions can take a look at the CNML and the NE-BC; nurses in upper-level positions might consider the CENP, NEA-BC, and FACHE.
- FACHE is less well-known than the other certifications, but it has the highest level of work requirements. We’ve seen it after the names of RNs who are C-level executives.
- Some nurse administrators maintain multiple certifications (e.g. CENP, NEA-BC, FACHE).
A lot of RN to MSN nursing administration programs will help you prepare for these exams. Ask the program coordinator if you can’t find certification info listed on the program website.
Note: Our section on nurse administrator vs. case manager has links to case management certifications.
Nursing Management Certifications
The CNML is offered by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). To gain it, you must:
- Fulfill one of the following criteria:
- Earn a BSN in nursing or higher + have 2,080 hours of experience in a nurse manager role
- Earn a non-nursing bachelor’s degree + have 3,120 hours of experience in a nurse manager role
- Earn a diploma or associate degree in nursing + have 5,200 hours of experience in a nurse manager role
- Hold a current, active RN license
- Take & pass the CNML exam. It’s a 115-question exam that covers 4 core administrative principles: financial management; human resource management; performance improvement; strategic management & technology.
- Keep your CNML certification up-to-date through continuing education or successful re-examination. The initial certification period lasts 3 years.
The NE-BC is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To gain it, you must:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing (e.g. BSN, MSN, DNP, etc.)
- Hold a current, active RN license
- Fulfill one of the following criteria:
- Have held a job as a mid-level administrator or higher (e.g. nurse manager, supervisor, director, assistant director)
- Have held a faculty position teaching graduate students nursing administration
- Have held a full-time nursing management or executive consultation position for at least 24 months (or the equivalent) in the last 5 years
- Have completed 30 hours of continuing education in nursing administration within the last 3 years. This stipulation is waived if you have a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing administration.
- Take & pass the NE-BC exam. It’s a computer-based, 3.5 hour exam that consists of 175 questions (150 scored + 25 pre-test, unscored questions).
- Keep your NE-BC certification up-to-date through continuing education. The initial certification period lasts 5 years.
Nursing Executive Certifications
The NEA-BC is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To gain it, you must:
- Earn a master’s degree or higher in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s in a relevant field
- Hold a current, active RN license
- Fulfill one of the following criteria:
- Have held a job as an administrator at the nurse executive level
- Have held a faculty position teaching graduate students executive-level nursing administration full-time for at least 24 months (or the equivalent) in the last 5 years
- Take & pass the NEA-BC exam. It’s a computer-based, 3.5 hour exam that consists of 175 questions (150 scored + 25 pre-test, unscored questions).
- Keep your NEA-BC certification up-to-date through continuing education. The initial certification period lasts 5 years.
The CENP is offered by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). To gain it, you must:
- Hold a current, active RN license
- Fulfill one of the following criteria:
- Earn a master’s level degree or higher (one of your degrees must be in nursing) + have 2 years of experience in an executive nursing role
- Earn a BSN in nursing + have 4 years in an executive nursing role
- Take & pass the CENP exam. The exam tests 4 core executive principles: communication and relationship building; knowledge of the health care environment; professionalism; business skills and leadership.
- Keep your CENP certification up-to-date through continuing education or successful re-examination. The initial certification period lasts 3 years.
FACHE is offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). To become a fellow, you must:
- Be a current member with 3-years tenure as an ACHE Member, Faculty Associate, or International Associate (student membership does not count toward tenure)
- Earn a master’s degree (or other post-baccalaureate degree)
- Currently work in an executive healthcare management position and have a minimum of 5 years of executive healthcare management experience.
- Demonstrate 36 hours of healthcare-related continuing education withing the last 3 years of submitting an application (12 hours must be ACHE Face-to-Face education)
- Submit 2 examples of community/civic activities and 2 examples of healthcare-related activities within the last 3 years of submitting an application
- Submit 2 references: 1 reference from a Fellow reference (must be a structured interview) and 1 reference from a senior-level executive (VP or higher) in your organization or a second Fellow
- Take & pass the Board of Governors exam
- Keep your FACHE credential up-to-date through continuing education. Fellows are required to re-certify every three years.
Nursing Administration Jobs
Nursing Administration Careers
Experience is going to play a huge part in your career trajectory as a nurse administrator. As we mentioned, employers are happy to consider RNs with senior management experience for high-level positions. Their primary goal is to find candidates who can handle a complex array of administrative tasks.
The practicum portion of your RN to MSN Nursing Administration degree will help you get some experience in this field, but you can also:
- Volunteer for leadership roles within your unit or clinic
- Join committees involved in quality improvements, patient safety, budgets, etc.
- Connect with mentors through conferences and organizations—the best opportunities often come from networking (i.e. who you know)
- Research job descriptions in your area to see what skills are highly valued (e.g. case management)
- Look for Schools of Nursing that offer career counseling, professional development workshops, and job fairs
- Talk to alumni about their job hunting experiences
Nursing Administration Job Openings
- Indeed: Nurse Case Manager Jobs; Nurse Administrator Jobs; Nurse Manager Jobs; Director of Nursing Jobs, Nurse Director Jobs; Director of Patient Services Jobs.
- Monster: Nurse Manager Jobs; Director of Nursing Jobs.
- Glassdoor: Nursing Administrator Jobs; Nurse Manager Jobs; Director of Nursing Jobs; Director of Patient Care Services Jobs.
- LinkedIn: Nursing Manager Jobs; Director of Nursing Jobs.
- ACHE Job Center (e.g. CEO, CNO, Senior Director of Nursing, etc.)
- Indeed: Executive Nurse Administrator Jobs; Nurse Executive Jobs; Chief Nursing Executive Jobs; Chief Nursing Officer Jobs; Vice President Nursing Jobs; Vice President of Nursing Jobs.
- Monster: Chief Nursing Officer Jobs.
- Glassdoor: Chief Nursing Officer Jobs; Vice President-Patient Services/Nurse Executive Jobs; Vice President Nursing Jobs.
- LinkedIn: Nurse Executive Jobs (includes mid-level positions); Chief Nursing Officer Jobs; Vice President Nursing Jobs.
Nursing Administration Salaries
For hard data on salaries, you can start with AONE Salary and Compensation Study for Nurse Leaders. AONE members have free, unlimited access; non-members may purchase the report.
In 2016, AONE noted that the average respondent held an executive or management title (e.g. director, manager, CNO, etc.); had been in nursing leadership for at least six years; held a master’s degree; and earned between $90,000 and $149,999 annually.
- Case Manager: In 2018, Glassdoor’s page on Nurse Case Manager Salaries and Payscale’s page on Nurse Case Manager Salaries put average salaries between $43,000-$70,000.
- Assistant Nurse Director: In 2018, Payscale’s page on Assistant Director of Nursing Salaries put the average salary at $68,000.
- Nurse Manager: In 2018, Payscale’s page on Clinical Nurse Manager Salaries and Nurse Administrator Salaries and Glassdoor’s page on Nurse Manager Salaries put average salaries between $80,000-$88,000.
- Nurse Director: In 2018, Payscale’s page on Director of Nurses Salaries and Glassdoor’s page on Nurse Director Salaries put average salaries between $83,000-$91,000.
- CNO: In 2018, Glassdoor’s page on Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Salaries and Payscale’s page on Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Salaries put average salaries between $98,000-$126,000.
- CNE: In 2018, Payscale’s page on Chief Nurse Executive (CNE) Salaries put the average salary at $124,000.
- VP: Payscale’s page on Vice President (VP) and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Salaries put the average salary at $169,000.
Nursing Administration Resources
Nursing Administration Certification Bodies
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)
- AONE: CENP Review Course
- AONE: CNML Review Course
Nursing Administration Professional Associations
- American College of Healthcare Administrators (ACHCA)
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
- American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)
- Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing (CGEAN)
- National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA)
- National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB)
Nursing Administration Conferences & Events
- ACHCA Convocation & Expo
- ACHE Congress on Healthcare Leadership
- AONE Annual Meeting
- AONE Education Calendar
- Emerging Nurse Leader Institute (ENLI)
- NADONA National Conference
- Nurse Manager Institute
Nursing Administration Journals
- Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA)
- Nurse Leader Journal
- Voice of Nursing Leadership Newsletter
Nursing Administration Useful Resources
- ACHE Job Center
- ANA: Nursing Administration Scope and Standards of Practice
- AONE Nurse Director Fellowship
- AONE Nurse Leader Competencies
- AONE Nurse Manager Fellowship
- AONE Online Career Center
- AONE Salary and Compensation Study for Nurse Leaders
The RN to MSN option at the University of Alabama at Birmingham allows RNs with an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field to earn an MSN. Students can select the nursing health systems administration specialty for their master's work. The program is distance accessible, and students complete their clinical experiences with a preceptor in their home community. Once accepted into the program, students complete three bridge classes before beginning graduate-level coursework. The MSN requires 36 credits and combines synchronous online classes with on-campus intensives. Applicants should have a GPA of at least 3.0 and one year of clinical experience. Applicants whose GPA is under 3.2 must submit GRE, GMAT, or MAT scores. Students are admitted in the fall and summer and generally attend part time. UAB ranked #6 in the U.S. News 2020 rankings for Nursing Health Systems Administration programs.
The RN to MSN program at the University of North Alabama is a completely online option that enables RNs with an associate degree to complete their BSN and then apply for the master's program. Once in the master's program, students can select the leadership track. With the RN to MSN option, students complete nine graduate credits as part of their undergraduate coursework. They are able to apply those credits to the master's program, eliminating a semester of coursework. Students complete observational clinical experiences in their home community. Classwork is presented in an asynchronous format for flexibility. The time it takes a complete a BSN depends on how many general education credits are needed. The MSN leadership track, including clinical components, can be completed in five semesters of full-time study. The university awards two $1,000 RN-BSN/RN-MSN scholarships each semester.
The University of South Alabama offers two pathways for nursing who want a master's degree so they can qualify for jobs in nursing administration. One pathway is for RNs with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and the other is for RNs with a diploma or associate degree. The Master of Science in Nursing executive nursing administration degree is a 37-credit program with four core classes and eight classes in the specialty. Students hone their nursing administration skills through field experiences in administrative concepts and resource management. They also complete clinical hours in nursing administration field studies and an internship. Other classes cover related topics such as nursing informatics and managing healthcare personnel. All classes are offered online with no need to go to campus, and students attend an orientation via web conferencing.
RNs with an associate degree can earn their MSN in clinical systems leadership in as few as two years through the University of Arizona's online RN to MSN program. Nurses who hold an associate degree only need to take three additional classes in this program, compared to students who enter with a BSN, for a total of 11 classes. Courses are delivered online in seven-week sessions, and students usually take two courses per term. There are three terms a year. Nurses end the program with a 16-week capstone course where they work with a faculty member to create a comprehensive care management plan. The capstone allows students to demonstrate patient-center leadership concepts. RN to MSN applicants must have an unrestricted nursing license with two years of work experience and should have a GPA of 3.0 on their last 30 credits of ADN or ASN coursework.
The University of Phoenix has a bridge program designed for RNs who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. Students who enter this program can pursue an MSN with a concentration in nurse administration. The curriculum for this concentration covers topics such as using data in decision-making, strategic planning, and resource allocation. Other classes cover managing human resources, setting quality standards, reducing risk, and managing financial resources. Students can tailor the program to their career goals by using the two business elective options. Coursework in this 36-credit graduate program aligns with the standards set by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and graduates are prepared to take the Nurse Executive - Board Certification exam as soon as they have the required practice experience.
California State University Dominguez Hills offers RNs with a bachelor's degree in a different subject a pathway to an MSN. Once accepted into the program, nurses can select the nurse administrator track. The MSN Pathway program requires students to complete certain BSN courses to bridge to the MSN. Interested applicants are required to attend a Zoom video conference workshop where a pathway advisor will review their transcripts to determine if they may be eligible for the program and to see what bridge classes are needed. The university recommends attending a workshop before applying. Applicants must have a clear license, a 3.0 GPA on their last 60 credits, and a bachelor's degree. The nurse administrator MSN is a 30-credit program including 15 core credits and 15 nurse administrator credits. Students must complete 288 clinical hours with a preceptor.
Holy Names University offers an ADN (RN) to MSN program that allows nurses with an associate degree to achieve a master's degree in two to three years. The MSN program offers a concentration in nursing administration/management. The ADN pathway requires students to complete five undergrad nursing courses as a bridge to the MSN program. For the master's degree, students complete four core courses, six nursing administration courses, and a research-based capstone. Applicants must have a California nursing license and an associate degree in nursing with a GPA of 2.8 or higher. Applicants must submit a resume, personal statement, and a recommendation. Holy Names University provides tuition discounts to nurses employed by more than two dozen hospitals and health systems in California.
RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing can earn a Master of Science in Nursing with a nurse leader specialty in 24 months through West Coast University. The program is offered online, and students can select an accelerated pace or a working professional option. Students in California and Texas may be able to access the university's simulation center for hands-on training. Applicants must have a clear nursing license. WCU prefers applicants who earned at least a 3.0 for their diploma or associate degree, but those with a GPA of 2.7 or higher may be admitted on probation. The RN to MSN/nurse leader program requires students to complete 51 credits, including community practice experience and a culminating experience. WCU uses a trimester calendar, with two terms per trimester. Students who take two courses per term can complete the degree in two years.
Nurses who want to earn a Master of Science in Nursing without having to earn a BSN first can do so through the Western University of Health Sciences. The ADN to MSN program is specifically designed for nurses who want to continue to work and live in their home community while working on an advanced degree. The program may appeal to active-duty military nurses and individuals who live in rural communities. The program has a track in health system leadership/administrative nurse leadership. Western University combines web-based classes with in-person weekend sessions held twice a semester at the campus in Pomona, California. Applicants must have a nursing license, an associate degree in nursing with a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits, and at least one year of experience as an RN. The administrative nurse leader track requires 49 semester units.
Nurses with a diploma or associate degree can prepare for a career in nursing administration at American Sentinel University. The university has an RN to BSN/MSN program that offers specializations in case management and in nursing management and organizational leadership. The case management specialty covers topics such as life care planning, evidence-based practice, and clinical and administrative systems. The nursing management specialty includes classes such as health care finance and economics, human resource management, and health care strategic management and planning. Nurses in either specialty must complete a capstone project where they analyze an institutional problem relevant to their field of study and research an evidence-based solution. American Sentinel's online RN to BSN/MSN program is a streamlined way to earn both a BSN and an MSN in less time than it would take to pursue the degrees separately.
Nurses with an associate degree can prepare for a career in nursing administration through Aspen University's RN to MSN Bridge Program. The program offers a specialization in nursing administration and management. This is a 57-credit program requiring 19 classes. Seven classes comprise the bridge portion of the curriculum. Once they begin master's level coursework, students take 12 classes, including two practica and a capstone. Classes required for the specialization include healthcare economics and finance, health care informatics, and strategic management and planning. Students arrange the practica with a local preceptor so that they can observe the nurse executive role. Students use data collected during their practica experiences to complete a comprehensive research project for their capstone. Applicants to this program must have a 3.0 GPA and at least one year of professional nursing experience.
Regis University has a program that allows RNs with an associate degree to complete a BSN and an MSN with a focus on leadership in health care systems. To develop even more knowledge in the topic, candidates for the master's degree can also earn a complimentary graduate certificate in health care business management. Students can complete the curriculum for both degrees in as few as 27 months, depending in part on how many general education requirements they need. Master's level classes in this program include ethics for nurse leaders, leadership theories for advanced nursing practice, health care organization leadership, and financial management in health care. Students also complete a practicum in health system leadership. Classes are delivered in an asynchronous format so students can log in at their convenience. Classes generally are arranged in eight-week sessions.
Sacred Heart University's RN to Bachelor to Master of Science in Nursing program offers a specialization in nursing management and executive leadership. In this program, RNs with an associate degree can develop the high-level organizational skills needed to assume a management position. Students who enroll in this program earn both a bachelor's and master's in nursing in an accelerated format. Sacred Heart also has an RN to MSN program that is designed for nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing subject. Graduate-level courses in the nursing management specialty cover topics such as managing financial resources, health care information systems, creating a professional workplace, and ensuring quality and safety in practice. For their capstone class, students work with a preceptor to apply the theory and concepts they have learned to a real-life situation.
RNs can prepare for a nurse leader role and earn two degrees at the same time through the RN to MSN program at Jacksonville State University. In this program, offered by the Keigwin School of Nursing, students who complete all of the work required receive their BSN and MSN at the same time. The graduate-level curriculum requires 10 classes for the MSN, including four for the leadership in health care systems specialization. Those classes cover topics including financial management, human resource management, quality and safety, and nursing leadership. Students also complete a role practicum. Classes for the RN to MSN program are delivered in eight-week sessions, with six sessions per year. Classes are all held online with no set login times, and students complete their practice projects in their home community.
The nursing informatics program at Nova Southeastern University's Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing has a focus on data analytics in complex health care systems. Students in the MSN-nursing informatics program take seven courses in the specialty. Courses cover topics such as biomedical informatics, information systems project management, database systems, and clinical decision support systems. Students also complete a class in Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt for health care, allowing them to earn a certification that some employers look for. Candidates are required to complete a 130-hour practicum in nursing informatics. The MSN curriculum also requires 15 credits in foundational nursing courses, and students without a BSN must complete a six-credit bridge course before beginning graduate work. Classes are delivered in an online format, and students may be able to complete the practicum with a preceptor in their home region.
The University of Central Florida offers a pathway for RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree to get the necessary education for a career in nursing leadership. After taking three undergraduate classes, those nurses are ready to move on to the master's program. To earn the MSN with a focus on leadership and management, students complete 36 credits and 315 clinical hours. Courses required for this specialty include organizational dynamics, health care informatics, financial management, legal and professional behavior, and nursing management. Students complete a practicum and an internship in nursing leadership, working with a preceptor in their local community. RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree spend one semester on the bridge classes and they can complete the MSN requirements in five semesters of full-time study or seven semesters of part-time study.
Brenau University's RN to MSN program has a track in nursing leadership and management that is a collaboration between the School of Health Sciences and the Department of Business Administration. Students gain business and management skills and also take classes in advanced nursing practice. The program emphasizes evidence-based practice with the goal of improving patient outcomes. Brenau offers both a standard and an accelerated pathway for the RN to MSN program. Under the standard plan, students can complete their MSN with the nursing leadership track in about four years. For the undergraduate part of the program, students attend online classes. The graduate classes are offered in a hybrid format, and students meet one Saturday a month at the Brenau campus in Norcross, Georgia, just north of Atlanta.
RNs who aspire for a role such as director of nursing or nurse manager can gain the necessary skills and knowledge at South University. The university has a streamlined RN to MSN program that offers a specialization in nurse administrator. The program is open to nurses with an associate degree, and students will receive their bachelor's and master's degrees through this program. Graduate-level classes cover leadership topics such as organizational management in designing health care delivery systems, managing finances, using evidence-based practices in health care, and ensuring quality and safety in health care. Courses are offered online, and students augment their classwork with in-person practice sessions in clinical settings.
Thomas University's RN to MSN program gives RNs the option of completing their master's degree with a concentration in nursing administration. The concentration requires students to complete four courses, including an internship so that students get hands-on experience in nursing administration. One of the four courses is an elective, so students can choose a management course that reflects their interests, such as financial management, strategic planning, or policy development. Students are allowed to select the elective from courses offered in the MBA program at Thomas University. Nursing administration students also complete a capstone project that requires them to develop a strategy to improve patient outcomes, better use human or financial resources, or to improve a professional practice setting. The overall program requires 18 credits in bridge courses and 36 credits for the MSN.
RNs interested in nursing leadership can earn a Master of Science in Nursing through DePaul University along with a certificate in health administration from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. DePaul accepts nurses who have an associate degree in nursing and also accepts RNs who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. The program is tailored to individual students based on their previous academic preparation. In the master's portion of the program, students take core nursing classes through DePaul and take four interprofessional courses in health administration through Franklin University. Those courses include evidence-based management, human resources, and classes covering strategic planning or health care policy. Students also complete a capstone that requires a nursing administration practicum and a paper that synthesizes what the student has learned.
RNs with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field can train for a leadership role through the RN to MSN Option at Elmhurst College, which offers a specialization in nurse administrator. The nursing administration option prepares students for positions in health care administration or management. All students in the administration specialty complete a clinical residency to gain practice in administration. Other specialized classes cover topics such as technology in health care and nursing administration and management. The graduate-level portion of this program requires 33 semester hours and is offered on the Elmhurst campus. Students can complete the graduate portion of the program in as little as two years, although students may choose a slower pace. The RN to MSN Option only accepts students in the fall term.
Nurses who want to develop administrative skills in economics, finance, human resources, and organization management can earn an MSN with a specialization in health systems leadership through Lewis University's RN to MSN option. Nurses in the health system leadership concentration complete 18 credits in core nursing classes and 18 credits in the specialty. Specialized courses focus on topics such as leadership strategies, financial management, and using evidence-based practices to ensure the safety and quality of patient care. For their capstone, students in the leadership concentration complete a practicum of at least 300 clock hours where they synthesize and apply the leadership principles they have learned in their graduate work. This RN-MSN program is open to RNs who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing subject. Coursework for the health systems leadership concentration is available on campus or online.
Olivet Nazarene University has an RN to MSN program that allows nurses to earn their BSN and MSN in an accelerated format. RNs who are interested in nursing leadership can enter the leadership/management track. Students in the leadership/management track complete three specialized courses on topics such as leadership and resource management. Each course also requires them to take a related practicum where they work with an approved preceptor and apply the knowledge gained in the classroom. Students complete 45 practicum hours in the undergraduate portion of the program and 180 credits during the graduate portion. The accelerated classes for this program meet online, with undergrad courses running for six weeks and graduate courses running for eight weeks. Students can enter the program in September or January each year. Students can earn both nursing degrees from Olivet Nazarene in as few as 30 months.
The Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing offers an Accelerated Pathway to the MSN with a concentration in nursing management leadership. This degree prepares nurses for a variety of leadership roles in the health care system. Students gain skills in topics such as taking evidence and translating it to practice, understanding the impact of laws and ethics on practice, managing finances in health care, and managing human resources. All students in the nursing management leadership track complete a management practicum and capstone project to get hands-on experience applying the concepts they have learned in their courses in a real-life setting. Nurses who have an associate degree or diploma and the appropriate prerequisites can further accelerate their momentum toward the MSN by showing clinical practice experience in place of a required class in clinical nursing that is part of the bridge program.
RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree can earn an MSN in nursing administration through the RN-BN-MSN program offered by the Leach College of Nursing at the University of St. Francis. This program includes 16 credits in the graduate nursing core and 12 credits in the advanced practice core. The specific classes for nursing administration total 20 credits including classes in health care finance, health care law and compliance, and health care ethics and decision making. For their capstone course, students plan and implement a quality improvement initiative and write a project paper that serves as a comprehensive exam. Nurses in this track have the option of taking two nursing education courses and completing a nursing education practicum to expand their knowledge base and qualify for additional advanced practice roles.
RNs with a bachelor's degree in another field can prepare for a nursing leadership role at Ball State University. The School of Nursing has an RN to MSN program with a concentration in nurse administrator. Students in this program learn how to manage and supervise nurses, hire new staff, create budgets and manage costs, and improve patient care. This is a 36-credit program that can be completed through online courses. Candidates complete 19 credits in courses related to the administrative role, including courses in marketing, personnel management, and finance. Students are also required to complete 180 practicum hours in nursing administration. For the practicum, students work with a preceptor and clinical supervisor that they choose in their home region.
Students who enroll in the ASN to MSN program offered at Indiana Wesleyan University may have the option of completing some of the practicum requirements overseas. The ASN-MSN program offers a major in nursing administration. The program is offered completely online and students move through the program at a rapid pace. After completing six bridge courses, students move on to the major in nursing administration. That master's portion of the program requires 39 credits. Courses related to the administrative role of nurses include professional role development, managing a health care delivery system, and health care finances. Candidates also learn about managing human resources and how to develop and deploy innovative strategies in leadership. At the end of the program, students partner with a nurse manager for a practicum that allows them to demonstrate their administrative skills through a project.
Nurses with an associate degree can earn their BSN and MSN in as little as three years in the RN to MSN program at MidAmerica Nazarene University. Once they complete bridge courses, RNs can choose to concentrate in health care administration or health care quality management. Students in the health care administration focus take courses covering topics such as strategic planning, health care law, human resources, workforce development, and health care informatics. Candidates also complete a practicum in evidence-based-practice health care administration while working with a preceptor. For the health care quality management focus, classes cover topics such as risk management in health care, building a culture of patient safety, applied research in health care quality management, health care law, and health care informatics. Students finish with a practicum in health care quality management, working with a preceptor to implement an evidence-based quality initiative.
Loyola University in New Orleans offers an MSN with a track in health care systems administration and leadership. The RN to MSN program is open to RNs with only an associate degree and also to nurses who have a nursing associate degree and a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. The health systems administration track prepares nurses to assume a leadership role in a variety of health care settings. Students learn about workforce management, legal and ethical issues in health care, and how to measure key performance indicators. Students can also take relevant elective courses such as advanced statistics or scientific writing. Students who complete this track are prepared to take the American Nurses Association certification exam in advanced nursing administration or the Commission for Case Manager certification exam. To earn the master's degree, students complete 36 credits including a practicum of at least 180 hours.
Salisbury University has a nurse educator concentration for students earning a Master of Science in Nursing. Students in the RN to MSN program are eligible for the educator concentration, which prepares nurses to teach in a health care organization or academic setting. Specialized courses in the track cover topics such as instructional technology, teaching strategies, educational theory, and curriculum development. Candidates are required to complete two practicum experiences, for a total of 400 hours. One practicum focuses on advanced nursing practice and the other focuses on nursing education. Students also complete a scholarly project. Graduates of this program are eligible to take the exam to become a Certified Nurse Educator. The university accepts nursing students on a full-time or part-time basis.
The RN to MSN program at Washington Adventist University is open to RNs who have either an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major. Students who complete the bridge courses required for this program can earn an MSN with a concentration in nursing and business leadership. This master's program requires 45 credits, including 27 core credits in nursing classes and 18 credits in the leadership concentration. Students take courses in topics such as managing health care information systems, the economics of health care, leading and managing change in health care, and risk management. Students must also complete a practicum where they get real-life experience in administration. As a culminating activity, candidates complete a major research thesis or project.
Nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major can study nursing and health services management by entering the RN-MSN track at the Elms College School of Nursing. Once they complete the four bridge courses, they begin their graduate-level work. The nursing and health services management track prepares nurses for leadership roles in a variety of settings across the health care delivery system. Courses in the concentration include financial management, global perspectives on health care management, business dynamics in health care management and managing human capital. Students also become experts at using Excel and study health care information systems. The curriculum also includes two practicum experiences in nursing and health service management where students gain experience with a focus on collaboration and innovation. Students can start the program in September or January.
Ferris State University has an accelerated RN to MSN track that is open to students who are enrolled in FSU's RN to BSN completion program. Students take bridge classes before they apply for the MSN, which offers an option for a nursing administration concentration. Nurses in this concentration take business-related electives such as lean systems, performance metrics, and supply chain management. Students select classes that meet their professional goals from courses offered in the MBA program. They also study health care policy, system leadership, and quality and safety. The MSN is a 37-credit program that requires two practicum experiences. Students complete a project and an immersion experience in the specialty area, working with a preceptor. Candidates choose the organization or agency where they complete their practica. Almost all the classes for this degree are offered online.
RNs in the MSN/MBA program at Spring Arbor University can choose from five concentrations: health care administration, human resource development, management, organizational consulting, or executive leadership. Nursing students take core MBA classes such as marketing, accounting for managers, and business leadership in addition to the three courses required for their chosen concentration. The MBA requires a capstone project where the candidate works with a real organization to find an issue and propose a solution to improve organizational performance. Nurses also complete core master's level nursing classes covering leadership, health policy, nursing theory, and advanced practice classes such as pharmacology. Two MSN courses require a residency. In all, candidates in the RN to MSN/MBA dual-degree program complete 100 credits. Spring Arbor's online classes have as many as six start dates per year.
Capella University has an RN to MSN in Nursing program with a specialty in nursing leadership and administration. Students in this program study relevant topics such as leadership for nurse executives, managing health care quality and safety, health care informatics and technology, and managing finances and operations. Core courses cover important concepts such as case analysis, quality improvement, and health care law and policy. Capella combines the capstone for the degree with the required practicum. Each student creates their own personalized practicum experience where they are supervised by a preceptor. Students can select the field site where they perform their practicum, and they keep an electronic portfolio to document their experience and record their outcomes and achievements.
The College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Winona State University offers RNs a pathway to an MSN in nursing and organizational leadership. The nursing and organizational leadership program prepares students to take administrative or leadership roles in a variety of health care organizations. Courses cover topics such as managing human resources, managing finances, project management, and the role of a health care leader in research and clinical practice. The practicums in the nursing leadership program require students to work with a preceptor to gain experience in managing nurses and other health care personnel, managing patients, and managing resources. Graduates are eligible to take the exam that leads to certification as an Executive in Nursing Practice when they gain the required experience. The nursing leadership program also offers an emphasis in practice and leadership innovations.
Nurses in the RN to MSN program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center can choose a track in nursing and health care administrator. Students in this program prepare for a role in leading health care systems by studying concepts and theories about effective management. They also learn about the role of technology and data in improving patient care. Students gain knowledge and hands-on experience in managing human resources, financial matters, and strategic policies. At the end of the program, students complete a residency working with a senior administrator where they integrate what they have learned. All the classes are offered online and are generally delivered in an asynchronous format. A few classes require students to be online at a designated time for a few meetings. Students complete 525 clinical hours during their residency.
RNs with a non-nursing bachelor's degree can bridge to the MSN program at Bryan College of Health Sciences after completing only 8 to 11 credits. The MSN program offers a track in nurse leadership that prepares students for roles where they solve complex organizational problems, advocate for patient care, and efficiently use financial resources. Required courses cover topics such as communication and collaboration, strategic planning, financial management, and organizational systems in health care. Courses for this program are offered in a blended format with approximately three-quarters of coursework online and one-quarter in the classroom. Generally, students will need to come to the campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, three or four times per semester. The program is designed for full-time working nurses. Students may arrange the practicum near their home.
Nurses with a diploma or associate degree can complete their BSN and MSN while preparing for a career in nursing health care administration at Clarkson College. The RN to MSN program provides an accelerated pathway to the two degrees. At the graduate level, health care administration majors complete 17 credits in core nursing classes, four credits in an evidence-based practice research project, and 21 credits in the major. Courses cover topics such as health care economics, strategic planning and marketing, project management, and human resource management. Students also complete a nursing health care leadership practicum. Courses are offered online, and health care administration majors only have to come to campus one time. Students can enter the RN to MSN program in August, January, or May. Full-time students can complete the program in nine semesters.
RNs who want an executive or leadership role can prepare for that goal through the online RN to MSN-Nurse Executive track offered by Nebraska Methodist College. After they complete the bridge curriculum, students in this program can earn their MSN in as little as 30 months. Students in this track study the many aspects of the nurse executive role, including financial management and economics, human resource management, and leading an organization. They also study statistics and learn how to apply them to patient improvement and related situations. Candidates must complete a practicum where they work with a preceptor in a health care setting and develop and implement an improvement strategy. For their capstone, students work in teams on an evidence-based project. Graduates may be eligible for certification as a nurse executive from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Nebraska Wesleyan University has an RN to MSN program that includes a track called The Nurse as Leader, Manager, and Entrepreneur. The entrepreneurial aspect is covered in a class where students learn how to develop a nursing business plan, including legal and financial components. The class also cover risk management and quality improvement in a small business setting. Other courses in the track include economic policy, finance and accounting, and nursing leadership and management. For their practicum, nurses are paired with a working nurse executive or case manager. For their capstone, students develop and implement a project, which could be a research project or implementation of evidence-based practice or quality improvements. Classes for this program are offered in eight-week sessions, with classes held one day each week in Lincoln or Omaha, Nebraska.
Franklin Pierce University has an MSN with a leadership concentration and offers a track for nurses with a diploma or associate degree and another track for nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing subject. This concentration is designed to help nurses to rise to leadership roles in health care organizations. Students learn about health care payment systems and understand how to improve the use of clinical and financial resources. They also learn how to design and implement change projects and learn how to apply evidence-based practice to improve processes or patient outcomes. In addition to developing leadership skills, candidates also learn how to work in collaborative situations and how to perform as part of an interdisciplinary team. The Franklin Pierce MSN program has a record of 100 percent completion rates and 100 percent employment rates for graduates.
Kean University has an MSN bridge program that allows nurses with a non-nursing bachelor's degree to qualify for the MSN program and choose a concentration in nursing leadership. The MSN program requires 32 credits. All students complete the 16-credit core curriculum. Many core classes cover topics that are relevant to anyone in health care leadership, including evidence-based practice, statistics for analyzing data, informatics and health care IT, and health care policy and fiscal management. In the leadership track, students also take courses in organizational theory, communications, and systems leadership. Students can select an elective that matches their career goals. Students may enter the program in the fall or spring semester. Clinical courses require six hours of clinical time weekly.
Monmouth University students seeking the MSN in nursing administration take a variety of business courses offered through the Leon Hess Business School at the Monmouth University. The courses cover economics, financial accounting, and management. Overall, the MSN requires 15 credits in core nursing curriculum, 9 credits in the business courses, and 12 credits in nursing administration, including two practicum experiences. Monmouth has two paths for RNs who to enter the program. There is a bridge program for RNs who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. The RN to MSN Direct program is for nurses who have a diploma or associate degree, who will have to complete an Undergraduate Nursing Certificate before they can enter the graduate program.
At Seton Hall University, the MBA/MSN in health systems administration program is a collaboration between the College of Nursing and the Stillman School of Business. Students take 25 credits in nursing classes and 30 credits in business classes. Some of the courses include nursing and health systems administration, special topics in management, and financial analysis. All candidates are required to complete two clinical internships. One is an executive internship in health systems administration and the other focuses on managed care and reimbursement. The College of Nursing has partnerships with major hospitals and health care agencies around New Jersey for clinical experiences. Examples of partners include the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center. Seton Hall accepts full-time and part-time students for this dual degree. Full-time students can complete the MBA/MSN in three years.
RNs who want to play a leadership role in the health care system can pursue that goal in a streamlined program that allows them to complete a BSN and an MSN with a concentration in nursing leadership and administration of health care systems from Excelsior College. The nursing leadership component of this program includes courses in managing clinical systems, managing fiscal and operational systems, and using data for decision-making. There's also a leadership course where students examine the skills needed to create a culture of quality, encouraging collaboration, and thinking strategically. Candidates for the MSN complete a capstone project that incorporates a practice experience of almost 250 hours, a scholarly paper, and a presentation. Undergraduate- and graduate-level courses are delivered online.
The School of Health and Natural Sciences at Mercy College offers a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in nursing administration. This 36-credit program prepares nurses for leadership positions in the health care system. Students take 15 graduate-level core nursing classes and 21 credits in the concentration. Classes cover relevant topics like human resource management, health care finances, strategic planning, measuring organizational performance, and health policy. Students also complete a practicum where they work with a preceptor or mentor. For their capstone, candidates must complete a comprehensive written project. Students may enter the program in the spring or fall. Students who enter the program as an RN without a BSN can complete the program six semesters, or two full years if they take classes in the fall, summer and spring semesters. Students may attend part time.
The Stony Brook School of Nursing offers a program that allows nurses with an associate degree or diploma to complete their BSN and MSN. Nurses in this program can earn an MSN in nursing leadership. Coursework in the leadership major includes business skills for nurse leaders, finance and economics, and legal, ethical, and regulatory issues in nurse leadership. Future nurse executives also take classes in communications, relationship management, and leadership skills. Students must complete a practicum in nursing leadership. The MSN in nursing leadership uses a blended model of class delivery, which requires students to come to campus for onsite immersions as well as attend online classes. RNs who have a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing subject can apply to the MSN program and submit a clinical practice portfolio to prove they have baccalaureate-level competency in nursing.
The Carolina Nursing program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a new RN to MSN program that is offered online. The program is open to RNs with an associate degree or diploma. Students who complete the program earn a Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in health care leadership and administration. Courses are delivered online, and students are required to attend campus immersion experiences each semester. On-campus sessions will vary from one day up to five days, allowing students to interact with fellow students, faculty, and industry leaders. For their clinical experiences, students can select from placements in quality improvement, human resources, leadership, or administration. Full-time students can complete the RN to MSN program in three years, and the university gives admission priority to students who commit to attending full-time.
RNs who want leadership and case management skills may earn an MSN with a concentration in rural case management through the Department of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Nurses in the RN to MSN program can select this concentration. Graduates of the program may be eligible for case management certification, depending on their clinical experience. Students learn to coordinate and implement case management services to promote quality health outcomes. While the focus is rural populations, graduates will be prepared for leadership and case management positions in all health care settings and specialties. This is a 39-credit program with classes covering topics such as nursing case management, health assessment and clinical decision making, human relations management, and epidemiology. All candidates complete a capstone practicum and a research project or action project.
The University of Mary offers an accelerated program that allows nurses with an associate degree to earn an MSN in nursing leadership and management in just 20 months. The online program prepares nurses to assume leadership roles in advanced nursing practice. Students select a health care organization in their region where they can complete their clinical experiences. Courses in this program cover topics such as contemporary issues in health care administration, health care law, human resource management, and applied health care budgeting and finances. As a capstone, all students take part in a team service project where students partner with a health care organization to identify a clinical practice problem, recommend solutions, implement the solution, and measure effectiveness. (Students must complete a statistics class before entering the program or while they are pursuing their degree.)
Lourdes University offers its MSN nurse leader program in an online format that is designed to accommodate the schedule of a working nurse. This is a 34-credit program that prepares nurses for an administrative or management position in a health care organization. Students learn to use health system technology to improve the quality and safety of care, consider the ethical and legal issues related to health care, and collaborate to apply and integrate nursing research into practice. Required courses cover topics such as nursing informatics, advanced statistics and data analysis, financial tools, health care policy, and leadership and organizational behavior. All students complete a practicum in a leadership role and they also complete a capstone project. Before entering the MSN program, RNs complete six bridge courses. Overall, RNs can complete the bridge program and MSN in 10 or 11 semesters.
Nurses who complete the required bridge courses at Mount St. Joseph University can enter the Master of Science in Nursing program and select the administration track. The track requires students to complete 36 credits in graduate-level coursework geared to nurses who want a leadership role. Relevant coursework covers topics such as human resource management, strategic management, organizational management, and finances. The program also covers topics such as biostatistics, evidence-based practice, and the use of technology to improve health care quality and safety. Students also complete two practicum experiences in nursing administration and complete an integrative project as their capstone. After the bridge work is completed, students can complete the MSN requirements in six semesters. The course content is delivered in a blended format with online and in-person class meetings.
The College of Nursing at Xavier University offers a nursing administration track in its MSN program. For this track, students take 26 credits in the MSN core curriculum and 10 credits in administrative courses. Classes in the track cover topics such as nursing administration in complex health care systems, financial management, and administrative informatics. Students also take a relevant elective, which they select with the guidance of an advisor. Students also complete a nursing practicum. Graduates of the program should be prepared for a leadership role where they will work to improve nursing practice and investigate and solve health care issues. Xavier also has a health care law track for the MSN. In this program, courses cover legal aspects of health care, liability issues, and forensics. This track can lead to careers in administration, forensics, risk management, or legal nurse consulting.
Nurses interested in a leadership role can tailor a program to their interests by enrolling in the MSN specialty option as part of the RN-MSN program at the University of Central Oklahoma. In this track, nurses select three graduate electives to design their specialty track. For instance, they can choose a course in legal and ethical issues in health care as one elective. Several of the required core courses are also relevant to a leadership focus. These include courses in organizational and systems leadership, health care informatics, and evidence-based practice. Nurses in this program choose either a graduate project or thesis as their capstone, giving them further opportunity to conduct research that's relevant to their career goals. The MSN at Central Oklahoma requires nurses to complete 34 graduate credits, including a clinical nursing course.
Bloomsburg University has a nursing administration program where students take many of the same courses that graduate business students take. MSN students in the nursing administration track take courses such as managerial decision making, strategic information and technology management, human resource management, and operations management. These courses help nurse leaders to develop competencies in a range of business skills that are needed to run health care delivery organizations of all sizes. The MSN degree requires 42 credits. Once students complete the undergraduate portion of the RN-MSN program, they can finish the nursing administration degree in five semesters of full-time study or eight semesters of part-time study.
RNs who complete the MSN bridge program at Drexel University can choose from three tracks related to leadership. The health administration track is for students who want a management role in the health care industry or who want to participate in advocating for health care, creating policy, or working with a non-profit. Students take four relevant courses, including ethical and legal issues in health care management, politics and policy of health care resources, and recruitment and retention. They also select one restricted elective. Another option is a track in nursing leadership in health systems management. Nurses prepare for a nurse leader role with classes covering topics such as the economics of health care management, operations management, and strategic management. The third option is a track called quality, safety, and risk management in health care. It's an interdisciplinary program that focuses on monitoring quality and improving safety for patients and staff.
LaRoche University offers a Master of Science in Nursing in nursing administration as an online program. Students in the RN to MSN program can choose this specialization if they want to develop leadership skills and have a role in forming policy and making decisions that affect the delivery of quality health care. In this 36-credit program, students learn about health care delivery systems, organizational behavior, and managing financial resources. They also learn about health care policy, quality and safety practices, and human resource management. To finish the graduate degree, students complete two seminar/practicum experiences in nursing administration and prepare a scholarly research project as a capstone. Full-time students can complete the program in about five semesters.
Nurses who want to help lead health care organizations through future challenges can prepare through the MSN nurse administrator program at Moravian College. This program is open to RNs who complete the college's bridge program. The nurse administrator degree is a 36-credit program with 24 credits dedicated to the specialty area. Two courses - managing health care organizations and health care financing systems - are taken from the school's MBA program. Other classes in the specialty area cover topics such as financial management, project management, and strategic planning. For the leadership course component, students choose between three electives. In their last semester, candidates complete an internship where they work alongside a nurse administrator preceptor. The internship, which requires 150 hours in the practicum, is part of the final capstone class.
Widener University offers an MSN in executive nurse leadership that's open to students who complete the RN-MSN bridge program. This accelerated program includes courses from the School of Nursing and the School of Business Administration. Graduates will have the skills needed to lead health care systems at every level. This 39-credit program includes 15 core credits, 15 credits in nursing leadership, and nine credits in businesses coursework. Classes cover topics such as health care finances, statistical analysis, developing management skills, and information systems and data analytics. This program is available at the Widener campuses in Chester or Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and classes are offered in a variety of formats. Students can choose a full-time program or take it at a slower, part-time pace. Full-time students can complete the master's degree in 18 to 24 months. Part-time students have up to five years to complete the degree.
Wilkes University has an MSN with a concentration in nurse executive that is designed for individuals who want to manage health care systems. Students acquire skills such as examining innovative solutions for health care delivery challenges and applying evidence-based practice to improve outcomes or practices. The curriculum for this 39-credit master's degree includes 24 credits in core nursing classes and 15 credits in the concentration. Specialized courses for the concentration cover topics such as health care policy, managing human resources, and the skills needed to manage change and assure quality. Candidates complete two nurse executive practicum experiences where they work with a preceptor of their choice. Each practicum requires 100 clinical hours. The MSN program has a fall start date.
South Dakota State University's Department of Graduate Nursing offers an online option for a Master of Science in Nursing with a nurse administrator specialization. Once RNs enter the master's program, they can complete the degree in three years. The program offers three options: thesis, project, or coursework only. All three options require students to complete a practicum with at least 180 clinical hours. This program is for nurses who want to move into roles in management or administration of health care agencies. Courses cover topics such as health policy and legislation, financial management, and transformational leadership. Students also have two electives so they can tailor the program to their professional goals. Once nurses complete this program they may be eligible for several industry-recognized certifications, including Nurse Executive-Board Certified, Certified Nurse Manager and Leader, and Certified in Executive Nursing Practice.
Nurses with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field can enter the MSN program at East Tennessee State University after completing four bridge classes. The MSN program offers a concentration in nursing administration that is delivered fully online. The concentration is designed for nurses who are interested in managing employees and business operations on the scale of a hospital or large service provider. The curriculum for the administration concentration requires 45 credits, including 12 core credits. Classes in the concentration include health care organizations and law, case management, financial management, and human resource management. Students must also complete three executive leadership practicum experiences, working with a preceptor who is a nurse administrator. There is no requirement for a capstone project. Students can attend full time or part time.
Students in the RN to MSN program at Union University can select an administration track to prepare for a leadership position in a health care organization. The master's portion of the RN to MSN program requires students to complete 39 credits and 400 clinical hours. The clinical hours are spread over three practicum experiences and a residency. Courses with a business and administrative focus cover topics such as health care informatics, quality management, organizational behavior and leadership, and resource management. The administrative track is offered as an online program. Students may attend full time or part time. Full-time students who have completed the bridge program can earn the MSN in four semesters and part-time students can complete it in seven semesters. Students enter the program in the fall semester, and the college has a rolling admissions policy.
The Loewenberg College of Nursing at the University of Memphis offers an online MSN with a concentration in executive leadership. In addition to online coursework, students in this program attend four on-campus intensives each year and attend two national conferences. The executive leadership MSN program requires 37 credits after RNs have completed their bridge courses. The MSN requires nine credits in core courses and 28 credits in the specialty. The coursework is designed to prepare nurses for leadership roles and covers business and finance topics such as accounting, health care finance, and relationship-building for nursing executives. There's also a focus on improving patient care, with courses such as evidence-based leadership practices and financial management and resource allocation for patient care. Candidates complete a four-credit nurse executive practicum and a scholarly synthesis.
Nurses in the RN-MS program at Lamar University can choose an administration track if they would like to move into health care administration or management. Students in this program take several business classes, including financial accounting and marketing, and many nursing classes that have a management focus. The curriculum includes courses in health information systems and health care policy and finance. Nurses will also study all phases of health care delivery, from planning and organizing to directing and controlling the delivery of health services. Students get hands-on experience in management through two administrative practicums. They also complete two evidence-based projects. Lamar University delivers coursework in eight-week sessions with two start dates per semester.
Nurses in either RN-MSN program at Texas A&M Corpus Christi can earn an MSN in leadership in nursing systems. Students in this concentration gain the skills needed for leadership and administrative roles at all levels, from leading teams or projects to a formal administrative position. The coursework is delivered online and is arranged for part-time students who want to continue working while pursuing their degree. The specialty includes courses from the nursing department and the health care administration department, such as health law, financial management, and health economics and policy. Students will also gain skills in ensuring quality patient care through courses in informatics and quality and outcomes management. Three required classes include clinical hours, and students are responsible for finding a preceptor to work with. Once in the MSN portion of the program, students can finish the degree in seven semesters.
Nurses who enter one of the RN-MSN pathways at Texas Woman's University can choose a concentration in nursing health systems management. With this concentration, students are required to select a minor in either health care administration or business. The business minor coursework is delivered online with practicum hours arranged near the student's home area. For the health care administration minor, classwork is half online and half in the classroom, with classes offered at the university's Houston Center. Along with 17 credits in the minor, students take related nursing classes such as research and quality improvement and health systems management challenges. Students also complete practicum experiences in fiscal assessment, organizational assessment, and outcomes assessment. To earn their degree, students complete 42 to 45 credits at the graduate level.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers an online administrative track for its MSN program. This program prepares nurses with the skills they need to manage nursing units or assume other administrative roles in the health care industry. The program includes seven required core courses, four specialty courses for the administrative track, and a capstone. Several of the required courses, such as nursing informatics, are highly relevant for nurses in a management role. Specialty courses cover topics such as health care finance, quality management, negotiation skills, and organizational structure. For their capstone, candidates must explore a problem found in their area of interest, develop a solution, implement it, and evaluate the results. Students can complete the 36 credits in this master's program in as few as 12 months. Courses are delivered in seven-week sessions, and there are multiple start dates each year.
Western Governors University has a leadership and management track in its RN to MSN option. Graduates are prepared for a variety of roles in health care, including case manager, nurse manager, nursing managing officer, and department or regional director. Within the graduate portion of this option, students complete 36 credits. Specialized classes include organizational performance management, strategic leadership, and business and financial management. Students complete a field experience in nursing leadership and management that can be conducted at their current place of employment. For the field experience, students identify a problem area and work to promote a change. Candidates also complete a capstone project that requires scholarly research and allows students to demonstrate competency in skills they have learned during the program. WGU reports that 89 percent of graduates are able to complete the RN to MSN in four years or less.
Once students complete the RN to MSN bridge program at George Mason University they can begin work on an MSN with a concentration in administration. This 39-credit degree is designed for nurses who want to be leaders in health care delivery. The curriculum includes 15 credits in core classes, with a heavy emphasis on data - students complete a class in informatics and two classes in nursing research and biostatistics. The curriculum within the nursing administration concentration includes classes covering administrative functions such as management, organizational theory, and financial management. Nurses also take classes in administrative theories and strategies and complete two practicum experiences where they can apply those principles in a health-related agency. The curriculum provides for two electives, which students can select from nursing or related disciplines.
Students in the RN to MSN program at Wheeling University complete the core courses for the MSN program while working on their bachelor's degree, so once they've completed the BSN, they only have to take the specialty courses for their MSN major. One of the specialty options available is a track in administration. Courses for this track include financial management, organizational behavior, and communications and interpersonal relations. There are also two classes in nursing administration and an elective. Students complete a practicum experience, which they can usually perform at an approved clinical site in their home community. Candidates also complete a capstone seminar that requires 168 clinical hours. Classes are delivered online. However, all students must come to campus in Wheeling, West Virginia, at least once for a required presentation.