FIND MSN PROGRAMS
FIND MSN PROGRAMS
12 Best Online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management Programs – 2023
Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Are you a registered nurse considering transitioning to a non-clinical role? Does working as a leader or manager in nursing interest you? Do you have an associate's or bachelor's degree and want to earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree? If any of this sounds familiar, an MSN in nursing leadership and management program could be the option you need.
Maybe you thought of earning your master's degree in nursing leadership and management but do not feel a traditional campus-based college program is for you or do not know where to begin. Perhaps you have asked, “What are the best online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs?” In this article, I will address that question and provide information about the 12 best online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs for 2023. From learning about cost, curriculum, practical training, and admission requirements to discovering possible job opportunities and income potential, this article will provide the insight needed to decide if this is the path you wish to pursue.
RECOMMENDED ONLINE MSN PROGRAMS
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF AN ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAM?
The best online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs aim to prepare registered nurses to work in advanced leadership or management roles where they can combine their knowledge and clinical skills to be effective leaders. The goal is for nurses to be able to manage healthcare systems, create healthcare policies, and effectively manage teams of professional healthcare workers. After completing MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs, students can make positive changes in healthcare systems that can improve patient, organizational, and professional outcomes.
5 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN AN ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs will set you on the right path toward success. The following are the five most important skills and abilities you will gain that will directly contribute to your future success.
1. You will learn to be an effective leader in nursing and healthcare:
It is one thing to have natural leadership abilities. It is another thing to know how to use them effectively. Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs will teach you the skills needed to earn respect from your employees and provide them with guidance and mentorship that inspires everyone to do their best job.
2. You will learn to use motivational strategies effectively:
MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs teach students how to use motivational strategies to promote positive relationships in the workplace and a productive work environment. Some strategies you will learn to use include team-based nursing and encouraging employee feedback.
3. You will gain the ability to understand and utilize health policies:
Being in a leadership or management role requires understanding health policies and how your organization must operate to stay within compliance. Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs provide you with the knowledge needed to navigate healthcare policies and utilize them to ensure your organization and teams remain compliant, and operations stay above board.
4. You will learn to use informatics to improve patient care:
As a student in one of the nation’s best MSN in nursing leadership and management programs, you will gain skills to take computational data and turn it into useful information. These skills include learning to monitor trends among employees and overall patient outcomes. You will then take this information and design ways to improve systems and make positive changes. This can include making electronic health records more user-friendly or designing education programs for patients so they can utilize their electronic records more easily.
5. You will learn to resolve conflict in the workplace:
Even the best healthcare teams experience times when conflicts arise. Strong leaders prepare for potential conflicts and jump into action to resolve them as quickly as possible. Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs will teach you effective ways to communicate with your team, including articulating the expectations of each team member and how you will handle any conflicts when they arise. Businesses run more smoothly and efficiently when there is a clear plan for resolving conflicts.
4 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
There are numerous advantages to choosing to pursue your degree through online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages beforehand can help you determine if this is the right career path for you. The following are four main advantages to earning your degree through one of these specialized programs.
1. You will gain marketable skills relevant in any field:
Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs equip you with highly marketable skills. The skills you develop and hone in these programs can be used in a nursing leadership role or on a larger scale in organizational management or politics. The marketability you experience by completing MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs creates opportunities for you to showcase your skills on several levels within the healthcare industry but also opens doors for other career paths should you choose to pursue them.
2. You can use your new knowledge and skills to take a break from working at the bedside:
Whether you want a temporary break from a clinical nursing role or wish to transition to a long-term non-clinical role, MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs prepare you. Although you may work with nurses at the bedside, your role and responsibilities will change. One of the main advantages of these programs is you will take the knowledge and clinical skills acquired in your previous degree(s) and work experience and build upon them with a business and leadership perspective making it possible for you to choose the direction of your nursing career moving forward.
3. Your career will have more growth potential:
When you choose to pursue your degree through online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs, you will have increased opportunities for career growth. With a degree from one of these programs, you can move up through the ranks from lower-level management positions to upper-level jobs, such as Chief Executive Nursing Officer or Hospital Administrator. These jobs come with a much larger paycheck which is always an advantage.
4. You will gain insight into the financial side of healthcare:
As nurses starting out, we do not gain much insider knowledge into the budget and inner financial workings of the companies and hospitals we work for. MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs will prepare you with the knowledge needed to use your authority and become part of financial decision-making in your new role. This can be a big advantage as you will be able to explain to your employees why decisions are being made and if cost is a driving factor.
2 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs are a great choice for most nurses. However, these are two disadvantages to consider before committing to this type of degree and career path.
1. Your clinical skills could become rusty:
Choosing a non-clinical MSN degree, like the one you earn through online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs, means you will spend little to no time directly caring for patients. When you move from a clinical to a non-clinical role, you risk the chance of some of your hands-on skills becoming rusty. Unless you do some PRN work or take a few assignments in a clinical role, choosing a non-clinical MSN degree may leave you feeling disadvantaged when it comes to keeping your skills up to par.
2. It can be hard to find qualified preceptors:
To complete the practical training portion of MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs, you must complete practicum hours. Your clinical experiences must be under the direction of a master's or doctoral-prepared nurse in a management or leadership position. Depending on where you live and what resources you have, it can be difficult to find someone who is willing and qualified. If your school expects you to secure clinical sites and preceptors, you may be disadvantaged.
WHEN DO MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ONLINE PROGRAMS START?
MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs have anywhere from one to eight start dates each year. Here are the different start dates at five of the best schools in the nation offering this type of program.
The MSN in nursing leadership and management online program starts once a year in the fall at George Washington University
This online MSN in nursing leadership and management program at the University of Central Florida
starts twice yearly in the Fall and Spring.
• Frostburg State University’s
nursing leadership and management online MSN program starts three times per year. Classes begin in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
• Regent University
offers eight different start dates for its MSN in nursing leadership and management online program throughout the year. You can apply for a start date in January, February, March, May, June, August, September, or October.
• Weber State University
has one start date each year in the summer semester.
HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ONLINE PROGRAMS?
The number of credits for online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs can vary between 32-36. Here are the exact credits required to graduate at a few of the best schools:
There are 36 credits
in the University of Central Florida's
online MSN in nursing leadership and management program.
Students enrolled in the MSN in nursing leadership and management online program at Sacred Heart University
complete 36 credits
• Robert Morris University’s
online MSN in nursing leadership and management program includes 36 credits
The MSN in nursing leadership and management online program at Regent University
features a 36-credit hour curriculum
• Weber State University’s
online MSN in nursing leadership and management program offers a curriculum consisting of 32 credits
HOW LONG ARE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ONLINE PROGRAMS?
MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs take between one and three years to complete based on whether you enroll as a part-time or full-time student. Here are a few examples of the time it takes to complete a few of this article's featured programs.
The University of Central Florida’s
MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program can be completed in five semesters if you choose the accelerated track or seven semesters if you choose the part-time track. Therefore, depending on your chosen track, you can complete the program in two to three years
The online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program at Sacred Heart University
can be completed in two years
The MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program offered at Weber State University
is designed to be completed in 12 months
Students enrolled in the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program at the University of Mary
can complete the program in as few as 16 months
• Frostburg State University
offers full-time and part-time options
for its MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program. The full-time program can be completed in four consecutive semesters or about a year and a half. The part-time program can be completed in six consecutive semesters, which is about two full years.
HOW MUCH DO MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ONLINE PROGRAMS COST?
Online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs are more cost-effective than clinical MSN degrees. The cost ranges from $15,000 to 35,000. Here are a few examples:
At Sacred Heart University
, tuition for the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program costs $695 per credit. The program includes a 36-credit curriculum, which means the program costs approximately $25,020
• Western Governors University
charges $4,567 per six-month term. Most students complete the MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program in four terms, giving you an estimated cost of $18,618
. This price can be reduced if you complete courses at a faster pace, or it can cost more if you complete them at a slower pace.
The University of Mary
charges $470 per credit for tuition
. The online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program consists of 36 credits, making the cost of the degree program $16,920.
The University of Wisconsin Green Bay
calculates tuition per credit based on the student's residency status. In-state students pay $469.23 per credit, and out-of-state students pay $1,000.06. The online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program includes a 34-credit curriculum, which means tuition ranges between $15,953.82 and $34,002.04
Tuition for the MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program at Regent University
costs $565 per credit hour for both resident and non-resident students. The approximate cost for the 36-credit program is $20,340
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?
The minimum GPA requirement for most of these MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs is between 2.5 and 3.0. Here are specific examples from some of the best schools:
The minimum GPA for admission to the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program at Sacred Heart University
is 3.0 on a 4.0
scale from your previous BSN degree.
Admission to the Robert Morris University
MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online programs requires a minimum GPA of 2.5
from your previous nursing degree. Applicants with a GPA below 2.5 may be invited to participate in an admission interview to determine eligibility for conditional admission if other parts of the application are strong.
At Weber State University
, candidates seeking admission to the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program must have a minimum cumulative college grade point average of 3.0 or higher
The minimum GPA for admission to the MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay
. This GPA is calculated based on your BSN degree.
At George Washington University
School of Nursing, applicants seeking admission to the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program must have an academic GPA of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale
from their BSN degree.
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?
The admission requirements for online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs are similar to the requirements for most MSN programs. Here are five examples of what you will need to apply at some of the best schools:
• Admission criteria
for the MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program at George Washington University
include the following. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree in nursing with a preferred minimum GPA of 3.0. You must submit your official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a written Statement of Purpose
. Finally, you will need an active and unrestricted nursing license.
To gain admission
at the University of North Carolina
at Greensboro, candidates must possess a BSN degree earned at an accredited program and have an active and unrestricted nursing license in the United States. International applicants will need to show validated credentials by CGFNS. You must also submit all official transcripts from your undergraduate education, professional references, and a personal statement.
At Brenau University
, candidates applying for admission to the MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program must meet the following requirements
. Applicants must have a BSN earned at an accredited nursing school with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and possess a current, unrestricted registered nurse license. All candidates must have at least one year of full-time experience working as a registered nurse within the previous five years and complete undergraduate Physical Assessment and Research Methods classes. Along with your application, you must provide official transcripts from any college or university you have attended, a list of references, a resume, and a personal statement.
The admission requirements
for Robert Morris University
include the following. Candidates must have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited nursing program, have an active and unrestricted license to practice as an RN, and have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 for all undergraduate nursing classes. When applying, applicants must submit all post-high school transcripts, a resume or CV, and three letters of professional recommendation. Additional documentation or an interview may be needed after the initial review of your application.
At the University of Mary
must have earned an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited program with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above. When applying, you must provide all official transcripts and a work history record. International students may need to submit a TOEFL or similar test score to meet the requirements. Additional documentation may be required and will be discussed during the application and admission process.
WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?
The best MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs offer a robust curriculum focusing on core MSN courses and specialty leadership and management courses. Here are some of the classes you will take if you choose one of the programs featured in this article.
for the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay
include Evaluation and Evidence-Based Practice, Leadership in Complex Systems, Theories of Organizational Behavior and Nursing Leadership, Human Resource Management, Informatics for Nursing Leaders, Financial Management for Nurses, and Environmental Sustainability for Nurse Leaders.
for the MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program at the University of Mary
includes classes such as Health Care Across the Population, Critique & Design of Nursing Research, Management and Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Applied Health Care Economics, Finance & Budgeting, and Contemporary Issues in Healthcare Administration.
Students in the online Leadership and Management MSN program at the University of North Carolina
Financial Management in Healthcare, The Role of the Nurse Leader in Advanced Quality and Safety, Organizational Leadership and Management, Strategic management of Health Care Organizations, Research Methods in Nursing, and Leadership and Management Essentials in healthcare: Theories and Roles.
• Sacred Heart University’s
MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program features classes
, including Health Care Policy & Ethics for Contemporary Nursing Practice, Health Care Information Systems, Evidence-based Practice for Quality Care, Role Development for Nursing Management and Executive Leadership, Management of Financial Resources, and Quality and Safety in Practice.
for Weber State University’s
online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program includes Nurse Leadership and Management courses such as Quality Improvement, Patient Safety & Risk Issues in Patient Care Delivery, Financial Issues in Nursing Administration, Compliance with Legal & Regulatory Systems in Patient Care Delivery, Scope and Practice of Nursing Administration, Retaining and Developing a Competent Workforce in Nursing, and Leading and Managing People in Healthcare.
WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?
One aspect of online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs is practical training. Depending on your school’s guidelines, you may participate in training at one or more clinical sites. Some schools offer clinical placement assistance, while others expect students to secure their own clinical sites and preceptors. The following are examples of the practical training requirements for five of the nation’s top programs.
At George Washington University
, students enrolled in the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program complete 300 clinical hours
. Clinicals are divided into two 150-hour practicum experiences. Clinical sites and preceptors are different for each practicum. The university offers clinical placement assistance to ensure you have adequate learning experiences under the supervision of qualified preceptors.
The MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program at Frostburg State University
includes 270 hours of clinical experience
. You may complete clinical practicum requirements in your local community. Students are required to identify a clinical site of interest and request approval from the clinical instructor. Frostburg will verify or implement an affiliate agreement with your preceptor and their employer before you begin any practicum hours.
The online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program at Weber State University
includes a 90-hour Executive Residency
. Clinical advisors will assist you in arranging the Executive Residency designed to give you hands-on executive leadership experience under the guidance of an experienced nursing leader in your home community. Most students participate in eight to ten hours of clinical residency each week.
• Sacred Heart University
requires students in the online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management program to complete 120 clinical hours
. Clinical training hours are completed through a designated role practicum. During this experience, you will work with a preceptor to apply the knowledge and theories you have learned and complete the necessary competencies.
• Western Governors University’s
MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management online program includes practical training
through a progression of courses and field experience. The first required course is Strategically Planning the Execution of a Healthcare Improvement Project, where you will design and create a health improvement project.
Once completed, you will begin your Nursing Leadership and Management Field experience, during which you will use your health improvement project and customize it to the healthcare setting where you are completing your hours. This will include a training plan, a communication plan, and altering the project to ensure it meets organizational standards.
The final component is your capstone, which involves evaluating the success of your improvement project and presenting the results.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?
(The following are the 12 Best Online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
3 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
Graduates of MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs can work in any healthcare setting and several capacities. However, here are the three best jobs you can set your sights on after graduation.
1. Chief Nursing Officer:
A chief nursing officer manages daily operations and oversees nursing staffing within a healthcare organization. In this role, you may manage finances, ensure appropriate patient-to-staff ratios, integrate new medical technologies, implement treatment plans, create and assign schedules, and onboard new nursing staff to various departments. including maintaining staff-to-patient ratios. You will set long-term goals to improve outcomes for staff and patients. You will also work closely with other administrators to ensure the system you work for runs smoothly.
2. Nurse Administrator:
In this role, you can work for a hospital, healthcare system, university, or even for large insurance or pharmaceutical operations. Nurse administrators fill many roles, managing teams of nursing and other health professionals. Asa nurse administrator, you may create work schedules and employee training, conduct performance reviews, and maintain budgets to ensure operations stay on track.
3. Nurse Entrepreneur:
With a degree from online MSN in Nursing Leadership and Management programs, you can get creative in how you utilize your skills and experience. Being an entrepreneur means you can start your own business or consulting firm and be your own boss. The possibilities are endless if you choose this route, and it can truly be one of the best jobs out there.
WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?
Graduates of MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs can expect to make around $28.47 per hour. This hourly rate equals $1,139 per week, $4,940 monthly, and $59,220 annually.
WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ONLINE PROGRAMS EXPECT?
The average salary of experienced graduates of online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs is $87,962 per year. This equals $42.29 per hour, $1,692 per week, or $7,330 monthly.
10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ONLINE PROGRAMS
The 10-year outlook for graduates of MSN in nursing leadership and management online programs is impressive, with an expected growth of 45.68%. This increase is expected between 2021 and 2031 and is based on a few factors. In general, nursing and healthcare-related fields are in high demand. As nurses retire in large numbers, there are not enough new nurses to fill their empty spots. This includes many upper management and administrative positions being vacated by seasoned nurses. MSN-prepared nurses will be at the top of the list of applicants when applying for these jobs.
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
BONUS! IS THE COST OF AN ONLINE MSN IN NURSING LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT PROGRAM WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?
Based on my research into the best online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs, the cost of the degree is worth the return on investment. These programs cost between$15,000 and $35,000, less than some graduate nursing programs. Even if you compare the starting salary of $59,220 annually to the program's cost, it is easy to see that you could see a positive return in one to three years.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
If you want an advanced degree in nursing and desire to work in a leadership or management position, it is natural to have many questions. Perhaps one of the most pressing questions you had when you found this article was, "What are the best online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs?" As you read the content presented here, you found information about these specialty-focused programs. You learned what it takes to get into a program, potential job opportunities, and earning potential.
If you found the information here helpful and want to earn your degree. Excellent options for making your dream a reality are offered by the 12 best online MSN in nursing leadership and management programs for 2023, featured in this article. I want to encourage you to weigh your options and choose a program to get started! There really is no time like the present to begin your journey of earning an MSN and becoming a Nurse Manager and Leader!
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).