Online Master's in Nursing Administration (MSN)
As healthcare evolves, there is need for nursing professionals that can efficiently execute top-notch patient care as well as manage large teams. This is where nursing administrators come into the picture. Nursing administrators ensure that the best quality care is being delivered to patients, in settings such as hospitals, medical centers, and clinics. They can take up different titles such as a nurse manager, nurse supervisor, nurse administrator, or director of nursing. A master’s degree in nursing administration helps nursing professionals take their career to the next level. On completion of this degree, one can take up leadership and executive positions in healthcare settings.
Several universities offer online master’s programs in nurse administration. These programs can generally be completed in two to four years. The coursework helps students develop managerial and leadership skills, while also training them in data analysis, research, finance, and policy-making. Some of the courses included are theoretical basis for nursing practice, research in nursing and health professions, and health policy and planning in the US.
Graduates of the program are eligible to pursue the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification in Nursing Administration or Nursing Administration Advanced (CNAA). Additionally, they can take up administrative roles such as quality improvement manager, nurse executive, and ambulatory care manager at hospitals, schools of nursing, and other healthcare facilities.
The following guide lists six online master’s programs in nurse administration and three notable faculty members teaching them.
Nursing Administration MSN Programs
University of Texas at Arlington offers an online master of science in nursing (MSN) in nursing administration. Faculty members of the program includes experienced clinicians at partner hospitals throughout the state.
Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited university, grade point average of 3.0 to waive off GRE requirement (students with a GPA of less than 3.0 are required to submit GRE scores), registered nurse license, and two years of experience as a registered nurse.
The program comprises 36 credit-hours, and includes courses such as nursing management in the healthcare environment, exploration of science and theories for nursing, financial management in nursing, and management of nursing operations. Additionally, students explore healthcare policy, nursing informatics, and principles of nursing research.
Students develop the skills to work in leadership roles in healthcare, get an understanding of various processes in healthcare, and develop data analysis competencies. Graduates of the program can work in various healthcare settings in an administrative capacity.
- Location: Arlington, Texas
- Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Expected Time to Completion: 18-20 months
- Estimated Tuition: $494.44 per credit-hour.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte offers a 100% online MSN degree in nursing administration.
Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university (a baccalaureate degree in nursing from nationally accredited program is preferred),a registered nurse license, overall GPA of at least 3.0, and a year of professional nursing practice.
Made up of 36 credit-hours, the program trains registered nurses to take up leadership roles in healthcare organizations. Sample some of the courses included in the curriculum: theoretical basis for nursing practice, research in nursing and health professions, health disparities and nursing, health informatics and financial management for nurses, and strategic planning and decision making in nursing.
The program provides students with an in depth understanding of healthcare policy, organization theory, decision-making, and management of administrative finances. At the end of the program, graduates can work in healthcare facilities, community agencies, and schools of nursing.
- Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- Expected Time to Completion: 27 months – part time
- Estimated Tuition: $968.65 per credit-hour.
University of South Alabama offers an online MSN with a speciality in executive nursing administration. The program prepares students to take up leadership roles in nursing, as well as pursue doctoral study.
In order to apply for the program, students must be permanent residents of the US, have current registered nurse licensure with no restrictions, two years of nursing experience, and good standing with all academic institutions/nursing programs attended. Applicants should also have a bachelor of science in nursing from a regionally accredited institution.
The program consists of a total of 37 credit-hours. Some of the courses in the curriculum are nursing administration concepts and theory, healthcare policy and finance, nursing administration finance, nursing informatics, and management of healthcare personnel.
Through the coursework, students develop a wide variety of skills such as leadership, administration, communication, and technical proficiency. They learn how to affect changes in an organization and promote quality and safety in an organization.
On completion of the program, graduates can work in roles such as care manager, nurse manager, supervisor, director of nursing, department director, and chief nurse executive.
- Location: Mobile, Alabama
- Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Expected Time to Completion: Must be completed within five years.
- Estimated Tuition: $1,018 per credit-hour.
California University of Pennsylvania offers an online master of business administration with a concentration in nursing administration and leadership.
Admission requirements include a completed graduate admission application, grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and official transcripts from an accredited institution, among others.
The 36-credit-hour program helps nurse leaders develop a competitive advantage over their peers and expand their existing knowledge and skillset. Students study courses such as quantitative methods, applied economic analysis, strategic management, human resource management, marketing management, international business management, information systems for nurses, and legal aspects of healthcare administration.
The program helps nurse professionals develop business skills, the ability to examine healthcare and medical issues, leadership skills. On completion of the program, graduates can turn healthcare entrepreneurs or work as a chief nurse officer or healthcare administrator.
- Location: California, Pennsylvania
- Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
- Expected Time to Completion: 30 months
- Estimated Tuition: $774 per credit-hour.
The University of Texas at Tyler offers an online MSN program in nursing administration. The program offers students the unique opportunity to work with nursing leaders and administrators, while also gaining practical experience allocating resources and analyzing a facility’s needs. The faculty, consisting of accomplished nursing leaders and professionals, help students leverage their professional network to move ahead in their career.
Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor of science in nursing degree from a nationally accredited college, minimum grade point average of 3.0, GMAT score, and proof of current license to practice professional nursing, among other documentation.
The program is made up of 36 credit-hours. The curriculum explores topics such as health care informatics, translational science, health policy, leadership in healthcare, and delivery of care. Students learn how to apply management and leadership principles, communicate in a professional manner, and use organizational science.
The program makes students well equipped to handle financials in an organization, design care delivery systems, and manage healthcare divisions across organizations of all sizes. Graduates of this master’s program can work in large healthcare facilities, government agencies, clinical facilities, as well as professional organizations.
- Location: Tyler, Texas
- Accreditation: Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Expected Time to Completion: Part time – 36 months / Full time – 24 months
- Estimated Tuition: $868 per credit-hour
Duke University School of Nursing offers an online master of science in nursing with a major in nursing and healthcare leadership program. The program provides students with a foundation in leadership practice, financial management, and organizational theory.
Applicants to the program must have post-secondary transcripts from every school attended, minimum GPA of 3.4, three professional letters of recommendations, three comprehensive essays, and current resume. It is recommended that applicants have one year of prior nursing experience, though this is not a requirement.
The curriculum is made up of 36 credit-hours. It includes courses such as managing complex health care systems, principles of business and finance in health care, application of finance and budget planning, applied health care economics for nurses, effective business communication, and synthesis of specialty practice nursing.
Other than explaining the theoretical aspects of nursing administration, the program also helps students develop a practical view of how to lead organizations and bring about changes in management and healthcare. Graduates of the program have the opportunity to work in myriad types of organizations such as inpatient, ambulatory, integrated systems, and community-based.
- Location: Durham, North Carolina
- Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Expected Time to Completion: 24 – 36 months
- Estimated Tuition: $1,769 per credit-hour.
Professors to Know in Master’s in Nursing Administration
Donna Copeland, BSN, MSN, DNP, University of South Alabama
Donna Copeland is an assistant professor of adult health nursing at the University of South Alabama. She teaches courses such as nursing administration concepts and theories, nursing administration finance, nursing administration field, and managing healthcare personnel. Her research efforts are centered around community and academic partnerships in education and quality improvement. She has published her work in prominent journals such as Ochsner Journal and Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science. Professor Copeland has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the Excellence in Practice Award, Beacon of Light Award, and Lizzie Whetsell Award. She completed her BSN, MSN, and DNP from University of South Alabama.
Danita Alfred, PhD, BSN, MSN, The University of Texas at Tyler
Professor Danita Alfred teaches nursing at The University of Texas at Tyler, College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Some of the classes she takes include nursing theory, translational science, quantitative research design, and advanced statistics. Currently, her research explores emergency preparedness education, preparation for disasters, and Taiwanese nurses. Her findings have been featured in top journals such as Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Journal of Nursing Research, and Journal of Rehabilitation. She has won several laurels including the Barbara Cushing Excellence in Nursing Award and Outstanding Faculty Award. Dr. Alfred completed her PhD and MSN from Texas Woman’s University, and BSN from West Texas State University.
Kathleen Marie Turner, MSN, DNP, Duke University
Kathleen Marie Turner is an associate professor and lead faculty of the nursing and healthcare leadership program at Duke University. She teaches courses such as professional nursing, professional transitions, advanced nursing practice, and synthesis of specialty practice. Her research focuses on interprofessional education, nursing education, and nursing leadership. She has been published covered journals including Journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and Journal of Vascular Nursing. Among the many honors she has received are the Distinguished Teaching Award and the ABSN Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching. She completed her MSN and DNP from Duke University.
Featured Online Nursing Programs (for BSN-Prepared RNs)
Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
University of Saint Mary
MSN: Nursing Administrator Specialization
MSN: Nursing Educator Specialization