Sacred Heart University Online MSN - Nursing Management & Executive Leadership Program

The Sacred Heart University (SHU) College of Nursing offers an online master of science in nursing with a specialization in nursing management and executive leadership (NMEL). Applicants do not need to hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree but may also enter with a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in a related field plus RN licensure in their state.

In addition, students with an associate degree or diploma in nursing and RN license may complete the RN-to-BSN-to-MSN accelerated program which allows for substitution of 12 graduate credits toward the BSN. Both program paths are 100 percent online, with a 120-hour clinical requirement to be completed at approved locations near the student.

The nursing management and executive leadership track prepares graduates to take on leadership roles in the healthcare industry, promoting and implementing programs that create cost-effective care that is efficient and safe and produces better patient outcomes. The emphasis of this specialization is on quality and safety in healthcare.

Sacred Heart University, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, seeks to make the MSN degree more accessible by opening up the entry points to ADN and non-nursing bachelor’s degree holders. The flexibility in start dates and time to completion of up to six years gives students leeway to meet family and work commitments while still completing an advanced degree. In addition, the eight-week courses allow students to take six courses per year, one-at-a-time, which allows better focus on the subject being studied.

Those interested in the online MSN in nursing management and executive leadership are typically working RNs or recent graduates who wish to move into executive leadership positions in healthcare. Graduates from the NMEL track may go on to have careers in varied settings, including primary care organizations, managed care facilities, hospitals, emergency clinics, government agencies, and research organizations.

Sacred Heart University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). The online BSN and MSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

What to Expect from the Online MSN – Nursing Management & Executive Leadership Program

Admission Requirements: Applicants to the online MSN in nursing management and executive leadership at SHU must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a BA or BS in another field plus RN licensure in their state. A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher is required for this track. No work experience or GRE/GMAT is required.

Students must have completed undergraduate statistics, research, and health assessment courses. Application materials include proof of RN licensure, proof of liability insurance, a criminal background check, an application and application fee, resume, a statement of professional goals, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts. All MSN candidates complete an interview with the graduate nursing faculty.

Applicants to the RN-to-BSN-to-MSN degree program must have a diploma or associate degree in nursing from an accredited program. A minimum GPA of 2.8 to 3.0 is required for undergraduate coursework, depending on coverage by the CT Articulation Agreement. No work experience is required.

Application materials include proof of RN licensure, official transcripts, an application and application fee, two letters of recommendation, a resume, a statement of professional goals, and proof of liability insurance. International students must provide proof of English language proficiency.

Study Plan: The online MSN can be completed in two years taking one eight-week course at a time, including summers. The online RN-to-BSN-to-MSN can be completed in about three years. Students have up to six years to complete the programs.

There are six start dates, two each in the fall, spring, and summer. Online nursing students should expect to spend 12 to 15 hours per week on each course. All coursework is online with a 120-hour clinical practicum experience completed local to the student. To complete the program, nursing students participate in a graduate capstone project.

MSN Curriculum: The Sacred Heart online MSN-NMEL program consists of 36 credits in total plus 120 clinical hours. Core courses include healthcare policy and ethics for contemporary nursing practice; principles of healthcare research for contemporary nursing practice; evidence-based practice for quality care; theory and professional rules for contemporary nursing practice; and principles of healthcare research for evidence-based nursing.

Nursing management and executive leadership track courses comprise 24 of the 36 credits and include role development for nursing management and executive leadership; healthcare information systems; healthcare delivery systems; creating a professional work environment; management of financial resources; quality and safety in practice; nursing management and executive leadership practice; and a capstone (nursing management and executive leadership).

RN-to-BSN-to-MSN Curriculum: The online RN-to-BSN-to-MSN program consists of 84 credits total including 60 undergraduate credits and 24 graduate MSN-NMEL credits.

In order to accelerate the program, the required graduate nursing core courses are incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum. Accepted students may transfer in 90 credits toward the BSN degree which may reduce the number of required credits even further. At a minimum, students complete 30 undergraduate credits and 24 MSN graduate credits, as well as the 120-hour practicum.

Undergraduate nursing courses include healthcare policy and ethics for contemporary nursing practice; principles of healthcare research for contemporary nursing practice; evidence-based practice for quality care; theory and professional rules for contemporary nursing practice; the human journey of nursing; health assessment for RNs; care management: individuals and families; populations and global health nursing; and healthcare information systems. Other required courses may include the human journey seminars: great books in the catholic intellectual tradition; transition to professional practice; leadership in contemporary nursing practice; and populations and global health nursing. Once the BSN is earned, students follow the MSN-NMEL graduate courses listed above.

Online Experience: All courses for the online MSN in nursing management and executive leadership are 100 percent online and no campus visits are required. Courses are mostly asynchronous and are delivered through Blackboard Learn. Students log in through the MySHU Portal where they have access to all the online services under one login.

Online requirements include the ability to download files, use the internet, send information via email and attached documents, and use programs like Microsoft Word. Access to a current operating system and high-speed internet are also vital. Students have access to academic advising, admissions counseling, online bookstore and library, faculty office hours, career counseling, and 24/7 technical support.

On-Site Requirements: There are no on-site requirements for the MSN and accelerated RN entry programs. All courses are 100 percent online with one approved practicum completed in a student’s local community.

Paying for the Online MSN – Nursing Management & Executive Leadership Program

SHU charges $695 per credit plus fees for the online MSN in nursing management and executive leadership program. Those completing the RN-to-BSN-to-MSN accelerated program pay $590 per credit plus fees for undergraduate courses and $695 per credit plus fees for graduate courses. Since tuition typically changes from year to year, online students should contact the admissions department of the SHU College of Nursing for total costs.

Sacred Heart offers financial aid in the form of grants, merit scholarships, need-based scholarships, and federal loans. Students can apply for federal financial aid through FAFSA for both undergraduate and graduate study. Graduate student loans are unsubsidized. Students are also encouraged to seek financial aid from outside resources to help pay for their MSN degree. In addition, some employers may offer tuition reimbursement programs or tuition discounts for employees seeking an MSN degree.

Sacred Heart University MSN - Nursing Management and Executive Leadership

Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates 6 Start Dates - 2 Fall, 2 Spring, 2 Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 36
Time to Complete? Can be completed in 2 years
100% Online? Yes, plus a 120 hour local practicum
Program Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Bachelors degree in nursing or non-nursing bachelor's plus active RN license
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 36
Cost Per Credit Hour $695.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $25,020.00

Sacred Heart University RN-BSN-MSN - Nursing Management & Executive Leadership

Program Essentials
Degree Level Master's Degree
Program Start Dates 6 Start Dates - 2 Fall, 2 Spring, 2 Summer
Credits Needed to Graduate 84
Time to Complete? Can be completed in 3 years
100% Online? Yes, plus a 120 hour local practicum
Program Accreditation Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Program Admissions
Level of Education Required? Associate degree in nursing plus active RN license
GRE or GMAT Required? No
Work Experience Required? No
Program Tuition
Credit Hours 84
Cost Per Credit Hour $620.00
Estimated Program Tuition * $52,080.00

* Tuition is calculated based on credits, at the currently published tuition rate. For programs with variable tuition rates, we use the out of state, part-time student rate. Tuition number represents the cost of tuition for the entire program, not per semester or year. Total cost of tuition does not include additional fees.

Sara Navratil
Sara Navratil
Writer

Sara Navratil is a freelance writer and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. She's the owner of Sara Liza Life, a company dedicated to helping people rewrite their lives. She enjoys researching and writing about healthcare-related topics, including information on online MHA programs. When not working she likes to read, bake, and spend time with her family.