Among all the leadership roles in healthcare, a nurse manager has the most direct impact on the care and service that patients and families receive throughout their healthcare experience. In Walden’s Leadership and Management specialization, you can leverage your knowledge and experience to gain the advanced competencies needed to move into a leadership position.

Prepare to help ensure the delivery of safe, effective healthcare through coursework designed to hone skills in coaching, motivating, and leading a professional team while developing administrative expertise and decision-making skills in the areas of quality assurance and effective oversight of organizational resources. Fieldwork experience also provides an opportunity to apply your learning in a real-world environment. Review the PDF to the right for the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

The American Association of Nurse Executives (AONE) believes that nurse managers at all levels must be competent in the following five attributes:

  • Communication and relationship-building, including influencing behaviors and supporting diversity.
  • Superior knowledge of the complex and ever-changing healthcare environment, including clinical practice, delivery models, healthcare economics, policy, governance, evidence-based practice, safety, risk management, and quality improvement.
  • Leadership, including foundational and systems thinking, succession planning, and change management
  • Professionalism, including professional and personal accountability, career planning, ethics, and advocacy
  • Business skills, including marketing and financial, human resource, strategic, and information management.

Upon completing this specialization, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Communicate with and lead multiple stakeholders in order to improve patient care.
  • Evaluate how organizational structure, care processes, financing, marketing, and policy decisions impact the quality of healthcare.
  • Understand the role of organizational behavior in healthcare delivery.
  • Recruit, hire, and effectively mentor new nurses.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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  • $2500 Grant for students who reside in the U.S.

  • Nurses talking

    Study Measures Effectiveness of MSN

    Nearly 90% of Walden MSN study participants report they were able to apply what they learned to their workplace.

    View the infographic.

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  • “I used to think my job was to teach ‘tasks’ because nurses perform tasks. Now I understand that a nurse does much more than that. I’m teaching on a different scale. I’m not teaching a task; I’m teaching a concept, an ideal, a best practice .”

    Intermountain Healthcare employee
    Walden MSN Graduate

  • Curriculum

  • Tuition & Fees

  • Career Options

  • Highlights

  • Learning Outcomes

  • Learn More

Our curriculum is designed to help nurses develop essential management and leadership skills. Within this specialization, you will learn management strategies and decision-making skills and explore topics such as planning, finance, and human resource management.

Program Tracks

Walden’s MSN program features three enrollment options depending on your previous education, experience, and education goals. The Leadership and Management specialization is offered in all three tracks.

BSN to MSN Track

For registered nurses entering the program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). 

RN to MSN Track For registered nurses entering the program with a hospital diploma, associate degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree other than a BSN.  
RN to BSN to MSN Track For registered nurses who want the opportunity to earn their BSN while working toward their MSN.

Leadership and Management—BSN Track

Next State Date is December 1.  Apply NowAs a nurse, you have the potential to shape the future of patient care. Through the Leadership and Management specialization, you can take your career to a new level of responsibility. Prepare for a management role as a nurse administrator with a targeted curriculum designed to help you develop essential management and leadership skills. Gain insight into how effective, collaborative management can support the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. A comprehensive curriculum helps you gain management strategies in decision making, planning, finance, and human resources.

The BSN Track is for registered nurses who already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Students who enter the program with a BSN will complete the following core curriculum and then advance to the courses in the Leadership and Management specialization.

If you hold a hospital diploma, associate degree in nursing, or bachelor’s degree (other than BSN), see the RN Track.

Completion Requirements

  • 51 total quarter credits
    • Introductory course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (20 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (25 cr.)
    • Capstone course (5 cr.)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Introductory Course

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Capstone Course

Leadership and Management—RN Track

As a nurse, you have the potential to shape the future of patient care. Through the Leadership and Management specialization, you can take your career to a new level of responsibility. Prepare for a management role as a nurse administrator with a targeted curriculum designed to help you develop essential management and leadership skills. Gain insight into how effective, collaborative management can support the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. A comprehensive curriculum helps you gain management strategies in decision making, planning, finance, and human resources.

The RN Track is for registered nurses who hold a hospital diploma, associate degree in nursing, or bachelor’s degree (other than BSN).

This track requires that you fulfill general education requirements. Once you meet these requirements, you will be admitted to Walden and begin taking the foundations and core courses for the MSN.

If you already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), see the BSN Track.

Completion Requirements

  • 80 total quarter credits
    • Introductory course (1 cr.)
    • Foundations courses (29 cr.)
    • Core courses (20 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (25 cr.)
    • Capstone course (5 cr.)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Introductory Course

Foundations Courses

Core Courses

Specialization Courses

Capstone Course

Leadership and Management—RN-BSN-MSN Track

As a nurse, you have the potential to shape the future of patient care. Through the Leadership and Management specialization, you can take your career to a new level of responsibility. Prepare for a management role as a nurse administrator with a targeted curriculum designed to help you develop essential management and leadership skills. Gain insight into how effective, collaborative management can support the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. A comprehensive curriculum helps you gain management strategies in decision making, planning, finance, and human resources.

The RN-BSN-MSN track is for registered nurses who hold a hospital diploma or associate degree in nursing and would like to obtain their bachelor’s degree while working toward their MSN. With this accelerated program of study, you can earn both your bachelor’s and your master’s degrees in less time and at a lower cost than earning each degree separately. You will enroll at the bachelor’s level and will take both bachelor’s- and master’s-level courses and then apply for admission to Walden’s MSN program following completion of undergraduate requirements.

If you already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), see the BSN Track.

Completion Requirements

  • 180 total quarter credits to earn BSN 
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • General education courses (50 cr.)
    • Lower-division courses (50 cr.)
    • Core courses (54 cr.)  
    • Elective courses (25 cr.)
  • 35 total quarter credits to earn MSN.

Students may be able to transfer up to 135 credits. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Foundation Course

Core Courses

Elective Courses

Choose four courses from the general education program, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program, or other Walden bachelor’s degree programs. Your elective credits should total 25 to meet your program requirements. You may also be eligible to transfer previous credit to meet your elective requirements. Note on minors: Electives can also be used to complete a six-course minor. Although this program requires fewer than six elective courses, you have the option to complete a minor and graduate with more than the required number of credits for this program.

Specialization Courses (to be taken after enrolling in MSN)

Capstone Course

2014-2015 Tuition and Fees

BSN Track (Leadership and Management, Nursing Education, and Nursing Informatics Specializations)

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 51 total quarter credit hours  $445 per quarter hour 

$22,695

Books and Materials Estimated costs  included

$0

Technology Fee  Per quarter

$120

$720

   

Total

$23,415

   

Transfer up to 25 credits 

$11,485

   

Total with Transfer Credits

$11,930

2013-2014 Tuition and Fees

BSN Track (Leadership and Management, Nursing Education, and Nursing Informatics Specializations)

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 51 total quarter credit hours  $425 per quarter hour 

$21,675

Books and Materials Estimated costs  included

$0

Technology Fee  Per quarter

$120

$720

   

Total

$22,395

   

Transfer up to 25 credits 

$10,985

   

Total with Transfer Credits

$11,410

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

The RN Track for this program also requires up to 29 total quarter credit hours for Foundation Courses. These courses cost $360 per quarter credit hour, including textbooks and materials.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

$2500 Grant for students who reside in the U.S.

Transfer credits for your masters program

The demand for skilled healthcare managers is expected to increase by 22% by 2018.* This growth will be significantly faster than the national average for all occupations. The demand in employment will be due to advancements in healthcare technology, the broadening of healthcare services, and a rising elderly population.

Nursing pay scaleAccording to Glassdoor.com, Indeed.com, and Salary.com, the salary range for a nurse manager is from $72,000 to $115,000 and can go higher based on experience.

If you have the right experience and training, Walden’s MSN program with a specialization in Leadership and Management can help position you for roles such as:

  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Head Nurse
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Manager Nursing Policy Manager
  • Manager of Health Policy Risk Manager

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Medical and Health Services Managers, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (viewed online August 9, 2013). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Health Career Web, Nursing Management Jobs, on the Internet at www.healthcareerweb.com/nursing/Nursing_management_jobs (viewed online August 9, 2013). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

MSN benefits study infographicWhen you choose Walden’s MSN program, you can benefit from the flexibility of an online learning format and from MobileLearn®. Offered exclusively at Walden, MobileLearn® not only enables you to choose where and when you learn, but it also gives you the ability to choose how you learn. Learn more.

A recent study, commissioned by Walden University, evaluated the effectiveness of the MSN program for Walden students employed at Intermountain Healthcare, a nationally recognized nonprofit healthcare system. Upon completing their Walden program, 85% of the surveyed Walden cohort claimed their studies helped them improve at work or as nurses in general.

In Walden’s MSN program, you can:

  • Collaborate with nurses from around the country in an interactive online environment.
  • Learn from expert teaching faculty—100% of whom hold doctoral degrees.
  • Gain the opportunity to translate knowledge into practice by designing, developing, and implementing a project in a professional healthcare setting.
  • Acquire the knowledge needed to act as a change agent and apply your enhanced expertise within the healthcare environment. Phi Nu Chapter logo.
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and connect with nurses around the world to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.

Learn more about what distinguishes Walden’s Master of Science in Nursing program: 

CCNE Accreditation 
Expert Faculty 

General Education Requirements

Courses are available at Walden if you have not completed the minimum undergraduate credits of general education courses required for admission to the master’s program. If you choose to complete general education courses at Walden, you can transition directly into the RN Track of the MSN program after completion of the general education requirements.

Completing your general education courses at Walden allows you to benefit from Walden’s numerous student resources, as well as gain immediate experience in online learning, which can set a strong foundation for your master’s coursework at Walden.

Students may be eligible to enroll in the MSN program even if all general education coursework is not complete; however, students are required to complete all general education courses before registering for core courses in the MSN program.

Course Title  Courses 
Communication* 2
Humanities 2
Social Science Courses 2
Mathematics and Science 4
Introductory Statistics 1
Elective 1

*One course must be a college-level English composition course.

Courses must include anatomy, physiology, and microbiology.

Lifelong Learning for Nurses

Wherever you are in your nursing career, Walden offers a program to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Learn from experts in the field and collaborate with nurses from across the United States as you pursue a degree that can help you make a greater difference.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Completion Program

  • Earn a BSN without compromising your personal or professional obligations.
  • Equip yourself with the tools you need for success in a nursing career through a flexible, relevant, evidence-based online nursing degree program.
  • Gain an advantage when applying to master’s degree programs with a BSN that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

  • Choose from specializations that help you meet your specific career goals.
  • Contribute to positive social change in your community by becoming a leader in the profession.
  • Gain an advantage when applying to doctoral degree programs with an MSN that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Post-Master’s Certificates in Nursing

  • Add depth to your degree or pursue a new specialization.
  • Gain the credentials you need to advance your career if you have been away from the educational environment for some time.
  • Prepare for professional development and leadership positions.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

  • Enhance your talents as a nurse leader in order to serve at the highest level within your existing specialty.
  • Assume greater practice and leadership roles in community-based healthcare organizations, evaluate and apply research that contributes to better patient outcomes, and promote a more effective and efficient healthcare system.
  • Help fill the need for advanced practice nurses holding doctoral degrees

Find out which program best meets your career goals. Request information, call 1-866-492-5336 in the United States, or see a list of international toll-free phone numbers.

Walden University’s MSN and BSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036, 1-202-887-6791. CCNE is a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs in preparing effective nurses. For students, accreditation signifies program innovation and continuous self-assessment.

Meet Students and Graduates

Meet a few of the students and graduates of the MSN program. Their unique perspective on Walden and on this program can offer you a glimpse of what to expect from your student experience. These students and alumni offer insights into learning at Walden, applying the MSN in the real world, and how earning an MSN has helped them make a difference in the field of nursing.

Cynthia Hickman“The most rewarding aspect of earning my master’s degree at Walden was my practicum project and experience. To be able to put into practice what Walden taught me was awesome. The knowledge, the faculty, and my colleagues made me a well-rounded scholar.”
Cynthia Hickman
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Graduate

“Walden University has taught me to act on my passions and address societal challenges using research and investigation. Transforming society is my goal and the goal of a Walden scholar.”
Cynthia Hickman
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Graduate

Denise Schuler“The auto-registration and the auto-book fulfillment are a few of the reasons I chose Walden. I did not have the time or energy to worry about registration and finding books while working and raising a family. It was so much easier to let Walden take care of everything. I especially loved receiving my box of books and other class materials—all shiny, new, complete, and on time. Best of all, there were no trips to the bookstore involving a backpack full of books and a four-block hike to my car!”
Denise Schuler
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Graduate

“Walden University’s accreditation and reputation earned me a measure of respect among my peers that I appreciated when the coursework demands on my time became challenging.”
Denise Schuler
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Graduate

“Nurses need to know the latest research studies related to patient care. At Walden, I learned to rely on evidence-based practice to make the necessary changes to provide high-quality patient care.”
Esteban Ramirez-Orta
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student

Be More Effective With a Master of Science in Nursing

The Intermountain Healthcare Study

Can earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from Walden University make you a more effective nurse? Walden partnered with Intermountain Healthcare, a nationally recognized nonprofit healthcare system, to evaluate the effectiveness of its MSN program. The study, conducted by Arroyo Research Services, followed both a Walden nurse cohort and a comparison group enrolled in different higher education institutions and monitored their progress through their respective programs.

According to the results, nurses in the Walden program reported a more positive result in increased knowledge and enhanced practice as well as in the development of leadership skills.

Key highlights include:

  • Of the nurses participating in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) cohort, 85% claimed their Walden studies helped them to improve at work or as a nurse in general. By comparison, only 59% of non-Walden nurses responded similarly.
  • The majority of Walden cohort nurses (90%) claimed they were very likely to promote or initiate evidence-based practice, compared to 67% of non-Walden nurses. Specifically, 90% responded their studies helped them implement evidence-based practice, compared to 56% of the survey’s comparison group.
  • Nearly 90% of Walden cohort nurses claimed they applied what they learned in their studies, compared to 54% of non-Walden nurses.

Read the executive summary. (pdf)
Read the white paper. (pdf) 

Feedback from Intermountain Healthcare employees

“Where I see their increase in self-knowledge is in education principles that they didn’t have before. They’ve got a better background in it. They understand more of the principles of adult learning … I hear them say all the time, ‘Wow. I have learned so much in how to be a better facilitator and a better instructor, how to be a better teacher.’ ”

Intermountain Healthcare supervisor

“I feel like I have so many more tools now to be able to accomplish what I am doing in a different and more effective way.”

Intermountain Healthcare employee
Walden MSN Graduate

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Synthesize organizational/systems leadership for cost-effective specialist nursing practice that contributes to high-quality healthcare delivery, advancement of the nursing profession, and social change.
  2. Critique evidence-based literature drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives and pertinent research to guide decision making that demonstrates best practices for specialist nursing practice in a global society.
  3. Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.
  5. Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.
  6. Exhibit ongoing commitment to professional development and value of nursing theories/ethical principles (altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice) in accordance with ethically responsible, legally accountable, specialist nursing practice.
  7. Implement specialist nursing roles to promote quality improvement of patient-centered care in accordance with professional practice standards that transform health outcomes for diverse populations.

For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.