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No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.¹

Are you ready to take your nurse executive career to the next level—and make an even greater impact on your patients’ healthcare experience? Whether you’re currently delivering everyday patient care or serving as a nurse leader, earning your MSN-Nurse Executive online degree from Walden can help you make a difference. You’ll gain the administrative expertise, knowledge, and confidence to implement improvement initiatives across teams and organizations. The MSN-Nurse Executive program is aligned with the American Nurses Association (ANA) standards for nurse administrators. It qualifies you to pursue leadership positions in a variety of healthcare settings, including running your own hospital unit.

Learn from Experienced faculty

100% of our didactic faculty are nurse leaders who hold doctoral degrees. Designed by nurse executives working in the field, the program covers relevant clinical challenges.

Gain real-world experience

Develop effective leadership skills through expert-guided practicums held in real healthcare settings, and build your expertise by working through real-world scenarios.

Pursue your passion

Gain deep knowledge and grow your expertise in high-demand practice areas by concentrating on one of two sub-specializations in Risk Management or Health Policy.

Engaging Coursework

State-of-the-art learning technologies, engaging case studies, and robust media and support materials bring classroom learning to life.

Impact lives and communities

The theme of social change is threaded throughout our MSN curriculum. Learn how to apply your new knowledge to make a positive impact in your community.

Connect with your peers

Our Facebook communities, alumni associations, and chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing make connecting easy.


Tempo Competency-Based Learning™: Receive a 25% tuition reduction for the life of the program if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 2, 2020. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

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Two Ways to Learn

Choose the learning path that fits your life and experience. Here are the two ways to earn your degree:

  Course-based learning
tempo competency-based learning
   The standard, guided pace to earn your degree
 The flexible pace, ideal for some students
Time Structured schedule
Flexible schedule
Pace Deadlines to make steady progress
Set your own pace, and speed up or slow down when needed
Tuition Pay by the course
All-you-can-learn subscription fee
Support Faculty guide you through your courses as you earn your degree
Faculty support when you need it and a personal academic coach
Expert Walden Faculty

Payment Plans and Scholarships*


*May not be available for all programs

Choose the Path That Is Right for You

Choose the BSN to MSN track if you are a registered nurse (RN) and have already earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

Choose the RN to MSN track if you are a registered nurse (RN) entering the MSN program with a hospital diploma or an associate degree in nursing.

Choose Walden's RN to BSN Accelerated Into Master's (AIM) program if you are a registered nurse (RN) who wants the opportunity to earn credits toward your MSN while completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).


Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save


Tempo Competency-Based Learning™: Receive a 25% tuition reduction for the life of the program if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 2, 2020. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission to this master’s program, you must have an bachelor’s in nursing or higher and a valid RN license. All applicants must submit a completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply.

More information for international applicants.

Become a Healthcare Change Agent

The curriculum for Walden’s online MSN Nurse Executive specialization covers a wide variety of essential topics, including policy and advocacy, management strategy, finance, human resources, and quality management. As a graduate of this program, you will have the skills and knowledge you need to be an effective nursing leader. You’ll be capable of guiding strategic initiatives within your healthcare system and advancing your nurse executive career.

Meet Your Academic Team

  • Vincent Hall

    Vincent Hall

    Program Director

    As a program director for the Master of Science in Nursing program, Dr. Hall supervises MSN core courses as well as the Nursing Education, Nurse Executive, Nursing Informatics, and Public Health Nursing specializations. Dr. Hall serves on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials Task Force and on the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Accreditation Review Committee. He has been an RN for more than 40 years and a nurse educator for more than 30 years.

  • Deborah Weatherspoon

    Deborah Weatherspoon

    Senior Core Faculty

    Dr. Weatherspoon is senior core faculty in Walden’s MSN Nurse Executive specialization. As a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), she managed the anesthesia departments of four hospitals for two decades. She has been instructing nurse leaders since 2009 and is also a prolific writer and researcher.

  • Jeanne Morrison

    Academic Coordinator

    Dr. Morrison joined Walden in 2004 and serves as specialty coordinator for the MSN in Nurse Executive specialization. She is an RN with more than 25 years of teaching experience in educational settings that range from undergraduate to doctoral and traditional classroom to online learning.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of Walden’s online MSN-Nurse Executive program will be prepared to:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.
  • Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.
  • 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.
  • 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.

What’s the Career Impact of Earning an MSN-Nurse Executive?

As the world’s population continues to age, there will likely be a substantial increase in demand for healthcare services over the next decade—and beyond.

Walden’s online MSN Nurse Executive specialization can prepare you to meet increasing healthcare demands and build a rewarding career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 32% from 2019 to 2029.3 As a nurse executive, your leadership can have a substantial impact on the lives of patients in the communities you serve.

An MSN – Nurse Executive can prepare you to pursue career options such as:4

  • Chief nursing officer
  • Vice president of clinical operations or patient services
  • Clinical nursing supervisor
  • Nurse administrator
  • Nurse executive
  • Nursing consultant
  • Service-line director
  • Nurse supervisor or nurse manager
  • Director of nursing
  • Director of case management
  • Healthcare administrator

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

Optional Nurse Executive Certification (RN-BC) is offered through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) as well as optional certification as a Nurse Manager and Leader and Executive Nursing Practice through the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).

Learn more about top industry sectors, most in-demand job skills and top job titles for MSN grads.


FAQ About Walden’s Online MSN - Nursing Executive Specialization


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