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

CCNE logoAmong 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.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives 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.

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.
  • Receive approval for early conditional admission to the RN-MSN (specialty practice) program while completing your last term of an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or Nursing Diploma program and successfully completing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN). Request information or contact an enrollment advisor to learn more. * 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.

Learning Outcomes

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.   
  • 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.

Career Impact

Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, there should be increased demand for healthcare services.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a nurse manager is $82,956.

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

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.

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

Find detailed information for this program if you hold a BSN or hold a RN, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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Live Positive Social Change With a Walden University Nursing Degree

Gia Smith, MSN graduate, weaves Walden’s mission of positive social change into her interactions. 
MyWhy-Gia-Smitth
Transcript
GIA SMITH: My name is Gia Smith. I am currently the CEO of American Specialty Health Care Group. What I enjoy most about my job is seeing patients coming at their worst, not knowing where they're going to go, and leave at their best. 

Walden's mission of positive social change is what I live by. That's how I get up in the morning, that's what I use to go to work, that's what I use with my employees, that's what I use with our students, that's what I use with our patients. Change has to be positive. 

KIM WARREN: When a patient comes in and they are on a ventilator, they can't speak, can't move, they've been in bed for 10, 20 days and three, four months later, they're actually speaking, eating, walking in the hallway, Gia loves to see a patient return to their optimal health. 

GIA SMITH: My Walden degree in Leadership and Management encouraged me to take my career to the next level, to become a CEO. I don't think without that degree I would have felt empowered to take it to that level. I was exposed to not just nurses, but I was exposed to other executives and leaders. And it didn't just open doors in nursing. 

KIM WARREN: I've seen Gia's transformation from a new grad nurse all the way up to a CEO. So just watching her grow makes me feel that I can walk in her footsteps. 

GIA SMITH: My why is to inspire and encourage others to provide quality care.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

Note on Certification: Walden’s MSN program is designed to provide the academic degree required to apply for national certifications. Because no graduate program can guarantee that graduates will achieve national certification, we encourage students to consult the appropriate credentialing center for the specific requirements. It is an individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification as requirements vary widely. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about certification programs, students should contact the American Nurses Credentialing Center at www.nursingworld.org/ancc, or other certification websites.

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP code 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse). Includes 2016 preliminary data.

†Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers. National job growth estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

‡Source: PayScale, Average Nursing Manager Salary. National salary estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual salaries (or salary growth), and are subject to change.

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