Competency-Based: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)-Nurse Executive

As a nurse, you have the potential to shape the future of patient care. Take your leadership and influence to a new level with the Nurse Executive specialization. In this specialization, you will:

  • Examine how effective, collaborative management can support improved patient outcomes.
  • Deepen your knowledge of risk management or health policy— two areas of high demand—though our optional sub-specializations.
  • Build critical skills in management strategy, decision-making, planning, finance, patient safety management, 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 competencies and then advance to the competencies in the Nurse Executive specialization.

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

Progress at Your Own Pace

The competency-based option is designed for working professionals. Your progress is measured by the mastery or demonstration of skills, abilities, and knowledge in a particular area of study.

Each competency included in the MSN-Nurse Executive program has been carefully designed by expert faculty with input from employers, with both your education and future employment in mind.

Completion Requirements

  • 53 total quarter credits
    • Core Competencies (23)
    • Specialization Competencies (30)

Core Competencies

Foundations for Graduate Study (NURS 6003)

  • FG001 Networking for Academic and Professional Success: Develop an academic and professional network.
  • FG002 Academic and Professional Strategies and Resources: Identify academic resources and strategies for success.
  • FG003 Academic and Professional Integrity: Apply strategies to promote academic integrity and professional ethics.
  • FG004 Scholarship and Nursing Practice: Analyze peer-reviewed research related to issues in nursing practice.
  • FG005 Professional Development Plan: Create professional development plans for academic success and professional practice.
  • FG006 Standards of Practice: Justify selection of the MSN specialization using standards and scope of practice.

Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health (NURS 6050)

  • PA001 Agenda Setting: Evaluate federal agendas to promote healthcare issues within the policymaking system/process.
  • PA002 Legislation: Advocate a position on a population health-related bill.
  • PA003 Regulation: Analyze how regulations influence the nurse's role and the delivery, costs, and access to healthcare.
  • PA004 Design and Implementation: Assess outcomes of population health program/policy evaluations.
  • PA005 Healthcare Program/ Policy Evaluation: Assess outcomes of population health program/policy evaluations.
  • PA006 Global Healthcare Issues: Analyze the impact of nurse advocacy on addressing global health issues.

Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology (NURS 6051)

  • TN001 What is Informatics? Analyze frameworks and tools for the role of the nurse as an informaticist and knowledge worker.
  • TN002 The role of Nurse Informatics in Healthcare: Analyze the role of the nurse informaticist in nursing informatics projects to improve outcomes or efficiencies in healthcare organizations.
  • TN003 Data to Information to Knowledge to Wisdom:  Analyze how standardized terminologies impact the practice of healthcare and nursing informatics.
  • TN004 Technologies Supporting Applied Practice and Optimal Pat: Analyze nursing informatics research on the application of clinical systems to improve outcomes and efficiencies.
  • TN005 The Nurse Leader and the Systems Development Life Cycle: Define the role of the nurse for participation on an implementation team as a component of the systems development life cycle.
  • TN006 Policy and Regulation Supporting Informatics and Technology: Evaluate legislative policies and regulations for health and nursing informatics and their impact on improvement for outcomes and efficiencies in nursing practice.

Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice (NURS 6052)

  • EB001 Evidence-based Practice (EBP) and the Quadruple Aim:  Analyze the relationship between evidence-based practice and the Quadruple Aim in healthcare organizations.
  • EB002 Research Methodology:  Analyze research methodologies described in peer-reviewed articles.
  • EB003 Clinical Inquiry, Problem-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome-Time (PICOT), and Searching Databases:  Analyze relevant, peer-reviewed articles in support of PICOT questions.
  • EB004 Critical Appraisal, Evaluation/Summary, and Synthesis of Evidence:  Recommend best practices based on critical appraisal of evidence-based research.
  • EB005 Evidence-Based Decision-Making: Recommend evidence-based organizational changes using an evidence-based practice approach to decision-making.
  • EB006 Disseminating Evidenced-Based Practice Changes: Analyze dissemination strategies for evidence-based practice changes in healthcare.

Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership (NURS 6053)

  • IO001 Healthcare Environment: Analyze the impact of national healthcare trends on organizational leadership practice.
  • IO002 Professionalism: Assess organizational policies and the promotion of ethical practice in addressing healthcare issues/stressors.
  • IO003 Leadership: Create a leadership philosophy to promote transformational leadership in nursing practice.
  • IO004 Promoting: Organizational Health Recommend evidence-based strategies to create healthy work environments and promote positive organizational health.
  • IO005 Organizational Change: Create comprehensive plans for meaningful organizational change.

Specialization Competencies

Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare (NURS 6201)

  • LN001 Leadership Models and Styles: Identify styles and models of leadership in nursing settings.
  • LN002 Systems Thinking in Nursing Leadership: Apply systems thinking to determine courses of action that reflect the mission, vision, and values of the organization
  • LN003 Coaching, Conflict Resolution, and Action-to-Outcome Decision Making: Apply strategies for coaching and mentoring, conflict resolution, and action-to-outcome decision making.
  • LN004 Leadership to Support Excellence in Nursing Practice: Develop nursing initiatives supported with high-quality research evidence that inspire stakeholders to achieve high levels of health and well-being in clinical settings.
  • LN005 Empowerment of the Nurse Leader in Organizational Structures: Analyze opportunities for the nurse executive to engage in discourse and decision making within nursing organizational structures.

Finance and Economics in Health Care Delivery (NURS 6211)

  • FE001 Making a Business Case: Apply concepts and principles of finance and economics to the proposal of new healthcare products and services.
  • FE002 Health Economics and Reimbursement: Apply skills for creating and managing healthcare budgets.
  • FE003 Budgets and Budgeting: Create and manage healthcare budgets.
  • FE004 Costs and Savings: Evaluate healthcare service costs and savings.
  • FE005 Financial Health and Nurse Entrepreneurs: No competency description available.

Managing Human Resources (NURS 6221)

  • MH001 Employee Recruitment and Selection: Apply strategies for effectively recruiting and selecting nursing staff.
  • MH002 Support and Empowerment of Employees: Develop an employee empowerment plan that supports job performance and satisfaction and improves retention.
  • MH003 Performance Management in Nursing Settings: Apply systems thinking in assessing employee performance in nursing settings.
  • MH004 Diversity as a Human Resource: Apply strategies for embracing, leveraging, and managing diversity and inclusion in nursing settings.
  • MH005 Leadership, Ethics, and the Law: Apply legal and ethical standards to actions and decision making in nursing leadership.

Healthcare Systems and Quality Outcomes (NURS 6231)

  • HQ001 Measurement and Evaluation of Quality Outcomes: Apply strategies for measuring and evaluating quality outcomes in healthcare settings.
  • HQ002 Leveraging Positive Deviance: Leverage positive deviance to improve health outcomes and promote inter-professionalism in nursing settings.
  • HQ003 Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Nursing: Apply an interdisciplinary approach to maximize quality of care and patient outcomes.
  • HQ004 Innovations to Improve Outcomes: Design innovations to improve systems and support organization performance.

Strategic Planning in Health Care Organizations (NURS 6241)

  • HC001 Key Concepts in Strategic Planning in Healthcare Organizations: Explain concepts related to the purposes and processes of strategic planning in healthcare settings.
  • HC002 Problem Identification and Analysis: Identify and analyze problems targeted for strategic planning.
  • HC003 Development of Strategic Plans: Create strategic plans to achieve healthcare organizational goals.
  • HC004 Evaluation of Strategic Plans: Evaluate the effectiveness of strategic plans in meeting organizational goals.

Capstone (NURS 6600)

  • SY001 Leadership, Nursing Practice, and Social Change: Apply leadership principles to design programs to enhance nursing practice and promote social change.
  • SY001 Opportunities for Leadership and Professional Growth: Create plans to participate in leadership and professional growth opportunities to achieve professional goals and objectives.
  • SY001 Leadership and Career Advancement: Write resumes, cover letters, and professional profiles to advance in nursing leadership.

*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.

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Questions about our MSN – Nurse Executive?
Questions about our MSN – Nurse Executive?
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