With this MSN specialization, you can leverage your knowledge to directly impact the care and service received by patients and families in your career.
As a nurse, you have the potential to shape the future of patient care. Through the Nurse Executive 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. The program includes the option for deepening your knowledge in risk management and health policy though our sub-specializations; two areas of high demand in the marketplace. You will gain skills in management strategy, decision-making, planning, finance, patient safety management, 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 can begin the foundations and core courses for the MSN.
If you already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), see the BSN Track.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will 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 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||NURS 3101||Course||Issues and Trends in Nursing||Credits||(6 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 3151||Course||Foundations of Nursing Research||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4006||Course||Topics in Clinical Nursing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4211||Course||Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4221||Course||Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6002/6003||Course||Foundations for Graduate Study||Credits||(3 cr.)|
In this course, students are provided with an overview of the evolution of nursing as a profession and introduced to their new role as scholar-practitioners. They examine changes in the U.S. healthcare delivery system, the importance of information technology, and measures that promote quality, safety, and better health outcomes in patient care. Students consider major issues and trends in contemporary nursing and healthcare practice, including the influence of socioeconomic, ethical, legal, and political variables and professional values. Through weekly discussions and assignments, students explore and share personal experiences in the context of contemporary nursing issues, such as the nursing shortage, workforce challenges, healthcare financing, professional organizations, and diversity. They are challenged to examine and propose solutions to these nursing issues in addition to those in their workplace. Students reflect on Walden's mission of social change and its impact on their future nursing practice as a scholar-practitioner. Because this is the first nursing course within the RN/BSN program, students learn to use Walden University's resources to enhance writing skills. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden.
Nurses must understand research in order to effectively participate in the provision of evidence-based nursing care. Students in this course learn the foundational elements of the research process, refine information-literacy skills, and develop an understanding of ethical research. Students investigate each step of the research process and complete a critical examination of quantitative and qualitative research relevant to their nursing practice. Students are given the tools to analyze nurse-sensitive indicators and clinical practice guidelines.
Nurses play a critical role in the care of patients with major acute and chronic health problems. They are accountable for clinical outcomes and for promoting quality and safety in patient care through the use of information technology. Students in this course will examine their role in the evaluation of nurse-sensitive indicators, standards, and core measures to develop an evidence-based practice approach to care. Students explore the relationship of genetics and genomics to health and illness as well as infection-control issues. The nurse's role in palliative and end-of-life care and complementary and alternative therapies is also explored. Students apply course concepts and demonstrate an understanding of nursing interventions and agency policy to improve nursing practice.
Students in this course focus on application of theories and concepts from nursing and public health sciences in assessing health status; preventing and controlling disease; and promoting a healthier population by working with families, aggregates, communities, and healthcare systems. Students apply systems thinking by using epidemiological and community assessment techniques to examine populations at risk, health promotion, and levels of prevention with special emphasis on ethnically diverse and vulnerable populations. Major local, state, and national health issues are considered, including communicable disease, chronic illness, environmental and occupational health, bioterrorism, emergency and disaster preparedness, and response. Practice experiences provide learning experiences in population-based health promotion by collaborating with interdisciplinary public health partners in a local community. (1 credit of practicum equates to 72 clock hours of student practice experience hours.)
Contemporary nurses who wish to influence the current healthcare system must equip themselves with the knowledge and competencies to lead in times of pressure, constant change, and innovation. Quality Improvement science provides a rich set of tools and techniques and has been adopted by most nursing leaders. Nurses are expected to lead with quality improvement knowledge and competencies. Students in this course work toward gaining these skills by focusing on real practice problems and developing evidence-based solutions. They also learn skills and techniques in team building; strengthening interpersonal, communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration; promoting meaningful use of data to gauge improvements and problem solving; translating day to day practice problems to long term strategy for organizational growth; and identify strategies to manage organizational change. Students apply course concepts through case studies. Through this practice experience, students gain professional knowledge from nursing leaders in practice the application of quality improvement science. (1 credit of practicum equates to 72 clock hours of student practice experience hours.)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students receive a foundation for the student’s academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments focus on introducing students to resources that support success, development of graduate-level writing skills and use of APA, academic integrity, and the development of a professional development plan based on the student’s chosen specialization.
|Course Code||NURS 6050||Course||Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6051||Course||Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6052||Course||Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6053||Course||Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership||Credits||(5 cr.)|
In today's rapidly changing healthcare delivery system, decisions made within the political arena impact the future of healthcare systems and the populations that healthcare professionals serve. In this course, students examine healthcare reform and its impact on healthcare delivery, population health, and nursing practice. They evaluate policies that influence the structure, financing, and quality in healthcare and examine healthcare delivery from a global perspective. Through discussions, case studies, and other activities, students examine the effects of legal and regulatory processes on nursing practice, healthcare delivery, and population health outcomes. Students also examine ways to advocate for promotion and preservation of population health and gain the necessary skills to influence policy and support changes effected by the passing of new healthcare reform legislation.
Evidence-based practice is an essential nurse competency that supports the provision of effective and efficient care. Through team projects and individual applications, students learn how to organize, evaluate, and use health information and knowledge to critically appraise and use information technology to enhance evidence-based practice. Students also apply evidence-based practice to improve advanced nursing practice and healthcare outcomes across organization, public-health, and consumer-health settings.
Nurses base practice on sound and tested evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. Students have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the development and relationship of nursing theory, research, and practice in this course. Through a variety of online activities and coursework, students explore the role of nursing theory in both research and practice. They examine research literature to differentiate and critique various research designs, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method models; appraise statistical data; and analyze evidence. Acquired knowledge helps students evaluate research critically to make decisions about use of findings to enhance practice.
Students in this course will develop leadership skills to transform nursing and adapt organizations in response to the turbulent healthcare environment. They will develop and apply theory-based leadership competencies to create the organizational cultures needed to achieve quality patient outcomes. Students will also explore evidence-based strategies to create healthy work environments that empower nurses and build collaborative interprofessional teams.
|Course Code||NURS 6201||Course||Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6211||Course||Finance and Economics in Healthcare Delivery||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6221||Course||Managing Human Resources||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6231||Course||Healthcare Systems and Quality Outcomes||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6241||Course||Strategic Planning in Healthcare Organizations||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||OPTIONAL||Course||SUB-Specialization—RISK MANAGEMENT||Credits||Total 10|
|Course Code||NURS 6223||Course||Healthcare Quality Assurance and Risk Management in Healthcare Organizations||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6224||Course||Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||OPTIONAL||Course||SUB-Specialization—HEALTH POLICY||Credits||Total 10|
|Course Code||NURS 6226||Course||Introduction to Healthcare Policy||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6227||Course||Current Issues in Health Policy||Credits||(5 cr.)|
This course is foundational for the Leadership and Management specialty track. Students focus on theoretical and practical aspects of leadership and management functions in healthcare administration, and they discuss standards of practice for nursing administration. They explore a range of topics, including roles and responsibilities, quality improvements, strategic planning and management, regulations, accreditation, and information systems. Through this course, students learn the goals of the nurse leader, including ways to facilitate efficient, high-quality healthcare delivery to achieve excellence in patient care and services.
Students in this course learn about the fundamentals of finance and budgeting in healthcare delivery. They apply financial principles, such as budgeting processes used in multiple healthcare settings and the nurse administrator's responsibilities within the context of leading and managing resources. Through these applications, students explore budget development and management of operational and capital resources. They examine the influence of private and public policies and budgeting models that affect quality outcomes within the aspect of financial planning using information systems. Students also explore budget and resource decisions contributing to the achievement of organizational outcomes within the context of providing efficient and cost-effective quality care.
Nursing leadership is grounded firmly in managing our most important resource—human capital. In this course, students address nurse administrators’ role and responsibilities in human resource management. Students explore current legal, ethical, professional, and practice policies and standards, and they learn how to apply technology to human resource functions. Additionally, students learn strategies to support positive organizational and nursing service goals. They also have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the importance of staff satisfaction as well as creating collaborative and supportive partnerships within organizations.
The development of leadership strategies and competencies that support the healthcare organizational delivery of quality care is imperative to quality outcomes within healthcare systems. In this course, students use a systems approach to explore the organizational structures that impact healthcare quality and, ultimately, positive patient outcomes. Students learn how interdisciplinary collaboration is important to the development of quality management structures, gaining an understanding of how quality improvement is a strategic mandate. Engaging in conceptual and application-based assignments, students focus on clinical and service quality planning, control and improvement initiatives, models and tools for process improvement, and the importance and use of metrics in daily operations.
Nurse administrators in healthcare organizations must be aware of and integrate strategic organizational goals. Students in this course use an interdisciplinary case study approach to examine nursing administrative practice issues as they relate to the strategic planning process. Students apply leadership and management principles, concepts, and theory to strategic issues within the case study format. Through these applications, students learn to use a variety of administrative strategies within the context of supportive and collaborative interdisciplinary relationships to achieve positive patient care delivery outcomes that effect positive social change in patient communities.
In this course students examine healthcare quality assurance and risk management and the methods that are utilized to achieve improvements in healthcare organizations. Topics include the link between patient safety and legal and regulatory compliance; the role of accreditation organization requirements in patient safety; evidence-based outcomes and standards of care; the development and archiving of reports, data, and device evidence in medical error situations; and managing patient safety compliance through credentialing of healthcare professionals.
Students in this course review compliance regulations resulting from federal and state laws governing healthcare in various settings. Students have the opportunity to study the essential elements of an effective compliance program and how to implement them. Topics include setting up and maintaining a compliance program, the role of the healthcare compliance officer, investigating, reporting, enforcement and discipline, and ethics in compliance management
Students in this course consider the evolution of the U.S. healthcare system and of health policy. Topics include current challenges in the delivery of healthcare and the future of the healthcare system. Students are introduced to perspectives for analyzing health and healthcare with a focus on vulnerable populations, mental health issues, variations in medical practice and the quality of care, and healthcare rationing and access to care. NURS 6050.)
This course serves as an introduction to major health policy issues and an examination of government's role in the healthcare system. Course focuses on the role of policy analysis in the formation and implementation of national and local health policy and the policy implications of how government pays for care. The role of the legal system with respect to adverse medical outcomes, economic rights, and individual rights is discussed. Students examine proposals for health policy reform at the national and local level, including potential reforms of Medicare and Medicaid. An overview of health program analysis and evaluation will also be discussed.
|Course Code||NURS 6600||Course||Capstone Synthesis Practicum||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this course apply the MSN curriculum experience by translating knowledge into practice by designing, developing, and implementing a project in a professional healthcare setting. By using the culmination of learning, students gain the opportunity to effect positive social change within the healthcare delivery environment in the roles of change agent and nurse. Students' capstone experiences will help them develop their passion as practitioners while enhancing the nurse role as an advocate for social change within a scholarly presence.
*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.