Ready to become a nurse leader? Shape the future of patient care and directly impact healthcare delivery with Walden’s accredited program.
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 specialist 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 4211||Course||Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4006||Course||Topics in Clinical Nursing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4221||Course||Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6002/6003||Course||Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing||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.
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.)
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.
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.)
In this course students are introduced to Walden University and online learning. Students explore strategies for the successful participation in an online curriculum. Students also will receive a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments introduce students to resources that support success, development of graduate-level writing skills and use of APA Style, academic integrity, and the creation of a professional development plan based on each 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 health delivery systems, healthcare professionals, and the populations they serve. In this course, students examine the policy process and its impact on healthcare delivery, cost, quality, and access. Students examine the importance of getting healthcare issues on federal and state agenda, investigate governmental response through legislation and regulation, and identify where they can advocate for positive outcomes in program/policy design, implementation, and evaluation. Global health issues are examined for their relevance and impact on the development of the nurse advocate. Through discussions, reflection, case studies, and the application of professional communications techniques as political tactics to influence policy outcomes, students demonstrate integration of policy decision-making into professional nurse practice for the benefit of individuals and populations.
Nursing informatics is essential to the provision of effective and efficient care. This course examines nursing informatics as a nursing competency and a nursing specialty. Students examine the role of the nurse informaticist in current practices related to the collection, access, and use of health information and knowledge, as well as the implementation of clinical systems. Through this course, students gain an understanding of how informatics is used to improve advanced nursing practice and healthcare outcomes across organizations, 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. This course provides students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of evidence-based practice (EBP) and how it interacts and aligns with research and quality improvement. Students will examine how to use databases to discover evidence and how to apply their knowledge of research methodologies to critically appraise literature. They will also examine opportunities to strengthen their synthesis and integration skills to determine whether a change in practice is needed, based on a body of evidence. Through exploration of implementation, evaluation, and dissemination strategies, students will explore the intricacies of leading and mentoring change within an organization to enhance nursing 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||(5 cr.)|
|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||(5 cr.)|
|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 sets the foundational stage for the Nurse Executive specialty track. Students focus on theoretical and practical aspects of leadership in healthcare contexts, and they discuss professional standards of practice for nursing leadership. They explore components of the redesign or reformation of healthcare delivery and performance. Through this course, students synthesize the responsibilities of the nurse leader in the achievement of healthcare outcomes.
Students in this course examine the fundamentals of finance and economics in healthcare delivery. They explore different ways to analyze financial data and interpret the results of those analyses. They explore budgeting and financial management tools in the context of the nurse leader's role in the management of operational and capital resources. They examine the influence of policies and budgetary assumptions on the provision of health services. 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 executives' role and responsibilities in human resource management. Students explore recruitment and selection of human resources while ensuring current legal, ethical, professional, and practice systems and procedures align with organizational strategies, outcomes, policies and standards. They consider how to apply technology to support human resource functions. Additionally, students examine strategies to support positive organizational and nursing service goals. They also have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion, staff engagement, and empowerment, 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 structures, processes, and outcomes that impact healthcare quality and ultimately improve patient experience and outcomes. Students learn how interdisciplinary collaboration is important to the development of quality and safety. Engaging in conceptual and application-based assignments, students focus on clinical and service quality planning and improvement initiatives; models, tools, and innovations for process improvement; and the importance and use of metrics in daily operations.
Nurse leaders in healthcare organizations must be aware of and integrate strategic organizational goals. Students in this course use an interdisciplinary case study approach to address unmet organizational and/or professional needs through strategic planning processes. Students apply organizational, behavioral, political, leadership, and management knowledge and theory to planning, implementing, and evaluating strategically planned change. Through these applications, students learn to use a variety of administrative strategies within the context of supportive and collaborative interdisciplinary relationships to achieve desired health care outcomes that effect positive social change in patient and professional communities.
Please select a specialization course for this program.
This course will examine health care quality assurance and risk management and the methods that are utilized to achieve improvements in health care organizations. Topics will include: the link between patient safety and legal and regulatory compliance; the role of accreditation organization requirements in patient safety; evidenced-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 health care professionals.
This course will cover compliance regulations resulting from federal and state laws governing health care in various settings. Students will learn the essential elements of an effective compliance program and how to implement them. Topics will include: setting up and maintaining a compliance program, the role of the health care compliance officer, investigating, reporting, enforcement and discipline, and ethics in compliance management.
Please select a specialization course for this program.
This course will consider the evolution of the U.S. health care system and of health policy. Topics will current challenges in the delivery of health care and the future of the health care system. Perspectives for analyzing health and health care will be introduced with a focus on vulnerable populations, mental health issues, variations in medical practice and the quality of care, and health care rationing and access to care. NURS 6050.)
This course serves as an introduction to major health policy issues and examines the role of government in the health care system. The course will focus 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. Proposals for health policy reform at the national and local level will be examined 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 through participation in professional activities and the development of a culminating project. Students apply theory, principles, and concepts related to their area of specialization in order to enhance nursing practice and promote positive social change.
*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 Field Experience and Relocating
Students who are considering relocating are advised to contact their Student Success Advisor prior to any decision to relocate in order to determine how relocation may impact progress in their program. Advisors can provide information and guidance on how relocating may result in possible changes, restrictions, and/or additional requirements affecting field experience. Each Board of Nursing and Higher Education Authority governs the field experience rules and regulations in their respective states, and students may be unable to complete field experience in the state in which they plan to relocate. While Walden is committed to working collaboratively with students to secure field sites across the United States, it is imperative that students contact their Student Success Advisor immediately when considering relocating.