Master of Science in Nursing

Preparing today’s nurses to be tomorrow’s nurse leader

The role of nursing is central to healthcare delivery in contemporary healthcare settings. Nurses manage and lead in a comprehensive way, working within an interprofessional context, maintaining accurate records and applying policies and best practices in order to improve outcomes. Effective and evidence-based nursing management is needed to oversee this complicated process while implementing policies and supporting the business goals of healthcare organizations. Advancing your career with NCU’s relevant and personalized online graduate nursing program offers you the education that can help prepare you to meet the demand for nursing professionals to become nursing leaders who can take on this challenging yet rewarding role.


Leadership skills for nursing professionals

Our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is an excellent degree for nursing professionals preparing for management roles within hospitals and other healthcare delivery organizations. The MSN program was designed to closely align with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) MSN Essentials. This alignment is a core element for master-level programs and offers significant value for preparing students for current and emerging roles in healthcare. We offer two specializations within the MSN program, Management and Organizational Leadership, and Quality and Safety. The specializations incorporate the nurse leader competencies from the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) and Graduate level Quality Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN). Students must have an earned BSN, a 3.0 GPA and maintain a current, active and unencumbered license as a registered nurse (RN).

As a student, you will explore the principles of healthcare administration, resource and financial management, evidence-based decision making, current legal and regulatory issues that shape policy. Within an authentic context, you will gain knowledge about the best practices for recruitment, retention, and staffing strategies with emphasis on the relationship between staffing levels, and quality of care. Our innovative Interprofessional Education (IPE) model is integrated throughout the curriculum in a practice-based program that fosters learning how to work with multiple health disciplines through intellectual and practical collaboration.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Appraise nursing leadership roles utilizing data assessment, quality processes and improvement sciences.
  • Recommend professional nursing practices using research and evidence-based practice models.
  • Prioritize accountability and responsibility in professional judgment, ethics and actions.
  • Optimize collaboration strategies to develop, participate, and lead interprofessional teams and partnerships.
  • Evaluate policies and economics related to healthcare delivery.
  • Integrate health promotion and prevention strategies to improve care of diverse populations.

Earn your Master of Science in Nursing degree at NCU

At Northcentral University you can earn your degree with a combination of online coursework and in-person practice experience hours. Not only does this provide you with classroom knowledge, it offers real-world experience. We also offer weekly start dates and do not require group projects or GRE/GMAT exams so that you have the flexibility you need to fit higher education into your busy schedule. To assist you to successfully complete your program, we provide elevated support and personal guidance through a unique one-to-one learning model. The program is designed to offer graduate-level education to registered nurses (RN) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Designed for experienced nurses who want to expand their career options, the Master of Science in Nursing includes 36 credit hours and a minimum of 140 mentored practice experience hours.

Examples of career options for MSN prepared nurses

  • Nurse Manager/Supervisor
  • Director of Risk Management
  • Director of Patient Experience
  • Clinical Manager
  • Director of Nursing
  • Case Manager
  • Health Manager
  • Manager of Telehealth Services
*Positions may require additional experience, training and other factors beyond successfully completing this degree program. Many roles may also require state licensure, and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all licensure requirements are met.

MSN Program Handbook
MSN Practice Handbook
MSN FAQ's

Master of Science in Nursing at a Glance

Total Credit Hours: 36 Credit Hours
Courses: 12 Courses
Recommended Completion Time: 26 Months
Next Start Date: Every Monday
Classroom Size: One

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has approved the application for initial accreditation of the Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree programs at Northcentral University. NCU is pursuing initial accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org) for the MSN and DNP degree programs. NCU is in the process of writing its self-study and scheduling the required accreditation visit for Spring, 2021. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Accreditation Status