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Herzing Staff

How Excellent Nurses Become Nurse Leaders

With a master’s degree, experienced nurses can move beyond the frontlines of patient care to management and executive positions within an organization

Nurses play a pivotal role in defining the future of health services, from the ER all the way up to the C-suite. In addition to learning how to accommodate a growing, diverse patient population, healthcare organizations need experienced nursing leaders to help them navigate changes in technology, community care, healthcare reform and legislation.

With a master’s degree, experienced nurses can move beyond the frontlines of patient care to management and executive positions within an organization. You may choose to become a nurse administrator or seek leadership and management-level roles.

Not sure if you’re ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Consider how a master’s degree in nurse leadership can help you expand your skillset and touch more lives as a result.

Why do we need more nursing leaders?

According to the American Nurses Association, more than 500,000 experienced registered nurses (RNs) are expected to retire by 2022. As more new nurses join the workforce and hospitals compete for Magnet status, it’s critical that healthcare organizations have qualified and skilled leaders to guide them in achieving the highest quality of care.

“Like many other positions in the field, nursing leaders will continue to be in high demand for years to come,” said Dr. Mary Judith Yoho, system dean of nursing strategy and assessment at Herzing University.

Healthcare is the fastest-growing occupational field today and is projected to add 2.4 million jobs by 2026. Employment for health services managers, and executives specifically, is expected to grow by 20 percent in that time period, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts.

What nursing skills and qualities are most important?

Excellent nurses can become true leaders by developing their background in business, ethics and healthcare policy. They’re set apart by their ability to see the “big picture” and move organizations forward in response to the changing healthcare landscape.

Not only do they have the administrative knowledge and business acumen to make high-level decisions that can improve operations and processes, they’re also well-versed in the ethical and legal principles that govern quality patient care.

What can I do with an MSN in Nurse Leadership and Administration?

Earning a master’s degree helps you achieve a well-rounded perspective on nursing, supplementing your accumulated clinical expertise with an understanding of the business of healthcare.

MSN-prepared nurses know the ins-and-outs of patient care and have the organizational knowledge they need to plan, implement and evaluate system-wide strategies and improvements.

An MSN in Nurse Leadership can lead to a variety of management roles, from overseeing a nursing unit to leading the entire nursing department. Possible job titles include:

  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Nurse Manager
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Healthcare Manager

…and more! Find out more about what you can do with a master’s degree in nursing administration.

Herzing University’s Nurse Leadership and Administration programs prepare graduates to work in management, leadership and administrative roles in major health systems, primary care settings, acute care and community-based healthcare agencies.

Learn More About Our Nursing Leadership Program Options


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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