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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Leadership & Administration

Advance your career with an MSN in Nursing Leadership and Administration

  • CCNE-accredited*
  • 100% online classes with flexibility to accommodate your lifestyle
  • Herzing pledges to help you secure clinical placement
  • 36-credit online program that can be completed in 16 months
  • Full-time and part-time options available
  • 6 start-dates throughout the year
Waived enrollment fee Classes start November 2nd
Apply Now

Be more than an excellent nurse. Become a nurse leader.

Extend your reach and touch more lives by moving into leadership and management in nursing roles.  With an MSN in Leadership and Administration from Herzing, you will prepare to facilitate change to achieve positive outcomes by building on your clinical expertise to understand the business of healthcare.

Additional program highlights

  • Online classes with flexibility to accommodate your lifestyle
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) core components integrated into the curriculum
  • Students are fully prepared to sit for the Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) credentialing exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Classes Start November 2nd

Learn More Today

MSN Placement Pledge Badge

Your clinical placement is our pledge.

We understand securing clinical placement as part of an MSN in nursing leadership & administration program is one of the biggest concerns students face. At Herzing, we offer guidance and support through our step-by-step Clinical Guidance Process to ensure you can get the clinical practice experiences you need.

As a Herzing student, we’ll encourage you to find your own preceptor and clinical sites as there are many benefits to doing so. However, we provide extensive support should you find difficulty along the way. With Herzing, you are never on your own.

Because of our strong relationships with healthcare providers across the U.S. and our comprehensive Clinical Guidance Process, we are confident in our ability to help you find clinical placement. So much so that if you are unable to find a clinical site on your own, we pledge to step in and help you secure clinical placement.*

* Subject to terms and conditions outlined in the enrollment agreement.

Questions? Speak with an advisor today

Why Herzing

* The master's degree program in nursing at Herzing University - Madison is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( Herzing University is approved to offer programs in an online learning modality through association with the main campus in Madison, Wisconsin.

Accreditation acknowledges that Herzing's nursing programs meet specific national standards including institutional resources, quality curriculum and teaching practices, and program outcomes related to completion rates, pass rates and employment.

CCNE Accreditation

Gain the Skills to Lead the Way

Nurse administrators combine expert technical skills with leadership skills that set them apart. As doctorally-prepared, licensed registered nurses with a BSN, our faculty can offer you the knowledge to prepare you to lead. By building on your clinical expertise with business and organizational knowledge, you can more confidently prepare for leadership and management positions in nursing.

Through our MSN in leadership specialization, you will:

  • Gain the tools to help you plan, implement and evaluate system-wide strategies to move your organization toward successful outcomes.
  • Develop the business understanding to make high-level administrative decisions.
  • Be prepared to analyze the impact regulatory agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the US Department of Health and Human Services, exert on healthcare systems. This includes human resources, fiscal stability and reimbursements, total quality improvement and attaining positive outcomes within a system.
  • Gain the skills to help you confidently apply ethical and legal principles when making decisions to ensure the best care for all patients and their unique needs.

Nurses know their career field is ever-changing. A MSN in nursing leadership can help you stay at the forefront by offering you the tools you need to effectively evaluate your organization’s ability to adapt to the changing healthcare landscape.

How long does it take to get a master's in nursing leadership & administration?

You can complete the MSN in nursing leadership & administration program at Herzing University in as little as 16 months. Given the rigorous nature of the 36 credit program, many students find taking extra time to complete the program beneficial to getting the most out of their education.

Our goal is your empowerment and fulfillment; we help you work at a comfortable pace and offer a wide range of options for different types of students.

Clinical support - finding a preceptor and completing your capstone

We understand it can be difficult to find a preceptor to complete your graduate clinical experience. Although we do encourage you to seek your best fit based on your specialty, Herzing University provides support and guidance in finding a preceptor and completing the online degree program.


What can I do as a nurse leader?

Grow your impact - and your career. Nurses who pair their clinical expertise with a master’s degree are prepared to take on rewarding challenges. They combine clinical expertise, compassionate care, business know-how and organizational insights that extend well beyond the walls of a patient room.

With a master's in nursing administration degree, you can extend your impact by touching even more lives. Advance your career by overseeing your entire unit. Or go beyond your nursing floor and become a director, nurse executive or even chief nursing officer overseeing an entire healthcare system. As a graduate of Herzing's nursing administration degree program you'll be well-prepared to work in management or leadership and administrative roles in settings such as:

  • Acute care, primary care settings such as hospitals and clinics
  • Major health systems
  • Community-based health agencies

MSN-Nursing Leadership and Administration Program Curriculum

Focus on healthcare organizations as adaptive systems.

When it comes to nursing, no two days are the same. Healthcare is always innovating and changing. That’s why our program curriculum focuses on healthcare organizations as adaptive systems. Here, you’ll obtain the skills needed to understand the complex healthcare system. You’ll also gain the knowledge necessary to help facilitate change to achieve positive outcomes.

Integration of AONE core components

Herzing University’s MSN-Nursing Leadership and Administration degree program includes MSN core courses, specialty concentration courses, a direct-care clinical course and a leadership clinical course. Our faculty have integrated the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) core components into the curriculum, which prepares our students to meet the competencies of nurse executives. Graduates are fully prepared to sit for the nurse executive-board certified (NE-BC) credentialing exam offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Options for RNs with an ADN

We also offer an RN to MSN in Nursing Leadership and Administration program for nurses who hold associate degree or RN diploma in nursing.

Choose to go from RN to MSN or earn your BSN on the way in our RN to BSN to MSN track.

Required Core Courses

15.00 semester credit hours are required.

Required Courses in Direct Care Core for Leadership and Administration

All courses, 9.00 semester credit hours, are required.

Required Courses in Nursing Leadership and Administration Concentration

12.00 semester credit hours are required.


Enrollment requirements

To enroll in Herzing’s Nursing Leadership and Administration program, prospective students must live in a state where Herzing University is authorized to offer the MSN-Nursing Leadership and Administration program, and:

  1. Hold a current, active and unrestricted license as a registered nurse (RN) in the same state in which they practice. (Note: Holding a multi-state, compact state license and being a resident in a compact license state will be deemed to have met this requirement.)
  2. Hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited university or college with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

$7,000–$10,000 in Scholarships

You may be eligible for one of two Herzing University scholarships for MSN in Nursing Leadership and Administration program applicants:

1. Did you earn a high GPA in your undergraduate program? Apply for our Nurses Circle of Achievement Scholarship

2. You could receive up to $7,000 in scholarship funding with our Nursing Pathway to Success Scholarship

Learn More


Frequently Asked Questions

There are many different types of nursing leadership styles with varying levels of effectiveness depending on the working environment, including:

  • Democratic
  • Transformational
  • Authoritarian (or "autocratic")
  • Transactional
  • Laissez-faire

...among several others. There are many unique theories of nursing leadership you’ll want to become familiar with throughout your development as a nurse leader. Understanding the right leadership techniques for you and your colleagues is crucial to keep morale high, ensure lines of communication are clear, maximize productivity and improve patient care.

A nurse leader sees the big picture without losing sight of the day-to-day. They are active in helping organizations move forward in response to an evolving healthcare industry.

Leaders in nursing have the administrative understanding and business expertise to make educated decisions and achieve the optimal balance between what’s best for the organization and what’s best for the patient(s). The importance of nursing leadership is highly evident when organizations struggle to find this balance.

Read more about the most important qualities and characteristics of leadership in nursing and what it takes to earn a higher level of roles and responsibilities as a nurse.

With the right experience, credentials, and additional education—yes, nurses can become a healthcare administrator. Deep experience as a nurse can be a major differentiator between you and other applicants for the position.

However, most employers will be seeking prospects with a doctoral, master or bachelor degree in healthcare administration. Herzing University offers a bachelor degree program in healthcare administration and an advanced online MBA program in healthcare management for students seeking a career in healthcare administration.

The idea of earning a MBA degree is often overlooked by nursing students – but it can be a very valuable way for a nurse to advance in their profession.

Understanding the motivations behind financial decisions made by hospital CEO’s and CFO’s is crucial to getting a seat at the table in the decision-making process. Working towards a master’s degree in business administration can put you in a position to advance professionally on the business side of healthcare. Learn more about why nurses should consider getting an MBA.

However, hospitals looking for a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) or Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) will most often prefer candidates with an MSN in Nursing Leadership. They will certainly consider a RN with an MBA, but the Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing is the top-tier credential most employers will be looking for.

A master’s degree may not always be required, but you will very likely need to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or be currently enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Attaining a master’s degree best qualifies you to apply for the Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC) and help you find the position you desire.

With Herzing University you are never alone. It’s our goal to provide all students an affordable, career-driven education. Financial aid options include:

You can find an estimate for tuition and expenses by using the Herzing University tuition wizard.

Getting a master’s degree from an accredited nursing school is the biggest step you need to take to become a nurse administrator. If you have an ADN/ASN, BSN or RN diploma and hold a current, active and unrestricted license as an RN, you are eligible to enroll in the Herzing University online MSN program in nursing leadership & administration right now.

Nursing administrators fall under the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) medical and health services manager category. According to 2019 data from the BLS, the average salary for medical health and service managers is $115,160 per year ($55.37 per hour).*

Discover how much nurse administrators can make by state and find salary estimates in the area near you.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography and degree field, affect career outcomes. Herzing does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salary.



Accreditation & Disclosure

Not all programs approved in all states. 

View Herzing University Accreditation and Approvals

 View Program Course Sheet

I heard about Herzing University through a family member. I went to the nursing information session and loved how the process was so different from any other school.
Michelle Castleberry Herzing University Testimonial

Michelle Castleberry

Nursing Program

Atlanta Campus

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NU 500 Theoretical Foundations for Nursing NU560 Research Methods and Evidence-based Practice
HA 610 Health Policy and Management  
NU 510 Advanced Physical Assessment NU636 Advanced Pharmacology
NU 621Advanced Pathophysiology  
NU 650 Healthcare Economics, Finance and Resource Management NU 651 Leading and Managing in Complex Organizations
NU 625 Dynamic Health Care Leadership Practicum
NU 530 Organizational Systems and Behaviors NU 525 Technology and Nursing Informatics in Advanced Practice
NU 653 Transformation of Care in Health Delivery Systems