Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Online in Leadership & Administration

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.

Nursing Administration Degree Program Highlights

  • CCNE-accredited* 
  • 36-credit online program that can be completed in 16 months
  • 6 start-dates throughout the year
  • Full-time and part-time options available with flexibility to accommodate your lifestyle
  • Clinical support - we can help you find a preceptor
  • 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 October 28.
Learn more today!

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Why Herzing

*The master’s degree program in nursing at Herzing University Online is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Programmatic 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.  


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

Learn more about how to become a nurse administrator and take a big step forward in your career.

What kind of jobs can you get with a master’s degree in nursing leadership & administration?

Earning a master’s degree in nursing leadership & administration equips you for a wide variety of management roles; from overseeing a nursing unit to leading a whole nursing department. Job titles may include:

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

Your roles and responsibilities will vary based on your position and institution: outlining organizational objectives or SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely), recruiting and training staff members, preparing and monitoring finances, attending investor meetings or governing boards, and improving the efficiency of healthcare services by working with an interdisciplinary team including with physicians, surgeons, RN’s and many more healthcare workers.

How much you can make as a nurse administrator or nurse leader

Nurses in administrative or management roles in healthcare earn an average salary of $113,730 per year and $54.68 per hour (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics under the Medical and Health Services Managers umbrella).

Estimates will vary based on your state of employment, level of experience, qualifications, and the specifics of the role for which you apply. The job outlook for health service managers is bright based on the BLS’ projection: the expectation is a 20 percent increase in employment from 2016-2026.


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).

Required Core Courses

18.00 semester credit hours are required.

Required Courses in Nursing Leadership and Administration Concentration

15.00 semester credit hours are required.

Required Graduate Practicum

3.00 semester credit hours are required.


Program Requirements

To enroll in Herzing’s nursing 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.


nursing educator



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.


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 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.


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.


With the right experience, credentials, and additional education—yes. 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 management and an advanced online MBA program in healthcare management for students seeking a career in healthcare administration.


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 a BSN 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.


The cost of tuition for the online MSN Leadership & Administration program

You aren't on your own. At Herzing University, an affordable, career-focused education is within your reach.  We strive to make college affordable for everyone.

Financial aid options:

  • Student loans & secured loans.  Loans offer a way to pay for all or part of your tuition.
  • Scholarships.  We offer a variety of scholarships based on academic achievement, financial need or community affiliations – in 2018 Herzing University awarded $5 million in scholarships to nursing students. Contact an admissions advisor about current scholarship opportunities by calling 1-800-596-0724 or request for information online.
  • Clinical partner grants.  We partner with clinical facilities all over the United States. Many partners are offered a tuition grant for employees who attend Herzing University.

Potential sources of financial aid include the Federal government, State government, or private organizations like foundations, business, associations, charitable organizations or your current employer. You can find an estimate for tuition for the online FNP program using Herzing University’s tuition wizard.

Your path to a brighter future in nursing continues by advancing your education.

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Herzing University - Judith Reilley
Judith Reilley Online

Herzing’s nursing courses helped me grow professionally, and my instructors gave constructive feedback that helped ensure my success in the program. I had excellent instructors who were dedicated to helping me learn, and they truly got to know each of their students.