Courses Nursing Leadership and Administration

Master of Science in Nursing

Course Requirements

Total program points: 27

Total quarter credits: 54

Our programs are based on quarter credits, rather than semester credits. One quarter credit equals 2/3 semester credit. Quarter credits are unique to GuidedPath, while program points are unique to FlexPath.

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Practicum Requirement(s):

Minimum of 100 practicum hours. See the Practicum section, below, for more information.

Core courses:

Communication, Collaboration, and Case Analysis for Master’s Learners

This course prepares learners for master’s-level course work in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Throughout the course, learners analyze how the role of the practitioner-scholar guides leadership in the health care field and determine the ways in which they can effectively use communication strategies expected of health care professionals. In particular, learners examine the attributes that contribute to effective and ethical health care leadership, including professional collaboration, communication, inclusion, and decision making. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Health Care Law and Policy

In this course, learners examine the political, legal, and regulatory issues impacting health care organizations and environments. Learners analyze the effects of health care policy on health care practice and service delivery, with particular emphasis on the strategies used to monitor and maintain legal and regulatory compliance. Learners also identify and apply health care policy and law concepts that promote organizational improvement.

4 quarter credits
Economics and Decision Making in Health Care

This course helps learners develop and demonstrate concepts, principles, issues, and trends in health care economics and the economic decision-making practices employed in the health care environment. Learners analyze the political, legal, regulatory, organizational, demographical, and multicultural implications of business decisions on health care economics; explore the ways economic and stakeholder influences affect operational planning and decision making; and practice applying performance monitoring and process management measures as part of the decision-making process. Learners also examine cost-effective problem solving; community- and population-based orientation; and effective use of health care market research, analysis, and assessment.

4 quarter credits
Evidence-Based Practice for Patient-Centered Care and Population Health

Learners in this course acquire an understanding of the nature of evidence and its relative value and weight in making clinical decisions that impact patient and population outcomes. In particular, learners assess appropriate methods and analytic approaches in order to investigate, evaluate, and synthesize the best available evidence for potential solutions and innovations. For BSN and MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Quality Improvement of Interprofessional Care

In this course, learners develop and demonstrate competence in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interprofessional quality improvement initiatives. Learners investigate models for quality improvement, with an emphasis on outcome identification and measurement. Learners also examine quality within the context of patient safety through adverse event and near-miss analyses. For BSN and MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Biopsychosocial Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice 1

Learners in this course develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to integrate select biopsychosocial concepts into professional processes that promote quality and cost effective patient and systems outcomes, with particular emphasis on the ways in which these concepts impact the National Academy of Medicine’s six aims of health care improvement: Safe, Effective, Patient-centered, Timely, Efficient, and Equitable. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Biopsychosocial Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice 2

Learners in this course develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to integrate select biopsychosocial concepts into professional processes that promote quality and cost effective patient and systems outcomes, with particular emphasis on the ways in which these concepts impact population health, as defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
MSN Practicum and Capstone †

Learners in this course develop their critical thinking skills and gain advanced nursing knowledge in preparation for master’s-level nursing practice in a designated specialization. Learners create and implement a personalized practicum experience under the supervision of a preceptor at a site of their choice and demonstrate synthesis of professional and academic growth and practice. Throughout the practicum, learners also develop and maintain an electronic portfolio that includes coursework products, demonstrations of competency and outcome achievement, and practice experience documentation (number of hours, preceptor evaluations, achievement of objectives, and contributions to the organization). For MSN learners only. Special permission is required for registration. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

6 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

Leadership and Management for Nurse Executives

Learners in this course develop and demonstrate knowledge of contemporary leadership and management concepts and theories relevant to a variety of health care delivery settings. Learners analyze the nurse leader’s role in leading high-performing health care teams and examine the skills needed to collaborate with, and create buy-in from, stakeholders, colleagues, constituencies, and interdisciplinary teams. Learners also examine the impact of cultural, ethical, and regulatory considerations on decision making and implement a future-looking strategic vision to ensure sustainable gains in quality and safety. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Health Care Quality and Safety Management

Learners in this course examine the nurse leader’s role in helping to effectively integrate into health care delivery systems the quality and safety principles that inform evidence-based changes and best practices. Learners demonstrate an understanding of the ways they can measure health care quality and safety; monitor and assess patient safety and outcomes; develop a transparent system for identifying and resolving medical errors and adverse patient outcomes; use data to monitor and improve patient care and outcomes; and support a culture of quality and safety. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Health Care Informatics and Technology

Learners in this course gain and demonstrate the knowledge and skills nurse leaders need in order to utilize health information technology to enhance patient care and outcomes. In particular, learners develop a strategy for technological integration and examine the ways in which they can use technology to evaluate patient data to inform patient diagnoses and outcomes. Learners also assess the effective management of technological change within the health care environment and examine issues of consumer access to information and the privacy and confidentiality of patient information. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Advanced Finance and Operations Management

Learners in this course examine the nurse leader’s role in establishing and managing an operations and capital budget. In particular, learners develop an understanding of how to incorporate variances or discretionary spending, manage the labor force within budget parameters, examine the availability and appropriate use of equipment and supplies, and apply finance principles to a strategic plan for achieving an organization’s fiscal goals. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits
Leading the Future of Health Care

Learners in this course examine the role of the nurse leader in evaluating and responding to health care opportunities and challenges in a rapidly changing local and global environment. Learners develop proactive strategies to drive and lead changes in health care and integrate evidence-based decision making into the culture of the health care organization. Learners also develop the critical-thinking and communication skills needed to positively influence health care redesign and examine the effects of visionary leadership in the field. For MSN learners only.

4 quarter credits






At least 54 quarter credits

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

† Learners are responsible for the cost of their travel, accommodations, food, and other expenses associated with this course.

Alabama residents are not eligible to enroll in this program.

This specialization does not prepare graduates for licensure as an RN or APRN.

Learners enrolled in the MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration specialization are required to maintain a current, unrestricted RN license throughout their program.

GuidedPath courses and FlexPath courses fulfill the program requirements and prerequisites for each delivery model. 



Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with a specialization in Care Coordination; RN-to-MSN Care Coordination; Care Coordination, FlexPath option; RN-to-MSN Care Coordination, FlexPath option; Nursing Education; RN-to-MSN Nursing Education; Nursing Education, FlexPath option; RN-to-MSN Nursing Education, FlexPath option; Nursing Leadership and Administration; RN-to-MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration; Nursing Leadership and Administration, FlexPath option; or RN-to-MSN Nursing Leadership and Administration, FlexPath option are required to complete 100 documented hours of hands-on practicum experience. Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program with a specialization in Nursing Informatics; RN-to-MSN Nursing Informatics; Nursing Informatics, FlexPath option; or RN-to-MSN Nursing Informatics, FlexPath option are required to complete 200 documented hours of hands-on practicum experience.

The practicum experience requires learners to synthesize and expand the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the program by applying evidence-based methods to practice. Learners are responsible for finding an appropriate preceptor to oversee the practicum experience. With their preceptors, learners engage in in-depth work within a practice environment that reflects course outcomes. The practicum experiences offer learners an environment in which to apply their knowledge and skills. Practicum takes place at a professional site at which learners, with the support of program faculty and their on-site preceptors, participate in advanced practice initiatives. These could include program evaluation, quality improvement, and advanced practice techniques. Learners use the practicum experience to help them achieve the MSN program outcomes and competencies and the learning objectives related to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.

Additionally, learners are required to document their practice practicum experience in associated online coursework. The associated practicum courses provide systematic opportunities for feedback and reflection. Practicum hours are considered complete once all program required practicum hours have been successfully achieved. Partial completion of practicum hours requirements cannot be verified for licensure or transfer of credits.

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

Learn more about online learning at Capella.

FlexPath Self-Paced Learning Option

If you’re highly motivated, looking to save time and money, and crave the freedom and flexibility of setting your own pace, you may want to consider FlexPath. Rather than face weekly deadlines, you’ll work at your own pace to complete a series of assessments for each course.

There’s no limit to the number of courses you can complete per session — you’ll still pay the same flat tuition rate every 12 weeks.

Learn more about FlexPath Self-Paced Learning

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Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which may help save time and money. You can transfer up to 12 credits into this program.

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