Skip to content

MSN: Nursing Management & Executive Leadership Specialization

online msn graduate inspects xray with another nurse

Serve as a MSN-Prepared Nurse Leader to Improve Health Care

CCNE Accredited

Stand Out With a Specialization

No Campus Visits Required

Learn More Today

Complete the form to learn more about this program.

  • Duration 2 years
  • Cost per Credit $695
  • Credit Hours 36

Program Benefits

  • Advance your career in a rapidly growing field
  • Gain leadership expertise
  • Attend class when and where it’s convenient
  • 100% online coursework

Hospitals and Clinics Need MSN Leadership Skills

The nursing occupational outlook is positive, with plenty of roles for CNOs, directors of patient care and nursing administrators. Whatever your plans are, SHU’s online MSN degree in Nursing Management and Executive Leadership develops within you the sought-after skills to become an effective nurse leader who can improve processes and ultimately affect patient outcomes.

Enjoy a generous MSN nurse salary and an advanced education that opens doors to higher positions. You can lead a team, department or facility.

Apply integrative expertise in strategic planning, quality improvement, workforce development, research and ethics, and human resource management. Courses on budgeting and process will also help you lead with expert insight in your new, advanced role.

Admissions Estimator

Career Outlook: Faster Than The Average of All Occupations

Every industry needs strong leaders, but health care — where people’s lives and well-being are at stake — needs them most of all.

The demand for medical and health services managers (a category that encompasses nurse managers and administrators) is projected to grow 28 percent through 2031. That’s much faster than the average of all occupations1 and 15 percent more than healthcare occupations overall.2

Nursing administrators are most commonly employed at hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, community-based health organizations and a wide variety of other institutions.3

Chief Nursing Officer:


As Chief Nursing Officer, you’d be your hospital’s lead executive in charge of nursing operations. Your daily responsibilities might include managing staff levels, creating hospital and department budgets, acting as a bridge between physicians and nurses, and more.4

Director of Patient Care Services:


As a Director of Patient Care Services, you’d ensure patients across your hospital’s departments receive the highest-quality care. You’d work with department leaders, ensure operations run smoothly, and speak with patients and their families about health care needs and care plans.5

Careers and Salaries

Curriculum: Transformative Leadership

Through eight specialization courses, learn to motivate others, build trust with your team, and effectively communicate across your organization. Graduate with the big-picture skills you need to become a transformative nursing leader.

The Nursing Management & Executive Leadership specialization includes 120 clinical practicum hours. These practicum hours put your new skills to work with supervision from an identified preceptor in your community.

Course Spotlight: NU 521 – Creating a Professional Work Environment

Create a positive work environment for both nursing staff and interprofessional teams. You’ll learn about adopting the tenets of Magnet hospitals, supporting quality and safety, fostering high performance in your staff, and improving nurse satisfaction.

Preview Courses

Course Spotlight: NU 576 – Management of Financial Resources

Explore the budgeting process in the health care setting, including the building blocks of developing sound financial projections. You’ll also review multipayer systems and their impact on the financial picture of health care organizations in this nursing management course.

Graduate Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, the student will be able to: 

More Options for Your MSN

MSN: Nursing Education

Complement your clinical experience with teaching skills and learn to design curricula, evaluate your students and step into the role of instructor.

MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader

Advocate for superior patient care and lead a team of integrated health care professionals, including social workers, pharmacists, physicians and fellow nurses.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 877-791-7181.

You can earn a Master of Science in Nursing with Sacred Heart University within two years.

You can take as long as six years to complete the program.

  • Current, unencumbered RN license
  • Bachelor’s degree in any field with a 3.0 GPA
  • Official transcripts of all prior nursing and academic work
  • Résumé
  • Statement of professional goals: Why do you wish to pursue the MSN at SHU? Describe a significant accomplishment in your career or as a student that has prepared you to pursue graduate studies in nursing. In addition, please describe 2–3 professional goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a direct supervisor): Must be from an employer, professor or a member of the medical/nursing profession and be written within the last two years.
  • Proof of malpractice insurance ($1,000,000/$3,000,000)
  • Prerequisite courses in statistics and health assessment.

Yes, you’ll earn your degree with one of the following specializations:

  • The Nursing Education specialization requires 180 clinical hours.
  • The Nursing Management and Executive Leadership specialization requires 120 clinical hours.
  • As of Jan. 1, 2024, Clinical Nurse Leader specialization requires 420 clinical hours.
Visit our FAQ page


  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Medical and Health Services Managers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved October 4, 2019, from
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Healthcare Occupations. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved October 4, 2019, from
  3. All Nursing Schools (n.d.). How Much Do Nurse Administrators Make? Salaries, Job Growth & Career Advancement. Retrieved October 4, 2019, from
  4. Payscale (2019 September 18). Average Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Salary. Retrieved October 3, 2019, from
  5. Payscale (2019 August 24). Average Director of Patient Care Services Salary. Retrieved October 3, 2019, from