Online Master of Science in Nursing Program

SCHOOL OF HEALTH SCIENCE AND NURSING

TAKE THE NURSE’S PATH TO LEADERSHIP

Nexus University’s Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Leader program is designed to prepare nurses to assume leadership roles within one of two specializations: healthcare informatics and Executive Leadership. Through a combination of theoretical foundations, evidence-based practice and clinical experiences, the Online MSN program develops well-prepared nurse leaders.

This master’s degree program focuses on combining the complexities of nursing leadership, health promotion, healthcare economics, epidemiology, research and communication. Graduates will emerge fully prepared to become a clinical nurse leader or transition to a higher-level leadership position. They may also apply to take the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam.

WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT IN THIS PROGRAM?


Relevant skills that can be immediately applied to your career.

Highly qualified faculty with relevant career experience.

Online theory classes that let you study at your own pace.

Education priced around the needs of our student population.

Flexibility that lets you maintain a work-life balance.

Small class size for personalized communications with faculty.

What Will You Learn in This Program?

The Nexus University MSN program builds off of your Bachelor’s degree education to prepare nurses with advanced knowledge within one of two specializations: Healthcare informatics Nurse Leader and Executive Nurse Leader. In addition to developing a deeper mastery of their chosen specialty, MSN students will learn skills to prepare them for leadership roles in the healthcare field.

Why Choose Nexus for Your MSN Degree?

  • We prepare MSNs to become Clinical Nurse Leaders
  • We have extensive experience with online higher education.
  • Higher education that is more accessible than ever.
  • Our nursing programs build off your previously earned degrees.
  • You learn important communication, critical thinking and leadership skills.
  • There is no waiting list. All qualified applicants are accepted.

What is a Clinical Nurse Leader?

A Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) is a registered nurse who holds a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or similar degree and earned a CNL certification through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).4

This training prepares nurses to take on duties such as coordination of patient care, measurement of patient outcomes, care transitions, risk assessment, quality improvement and implementing evidence-based best practices.

Nexus University’s MSN program fully prepares students to become CNLs thanks to the quality of our curriculum, highly trained faculty and specialized management training.3

Program Outcomes

  1. Engage in culturally responsive patient-centered evidence-based activities for advanced nursing practice based on foundational and advanced nursing science, current evidence, application of research, and other knowledge from other disciplines. (Essentials I & IV)
  2. Disseminate knowledge of leadership principles in practice and education to effect change, improve healthcare quality, safety, and patient outcomes. (Essentials II & III)
  3. Use health information systems and technology resources to support lifelong learning, ensure safe practice environments, implement quality improvement initiatives, optimize healthcare outcomes, and promote patient self-management. (Essentials V)
  4. Implement effective strategies in policy and regulatory processes to effect change in health care, improve the healthcare delivery system, the health of the public, and the profession of nursing. (Essentials II, VI & VIII)
  5. Apply knowledge to improve communication and collaboration to optimize patient and population health outcomes. (Essentials VII & VIII)
  6. Use analytical methods and translation science to generate evidence for nursing practice, support decision making, promote safe and ethical nursing practice. (Essentials IV & IX)

 

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CAREER OUTLOOK FOR NURSES WITH AN MSN

While it’s a relatively new role, Clinical Nurse Leader is an advanced position that focuses on a number of daily tasks: managing nursing staff, coordinating care, evaluating patient care and improving outcomes, and of course providing care. Career options also include teaching, consulting and administrative positions.

Demand for nurses at all levels continues to grow – especially nurses with graduate credentials. This demand has created a healthy outlook for MSN holders. Currently, the average salary for a Clinical Nurse Leader can range from $81,000 to $100,000+ annually1.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE IN NURSING?

Nexus University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Leader program gives nurses the opportunity to move into advanced roles that may include:

 

  • Leading nursing teams
  • Educating new nurses
  • Participating in research

QUICK FACTS ABOUT MSN DEGREES

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average RN earns under $72,000 a year, while Advanced Practice RNs earn nearly $114,000 on average.1 Online MSN programs also allow graduates to: 

    • Qualify for higher-level positions, such as directorships, undergraduate teaching jobs and more.
    • Move into careers as nurse practitioners or advanced practice nurses.
    • Enroll in a doctorate-level nursing program.
    • Take on more responsibilities, especially with physicians in high demand and short supply.2

Credit Requirements

A student needs to complete at least 36 graduate semester credits, including 400 experiential hours, to satisfy the eligibility for the degree.

The Admissions Process

Applying to a degree program at the Nexus University School of Health Sciences and Nursing is fast and easy. Applications are reviewed within 48 hours and all qualified applicants are accepted.

Our Master of Science in Nursing program requires a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from an accredited institution with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). For details on our general Admissions Requirements, please visit our Admissions page. If you’re ready to take the first step, you can:

Curriculum Plan

Course Descriptions

 

MSN Core Courses

 
NUR 511 Theoretical Foundations for Advanced Nursing
This course integrates theories from nursing and related disciplines to provide a foundation for transition to the advanced nursing practice role. Major concepts include: applying theoretical concepts to support research and advanced practice; quality indicators related to advanced practice; education and regulation of nursing practice; community health development; primary care and determinates of health and cultural norms on the health practices of patients and groups. Pre-requisites: Acceptance into the MSN program

NUR 512 Health Promotion & Epidemiology
This course provides the student with information related to the concepts of health and health promotion, models of health promotion, and health education. It also focuses on utilizing the principles of epidemiology and the theoretical underpinnings of health behaviors and promotion strategies to promote optimal health. Students will recognize and use concepts, epidemiology tools, and understand epidemiology terminology techniques in epidemiology to examine and understand measures of risk and be able to interpret and critique epidemiological reports for promoting health and wellness. Pre-requisites: Acceptance into the MSN program

NUR 513 Advanced Health & Physical Assessment
This course provides an opportunity for the student to develop advanced psychological assessment, developmental assessment, cultural assessment, and physical assessment skills. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of pertinent assessment data across the lifespan. Students will apply advanced health assessment principles and skills to provide a comprehensive physical examination. Pre-requisites: NUR 511 & NUR 512

NUR 514 Healthcare Informatics & Communication
This course provides the student with concepts in patient information systems including informatics theory, computer science, and cognitive science for design and practice application. Additionally, this course focuses on effective electronic communication as well as general communication and collaboration in the health care setting. Students will be able to describe the evolution of computer technology, discuss the impact of technology in healthcare, and identify the role of the nurse in safeguarding health care data. Pre-requisites: NUR 511 & NUR 512

NUR 521 Advanced Pathophysiology
This course provides the student with knowledge in advanced anatomy, physiology, and the pathophysiology of systems related to health across the lifespan. Students will gain an enhanced understanding of pathophysiological variations in body systems and be able to recognize variations of pathophysiological processes and apply the understanding of advanced pathophysiology in clinical decision making. Pre-requisites: NUR 513 & NUR 514

NUR 522 Healthcare Economics, Policy, and Regulatory Environments
This course examines the effect of policy, regulatory, and money on health care outcomes. Foundational concepts include the process of policymaking; economic analysis; patient advocacy; healthcare law, regulatory rules and statutes related to practice; systems theory; financing of and payment for healthcare; for-profit vs. non-profit, and tools to aid in decision making. Students will gain an understanding of the complexity of the healthcare environment. Pre-requisites: NUR 513 & NUR 514

NUR 523 Advanced Pharmacology
This course is designed to enhance the student’s knowledge of pharmacology including pharmacogenomics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, and pharmacotherapeutics in the management of disease states. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of pharmacotherapeutic principles, differentiate the pharmacological actions of medications and evaluate drug regimens to recommend optimal and safe drug therapy. Skills to assess and manage a client’s common health issues are emphasized utilizing pharmacotherapies. Pre-requisites: NUR 521 & NUR 522

NUR 524 Organizational Behavior in Health Care Environments
This course examines the behaviors of individuals and small groups in healthcare organizations. Students learn about behaviors, causes of behaviors, and interventions to improve organizational effectiveness. Teams, group dynamics, values, and cultures, management of performance, establishing and maintaining effective relationships and leadership, organizational change, and vision are foci. Students will apply concepts and create an analysis of organizational behaviors and an improvement plan. Pre-requisites: NUR 521 & NUR 522

NUR 531 Evidenced-Based Practice, Research, and Translational Care
Students examine the concepts of research and scholarship as a foundation for evidence-based practice (EBP). The course focuses on examination of qualitative and quantitative methods of primary research while considering patient safety, healthcare quality, and process improvement. Students will debate the importance of EBP in improving healthcare and transitioning to an evidence-based approach to care and decision making. Pre-requisites: NUR 523 & NUR 524

NUR 532 Leadership for Quality and Safety in Healthcare
Students learn concepts essential to the development of the master’s prepared nurse as a clinical leader and manager. Students explore leadership and management theories, the organizational structure, change, systems theory, the leadership role, nursing delivery models, and human resource management. Contemporary issues affecting delivery of care are explored. Students utilize knowledge, skills, and abilities essential for evidence-based decision-making and outcomes management. Pre-requisites: NUR 523 & NUR 524

 

Specialization Healthcare Informatics  Clinical Nurse Leader

 
NUR 535 Management Application for Healthcare Informatics Nurse Leader I
This course focuses on an intensive study of the advanced nursing role within healthcare informatics. This is the first course in the series of 4 specialized courses with application in the healthcare informatics setting. Students focus on examining the role of the advanced practice nurse within the context of the healthcare informatics nurse leader and within the role of the master’s prepared nurse. Students examine ethics and ethical dilemmas, explore the frameworks and standards of care and patient outcomes and use critical thinking to solve problems and improve care within healthcare informatics settings. Students will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge within the healthcare setting. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Pre-requisites: Core NUR Courses

NUR 545 Management Application for Healthcare Informatics Nurse Leader II
This course includes intensive study of the advanced nursing role within the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialty. This is the second course in the series of 4 specialized courses within the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialization. Students will focus on examining the scope of practice, evaluating and monitoring quality of nursing practice, and establishing collegial and collaborative relationships within the healthcare team as well as within the context of the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialty and the role of the master’s prepared nurse. Students will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge within the healthcare setting. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Prerequisite: NUR 535

NUR 546 Management Application for Healthcare Informatics Nurse Leader III
This course includes a concentrated study of the advanced nursing role within the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialty. This is the third course in the series of 4 specialized courses within the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialization. Students focus on advanced practice, pharmacotherapy, and evidenced-based management of complex problems within the context of the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialty and within the role of the master’s prepared nurse. Students will examine the political, financial, and regulatory issues related to health care and the healthcare information nurse leader specialty, as well as use clinical reasoning to determine therapeutic interventions, solve problems and improve care. Students will have opportunities to continue to gain experience in the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialty, to perform selected responsibilities of the role, and to develop competencies as an advanced care provider within the healthcare setting. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Prerequisite: NUR 545

NUR 553 Management Application for Healthcare Informatics Nurse Leader IV
This course will focus on the advanced nursing practice role within the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialty to synthesize and apply theoretical concepts and evidence-based practice to enhance patient care and improve the quality of healthcare. This is the fourth course in the series of 4 specialized courses within the healthcare informatics nurse leader specialization. Students build upon previous experience to deepen their understanding of the specialization and the role of the healthcare information nurse leader. Students will have opportunities to assume all or most of the healthcare informatics nurse leader role in the clinical setting and should be able to practice independently employing knowledge, skills, and abilities learned in the program. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Prerequisite: NUR 546

NUR 598 Capstone Evidence-Based Practice Project - Healthcare Informatics Nurse Leader
As a culminating experience, this capstone course provides the opportunity for the student to synthesize information gained in the master’s program and to demonstrate competencies consistent with program outcomes by developing an evidence-based practice project proposal that addresses a problem, issue, or concern in professional practice as related to the healthcare information nurse leader role. Students identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention; search the literature; propose a solution; and develop a plan to implement the solution, identify the outcome(s) and evaluation process, and disseminate the findings. Problems identified are those that are appropriate to students’ specialization in Healthcare Informatics Nurse Leader. Students will submit an electronic portfolio that contains key examples of work they have generated during their time in the program along with a self-reflection of that work. Prerequisite: NUR 553

 

Specialization Executive Nurse Leader

 
NUR 533 Management Application for Executive Nurse Leader I
This course focuses on an intensive study of the advanced nursing role within executive leadership. This is the first course in the series of 4 specialized courses with application in the executive healthcare setting. Students focus on examining the role of the advanced practice nurse within the context of the executive nurse leader and within the role of the master’s prepared nurse. Students examine ethics and ethical dilemmas, explore the frameworks and standards of care and patient outcomes and use critical thinking to solve problems and improve care within the executive leadership role. Students will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge within the healthcare setting. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Pre-requisites: Core NUR Courses

NUR 541 Management Application for Executive Nurse Leader II
This course includes intensive study of the advanced nursing role within the executive nurse leader specialty. This is the second course in the series of 4 specialized courses within the executive nurse leader specialization. Students will focus on examining the scope of practice, evaluating and monitoring quality of nursing practice, and establishing collegial and collaborative relationships within the health care team as well as within the context of the executive nurse leader specialty and the role of the master’s prepared nurse. Students will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge within the healthcare setting. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Prerequisite: NUR 533

NUR 542 Management Application for Executive Nurse Leader III
This course includes a concentrated study of the advanced nursing role within the executive nurse leader specialty. This is the third course in the series of 4 specialized courses within the executive nurse leader specialization. Students focus on advanced practice, pharmacotherapy, and evidenced-based management of complex problems within the context of the executive nurse leader specialty and within the role of the master’s prepared nurse. Students will examine the political, financial, and regulatory issues related to health care and the executive nurse leader specialty, as well as use clinical reasoning to determine therapeutic interventions, solve problems and improve care. Students will have opportunities to continue to gain experience in the executive nurse leader specialty, to perform selected responsibilities of the role, and to develop competencies as an advanced care provider within the healthcare setting. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Prerequisite: NUR 541

NUR 551 Management Application for Executive Nurse Leader IV
This course will focus on the advanced nursing practice role within the executive nurse leader specialty to synthesize and apply theoretical concepts and evidence-based practice to enhance patient care and improve the quality of healthcare. This is the fourth course in the series of 4 specialized courses within the executive nurse leader specialization. Students build upon previous experience to deepen their understanding of the specialization and the role of the executive nurse leader. Students will have opportunities to assume all or most of the executive nurse leader roles in the clinical setting and should be able to practice independently employing knowledge, skills and abilities learned in the program. 100 hours of clinical immersion experience is required. Prerequisite: NUR 542

NUR 596 Capstone Evidence-Based Practice Project - Executive Nurse Leader
As a culminating experience, this capstone course provides the opportunity for the student to synthesize information gained in the master’s program and to demonstrate competencies consistent with program outcomes by developing an evidence-based practice project proposal that addresses a problem, issue, or concern in professional practice as related to the executive nurse leader role. Students identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention; search the literature; propose a solution; and develop a plan to implement the solution, identify the outcome(s) and evaluation process, and disseminate the findings. Problems identified are those that are appropriate to students’ specialization in Executive Nurse Leader. Students will submit an electronic portfolio that contains key examples of work they have generated during their time in the program along with a self-reflection of that work. Prerequisite: NUR 551

ACCREDITATIONS


Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

The Master’s nursing program at Nexus University located in Miami, Florida is accredited by the:
 Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326
 (404) 975-5000
The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Master of Science in Nursing program is Initial Accreditation.
View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm

1https://www.salary.com/research/salary/recruiting/clinical-nurse-leader-salary

2https://nursejournal.org/degrees/msn/types-of-masters-degrees-in-nursing

3The CNL certification exam is optional for MSN graduates.

4 https://www.aacnnursing.org/CNL