College of Nursing

MSN in Nursing Leadership for Health Systems Management Innovations

The Masters of Science in Nursing – Nursing Leadership for Health Systems Management Innovation program is designed to build a foundation for the nurse leader/administrator/entrepreneur to meet the evolving needs of emerging health care delivery models. This program is grounded in a Caring Science model that teaches the theoretical and evidenced-based practice of nursing. With a focus on transformational innovation, this program of study provides students with the skills necessary to become the nurse leader/administrator/entrepreneur of the future. The program provides a customized residency experience designed to support the goals of the emerging nurse leader/administrator/entrepreneur.

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Online Course Delivery

The College of Nursing has implemented new instructional strategies to provide an interactive, engaged curriculum for our distant learners. Courses may utilize real-time face-to-face instruction via web conference, phone conference, and/or live chats with fellow students and faculty. Students may work as teams with peers and mentors, participate in demonstrations, interact with computer-simulated patients, and actively examine case studies. Courses will include online lectures, discussions, social networking, videos, examining evidence, readings, and/or other activities for preparation for class.


USU utilizes a holistic application process and each student is considered on their own merits by the admission committee. Students interested in entering the MSN in Online Education and Education Technology program must:

  • Complete Graduate Admissions Application
  • Hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or a National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) accredited program. Applicants who have a Bachelor’s in another academic area and have completed either a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing or the equivalent of the BSN in the first year of a Master’s Entry program, passed the NCLEX and are licensed, will be considered for admission. International students must possess the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s degree as documented by an authorized foreign credentialing service (unless there is a specific agreement waiving this requirement with another educational institution).
  • Have an active, unencumbered RN license in the state where student resides
  • Provide official transcripts from the Baccalaureate degree granting institution
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in the last 60 semesters or 90 quarter credits of the Bachelor’s degree and GPA of 3.0 in the nursing courses
  • Complete a self-evaluation and goal statement using provided form
  • Submit current resume or curriculum vita
  • Submit three recommendations using form provided
  • Pass criminal background check and drug screening
  • Complete Weaver Reading Assessment
  • Interview with Admissions Committee as needed (this may be by submitting a video, Web-based interview or by phone.)

*English as a second language students: minimum TEAS score at the Proficient level (Overall 58.7%, Reading 69 %, Mathematics 63.3%, Science 45.8%, and English/Language Usage 60.0%) taken within the past year. The TEAS exam may only be taken three times per year

All Students are required to have the following information current and uploaded into American DataBank/Complio: (Students who do not have all data in Complio by the first day of class will be administratively withdrawn from the program)

  • Background clearance (must be cleared for admission into the program)
  • Proof of negative drug screen (must be cleared for admission into the program)
  • Current professional liability insurance
  • Current personal health insurance
    • CPR certification for Healthcare providers by American Heart Association
  • Proof of a negative Tuberculosis (TB) skin test or appropriate treatment
  • Proof of two doses of Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) or titer
  • Proof of Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap) immunization within the last 10 years
  • Proof of Varicella immunization or titer
  • Proof of Hepatitis vaccine or titer
  • Proof of annual influenza vaccine
  • Active unencumbered RN license in the state where student resides
  • Additional laboratory tests, immunizations and/or documentation may be required for clinical experiences.

6 semesters/24 months*

*Dependent on course load

*Students may transfer in 9 credits by petition (more credits will be approved on an individual basis)

Total Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
16 Credits
Nursing Leadership Requirements
22 Credits
Master of Science in Nursing Total (NLHSMI)
38 Credits

Core Requirements

MSN 560: Transitions in Practice: The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse

This course focuses on the role and accountabilities of advanced practice nurses. Emphasis is on historical and contemporary contexts, major themes and theories crucial to successful development; execution of and leadership in advanced practice nursing. Focus is also on the impact and evolution, certification, legal issues, ethics, best practices, standards, standardized procedures, prescriptive authority, and professional activities inclusive of advanced practice nursing roles. Prerequisites None

MSN 561: Theoretical Foundation of Advanced Practice Nursing (Formerly FNP511 & MSN 500)

This course will analyze major nursing theories and explore theories from related fields. This course will apply the knowledge of nursing theory to evidence-based practice in domains of clinical, research, leadership, management and education. Students in this course will explore in depth the core concepts of Jean Watson’s Caring Science Theory. The student will develop a personal theoretical framework for their practice of advanced practice nursing- clinical practice, education, or administration. Prerequisites MSN560

MSN 563: Evidence Based Inquiry for Scholarship and Practice (Formerly FNP533 & MSN 504)

This course is designed to prepare the advanced practice nurse for utilization of existing knowledge to provide high quality health care, initiate change and improve nursing practice incorporating the principles of caring science. Emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of research and evidence, problem identification within the practice setting, awareness of practice outcomes, and the clinical application of evidence based practice. Reasoning and critical thinking will be applied to explore qualitative and quantitative research methods. Understanding of statistical methods and critical analysis of data for the purpose of validating evidence will be integrated into course content. Integration of knowledge from the humanities and science within the context of nursing science will be discussed. The student will define a clinical problem and design the evidence based practice project approach that will be developed in MSN 600 Evidence Based Family Health Project. Prerequisite MSN561

MSN 564: Culture and Spiritual Care across the Lifespan (Formerly MSN 508)

This course focuses on an evidence-based approach to examining a wide range of cultural norms, religions, and alternative healthcare practices of varied racial and ethnic groups. Emphasis will be placed on using critical dialogue, reflection in action, and scholarship to explore how these practices affect design and implementation of culturally competent, individualized health care. The value of a multicultural professional nursing workforce to assess, plan, and manage care according to the cultural and spiritual needs of individual patients and populations will be incorporated into dialogue and scholarship. Prerequisite: FNP571 Corequisite: MSN564L

MSN 565: Nursing Leadership and Health Policy (Formerly: FNP522 and MSN 502)

This course will focus on providing students with the skills to navigate the challenges and opportunities that confront nursing leaders in complex healthcare environments. Techniques to develop successful leadership methodologies will include the use of multiple technology platforms, social media, e-leadership along with other emerging tools for the optimization and development of the nurse leader. Emphasis will be placed on the responsibilities of the nurse leader to understand the drive health policy at the local, state, national and international level. Prerequisite MSN564

MSN 600: Evidence-Based Capstone Project (Formerly FNP588 and MSN 599)

This culminating integrative course provides the opportunity for students to develop and design an innovative evidence based project (PICO-T) that was identified and defined in MSN563. The capstone project must be founded in evidence based practice and either be supported by evidence in peer-reviewed literature or provide outcomes in identifying the effectiveness of the project. The students will be guided in the process of evidenced based project development, including formulation of goals and objectives, refinement of project design, implementation strategies, development of tools, data collection, identification of resources and evaluation. Through group discussion, students will participate in a process of peer consultation and critique in support of project refinement. Faculty will supervise students in developing their capstone project in conjunction with other educational resources that are selected by the students. The faculty will advise and approve the final project according to the student’s’ specialty area. The projects may include electronic practice portfolio, a quality improvement project, an evaluation of a new practice model, clinical practice project, poster presentation, and manuscripts submitted for publication. Prerequisite: MSN565 Corequisite: MSN600L


MSN 580: Strategic Planning and Project Management in Healthcare (Formerly MSN 509)

This course examines a variety of strategic planning and project management methodologies. Students will engage in group strategic planning sessions and develop project management skills critical in the nurse leader role. Prerequisites None

MSN 581: Innovation in Organizational and Systems Leadership (Formerly MSN 503)

This course will leverage current and emerging trends and innovations in healthcare system to enhance their organization and system leadership skillsets and leadership opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to explore sustainable solutions for today’s complex healthcare systems in a transdisciplinary environment. Prerequisites MSN580

MSN 582: Leadership and Organizational Behavior (Formerly MSN 507)

This course will examine the nuances of leadership roles and organizational behaviors in today’s complex health systems. Students will learn to design implement and lead transformation in complex healthcare systems. Prerequisites MSN581

MSN 583: Legal and Ethical Issues for the Advanced Practice Nurse (Formerly MSN 510)

This course analyzes the major legal and ethical issues of the healthcare systems as they relate to the patient, provider, and the health care systems. Students will explore advanced practice nursing issues from a cultural, political, legal and ethical. The course will focus on professional integrity, ethical decision making, and cultural openness in addressing concerns of access, quality, and resource allocation in the current and emerging health care system. Prerequisites MSN 582

MSN 584: Quality Measures, Safety, and Improving Patient Outcomes Formerly MSN 506)

This course is designed to provide strategies for leveraging data, process and six sigma methodologies to design and drive quality improvement initiatives that enhance patient outcomes. Prerequisites MSN 583

MSN 585: Innovation in Healthcare Technology

This course will examine innovations theory as it relates to healthcare innovations. How to develop an environment that supports innovation in healthcare will be explored. A focus on emerging technologies for clinical practice and healthcare management will be examined as they relate to new healthcare delivery models and telehealth. The changing role of technology, it’s use and abuse, and the barriers to implementation will be covered. Prerequisites MSN 584

MSN 586: Entrepreneurship in Advanced Practice Nursing

This course will focus on the development of the nurse entrepreneur. With the guidance and support of the faculty, students will collectively tie together the lessons from their previous courses to design, develop and implement an entrepreneurial endeavor that will include a business plan, marketing strategy and tools that will align with their goals for their future. Prerequisites MSN 585

MSN 587: Residency in Nursing Leadership and Systems Management

This residency course provides the student with an individualized mentored practice experience in an advanced leadership role. The student will expand expertise and specialized knowledge in the selected systems-focused advanced nursing practice specialty role. This course affords the student with opportunities for hands-on application of approaches to leadership. Prerequisites MSN 586