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Master of Science in Nursing with a Specialization in Nurse Administrator (RN to MSN)

Build Your Skills for a Career in Nursing Management

Get the education you need to join the next generation of nursing leaders. Our flexible CCNE-accredited online program offers an efficient, streamlined path to earning your BSN and MSN, as well as gaining skills and experience for transforming healthcare systems and ensuring quality patient care.

Program is offered at the following campuses. Select a campus to learn more.


A Streamlined Path to a Master's in Nursing Administration

Our RN to MSN program provides an intensive course of study in which you can earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing online in under 4 years, as you move from foundational nursing theory, to advanced practice concepts, to focused nursing administration courses.

Your general education and foundational RN to MSN requirements will include courses in communications, professional development, math and statistics, natural sciences, arts and humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. Upon entering the undergraduate nursing portion of the curriculum, you’ll explore:

  • Foundations for professional nursing
  • Foundations of nursing research
  • Information management and technology
  • Concepts of teaching and learning
  • Leadership in a diverse society
  • Illness and disease management across the lifespan
  • Gerontological nursing
  • Trends in healthcare policy
  • Health promotion and clinical prevention

The required MSN-level and specialization courses will cover topics like:

  • The role of the advanced practice nurse
  • Advanced theoretical perspectives for nursing
  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Health policy and health promotion in advanced nursing practice
  • Nursing research methods
  • Human resource management in healthcare organizations
  • Pharmacology
  • Managing complex healthcare systems
  • Quality outcomes and financial management in healthcare organizations

Finally, your practicum courses will allow you to gain 240 hours of nursing administration experience in local clinical settings, under the guidance of knowledgeable mentors. You’ll also conduct a scholarly project in which you combine the advanced nursing knowledge, critical thinking, and research skills you’ve acquired in this RN to MSN nursing administration program.

Admissions: RN to MSN Nursing Administrator Requirements

Admissions requirements to our RN to MSN nursing administration program include:

  • Completion of the application for admission.
  • An associate’s degree in nursing from an accredited collegiate institution, or a diploma in nursing from an accredited institution, with a minimum cumulative CGPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Submission of official transcripts from every college or university attended (within 10 weeks after the initial start date).
  • A valid unencumbered license as a registered nurse in the U.S. state or territory in which the student completes all assignments for the program. (Note that military, federal, and foreign educated nurses must meet this state requirement for nursing licensure). An unencumbered license must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Meet the Core Performance Standards and essential function related to the profession of nursing as described in the South University academic catalog.
  • An interview with the Chair/Program Director or designated faculty for campus based students.
  • Submission of the following:
    • Three references using the Nursing Graduate School Appraisal Form. At least one of your references should hold a master’s degree in Nursing or higher degree in nursing.
    • An essay (goal statement) of 1-2 pages (typed, double-spaced) explaining your career goals, reasons for your choice of specialization, and why you want to pursue an advanced degree in nursing.
    • A resume describing relevant work, professional, and volunteer experiences.

    For answers to questions about our RN to MSN requirements, contact us at 1.800.688.0932. Financial aid and scholarships for students are available for those who qualify.

    BSN-prepared nurses who wish to prepare for a career as a nurse administrator can continue their journey in our master’s in nursing administration online program.

    Nursing Administration Jobs and Responsibilities

    After completing our master’s in nursing administration, jobs you’ll be equipped to pursue may include a variety of nursing leadership roles over the course of your career—positions such as a Nurse Manager, Director of Nursing, or Chief Nursing Officer. Typical nurse administrator jobs and responsibilities may require:

    • Designing complex healthcare systems
    • Strategically allocating organizational resources
    • Making policy and financial decisions that align with existing regulations
    • Promoting initiatives to increase patient safety, health, and quality care
    • Implementing nursing outcome evaluation measures and methods
    • Fostering the professional development of fellow nurses
    • Incorporating contemporary technology, practice, and ethics into healthcare
    • Contributing to the development of the nursing field by engaging in scholarly activities
    • Applying scientific nursing research findings to improve patient outcomes

    By becoming a medical and health services manager or administrator, you may realize many benefits, including salary and a promising job outlook. The average nursing administrator salary varies based on state or geographic region, workplace, work experience, and more. Take the next step and learn more about how we can help you prepare for a career in nursing administration.

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