Master of Science: Nurse Executive

The one constant in the health care field is change. This means that the greatest need in the health care sector is for knowledgeable, skilled leaders.

Nurses who are able to bring innovative, best-practice management skills to a variety of health care organizations are in high demand, with this demand expected to continue well into the future.

If you’re ready to expand your career horizon and want to be on the front line of industry changes, Wilkes University’s online 39-credit Nurse Executive concentration may be the right master’s degree for you.

Our Nurse Executive online program prepares you for leadership and management roles through an intensive grounding in relevant business concepts, advanced practice and workplace leadership – as you keep your current job. The traditional Nurse Executive MSN online coursework progression takes just 26 months to complete. We also offer an accelerated option – qualified, accepted students can take concurrent courses and earn their MSN degree in less than 20 months, fully online (plus on-ground clinical work).

Core coursework provides Wilkes Nursing students with a solid foundation of academic and clinical study. Through advanced professional studies, Nurse Executive courses offer the in-depth knowledge and skills you need to succeed. A final scholarly review course allows students to synthesize and review issues relevant to the Nurse Executive concentration, and prepares graduates to take the national certification exam leading to Nurse Executive Board Certification.

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Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing online degree program, successful Nurse Executive candidates will also be able to:

  • Examine innovations in nursing leadership and management to meet the challenges in delivering quality health care
  • Critically analyze the challenges and issues facing nurse executives for maintaining health care work forces
  • Discuss the role of the nurse executive as a leader in advancing nursing practice
  • Apply evidence-based practice as an organizational leader in redesigning health care delivery systems
 

Nurse Executive Courses

Wilkes University’s Nurse Executive concentration is a 39 credit-hour online program and will result in a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

With scheduled breaks, the traditional Nurse Executive MSN program can be completed fully online in 26 months. Our accelerated option allows qualified, accepted students to take concurrent courses (as indicated in the course sequences) and earn this MSN degree fully online in less than 20 months.

The Nurse Executive curriculum is offered in the following sequence of courses. Please note that NSG 590 will be the last class taken in the Nurse Executive sequence.

Graduate Nursing Core Courses
24 credits
NSG 501 (3)
Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 502)
This course emphasizes the systematic process of theory development in nursing. The role of traditional science in relation to other ways of knowing is explored. Students will describe, analyze, and evaluate current theories of nursing. The relationship of research and practice to theory is discussed.
NSG 502 (3)
Advanced Nursing Research
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 501)
This course builds on knowledge and skills developed in undergraduate research and statistics courses. Skills in the analysis and evaluation of nursing research are further developed. Students analyze the contributions of the empirical approach to the development of nursing science. Selected research designs and methodologies which are used to advance nursing knowledge are examined. Students are given the opportunity to critique and synthesize current research for its application to an identified problem in nursing practice.  
NSG 504 (3)
Advanced Role Development in Nursing

(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 505)
This course examines the development of roles for advancing nursing practice. The historical development of these roles along with current scope of practice in a variety of clinical settings will be explored. Focus will be placed on the legal, historical, political, social, and ethical aspects of advanced practice nursing.

NSG 505 (3)
Health Policy and Politics for Advancing Nursing Practice
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 504)
Complex and continuous changes in healthcare environments require that nursing professionals contribute to care delivery systems for improving population health outcomes. This course focuses on the role of the nurse advancing nursing practice through developing health policy, politics, and advocacy systems. Approaches to health issues for shaping policy on a local, state, and federal level are analyzed in accordance with policy making processes, politics in healthcare and government, healthcare economics, and ethical frameworks.
NSG 500 (3)
Advanced Health Assessment
This course presents an overview of the full and comprehensive health assessment of patients across the life span. Emphasis on multiple aspects of assessment including physical, functional, and mental health assessment along with transcultural variations, will prepare the student for advanced practice nursing. (Nurse Practitioner students are required to complete an onsite residency).
NSG 530 (3)
Advanced Pathophysiology
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 533)
This course provides an overview of the normal physiologic and pathologic mechanisms of disease and serves as one primary component of the foundation for clinical assessment, decision-making, and management. The course will prepare the advanced practice nurse for interpreting changes in normal function that results in symptoms indicative of illness in patients across the lifespan.
NSG 533 (3)
Advanced Pharmacology
(Accelerated-track students will take this concurrently with NSG 530)
This course provides the basic principles of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics for broad categories of drugs. Purpose of action, common interactions and contraindications of major drug categories are highlighted. Case studies are integrated to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate application of pharmacological theory in advancing nursing practice.
NSG 590 (3)
Scholarly Review
(Nurse Executive accelerated-track students will take this course concurrently with NSG 564.)
In this course the student will synthesize and review issues relevant to their specialty clinical practice. This course is designed as a review of the required masters level core nursing courses and specialty focused curriculum for advanced nursing practice. This course will provide an overview of both the required core nursing courses as well as each specific specialty course.
Prerequisite: Completion of Graduate Nursing Core and Concentration courses.
Note: NSG 590 is a core nursing course, and is the last class taken in the program sequence.
Nurse Executive Concentration Courses
15 credits
NSG 560 (3)
Health Care Operations for the Nurse Executive
This course prepares the nursing executive by examining the multiple administrative areas necessary for success at an executive level. The differences between US health care policy and the health care policies of various other countries will be explored. An analysis of select health care administration topics through the use of both individual and collaborative learning will prepare students to succeed in an ever-expanding, constantly changing health care environment.
NSG 561 (3)
Organizational Leadership for the Nurse Executive

This course examines the executive level leadership skills necessary to excel within the rapidly changing health care environment of the future. Emphasis is placed on understanding how the individualized leadership styles of today's health care executives shape the culture and vision of the organizations of tomorrow. This course also provides an in-depth analysis of how building an autonomous, ethical, and diverse leadership team and workforce assists the executive in developing solutions to complex organizational problems.
Note: Taken concurrently with NSG 563 for the first eight weeks.

NSG 563 (3)
Nurse Executive Practicum I *

Accelerated-track students will take this 16-week course concurrently with NSG 562 for the second eight weeks.
This practicum course synthesizes previously established theory and skill sets to further develop the student's administrative abilities. By applying theories from other sciences and utilizing interdisciplinary experiences and collaborative opportunities, the student will further enhance the skills necessary to excel as a health care executive in an evidence-based, culturally sensitive environment. The seminar component of this course is designed to supplement previous theoretical applications and stimulate critical-thinking and decision-making. (250 clinical hours.)

Prerequisite: NSG 560
Note: This 16-week course is taken concurrently with NSG 561 for the first eight weeks.

NSG 562 (3)
Advanced Leadership Topics for the Nurse Executive

This course synthesizes previously established theory and skill sets to explore select advanced topics in heath care leadership. The issues explored will assist the executive nurse in leading a health care organization during times of crisis or conflict as well as prosperity. Emphasis is placed on understanding health care as an intricate, dynamic organism which is in continual need of attention.
Prerequisite: NSG 560 and 561.
Note: Taken concurrently with NSG 564 for the first eight weeks.

NSG 564 (3)
Nurse Executive Practicum II *

Accelerated-track students will take this 16-week course concurrently with NSG 590 for the second eight weeks.
This practicum course synthesizes previously established theory and skill sets to further develop the student's leadership abilities. By applying theories from other sciences and utilizing interdisciplinary experiences and collaborative opportunities, the student will further enhance the skills necessary to excel as a health care executive in an evidence-based, culturally sensitive environment. The completion of an organizational needs assessment within this course is designed to supplement previous theoretical applications and stimulate critical-thinking and decision-making. (250 clinical hours.)
Prerequisite: NSG 561
Note: This 16-week course is taken concurrently with NSG 562 for the first eight weeks.

Most Nurse Executive courses are eight weeks in length; however, students will take NSG 561 concurrently with NSG 563 for the first eight weeks; the remaining eight weeks the students will complete NSG 563 (a 16-week course). Similarly, students will take NSG 562 concurrently with NSG 564 for the first eight weeks; the remaining eight weeks the students will complete NSG 564 (also a 16-week course). This is the only time in the program where the students will be in two courses concurrently.

* Students will be responsible for arranging their own experiences with their local health care agency. The faculty member instructing this course will be responsible for ensuring the student experience meets Wilkes academic requirements.

 

Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with a Nurse Executive concentration, part of the Master of Science in Nursing degree program available online through Wilkes University:

  • Ambulatory Care Manager
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Health Care Administrator
  • Long-Term Care Executive
  • Nurse Executive
  • Professor of Nursing
  • Quality Improvement Manager
  • Nurse Manager

Download your free program brochure!