Advanced Professional Nurse (MS) Nurse Leader


Designed for the BS-prepared nurse who wishes to pursue a Master of Science (MS) with a Nurse Leader Focus. MS-prepared nurse leaders typically work within a health system in roles both close to the bedside such as Quality Improvement Coordinator, and union leadership roles, or in institutional leadership such as nursing management and administration.

Catalog Year



Master of Science

Major Credits


Total Credits




Career Cluster

Health Science

Program Requirements

Common Core

This course prepares learners to understand advanced professional nursing roles. The professional nursing roles will be analyzed focusing on major components including educator, leader, consultant, case manager, and researcher. Socialization into the advanced professional role is explored, including an introduction to evaluation strategies, use of theories and methods of ethics, legal, professional obligations and integrating diversity, equity and inclusion, and social justice as part of the advanced nursing role.

Prerequisites: none

This course examines and evaluates concepts, theories, and models that inform advanced professional nursing. Selected nursing theories are analyzed and critiqued utilizing theory formation criteria. Learners will discuss application of nursing science and conceptual models to nursing and critically articulate use of theory-based practice in family, person-centered care, and/or advanced nursing roles. Requires entry into program.

Prerequisites: none

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills related to information systems and healthcare technologies. Learners will create and analyze informatics solutions utilizing clinical and operational healthcare data from individual and aggregate sources, to monitor and improve the effectiveness of nursing care. Requires entry into the program.

Prerequisites: none

This course provides advanced knowledge of pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment. Learners will integrate evidenced-based practice and the science of nursing related to pathophysiologic principles, pharmacologic categories, and health assessment techniques. The learner will synthesize physiology/pathophysiology, health assessment and pharmacologic knowledge in the direct care role and responsibilities across diverse settings. Requires entry into program.

Prerequisites: none

This course explores the role of the advanced professional nurse as an educational, organizational, and system leader, and change agent. Leadership, service, self-improvement and self-care theories, evidence-based practice, and skills will be explored. The concepts of power and influence are reviewed, along with advanced communication strategies for negotiation, conflict resolution, and collaboration. Learners are prepared to implement and evaluate factors such as interprofessional collaboration, culture, diversity, equity and inclusion, and strategies to anticipate and respond to future trends. Learners will evaluate leadership roles within systems and organizations. The course includes guided student experiences with a mentor. Requires entry into the program.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

This course focuses on advanced evidence-based practice. The learner will examine the role of research and its application, utilization, and integration in advanced professional nursing roles. Learners will analyze research approaches, designs, and methods. Emphasis is placed on development of analytic skills for reading and applying research in advanced professional roles. Requires entry into program.

Prerequisites: none

Emphasis Common Core

Learners will translate professional nursing standards and values through leadership theories and styles, innovations, and interprofessional collaboration. The advanced professional nurse leader will apply a holistic approach to address and implement leadership theories and styles, change strategies, and effective interprofessional collaboration within healthcare organizations to improve healthcare delivery and outcomes with a focus on improving healthcare disparities. Requires entry into the program.

Prerequisites: none

Learners will develop leadership skills with a focus on healthcare policy, economic theory, and finance in healthcare systems. Emphasizes strategies for creating and maintaining a culturally sensible environment while measuring outcomes, influencing decision-making, and navigating business realities in organizations. Incorporates financial, legal, and ethical concepts. Requires entry into the program.

Prerequisites: none

Learners will use a systems-based approach in the evaluation of quality and safety data to address health care delivery system needs. Learners will implement strategies which address health care quality and safety issues impacting individual, family, and societal healthcare experiences in an increasingly complex environment. Requires entry into the program.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

The Nursing Leadership Capstone project is a cumulative experience developed to offer the learners a practical opportunity to apply the previous coursework and knowledge obtained during the program and demonstrate their ability to work and think as an advanced professional nurse leader. Includes experiential learning hours focused on a final project reviewed and approved by the course faculty and organizational mentor(s). The learners will develop a change project utilizing a plan of action with concepts from the program course work. Learners will implement a plan and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the leadership project. Requires entry into the program. Must be taken students' final semester in program.

Prerequisites: none


Admission Policies:

The Advanced Professional Nurse MS Program application may be obtained from the School of Nursing website. Requirements for application to the Advanced Professional Nurse MS Program are:

  1. 1BS/BA or entry-level masters degree from an ACEN/CCNE accredited School of Nursing preferred (as verified by official transcripts) or in the final semester of an accredited RN to BS degree completion program by the start of the program (dual enrollment).
  2. Current unencumbered RN license in at least one state.
  3. Undergraduate cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale (this requirement may be appealed).

Progression Policies:

The School of Nursing graduate program follows the College of Graduate Studies scholastic standards. Once admitted to the program, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.0. A student who is unsuccessful in two courses (or one course repeated) will not be allowed to continue in the Advanced Professional Nurse MS Program.