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Nursing Administration and Leadership

Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration and Leadership – Credits:  30 (program code:  0930)

Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN degree) in Nursing Administration and Leadership is designed for those who have already obtained a baccalaureate degree in nursing.  The program is intended for nurses who: 1) currently hold administrative or leadership positions and wish to complement their experience through advancing their education formally, and 2) wish to gain knowledge and skills needed to expand their career options in the area of nursing administration and leadership in a variety of health care settings.

The courses blend theory and practice in administration, leadership, organization, quality of care, delivery systems of patient care, human resource management, legal and ethical concepts, practice, and health care finance, and incorporate health care informatics. The program culminates with a practicum in nursing administration and/or leadership where the student works with a nurse administrator/leader in his/her area of interest.

The graduate program builds upon coursework taken in an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) program. Upon completion of the MSN in Nursing Administration and Leadership program, graduates will be eligible academically to take the national certification exam for nurse administration offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Program Objectives

  • To integrate competencies associated with critical thinking, communication, leadership and management, and nursing research to develop and facilitate systems for the provision of culturally competent and safe patient care.

  • To design, implement analyze and evaluate complex interprofessional, multicultural health care delivery systems.

  • To apply and integrate specialized knowledge related to organization and management theory, economics, human resources, professional standards, ethical guidelines, and legal and regulatory aspects in the management and leadership role within interprofessional, multicultural health care delivery systems.

  • To develop, implement and evaluate effective communication systems and processes in interprofessional, multicultural health care delivery systems.

  • To manage the delivery of health care through collaboration with nurses, other health professionals and consumers of health care.

  • To create strategies that promote the well-being of individuals, families, culturally diverse groups, vulnerable populations and communities.

Delivery Mode

Global Online (100 percent online delivery)

Students take two 3-credit courses consecutively each term and the first summer session. During the second summer session, students take the 6-credit practicum capstone course


The Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Leadership program at California University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington,  DC 20036,  202-887-6791.  (

Admissions Criteria

  •  Minimum 3.00 GPA  in a nursing baccalaureate degree (or in last 60 credits completed)  verified with official transcripts from an accredited institution.  For international students, scholastic record comparable to that reflected by a 3.00 GPA verified with official transcripts.
  •  Prerequisite undergraduate courses:

            o 3 credits Nursing Research

            o 3 credits Statistics

  •  Valid RN licensure in the state in which the applicant is employed in nursing. International students need to be licensed in their country of residence.
  •  Essay (applicant to describe career goals/objectives and how they plan to use the MSN degree)
  •  Resume (must indicate at least two years of experience working in nursing, preferably in a nursing management or leadership role)
  •  Graduate School Application plus $25 nonrefundable application fee

International applicants, in addition to the above requirements:

  •  For programs attended outside of the United States, with the exception of Canada, applicants must submit a credential evaluation from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) for nursing coursework and World Education Services (WES) for non-nursing coursework.
  • For international students, completion of a nursing bachelor's degree, if available, in the country of origin.
  • International students need to be licensed in the country in which they are employed in nursing.
  •  Note: Prospective international master's students staying in their countries of origin and taking an online program should also review International Applicants information for admission consideration in the Graduate Catalog

Note: This program is not intended for persons seeking graduate education for career opportunities related to nurse educator or advanced practice positions (e.g., nurse practitioner, etc.). Coursework and practicum experiences in this program provide academic development for administrative and leadership roles such as charge nurse, nurse manager, nurse executive, clinical project leader and numerous other health care administration and leadership roles.


Required Courses
Course Name
NUR 601 Theory and Research in Nursing 3
NUR 602 Health Policy in Nursing 3
NUR 603 Information Systems for Nurses in Health Care Organizations 3
NUR 604 Population Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
NUR 711 Nursing Organization and Leadership Theory 3
NUR 712 Nursing Administration and Leadership Role3
NUR 714 Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration3
NUR 715 Financial Management in Non-profit Health Care Organizations 3
NUR 813 Nursing Administration Role Practicum6


Students in the Master of Science in Nursing program receive academic and professional advisement from the program coordinator and program faculty. Each student is assigned to an academic adviser from the time he/she is accepted into the program of study. Advisers work with students to discuss, monitor and provide advisement as it relates to their program of study.

Program Coordinator

Mary O'Connor, Ph.D., MSN (University of Pittsburgh),  B.S.N. (Carlow University), Professor
Web Page:
:  724-938-1652

Graduate Faculty

For faculty bios, visit:

Joan Clites, Ed.D., M.S.N. (West Virginia University), B.S.N. (University of Pittsburgh), Associate Professor
Cheryl Hettman, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh), M.S.N. (West Virginia University), B.S.N. (West Liberty State College), Associate Professor
Linda Pina, Ph.D., (Kennedy-Western University), M.S.N., B.S.N. (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) Assistant Professor
Debra Shelapinsky, M.S.N, CRNP (University of Pittsburgh), B.S.N. (University of Akron), Associate Professor