Two nursing students work with equipment.

Nurse Leader

Nurse Leader Program Overview

The online nurse leader master’s program provides ambitious students with the high-quality education they need to develop their collaborative leadership style and strategic thinking and pursue their career passions.

To develop students' business acumen and managerial skills, the program emphasizes an understanding of healthcare delivery systems and operations, quality management, safety, and health policy. It also focuses on creating solution-oriented health leaders by teaching students how to identify issues in healthcare practice and work toward collaborative and empathetic solutions. The varied focus on clinical experience and leadership development helps students continue their growth as well-rounded healthcare professionals.

Our online MS in Nursing, Nurse Leader degree is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). It prepares RNs to take the Certified Nurse Manager and Leader exam offered by the American Organization of Nursing Leadership (AONL)

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Manhattanville’s online nursing leadership degree program offers an integrative curriculum that blends coursework with practicum hours to further develop students' skill sets and industry knowledge. Guided by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) and the AACN Essentials, our curriculum ensures students will gain a comprehensive understanding and experiential training in the following topics:

  • Background for Practice in Sciences and Humanities
  • Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Quality Improvement and Safety
  • Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice
  • Informatics and Healthcare Technologies
  • Health Policy and Advocacy
  • Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes
  • Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health
  • Master’s Level Nursing Practice

The nurse leader master’s program offers a broad range of course offerings to provide graduate students with a complete understanding of how the healthcare system operates as well as how to become a successful leader.

Courses in the program include: 

  • Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice Roles
  • Leadership, Quality Management, Safety and Health Policy
  • Research for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Ethical Principles in Healthcare
  • Human Resource Management
  • Healthcare Economics and Financing 
  • Healthcare Delivery Systems
  • Design for Change in Healthcare
  • Practicum in Nurse Leader I
  • Practicum in Nurse Leadership II
  • Healthcare Operations & Systems Management
  • Data Analysis & Informatics in Healthcare
  • Capstone Project I
  • Capstone Project II

Degree Requirements
The nurse leader master’s degree coursework is offered fully online and is designed to accommodate your personal and professional needs. If you are in favor of a more accelerated schedule, the program can be completed in as few as 14 months. If a slower pace works better for you, then you can take courses on your own timeline. 

Students will take a series of 14 core courses and practicums, totaling 36 credits, to gain real-world experience and build their understanding of how the healthcare industry functions and the responsibilities of nurse educators, clinical nurse researchers, and other healthcare professionals.

Review Manhattanville's full master's in nursing leadership curriculum

In addition to earning their Master of Science in Nursing, after the program, students are eligible to pursue certifications offered by the AONL or American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

To ensure they are ready for certification exams and their future careers, our nurse leader program equips students to:

  • Integrate extant and emerging research and scholarly knowledge to advance nursing care and management within an interdisciplinary, holistic, caring-healing framework;
  • Demonstrate advanced clinical and critical reasoning, reflective learning, ethical analysis, and all ways of knowing to assess, design, implement, and evaluate advanced nursing care and management practices that are holistic, safe, and evidence-based;
  • Use communication, effective and therapeutic information literacy, and interdisciplinary collaboration to influence relationship building in complex health, cultural, and sociopolitical issues of diverse populations;
  • Participate in designing and implementing cost-effective care in diverse, multicultural, and dynamic environments and systems; 
  • Explicate policy, organization, and financing of health care to initiate change and improve nursing and health care practices in communities and globally; 
  • Demonstrate role development through accountability and leadership in clinical, management, informatics and healthcare technologies, and advanced practice roles; and 
  • Use informatics, data analysis, and design thinking as an innovation accelerator for quality improvement and safety.


Career Opportunities in Nursing Leadership
Earning your nurse leader master’s degree prepares you to work in a variety of nursing leadership roles, such as:

  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Clinical Nurse Researcher
  • Director of Nursing
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Manager 

Admission Requirements
For admission into Manhattanville’s online Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Leader degree program, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree
  • Hold a current unencumbered nursing license
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Submit online application
  • Provide official transcripts from all previously attended institutions
  • Completed an undergraduate or graduate statistics course with a B or higher
  • Provide evidence of professional nursing experience in direct patient care before practicum 

To learn more about the admissions process, request information.

A high-value education doesn’t have to come at a high cost. Priced at $575 per credit hour, or $1725 per course, the nurse leader master’s degree costs $18,975 in total. Manhattanville also offers the option of pay-by-the-course tuition to keep your graduate degree economical and fairly priced. 

Financial Aid 
Clear here for additional information about financing your education.

Apply to the Online Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Leader Degree Program
Whether you aspire to become a nurse educator or a clinical nurse leader, Manhattanville’s online Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Leader program provides you with the clinical experience and management expertise you need to reach your goals. With our nurse leader MS degree, students are equipped for patient-centered care and are ready to emerge as effective leaders who improve the quality of the healthcare industry and deliver meaningful systemic change.

Begin your Manhattanville application today.