Skip to content

Become a Nurse Leader With an MSN

A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in administration, qualifies nurses for advanced nonclinical positions. To become a successful leader in nursing, RNs need to possess a range of high-level skills and knowledge that they can gain through an online MSN program.

What Is the Role of a Nurse Leader?

The role of a nurse leader may differ depending on the healthcare organization. However, the general description of a nurse leader is someone who manages personnel, patient care, finances and facility resources. Here are just a few of the roles available to nurse leaders:

  • Department manager
  • Director of nursing
  • Nursing supervisor
  • Chief nursing officer

What Are the Responsibilities of a Nurse Leader?

Typically, nurse leaders oversee nursing staff and handle personnel issues. They help develop policies and procedures as well as deal with financial matters. Nurse leaders may also work as a liaison between nurses, departments and executives of the healthcare organization. Common duties of a nurse leader may include:

  • Recruiting, hiring and training new nurses
  • Scheduling shifts for nurses
  • Evaluating the performance of nurses
  • Ensuring that nurses engage in continuing education and stay current with their credentials
  • Managing compliance with regulations
  • Creating budgets for the department, hospital or healthcare organization
  • Attending meetings with nursing staff and executives
  • Making decisions regarding services offered and equipment purchased
  • Carrying out the mission of the healthcare organization

How Do RNs Become Nurse Leaders?

Some MSN programs allow nurses to focus specifically on nursing administration. For admission into an MSN program, nursing schools usually require applicants to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and have an active license to practice as an RN. A minimum GPA in prior coursework and a certain amount of experience is also usually required.

What Do Nurses Learn in an MSN Program About Leadership?

The coursework in NSU's online MSN in Administrative Leadership in Nursing program is aligned with the core competencies put forth by the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE). Students take the following leadership courses:

  • Leadership Development for the Advanced Nursing Professional
  • Healthcare Finance and Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational and Systems Management in Nursing

How Do Nurse Leaders Benefit From Taking Leadership Courses?

RNs who complete leadership courses in an MSN program learn how to manage change and empower personnel. They also have a voice in policymaking. They acquire insight into contemporary influences, theories and functional strategies that relate to management, administration and organizational systems.

MSN students are exposed to personnel and human resource issues they may encounter as nurse leaders in all types of healthcare settings. Students also learn the business aspects of being a nurse leader by exploring methods associated with financial and resource management.

A master's degree in nursing administration gives nurses the option of pursuing careers outside of direct patient care. NSU's MSN in Administration Leadership in Nursing is a good choice for nurses who want to continue working while they study because it is 100% online. Not to mention, the affordable program has multiple start dates and can be completed in as few as 12 months.

Learn more about Northeastern State University's online MSN in Administrative Leadership in Nursing program.

Sources: What Is a Nurse Administrator?

Healthcare Administration Degree Programs: What Is a Nurse Administrator? Nurse Administrator How to Become a Nurse Administrator

Chron: Importance of Strong Nursing Leadership

American Mobile: Nurse Leadership: 5 Ways to Improve Your Nurse Leadership Skills

American Nurse Today: Nine Principles of Successful Nursing Leadership

Healthcare Administration Degree Programs: How Do You Become a Nurse Administrator?

Lippincott Solutions: Three Top Leadership Skills for Nurse Leaders

Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.

Request Information
*All fields required.
or call 844-351-6656 844-351-6656
By submitting this form, I am providing my digital signature agreeing that Northeastern State University (NSU) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology or a pre-recorded message at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not a condition to attend NSU or to purchase any other goods or services.