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Online master's in nursing administration programs prepare registered nurses for administrative and managerial roles in healthcare facilities.

Students build advanced management skills while studying topics like healthcare informatics, advanced finance for nurse executives, and systems organization and structure. Graduates can work as nurse administrators or health services managers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects roles for medical and health services managers to grow 18% between 2018 and 2028. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $99,730 in 2018.

This guide ranks the best online master's in nursing administration programs for 2020. This page also covers important information for prospective students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.

Top 10 Online Master's in Nursing Administration Programs 2020

The Best Online Master's in Nursing Administration Programs

1
George Washington University
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4

Stony Brook University 

Stony Brook, NY

About this school

Part of the State University of New York system, Long Island’s Stony Brook University dates back to 1957. Stony Brook holds the record as the largest single–site employer on Long Island. The university also operates campuses in Manhattan and South Korea. In addition to on–campus degrees, Stony Brook offers several online degree options, including an MSN in nursing leadership.

Unlike many other master’s in nursing administration online programs, Stony Brook requires scheduled on–site immersions in New York. The 36–credit curriculum incorporates core classes in organizational leadership, healthcare policy, and research. Nursing leadership courses include business skills for nurse leaders, finance and economics, and advanced theory and practice in nursing leadership. Nurses enrolled in the program complete field work requirements at approved sites in their local communities. The hybrid program follows a cohort model.

Prospective students should have either a BSN or a bachelor’s degree in a non–nursing field and nursing experience. RNs who majored in an area other than nursing must submit a clinical practice portfolio for review. All applicants submit proof of an RN license, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Candidates should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Online Enrollment
6%
5

Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion 

Marion, IN

About this school

Founded in 1920, Indiana Wesleyan University–Marion is the largest private university in the state. In addition to its resident undergraduate programs, IWU specializes in adult, graduate, and online education. IWU’s school of nursing offers an online MSN in nursing administration designed for working nurses pursuing career advancement.

Nurses enrolled in IWU’s fully online nursing administration master’s program complete 41 credits of coursework. IWU students take classes sequentially one at a time. Required classes include evidence–based communication, professional role development for the nurse administrator, and advanced nursing management. Nursing students also complete a practicum to gain nursing administration experience. Students typically earn the MSN in 22 months.

To gain admission, prospective students must hold a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution. Nurses who do not meet the GPA requirement can gain provisional admission. Candidates submit official transcripts, three letters of professional reference, and proof of an unencumbered registered nursing license. IWU also considers RNs with bachelor’s degrees in a non–nursing fields who have a minimum of 10 years of experience in nursing practice. The nursing program offers multiple start dates throughout the year. IWU does not charge an application fee.

Online Enrollment
59%
6

Seton Hall University 

South Orange, NJ

About this school

Dating back to 1856, Seton Hall University is a private Catholic school founded by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley. The university’s campus in South Orange, New Jersey, sits just 14 miles from Manhattan. SHU offers more than 90 on–campus and online degree options, including an MSN in health systems administration.

The online master’s degree in nursing administration at SHU builds skills in hospital administration, strategic planning, and care delivery. The curriculum includes four core nursing courses and seven classes in health systems administration. Students complete coursework in case management, legal and risk management issues in healthcare, and nursing and health systems administration. The 30–credit degree takes about two years to complete. Online students arrange 85 clinical hours at an approved local site as part of their managerial internship. This field experience helps students develop management competencies in a healthcare organization.

Candidates for admission at SHU must hold a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a nationally accredited nursing program. Applicants also submit a statement of professional goals, one professional letter of reference, one academic letter of reference, and proof of a current RN license. Courses follow an asynchronous format. SHU does not require any on–campus visits.

Online Enrollment
11%
7

Nova Southeastern University 

Fort Lauderdale, FL

About this school

Originally a technical graduate institute, Nova Southeastern University now offers more than 150 programs in fields such as bioinformatics, medical sonography, and health science. The university introduced its first distance learning program in 1972, making it one of the first schools to do so. The institution offers professional degrees in several health–related fields, including an online MSN in executive nurse leadership.

Designed for working nurses, the MSN program at NSU prepares nurses for leadership roles in healthcare facilities. The 36–credit master’s in nursing includes courses in fiscal management for complex health systems, nursing decision making, nurse leadership roles, and the business and economics of healthcare. Students complete a nursing health systems leadership practicum to build clinical leadership experience.

Unlike most online nursing administration programs, NSU provides a bridge option for RNs without a bachelor’s in nursing. Nurses with an associate degree can meet admission requirements by completing NSU’s transition program prior to beginning the MSN. Non–bridge candidates must hold a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited nursing program. All applicants must hold an active professional nursing license. Prospective students complete both the NursingCAS application and NSU’s general application.

Online Enrollment
49%
8

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 

University Park, PA

About this school

Established in 1998 as an eLearning branch of the state’s public university system, Pennsylvania State University World Campus provides more than 150 online degree and certificate programs. As the second largest campus in the Pennsylvania state university system, Penn State World Campus enrolls nearly 18,000 students. The school’s online MSN with a focus in nursing administration prepares students for jobs as nurse managers, nurse executives, quality improvement directors, and staff developers.

Penn State’s online master’s degree in nursing administration includes core courses in nursing and a specialized leadership curriculum. The 37–credit degree builds advanced knowledge of organizational leadership, health policy, and executive leadership. Students customize the degree by choosing nine credits of administration electives from options such as human behavior and organizational performance, public organization and management, and administration in higher education. All students take a four–credit clinical practicum and a three–credit capstone project.

Prospective students must have a current license to practice professional nursing in the U.S. and a BSN from a nationally accredited nursing program. Applicants submit official transcripts from each institution attended. Penn State prefers students with a minimum 3.3 GPA. The MSN program does not require GRE or GMAT scores. Candidates should provide two references and a personal statement. Penn State offers the same online tuition rate for Pennsylvania residents and non–residents.

Online Enrollment
100%
9

Winona State University 

Winona, MN

About this school

Originally founded in 1858 as a school for elementary teachers, Winona State University is the oldest member of the Minnesota state college and university system. Today, WSU offers more than 80 degree options, including an online MSN in nursing leadership for nurses seeking career advancement.

Students in WSU’s nursing administration MSN complete 43 credits. Core courses include statistical methods for healthcare research, nursing information management, and advanced health promotion. The nursing and organizational leadership focus requires classes in project management, financial resource management, and human resource management. Nursing students also complete 420 clinical hours. Like other master’s in nursing administration online programs, WSU lets online students arrange their clinical hours at an approved local site.

Candidates for admission at WSU must hold a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a nationally accredited nursing program. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement may receive provisional admission. Prospective students must provide proof of a current registered nursing license, three references, and a statement of professional goals. WSU recommends a minimum of one year of clinical nursing experience. WSU provides an online tuition discount to residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.

Online Enrollment
16%
10

Kennesaw State University 

Kennesaw, GA

About this school

A public institution in the Georgia university system, Kennesaw State University ranks as one of the largest schools in the country. The college’s 35,000 students can choose from 150 undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as education, construction, mathematics, and arts. The school also offers 70 distance learning programs, including an MSN in nursing leadership.

Students can complete the online master’s degree in nursing administration in just 15 months. The 40–credit curriculum includes 10 credits of core courses and 30 credits in the specialization. All MSN students take theoretical foundation courses and complete a research project. Specialization courses include analytical business applications, leadership skills for advanced practice nursing, health policy leadership, and advanced nursing leadership roles. Nursing students also complete 315 practicum hours on leadership in nursing.

Applicants to KSU’s leadership in nursing program must hold a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a nationally accredited institution. Candidates must also hold a current RN license in the state of Georgia. Prospective students submit two letters of reference and a formal statement of personal goals. Beginning in the summer of 2017, the WellStar School of Nursing eliminated the GRE requirement. KSU operates on the semester schedule.

Online Enrollment
27%
11

Sacred Heart University 

Fairfield, CT

About this school

Located in Fairfield, Connecticut, Sacred Heart University is the second–largest Catholic university in New England. The institution dates back to 1963, when it was founded by the bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport. With campuses in Ireland and Luxembourg, the school maintains an international presence. SHU offers more than 70 degree options, including an online MSN with a nursing management and executive leadership specialization.

The MSN in nursing administration at SHU prepares nurses for administrative and leadership positions in healthcare. The 36–credit degree includes 12 credits of core courses in healthcare policy, professional roles for nursing practice, and evidence–based practice. Students also complete 24 credits of specialized nursing management and executive leadership courses. Classes include management of financial resources, healthcare delivery systems, and role development for nursing management and executive leadership. Nursing students also take a 120–hour clinical practicum to build leadership skills.

Unlike most other online nursing administration programs, SHU does not require a BSN. Applicants must have at least an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor’s in any subject area with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also hold a current RN license. Prospective students submit a resume, a statement of professional goals, and two letters of recommendation. SHU does not require GRE scores. Admitted students can transfer in up to 12 credits of master’s–level courses. The program offers six start dates each year.

Online Enrollment
26%
12

Saint Joseph's College of Maine 

Standish, ME

About this school

Founded as a liberal arts college in 1912, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is the only Catholic college in the state. Located on the shore of Sebago Lake, SJC offers on–campus bachelor’s degrees and online master’s programs. The online MSN at SJC features four tracks, including a specialization in administration.

The online master’s degree in nursing administration at SJC includes a capstone and a 135–hour practicum in nursing administration. Students complete 45 credits to earn the degree, including core courses in nursing informatics, organizational and systems leadership, and advanced health assessment. Nursing administration students then take 21 credits in their focus area, with options in health services administration, healthcare financial management, and strategic human resources management.

Incoming students must have a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution. Applicants must also hold a current RN license. Prospective students submit official transcripts, a resume or CV, a career statement, and three reference letters. These letters should come from the candidate’s peers, supervisors, and prior professors. SJC uses the cohort format. Twelve–week classes begin each February, May, August, and November.

Online Enrollment
50%
13

Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 

Omaha, NE

About this school

Founded in 1891, Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health specializes in educating health professionals. NMC trains students through service–learning experiences and community–based education. The school’s online MSN degree features a nurse executive track for students interested in senior management positions.

Nurses can complete the online MSN program in 21 months. Students take 36 credits of coursework, including classes in advanced nursing roles, organizational behavior, and human resource management for nurse executives. Nursing students also complete 126 practicum hours and two capstone experiences, both of which require an evidence–based project. The degree is one of the few master’s in nursing administration online programs offered through an institution that focuses exclusively on healthcare. NMC boasts over a century of experience educating nurses.

To gain admission, prospective students must have a BSN from a state–approved or professionally accredited nursing program. Incoming students must also hold a current unencumbered RN license. Candidates with a GPA below 3.0 may qualify for provisional admission. The application also requires students to submit a resume and a written statement. NMC does not require the GRE. Admitted students can begin the program in January or August.

Online Enrollment
31%
14

Regis University 

Denver, CO

About this school

Originally founded in 1877 by Jesuits in New Mexico, Regis College moved to Denver, Colorado in 1884. The school’s campus, a designated arboretum, now houses 1,200 trees and several historic buildings. The private Catholic institution offers more than 130 programs and 78 online degrees, including an online MSN in nursing leadership for RNs pursuing career advancement.

The online master’s degree in nursing administration focuses on leadership in healthcare systems. The program also places a strong emphasis on management. Students complete seven semesters of full–time coursework, organized in eight–week terms. The 39–credit curriculum includes core classes in advanced nursing practice, healthcare policy, and evidence–based practice. Students also take management courses such as informatics and advanced financial management for nursing leaders. All nursing students take two practicums for a total of 210 hours.

To enroll at Regis, prospective students submit official transcripts showing a BSN with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants must hold a valid RN license. Regis prefers nurses with two years of clinical practice experience. Candidates also provide a current resume, a personal statement, and three recommendation letters. New students may begin in January, May, or August.

Online Enrollment
49%
15

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 

Green Bay, WI

About this school

From its campus near the shores of Lake Michigan, the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay offers travel opportunities, internships, and graduate–style research labs. Part of Michigan’s well–regarded public university system, UWGB offers both in–person and online degrees. The school’s MSN in leadership and management in health systems helps nurses improve outcomes in quality processes, cost savings, and patient satisfaction.

UWGB’s online master’s degree in nursing administration is a part–time program for working nurses. Students can earn the MSN in as few as two years. The 34–credit degree incorporates 378 hours of clinical experience at a healthcare facility close to each student’s home or workplace. Students complete 13 required courses in economics and policy, leadership in health systems, and human resources. Learners also complete a capstone project in a healthcare setting. UWGB does not require a thesis.

In order to enroll at UWGB, nurses must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in nursing and a minimum 3.0 GPA. As part of the admissions process, prospective students submit three letters of evaluation, official transcripts from each previous college, and a written statement describing their career goals. UWGB enrolls new students in fall and spring. UWGB charges the same online tuition rate for in–state and out–of–state students.

Online Enrollment
41%
16

University of Mary 

Bismarck, ND

About this school

Founded in 1959 by a Benedictine monastery, the University of Mary provides Catholic education in a coeducational context. In addition to its main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota, UMary operates campuses in Rome and Peru. UMary offers several degrees online, including an MSN in nursing leadership and management.

UMary’s online master’s degree in nursing administration follows an accelerated format. The 36–credit curriculum includes coursework in influential nursing leadership, professional roles in advanced nursing, and human resource management. Nurses also complete practicums and 500 hours of practical leadership experience. During their final term, nursing students undergo a graduate studies assessment to ensure they have the requisite knowledge for graduation.

Applicants to UMary’s MSN program submit two letters of reference, a resume, a goals statement, and official transcripts from all degree granting institutions. Candidates should have a current unencumbered registered nursing license and a minimum 2.75 GPA. UMary also offers an online MSN in nursing leadership and management for RNs with an associate degree in nursing rather than a bachelor’s degree.

Online Enrollment
48%
17

The University of Texas at Tyler 

Tyler, TX

About this school

The University of Texas at Tyler, founded in 1971 as part of the public university system, offers more than 80 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Despite its status as a rapidly growing university, UT Tyler maintains an 18–to–1 student–to–faculty ratio. The institution provides several online programs, including the online MSN in nursing administration.

UT Tyler’s MSN program integrates essential leadership and management skills with current theory and research. Students take 36 credits in courses such as translational science, healthcare informatics, and leadership in healthcare. Distance learners also complete 112.5 hours of field work at an approved site in their local area. Students choose either a master’s thesis or a scholarly project.

Prospective students must hold a BSN from a nationally accredited school. Candidates should also have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credits of undergraduate work. Students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirement may receive conditional admission with qualifying GRE scores. Candidates must also provide three letters of recommendation, a resume, an admissions essay, and proof of a current RN license. UT Tyler admits new students in the fall and spring.

Online Enrollment
61%
18

The University of Texas Medical Branch 

Galveston, TX

About this school

Galveston’s University of Texas Medical Branch opened in 1891 as the country’s first public medical school and hospital. The institution trains healthcare professionals and provides healthcare for Texans. Today, UTMB operates as a major academic health science center, with degrees in all field of healthcare and medicine. Registered nurses can complete UTMB’s MSN executive nurse leader program in an online format.

The online MSN in nursing administration prepares nurses for careers as executive leaders who influence and advance healthcare. UTMB students complete 39 credits of coursework in public health principles, transformational leadership, healthcare economics, and financial management. As with other master’s in nursing administration online programs, UTMB students complete clinical requirements at a local site.

To enroll at UTMB, prospective students must hold a BSN from an accredited nursing program. Applicants submit official transcripts, proof of a minimum 3.0 GPA, and a letter of reference from a clinical manager. Candidates also write a personal statement explaining their professional goals and healthcare experience. All incoming students must hold an active unencumbered nursing license. Students should obtain a license or multi–state privilege to practice in the state where they plan to complete their clinical learning experience. UTMB prefers candidates with at least one year of nursing management or leadership experience. UTMB provides an online tuition discount for Texas residents.

Online Enrollment
26%
19

Lewis University 

Romeoville, IL

About this school

Founded in 1932 by the Archdiocese of Chicago, Lewis University once specialized in aviation technology. Today, the private Catholic university offers over 100 programs of study, including through its college of nursing. The institution’s online MSN in healthcare systems leadership assists nurses pursuing career advancement in administration.

Lewis’s MSN program trains students in patient care services and nursing administration. Students build skills in finance, economics, human resources, and organizational management. The 36–credit MSN includes 18 credits of core courses, including applied biostatistics, healthcare organizations, and population health. Students also complete 18 credits in the leadership track, with courses in the dynamics of healthcare organizations, financial management for nurse leaders, and the business of healthcare. The program culminates in a healthcare systems leadership capstone project. As with many other online nursing administration programs, Lewis students arrange their clinical experience through an approved site in their local community.

Prospective students must hold significant work experience, a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and a current RN license in the state where they reside. The program accepts students with a BSN or a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. Candidates must submit a personal statement on their educational plans and career goals.

Online Enrollment
25%
20

Wheeling Jesuit University 

Wheeling, WV

About this school

A private Catholic institution founded in 1954, Wheeling Jesuit University follows the 450–year Jesuit tradition of advanced education and service to others. In addition to the nearly 50 majors offered on campus, prospective WJU students can enroll in online education programs. The university’s master of science in nursing features several concentrations, including a nursing administration track.

WJU’s online master’s degree in nursing administration prepares graduates for careers in healthcare leadership. Nursing students complete a total of 14 courses, including six classes in foundational topics such as healthcare policy, health assessment, and health promotion. The nursing administration track includes classes in financial management, organizational behavior, and communications and interpersonal relations. Students also take an elective and a practicum. During the final portion of the program, nurses complete a clinical experience at an approved site in their home community.

In order to enroll in WJU’s nursing administration program, applicants must have a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Prospective students submit three letters of recommendation, an admission essay, and GRE or MAT scores. Candidates must also hold a current RN license. WJU may ask certain applicants to complete an interview. WJU allows transfer students to apply up to six graduate credits toward the MSN.

Online Enrollment
31%
21

Western Governors University 

Salt Lake City, UT

About this school

Created when a group of U.S. governors proposed an innovative approach to higher education, Western Governors University provides online programs in business, education, technology, and healthcare. WGU’s competency–based model emphasizes self–paced learning instead of set semester schedules. Students may progress through coursework and begin new classes as quickly as they like, making it possible to earn a degree in a short amount of time. WGU also allows students with advanced skills in their field to test out of certain courses.

As an RN–to–MSN program, WGU’s online MSN in nursing leadership and management accepts students that do not hold a BSN. Most students work while earning the degree. WGU’s program requires 36 courses, including bachelor’s–level nursing courses and classes in nursing leadership. Students demonstrate competency through assessments and hands–on projects.

Prospective students must submit all relevant transcripts, a resume, and proof of an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Candidates should also currently work as RNs and hold valid nursing licenses. Students may enroll in new classes on the first day of every month. Distance learners pay a flat fee for each six–month term. Students should complete a minimum of eight credits each term.

Online Enrollment
100%
22

California University of Pennsylvania 

California, PA

About this school

California University of Pennsylvania boasts a high student success rate; 99% of graduates are working or in graduate school. The school consistently ranks among the best schools in the Northeast. In addition to in–person degrees, U Cal offers several online options, including an online MSN in nursing administration and leadership. Nurses can complete the fully online program in just over a year of full–time study.

The accelerated MSN at U Cal requires 30 credits of coursework. Classes include nursing organization and leadership theory, information systems for nurses, and nursing administration and leadership roles. All students complete a practicum course, which requires 150 hours of work under a preceptor’s guidance. Nursing students work on a quality improvement project for their current place of employment. The program follows a cohort format.

Prospective students must hold a bachelor of science in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 undergraduate credits. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement may apply for conditional admission. Candidates must also hold a valid registered nursing license and submit a current resume showing at least one year of experience as a nurse. Applicants write an essay on career goals and objectives. In addition to the online master’s degree in nursing administration, Cal U offers an MSN–MBA dual degree program.

Online Enrollment
49%
23

Northwest Nazarene University 

Nampa, ID

About this school

A private Christian institution, Northwest Nazarene University was founded in Nampa, Idaho in 1913. NNU offers more than 60 areas of study, including 18 master’s degrees and several online degree options. Students pursuing an online MSN can choose from several tracks, including an emphasis in leadership and education.

NNU uses the cohort model to build an interactive, collaborative learning environment. Nursing students complete 36 credits of coursework, including classes in leadership perspectives, advanced health assessment, and organization leadership for improving health outcomes. Full–time students take up to nine credits per semester. All students undergo an internship to gain professional experience.

Unlike many master’s in nursing administration online programs, NNU accepts applicants with an associate degree and a valid registered nursing license. Nurses with an associate degree can earn the MSN in three years, while those with a BSN can complete the master’s in as little as two years. Applicants submit proof of a nursing degree from a regionally accredited college or university, a current RN license, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Candidates who do not meet the GPA requirement may receive provisional admission. All applicants submit a personal essay on their career and educational goals.

Online Enrollment
21%
24

Saint Xavier University 

Chicago, IL

About this school

Originally a women’s college founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University lost its original campus in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Today, SXU confers degrees from its Mt. Greenwood neighborhood campus and online learning platform. The school offers several master’s degrees in nursing, including an MSN in executive leadership for nurses who want to move into upper management.

Unlike many online nursing administration programs, the MSN at SXU prepares graduates for the Nurse Executive Board certification exam. Graduates also qualify for advanced board certification with additional work experience. Coursework focuses on implementing quality protocols, budgeting, managing projects, and strategic planning. The 35–credit curriculum includes 18 credits of core classes in nursing and 17 credits of specialized classes. Executive leadership courses include advanced healthcare finance, administrative leadership in nursing, and advanced health and social policy.

In order to enroll at SXU, candidates must hold a current registered nursing license with at least five years of full–time experience. Applicants should also have a bachelor of science in nursing and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Prospective students submit an application form, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, and a copy of a current RN license with proof of work status. Applicants should also submit a written recommendation and a current resume. Distance learners can complete their practicum anywhere in the U.S. Students in the program must work full time.

Online Enrollment
4%
25

Carlow University 

Pittsburgh, PA

About this school

Named after the county in Ireland where the Sisters of Mercy bought land in 1843, Carlow University is a private Catholic institution located in Pittsburgh. Carlow offers well–regarded undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. In 2017, 100% of Carlow’s BSN graduates passed the NCLEX exam on their first attempt. Carlow provides several fully online degree options, including an MSN in nursing education and leadership.

The Carlow MSN program prepares graduates for advanced roles in education, administration, and clinical practice. Nurses can earn the 33–credit degree in as little as 22 months. Courses last either eight weeks or 16 weeks. Unlike other online nursing administration programs, Carlow’s MSN covers both management and nursing education. Students complete courses in nursing leadership, evidence–based practice, leadership styles in healthcare, and fiscal management. The program culminates in a three–credit nursing leadership internship.

Applicants to Carlow’s graduate nursing program must hold a BSN with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited program. Prospective students submit official transcripts, a copy of their current registered nurse license, an admissions essay, and a current resume or CV. Candidates also send two letters of recommendation, one from a faculty member and the other from a clinical supervisor. Carlow may conduct personal interviews with candidates. Carlow does not require GRE or GMAT scores.

{% section class:"clear" %}
Online Enrollment
25%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Nursing Administration Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Become a Nurse Administrator?

Nurse administrators typically need a master's degree in an area like nursing administration or healthcare administration.

What Is the Role of a Nurse Administrator?

Nurse administrators oversee LPNs, RNs, and other healthcare professionals to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare facilities.

How Much Does a Nurse Administrator Make?

According to BLS data, medical and health services managers earned a median annual salary of $99,730 in 2018.

Can a Nurse Become a Healthcare Administrator?

Yes, nurses can work as healthcare administrators after earning a master's in nursing administration or a related field.

Choosing an Online Master's in Nursing Administration Program

When researching online master's in nursing administration programs, prospective students should consider factors like cost, length, and on-campus requirements. We cover several important considerations for prospective students below.

  • Program Cost: Typically, in-state students at public schools pay the lowest tuition rates, but some programs allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of where they live.
  • Transfer Policies: Many schools offer transfer credit for prior academic work, military training, or professional experience. Schools with generous transfer policies can help students save time and money on a degree.
  • School Size and Type: A school's size and type affects the learning experience. For example, small schools may offer more individualized attention from faculty than larger schools, but large schools often offer more program and course options.
  • Program Length: Most master's in nursing administration programs take two years of full-time study to complete, but some programs offer accelerated timelines.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some online programs have on-campus requirements, like an on-campus orientation or intensive. Online students should ensure they can meet these requirements before committing to a program.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Some programs have thesis or internship requirements. Students should choose a program with requirements aligned with their interests and career goals.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Nursing Administration Program?

Online master's in nursing administration programs examine the various administrative functions within nursing and healthcare while building knowledge and skills related to improving patient outcomes. The following sections cover common courses found in online master's in nursing administration programs, as well as licensure and certification options for graduates.

Online Master's in Nursing Administration Curriculum

Organizational Behavior

This course examines the operations of various healthcare organizations. Students learn how to maximize efficiency and effectiveness, identify problematic and helpful behaviors, and affect organizational change.

Leadership in Healthcare Settings

In this course, students learn how to identify their leadership styles and use tools to enhance their effectiveness in leading others. Students gain skills in negotiation, conflict management, and general management. Some of these courses include an internship.

Healthcare Informatics

This course examines how to use data to improve patient outcomes. Learners study topics like nursing informatics theories, ethical considerations, raw data synthesis and analysis, and healthcare systemization. Students may complete individual or group projects to sharpen their skills.

Delivery of Care

Students in this course review how delivery of care has evolved over time, emphasizing contemporary trends and issues. Students consider questions around payment and reimbursement tools, required healthcare facility accreditations, legal and ethical issues, and measurement of economic activities.

Nursing Administration Certifications and Licenses

Some nurse administrators need a license to practice. Licensure requirements vary by state, but administrators who work in a nursing home must hold a license regardless of their location. Some states provide reciprocity agreements that allow nurses to transfer their licenses from one state to another, though nurses may need to meet additional requirements to qualify for reciprocity.

While not required, some employers prefer to hire nurse administrators with board certification. Nurse administrators can pursue nurse executive or nurse executive - advanced credentials from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Candidates for these credentials must meet education, experience, and exam requirements.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Nursing Administration Degree?

Graduates with an online master's in nursing administration can pursue a variety of roles as well as further study. For instance, graduates interested in general healthcare facility administration can pursue a healthcare administration degree, while those who want to continue down a more clinical path can pursue additional nursing degrees, such as an online nurse practitioner master's degree.

Nursing Administration Careers

Graduates with an online master's in nursing administration degree can pursue a variety of jobs, several of which we highlight below. However, some positions may require additional credentials or experience.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who provide specialty and primary care services. Their tasks include recording patients' medical histories, conducting physical examinations, developing care plans, and performing diagnostic tests. They may also analyze test results, prescribe medications, and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. These professionals need a master's in nursing and an active, unencumbered license. They may also need specialty certification.

Median Annual Salary

$113,930

Projected Growth Rate

26%

Nurse Administrators

Nurse administrators, also known as medical and health services managers, work to improve healthcare facility processes. They may look for ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness, set departmental goals, ensure organizational adherence to laws and regulations, and manage budgets. These professionals typically need a master's degree in nursing administration, healthcare administration, or a related field.

Median Annual Salary

$99,730

Projected Growth Rate

18%

Accreditation for Online Master's in Nursing Administration Degree Programs

Attending an accredited school ensures nurse administrators can transfer credits between colleges, receive certification, and qualify for federal financial aid. Schools may receive national or regional accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Programs within a school may also receive accreditation. For example, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits nursing programs. Students can verify a school's accreditation status through the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

Nursing Administration Professional Organizations

Online master's in nursing administration students and graduates can benefit from joining professional organizations. Many organizations offer networking opportunities, continuing education programming, certifications, and career support. The following list outlines popular nursing administration organizations.

American Nurses Association

ANA represents more than 4 million registered nurses in the United States. The organization hosts the American Nurses Credentialing Center as well as the American Nurses Foundation, which is the only philanthropic group dedicated to the nursing profession.

American Organization for Nursing Leadership

AONL represents more than 10,000 nursing leaders acrossing the country. Members can access annual conferences, an online learning portal, multiple leadership institutes, and fellowship programs. They can also access a resource library, in-house publications, and a career center.

American Academy of Nursing

Serving around 2,700 members, this organization provides nurses with public policy support and advocacy efforts, open-forum academic communities, and expert panels. The group also provides industry news, a membership directory, and additional professional resources.

American College of Health Care Administrators

ACHCA supports members through national and local chapter meetings, certification opportunities, and a mentoring program. The group provides both professional and student memberships.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners

AANP serves more than 106,000 nurse practitioners across the country. Members have access to continuing education opportunities, student and professional resources, journals and publications, and clinical resources. Other benefits include professional development programs and an annual conference.

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