Wilkes University

Master of Science: Nurse Executive

The online M.S. nurse executive program allows nurses to continue their careers while developing the skills neccessary for upper-level leadership and management roles.

The one constant in the health care field is change. This means that the greatest need in the health care sector is for knowledgeable, skilled leaders.

Nurses who are able to bring innovative, best-practice management skills to a variety of health care organizations are in high demand, with this demand expected to continue well into the future.

If you're ready to expand your career horizon and want to be on the front line of industry changes, Wilkes University's online 39-credit Nurse Executive concentration may be the right master's degree for you.

Our Nurse Executive online program prepares you for leadership and management roles through an intensive grounding in relevant business concepts, advanced practice and workplace leadership – as you keep your current job.

Core coursework provides Wilkes nursing students with a solid foundation of academic and clinical study. Through advanced professional studies, Nurse Executive courses offer the in-depth knowledge and skills you need to succeed. A final scholarly review course allows students to synthesize and review issues relevant to the Nurse Executive concentration, and prepares graduates to take the ANCC National Certification Exam of Nurse Executive or Nurse Executive Advanced.

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Student Learning Outcomes

In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing online degree program, successful Nurse Executive candidates will also be able to:

  • Examine innovations in nursing leadership and management to meet the challenges in delivering quality health care
  • Critically analyze the challenges and issues facing nurse executives for maintaining health care work forces
  • Discuss the role of the nurse executive as a leader in advancing nursing practice
  • Apply evidence-based practice as an organizational leader in redesigning health care delivery systems

Nurse Executive Courses

Wilkes University's Nurse Executive concentration is a 39 credit-hour online program and will result in a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

The Nurse Executive curriculum is comprised of the following courses. Please note that NSG 590 will be the last class taken in the Nurse Executive sequence.

Graduate Nursing Core Courses

24 credits
  • NSG 500 (3) | Advanced Health Assessment
    • This course presents an overview of the full and comprehensive health assessment of patients across the life span. Emphasis on multiple aspects of assessment including physical, functional, and mental health assessment along with transcultural variations, will prepare the student for advanced practice nursing. (Nurse Practitioner students are required to complete an onsite residency).
  • NSG 501 (3) | Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science
    • This course emphasizes the systematic process of theory development in nursing. The role of traditional science in relation to other ways of knowing is explored. Students will describe, analyze, and evaluate current theories of nursing. The relationship of research and practice to theory is discussed.
  • NSG 502 (3) | Advanced Nursing Research
    • This course builds on knowledge and skills developed in undergraduate research and statistics courses. Skills in the analysis and evaluation of nursing research are further developed. Students analyze the contributions of the empirical approach to the development of nursing science. Selected research designs and methodologies which are used to advance nursing knowledge are examined. Students are given the opportunity to critique and synthesize current research for its application to an identified problem in nursing practice.
  • NSG 504 (3) | Advanced Role Development in Nursing
    • This course examines the development of roles for advancing nursing practice. The historical development of these roles along with current scope of practice in a variety of clinical settings will be explored. Focus will be placed on the legal, historical, political, social, and ethical aspects of advanced practice nursing.
  • NSG 505 (3) | Health Policy and Politics for Advancing Nursing Practice
    • Complex and continuous changes in healthcare environments require that nursing professionals contribute to care delivery systems for improving population health outcomes. This course focuses on the role of the nurse advancing nursing practice through developing health policy, politics, and advocacy systems. Approaches to health issues for shaping policy on a local, state, and federal level are analyzed in accordance with policy making processes, politics in healthcare and government, healthcare economics, and ethical frameworks.
  • NSG 530 (3) | Advanced Pathophysiology
    • This course provides an overview of the normal physiologic and pathologic mechanisms of disease and serves as one primary component of the foundation for clinical assessment, decision-making, and management. The course will prepare the advanced practice nurse for interpreting changes in normal function that results in symptoms indicative of illness in patients across the lifespan.
  • NSG 533 (3) | Advanced Pharmacology
    • This course provides the basic principles of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacotherapeutics for broad categories of drugs. Purpose of action, common interactions and contraindications of major drug categories are highlighted. Case studies are integrated to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate application of pharmacological theory in advancing nursing practice.
  • NSG 590 (3) | Scholarly Review
    • In this course the student will synthesize and review issues relevant to their specialty clinical practice. This course is designed as a review of the required masters level core nursing courses and specialty focused curriculum for advanced nursing practice. This course will provide an overview of both the required core nursing courses as well as each specific specialty course. 
    • Prerequisite: Completion of Graduate Nursing Core and Concentration courses.
    • Note: NSG 590 is a core nursing course, and is the last class taken in the program sequence.

Nurse Executive Concentration Courses

15 credits
    • NSG 560 (3) |Principles of Nursing Leadership
    • The student will examine foundational concepts which underlie healthcare systems and nursing leadership behavior. The concepts of health policy, the confluence of nursing practice, health policy and conceptual healthcare policy models will be examined at the national and international level.
    • NSG 561 (3) | The Work of Nursing Leaders in Healthcare
    • The student will explore the work of a nurse leader in American healthcare. American healthcare is amid tumultuous change with nurse leaders compelled to adapt and develop new skills sets. Nurses now play active roles in change management processes, conflict resolution, quality assurance projects, interprofessional collaboration, human resource management, financial management and strategic planning. These functions will be explored in this course.
    • NSG 562 (3) | Advanced Topics in Nursing Leadership
    • Proficiency in nursing leadership and management develops from accumulated work experience combined with formalized education. This course will introduce theoretical constructs not found in prelicensure education to facilitate the complex work of nurse leaders. Systems thinking, complexity theory, nursing scholarship and the use of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) techniques, the role of healthcare in the community and the transition to outpatient services and community-based care will be covered.
    • NSG 563 (3) | Nurse Executive Practicum I * (100 Hours)
    • By applying theories from other sciences and utilizing interdisciplinary experiences and collaborative opportunities, students will further enhance the skills necessary to excel as a health care executive in an evidence-based, culturally sensitive environment.  The seminar component of this course is designed to supplement previous theoretical applications and stimulate critical-thinking and decision-making to further develop the student’s leadership abilities (100 practicum hours). Prerequisite: NSG 560, 561, or 562
    • NSG 564 (3) | Nurse Executive Practicum II * (100 Hours)
    • By applying theories from other sciences and utilizing interdisciplinary experiences and collaborative opportunities, the student will further enhance the skills necessary to excel as a health care executive in an evidence-based, culturally sensitive environment.  The completion of an organizational needs assessment within this course is designed to supplement previous theoretical applications and stimulate critical-thinking and decision-making to further develop the student’s administrative abilities (100 practicum hours). Prerequisite: NSG 560, 561, or 562

* Students are responsible for arranging their own practicum experiences in collaboration with a designated graduate nursing clinical coordinator. 

Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with a Nurse Executive concentration, part of the Master of Science in Nursing degree program available online through Wilkes University:

  • Ambulatory Care Manager
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Health Care Administrator
  • Long-Term Care Executive
  • Nurse Executive
  • Professor of Nursing
  • Quality Improvement Manager
  • Nurse Manager

For More Information

Michael DeBlasio
Graduate Admissions Counselor
Wilkes University
(570) 408-4232

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The baccalaureate degree in nursing/master's degree in nursing/Doctor of Nursing Practice/, and post graduate APRN certificate programs at Wilkes University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org).