MSN Nursing Leadership Curriculum

Using a nursing perspective, this concentration prepares tomorrow's nursing leaders by focusing on a synthesis of research and knowledge in nursing science, teaching and learning, the social sciences, and business administration. Other areas of focus may include outcomes-based practice, quality improvement initiatives, and strategic management of organizations, health care economics, human resource management teaching/learning strategies and program evaluation. Students will obtain experience through supervised practice in utilizing theory and research in mid-level nurse management positions or other appropriate educational settings where leadership is focused on systems level practice. Foundation or core courses in the MSN Leadership program address theoretical concepts, ethical and legal aspects of decision making, use of evidence-based practice, the formulation and implementation of health care policy, complex interdisciplinary psychosocial issues and insight into vulnerable population issues. All students complete a project or thesis at the end of their studies.

Cal State Fullerton utilizes top experts in the field in classes designed to facilitate the enhancement of leadership skills in students. Clinical fieldwork in the Nursing Leadership concentration consists of supervised learning experiences working with preceptors in a variety of settings, either in nursing service organizations or academic areas. In order to experience the leadership role, students will be placed at a facility/department where they have no direct reporting responsibility.

The MSN Nursing Leadership curriculum includes 40 semester units of graduate nursing coursework. The program can be completed in 2 years of full time study or 3 years of part time study. In order to give students the most flexibility and to meet varying educational needs, the program can be completed in two different formats as well: Campus Based or Online.

Program Formats

Campus Based Format:
Students in the campus based program will complete the majority of their coursework in a face to face classroom setting and may have limited options to complete some coursework online. Students will be in class 1-2 days per week. Although efforts are made to keep classes to just one day per week, space availability and faculty availability at times require students to be on campus for partial days two times per week.

Online Format:
Students in the online program will complete all coursework online, with the exception of the clinical practicum hours which will be completed face to face in a preceptored setting in the last two semesters of the program. Currently, we are only able to offer preceptor placements in our immediate region which includes the following counties: Orange, Riverside and Los Angeles. Students residing outside of this region would need to be willing to commute to one of our partner clinical facilities to complete the preceptored experiences in the last two semesters of the program.

Online coursework through the School of Nursing is structured similarly to face to face classes in that you will have assignments to complete based on a set schedule with definite due dates. Students do not work through courses at their own pace but rather stay on track together to foster collaborative discussion with classmates and instructors throughout the whole semester.

Course Sequences

In either format, students can complete the program in 2 or 3 years following a set study plan. Each student declares at the time of enrollment in the program which course sequence he or she intends follow based on what works best for the student. Academic advisement is readily available to help students stay on track.

STUDY PLAN

Full Time Option

  Semester Courses Units
Year 1 Fall NURS 501 – Theoretical Perspectives for Nursing Practice (3)
NURS 505A – Nursing Research and Evaluation for Practice (3)
NURS 513 - Nursing Service Economics (3)
9
Spring NURS 505B – Seminar in Nursing Research (3)
NURS 507 – Advanced Decision Making: Nursing Issues Seminar (3)
NURS 511 – Theoretical Basis of Leadership and Organizations in Nursing (3)
9
Summer NURS 518 - Healthcare Quality and Safety (3)
NURS 519 – Informatics in Healthcare (3)
6
Year 2 Fall NURS 514 – Nursing Service Leadership Practicum I (3)
NURS 520 - Advanced Concepts in Leadership and Healthcare Systems (3)
NURS 597A – Project (2) or NURS 598A – Thesis (2)
8
Spring NURS 508 – Advanced Nursing: Vulnerable Populations (3)
NURS 515A – Nursing Service Administration Practicum IIA (3)
NURS 597B – Project (2) or NURS 598B – Thesis (2)
8
TOTAL UNITS 40

All Courses and Course Sequences are subject to change at any time.

Part Time Option

  Semester Courses Units
Year 1 Fall NURS 501 – Theoretical Perspectives for Nursing Practice (3)
NURS 505A – Nursing Research and Evaluation for Practice (3)
6
Spring NURS 505B – Seminar in Nursing Research (3)
NURS 511 – Theoretical Basis of Leadership and Organizations in Nursing (3)
6
Summer NURS 518 – Healthcare Quality and Safety (3)
NURS 519 – Informatics in Healthcare (3)
6
Year 2 Fall NURS 513 – Nursing Service Economics (3)
NURS 520 – Advanced Concepts in Leadership and Healthcare Systems (3)
6
Spring NURS 507 – Advanced Decision Making: Nursing Issues Seminar (3)
NURS 508 – Advanced Nursing: Vulnerable Populations (3)
6
Year  3 Fall NURS 514 – Nursing Service Leadership Practicum I (3)
NURS 597A – Project (2) or NURS 598A – Thesis (2)
5
Spring NURS 515A – Nursing Service Administration Practicum IIA (3)
NURS 597B – Project (2) or NURS 598B – Thesis (2)
5
TOTAL UNITS 40

All Courses and Course Sequences are subject to change at any time.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

MSN Core Classes

NURS 501 Theoretical Perspectives for Nursing Practice (3)
Prerequisite: graduate status or consent of instructor. Study and critique of the organization and development of nursing knowledge.

NURS 505A Nursing Research and Evaluation for Practice (3)
Prerequisite: graduate standing. Overview of research methodology, research problems, interpretation and utilization of research results, with emphasis on critique of qualitative and quantitative nursing research. 

NURS 505B Seminar in Nursing Research (3)
Prerequisites: NURS 501 and NURS 505A; or admission to DNP program. Concepts and issues related to evidence based-practice. Develop and refine the directed project/research proposal. Proposal includes problem/purpose statements, literature review, measurement tools, work plan, timeline, method and evaluation (analysis/synthesis) plan.

NURS 507 Advanced Decision Making: Nursing Issues Seminar (3)
Prerequisite: graduate standing. Applies critical thinking and decision making theory to professional issues within the context of ethical/legal and public policy considerations and with multidisciplinary health teams. One or more sections may be offered online.

NURS 508 Advanced Nursing: Vulnerable Populations (3)
Prerequisites: NURS 501 and NURS 505A. Applies epidemiological model to analyze the health risk factors that place populations at risk for health conditions and plan nursing interventions to promote health and prevent disease. One or more sections offered online.

Nursing Leadership Concentration Courses

NURS 511 Theoretical Basis of Leadership and Organizations in Nursing (3)
Prerequisite: NURS 501, 505A. Theoretical bases for organizational context, structure and function. Models for leadership within a health care industry that deals with diverse client populations. One or more sections offered online.

NURS 513 Nursing Service Economics (3)
Prerequisite: admission to the Nursing Leadership concentration. Application of critical thinking and decision making theory to economic control techniques within the organizational context of complex health care systems. Reviews budgeting terminology and concepts in detail, as well as current trends and regulatory requirements for operations.

NURS 514 Nursing Service Leadership Practicum I (3)
Prerequisite: NURS 513; Pre- or Co-requisite: NURS 511. Supervised learning experiences in leadership in nursing. Application of organizational and nursing theories and identification of researchable problems in nursing leadership. One or more sections offered online. (1 hour seminar and 8 hours practicum per week.)

NURS 515A Nursing Service Leadership Practicum II A (3)
Prerequisite: NURS 514. Synthesis of theory and practice to develop and utilize techniques for strategic management in nursing service administration. Issues relevant to advanced clinical practice in nursing. (1 hour seminar and 8 hours practicum per week)

NURS 518 Healthcare Quality and Safety (3)
Prerequisite: NURS 501, 505A. Provides the student with comprehensive understanding of the field of patient safety and its relationship to overall improvement in the quality of health care emphasizing the leaders’ role in creating and sustaining a culture of safety.

NURS 519 Informatics in Health Care
Prerequisite: Admission to MS or DNP programs in Nursing. Use of information systems/technology resources to implement quality improvement initiatives and support practice and administrative decision-making. Topics include standards and principles for selecting and evaluating information systems and patient care technology, and related ethical, regulatory and legal issues

NURS 520 Advanced Concepts in Leadership of Health Systems (3)
Prerequisites: Admission to the MSN Nursing Leadership concentration, NURS 501, 505A, 507, 511 and 513. Focuses on advanced concepts in health care leadership, including health work environments, ethics, human resources, innovation management, interdisciplinary collaboration and organizational governance.

MSN Culminating Experience Courses 

NURS 597A, B Project (2, 2)
Prerequisites: NURS 505A,B and consent of instructor; Prerequisite for NURS 597B is 597A. Identification of specific issues/problems in degree concentration and development and completion of project.

NURS 598A, B Thesis (2, 2)
Prerequisites: NURS 505A,B and consent of instructor. Prerequisite for NURS 598B is 598A. Individual research with conferences with instructor, culminating in a thesis.