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 36 semester units of graduate nursing coursework. The program can be completed in 2 years of part time study.

Students 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 year 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

Students complete the program in 2 years following a set study plan. Academic advisement is readily available to help students stay on track.


  Semester Courses Units
Year 1 Fall NURS 502 - Theoretical and Research Perspectives for Advanced Nursing Practice (3)
NURS 513 - Nursing Service Economics (3)
Spring NURS 505 - Seminar in Nursing Research (3)
NURS 511 - Theoretical Basis of Leadership and Organizations in Nursing (3)
Summer NURS 518 - Healthcare Quality and Safety (3)
NURS 519 - Informatics in Healthcare (3)
Year 2 Fall NURS 514 - Nursing Service Leadership Practicum I (3)
NURS 520 - Advanced Concepts in Leadership and Healthcare Systems (3)
Spring NURS 515 - Nursing Service Administration Practicum IIA (3)
NURS 597 - Project (3)
Summer NURS 507 - Advanced Decision Making: Nursing Issues Seminar (3)
NURS 508 - Advanced Nursing: Vulnerable Populations (3)

All courses and course sequences are subject to change at any time.

Course descriptions can be found in the CSUF CatalogOpens in new window