July 15, 2019
QUICK DEGREE FINDER
Sponsored Schools

Top 20 Online Master’s Degrees in Nursing Administration and Leadership 2019

Healthcare Management Degree Guide - Top Online Degree Programs
Click here for high resolution badge.

May 2019

Nursing roles and responsibilities are expanding as modern healthcare changes and the demand for nurses with leadership experience rises. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the demand for medical and health services managers is expected to grow by 20%, much faster than average. Earning an online master’s in nursing administration or management gives nurses the knowledge and experience in financial resource management, HR, policy, and strategic planning without needing to take a break from work and family obligations. Most online MSN nursing administration programs offer flexible online coursework, limited (if any!) residency requirements, and practicum experiences that prepare nurses to take the next step in their career.

Finding the 20 Best Online MSN Programs in Nursing Leadership

How did we determine the top MSN degrees for nurse administrators? First and foremost, we only considered colleges with CCNE-accredited nursing programs. CCNE, which stands for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, uses strict standards that assess the quality of programs’ curriculum, teaching-learning practices, achievement outcomes, and institutional resources.

We also used College Navigator to confirm an overall list of colleges that have active MSN Nurse Administration programs (by “active” we mean actually awarding degrees to students each year). We only considered programs with four or more graduates. From there, we personally examined each school’s program, using the following ranking system:

Ranking is as follows:
Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 5 Points
  • 16:1 to 20:1= 3 Points
  • Greater than 20:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 4 Points
  • $15,000 to $20,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $20,000 to $25,000 per year= 2 Points
  • Greater than $25,000 per year= 1 Point

Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018

  • More than 10= 1 Point
  • More than 50= 3 Points
  • More than 100= 5 Points

20. George Washington University – Washington, DC

Online Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Leadership and Management

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $30,780/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 11
Score:7
The online MSN Nursing Leadership and Management program at The George Washington University is available to both full and part-time students. Students work through:

  • case studies
  • strategic planning sessions
  • proposal development

The majority of the program is delivered online with some on-campus experiences required for testing and training. Faculty are nationally recognized leaders dedicated to their students and the field. The flexible format includes two practicum placements at different sites to gain valuable hands-on training.

19. Seton Hall University – South Orange, New Jersey

Online Master of Science in Nursing, Health Systems Administration with Case Management

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $22,662/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 11
Score:7
Seton Hall puts a unique spin on its MSN in Health Systems Administration by including a strong case management component. Students gain skills in both hospital administration and patient care. This 30 credit hour program includes coursework in:

  • case management
  • financial management of health care systems
  • legal and risk management issues in health care
  • managed care and reimbursement systems

The program also requires two separate clinical internships (one in managed care and reimbursement and the other in management). This gives you real-world experience that can help inform the career path you ultimately choose.

18. Mercy College – Dobbs Ferry, New York

Online MS in Nursing/Nursing Administration

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $15,696/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 16:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 24
Score:7
Both full- and part-time students can earn an accredited master’s degree in nursing leadership and management online through Mercy College. Students can complete the program in as few as 15 months or as long as six semesters (longer if needed). Students complete a 120 hour practicum experience with a mentor in an administrative area, usually near their own community. All courses can be completed online and include:

  • philosophical foundations of nursing
  • healthcare and HR management for nurse administrators
  • strategic planning
  • nursing and health care financing

Students must also complete a written comprehensive capstone project.

17. American International College – Springfield, Massachusetts

Online Master of Science (MSN): Nursing Administrator Concentration

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,320/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 4
Score:7
American International College features a nursing administrator concentration in a convenient online format. This degree program shares the majority of its courses with the general MSN degree. This means you’ll graduate with a strong foundation in the basics of advanced nursing practice. Coursework in the Nursing Administrator concentration covers topics like:

  • nursing leadership and management
  • concepts and elements of core measures
  • professional writing for nurses

Students complete two practicums, which culminate in reflective presentations about the experiences.

16. Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi, Texas

Online Leadership in Nursing, MSN

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $3,965/yr in-state and $12,817/year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 23:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 19
Score:7
Texas A&M features a part-time online MSN in Leadership in Nursing Systems with the flexibility to accommodate full-time working professionals. This two-and-a-half year program includes coursework in:

  • organizational design and behavior
  • health economics and policy
  • diverse care environments
  • nursing research

Most students can complete clinicals in their own community, although some travel may be required. This top online nursing leadership program accepts new students during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

15. Pennsylvania State University World Campus – University Park, Pennsylvania

Online MS Nursing – Nurse Administrator

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $21,268/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 11:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 22
Score:8
The online MSN at Pennsylvania State University World Campus features a nurse administrator option. The online top nurse administrator program prepares students for leadership roles in a variety of health care environments. The flexible program is available in a convenient online format that meets the needs of working professionals. The curriculum is comprised of:

  • core courses
  • specialty courses
  • electives
  • a 180 clock hour clinical practicum
  • a capstone project

Nurse administrator courses cover:

  • healthcare informatics
  • health care economics and policy
  • leadership concepts
  • HR and workforce issues.

14. Winona State University – Winona, Minnesota

Online Master’s Nursing and Organizational Leadership Program

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $7,260/yr in-state and $10,540.year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 19:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 4
Score: 8
The top online nursing administration master’s degree at Winona State is a robust program featuring a 420-hour practicum requirement. While this may seem daunting, this component of the program will leave you well prepared for advanced nursing roles. Courses cover areas like:

  • financial resource management
  • HR management
  • information and project management
  • organizational and systems leadership

Both two-year and three-year program options are available, allowing students to continue working while earning their degree.

13. Texas Woman’s University – Denton, Teas

Online MS in Nursing Health Systems Management

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $4,852/yr in-state and $12,322/year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 7
Score:8
As the only predominantly-female school on this list, Texas Woman’s University already stands out from the pack. It offers an online Nursing Health Systems Management program designed for full-time nurses. Students are matched with experienced nurse leaders to complete a practicum experience in three different areas including:

  • organizational assessment
  • fiscal assessment
  • outcomes assessment

An optional minor in business or health care administration is available to students who want further specialization.

12. Saint Xavier University – Chicago, Illinois

Online MSN in Executive Leadership

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $16,000/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 42
Score:9
Saint Xavier University is certainly no stranger to accolades. SXU offers the 3rd best online MSN program in the country according to U.S. News and World Report and was named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for four consecutive terms. Advanced coursework prepares graduates for the NE-BC and BEA-BC exam (with completion of administration of employment.) Specialty courses cover:

  • advanced health care finance
  • executive leader role
  • advanced health and social policy
  • administrative leadership in nursing.

11. The University of Texas at El Paso – El Paso, Texas

Online MS in Nursing Administration and Management

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $4,941/yr in-state and $13,649/year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 20:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 35
Score:9
The flexible online master’s in nursing administration and management offered by The University of Texas at El Paso offers didactic courses in a convenient seven week format. Students can complete their degree in two calendar years and can begin the program during the fall, spring, or summer semester. Before you zoom past the finish line, you’ll cap off your coursework with a 15-week mentored residency experience. The program is shockingly affordable, making it one of the least expensive options in the country.

10. University of Mary – Bismarck, North Dakota

Online MSN Nursing Leadership and Management

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $14,900/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 24
Score:10
The University of Mary offers a unique BSN to MSN in nursing leadership and management focused on leadership and service in nursing. The flexible program is designed for working professionals, providing them with a strong work-school balance. Most students can complete their degree in about 16 months. Courses cover a wide variety of areas including resilient nursing leadership, healthcare law and policy, management and organizational behavior, and healthcare across the population. A seminar and service project experience allows students to work in consultation with a nurse leader to identify a clinical nursing problem, develop recommendations, and create a way to measure effectiveness.

9. Queens University of Charlotte – Charlotte, North Carolina

Online MSN Nurse Administrator Specialization

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $12,608/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 10:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 47
Score:10
Queens University of Charlotte features an online top MSN nursing administrator program taught by professionals with a passion for advanced nurse training and education. Coursework covers skills like:

  • strategic planning
  • financial management and budgeting
  • quality nursing

Students can also apply and sit for the NE-BC exam offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Students can complete their degree in about two years combining eight-week and 16-week courses.

8. Stony Brook University – Stony Brook, New York

Online Master of Science in Nursing Leadership

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $11,090/yr in-state and $22,650/year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 18:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 51
Score:10
Stony Brook School of Nursing features a top online master’s in nursing leadership that prepares nurses for leadership positions across all levels of nursing. Students move through the program as an executive cohort, completing coursework online and coming on-site for immersion experiences. Nursing leadership courses cover areas such as:

  • communication and relationship management
  • business skills for nurse leaders
  • finance and economics in nursing leadership
  • ethical issues in nursing leadership.

7. Lenoir-Rhyne University – Hickory, North Carolina

Online Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $10,620/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 34
Score:10
Lenoir-Rhyne’s top online MSN programs in nursing leadership could be a great fit for any student, but especially for students of Christian faith. The MSN curriculum is rooted in Christian values and ethics that are incorporated in all aspects of this 33-hour degree program. Courses cover:

  • advanced nursing leadership
  • informatics
  • health policy and ethics,
  • research which highlights global responsibility and accountability to the community

LRU requires all students to complete either a three-credit advanced project or thesis paper before graduating. This requirement serves to reflect on the theoretical knowledge and practical skills (an advanced practicum is also required) you’ve gained before heading out into the workforce.

6. Sacred Heart University – Fairfield, Connecticut

Online MSN Nursing Management & Executive Leadership

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $26,524/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 153
Score:11
Sacred Heart University features one of the most flexible programs on our list. Students can begin the program at any of the six start dates offered throughout the year. Students can set their own pace to complete their degree and may take up to six years to finish. There are no residency requirements. Students complete practicum experiences in their own community. Specialized courses focus on:

  • quality and safety in practice
  • health care information systems
  • management of financial resources
  • health care delivery systems

The program also maintains flexible admission requirements to ensure students from all backgrounds have access to this top program. You don’t need to submit GRE scores or have a bachelor’s degree in nursing to apply!

5. University of St. Francis – Joliet, Illinois

Online Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $13,464/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 13:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 14
Score:11
The Leach College of Nursing at the University of St. Francis features an MSN focused on nursing administration. RNs will learn to manage nursing personnel and services across a variety of health care organizations. Courses cover critical areas such as:

  • healthcare administration
  • resource and financial management
  • health care law
  • managed care operations

Full and part-time program options are available and most students can complete the program in less than three years. While coursework is available online, clinical placement sites are limited, so check to make sure the program is available in your state.

4. The University of Texas at Arlington – Arlington, Texas

Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Administration Online

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $7,898/yr in-state and $18,996/year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 24:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 239
Score:11
UTA features a top MSN in Nursing Administration with course content delivered through a state-of-the-art online learning platform. Since the program is not tied to a traditional semester schedule, students can begin and progress through the program in an accelerated manner, finishing their degree in just 18 to 20 months. The program consists of 12 courses. They vary in length from five to 10 weeks, and are taken in a prescribed sequence. Courses cover areas like:

  • financial management
  • nursing leadership
  • evidence-based practice
  • nursing and healthcare policy.

3. Western Governors University – Salt Lake City, Utah

Online Master of Science Nursing Leadership and Management

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $7,500/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 41:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 2,845
Score:11
For a quality education at a terrific cost, you’ll find it hard to beat the top online MSN in Leadership and Management at Western Governors University. The flexible online courses are ideal for working adults. Competency-based learning means students can build a study plan that fits around their life and knowledge. The curriculum includes 14 courses with clearly defined competencies and objectives. Nursing leadership courses cover:

  • organizational performance management
  • healthcare business and financial management
  • strategic leadership
  • nursing leadership and management.

2. The University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston, Texas

Online MSN Executive Nurse Leader

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $6,473/yr in-state and $15,264/year out-of-state
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 15
Score:11
The University of Texas Medical Branch features a small Executive Nurse Leader MSN online focused on real world application. Students can complete most of their coursework online and only need to come to campus for orientation and for 2-3 days each semester. Faculty are committed to student success and keep class size small to focus on their students. Courses cover areas such as:

  • health care economics
  • public policy
  • informatics and quality improvement
  • financial management

This top online MSN in ENL requires three separate practicums, ensuring that you’ll graduate with plenty of relevant, real-world experience.

1. Indiana Wesleyan University – Marion, Indiana

Online MS Nursing – Nursing Administration

Website
Average Graduate Tuition: $10,842/yr
Faculty to Student Ratio: 14:1
Number of Students Completing their Degree 2017-2018: 64
Score:12
Thanks to a few specific perks, Indiana Wesleyan’s MSN nursing administration program emerges as our top choice on this top online master’s degrees in nursing administration and leadership ranking. Students can complete their coursework in an accelerated format, working as a cohort to provide mutual support. All courses are offered online. Students can complete 245 clock hours of supervised practicum experience in the their own community. Faculty are experienced professionals focused on the development of nurse administrators, teaching courses like:

  • ethics and health policy
  • innovative strategies for nurse leaders
  • organization and finance of healthcare

Courses are usually taken one at a time, in a sequential order, building upon one another.

Sources:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
College Navigator