Nurse Executive Leadership

Program Description

The post-master’s certificate in Nurse Executive Leadership (NEL) is specifically designed for current nursing professionals holding a Master’s degree or higher in nursing who may be in advanced practice, education, leadership, and/or direct patient care roles.

This program was developed in congruence with the Nurse Leader Competencies of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL). The competencies provide a framework for the nurse in executive practice to improve the patient experience of care, improve the health of populations and reduce the per capita cost of health care. The certificate program includes educational concepts such as finance & budgeting, quality measures, improving the client experience, interprofessional collaboration, advanced information technology, and systems-based thinking. It provides the nurse skills to pursue administrative or managerial positions and leadership roles in a range of health care settings. The student will gain valuable hands-on experience in a clinical practicum with experienced nurse leader preceptors.

This is a 22-credit hour program, consisting of six didactic and two 3- credit clinical courses. All didactic courses are offered via a mix of synchronous and asynchronous, web-based modalities. Two semesters of clinical practicum are required for a total of 300 clinical hours. These hours will be completed with a nurse leader mentor in a healthcare setting. Preceptors will be selected based on direct experience with human resource management, budget & finance responsibilities, quality & safety responsibilities and interprofessional collaboration.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the NEL certificate program will be able to:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive and systematic assessment of organizational systems and/or communities and/or population groups to identify aggregate health or systems needs, incorporating diverse and culturally sensitive approaches.
  2. Collaborate with diverse stakeholders for inter- or intra-organizational achievement of health-related organizational or public policy goals.
  3. Utilize complexity science and systems theory in the design, delivery, and evaluation of health care.
  4. Develop the leadership skills required to guide, mentor, and support other nurses to achieve excellence in nursing practice.
  5. Evaluate outcome data using current communication technologies, information systems, and statistical principles to develop strategies to reduce risks and improve health outcomes in systems, communities, and/or identified population groups.
  6. Advocate for the value and role of the professional nurse as member and leader of interprofessional healthcare and organizational teams.

Progression Plan

View the Nurse Executive Leadership Progression Plan

Course Descriptions

NSG 600: Financial Management in Healthcare Organizations: 3 credits (Didactic, Spring only). This course introduces concepts of economics and financial management for health care professionals. Course content includes principles of economics, fundamentals of managed care and health reform, budgets and budget preparation, financial analysis, preparation of business plans and health program grant proposals, and issues relevant to international settings and future trends.

NSG 611: Systems-Based Decision Making: 2 credits (Didactic, Spring only). Prerequisite - NSG 616. Decision-making grounded in an understanding of the organization as an open, living system.

NSG 616: Role Seminar in Leadership: 2 credits (Didactic, Fall only). Exploration, analysis, and evaluation of the role of the master’s prepared nurse in leadership positions as guided by concepts, theories, and research.

NSG 617: Leadership Practicum I: 3 credits (Clinical, Fall only). Supervised practicum designed to apply healthcare leadership principles to practice. Students participate in nursing leadership and administrative activities in a selected healthcare setting.

NSG 618: Leadership Practicum II: 3 credits (Clinical, Spring only). Prerequisite – NSG 617. Supervised practicum designed to build on initial application of healthcare leadership principles. Students participate in leadership and administrative activities in a selected health care setting.

NSG 704: Health Care Leadership: 3 credits. (Didactic, Fall only). Prerequisite – None. Critical analysis of leadership in an organizational setting, with development of skills needed to enact the leadership role.

NSG 724: Health Statistics 1: 3 credits. (Didactic, Fall only). This course provides development of statistical knowledge and skills needed for quantitative health research. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, chi square and regression techniques.

NSG 754: Transforming Health Care through Information Technology: 3 credits. (Didactic, Spring only) Prerequisite – None. Utilization of information systems and technology to improve quality, safety, and system outcomes for the improvement and transformation of health care.