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The Master of Science, Nursing-Leadership and Management is a
competency-based program that prepares graduates to be leaders and
managers in diverse settings: hospitals, long term care facilities,
community service agencies, governmental agencies and facilities, and
corporations. They use their organizational, analytic, strategic planning,
financial, human resources, and evaluation skills to services in diverse
nursing and healthcare settings. The WGU Master of Science in
Nursing, Leadership and Management program content is evidence
based on national standards and research related to creating work
environments that are collaborative, interdisciplinary, and promote
effective functioning in complex nursing and healthcare environments.
The Master of Science in Nursing- Leadership/Management content
and processes are consistent with the American Nurses Association
(ANA) Standards for Nurse Administrators and the AONE
competencies for nursing managers and executives. The degree
program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified nurse
administrators (nurse managers and nurse executives). This program
consists of developing core knowledge related to complexities of
healthcare, access, quality, and costs for diverse populations. New
nursing knowledge includes research, theory, technology applied to
nursing practice, evidence based practice, ethics, and new roles for
master's prepared nurses. The nurse leadership/management focuses
on organizational and leadership theories, strategic planning,
regulatory standards, risk management, principles of financial
management, and concepts of human resource management. A case
study approach is used to examine organizational, financial, and
personnel issues and their resolution. The process for assessment,
measurement, evaluation, and use of outcome data for improvement is
Professional Presence and Influence
Who we are and how we behave affects others. Our professional presence in therapeutic settings can support or inhibit
well-being not only in patients, but also in the rest of the health care team, in the family and support system of the
patients, and in the health care organization as a whole.
This course will help registered nurses manage this impact by recognizing situations and practices that support a positive
environment and cultivating actions and responses to achieve and maintain this environment. The growth of self-knowledge
will expand nurses’ ability to direct influence in ways that are intended rather than in random or destructive
Translational Research for Practice and Populations
This graduate-level course builds on your baccalaureate-level statistical knowledge to help you develop skills in analyzing,
interpreting, and translating research into nursing practice using principles of patient-centered care and applications to
individuals and populations.
Organizational Leadership and Interprofessional Team Development
This graduate-level course builds on baccalaureate-level leadership knowledge to develop application skills in complex
healthcare environments with diverse teams. Graduates will develop knowledge and competencies in the following areas:
Knowledge, skills, and abilities related to creating cultures of safety and leading quality improvement are key parts of this
course and of contemporary leadership. Most importantly, students will develop and establish deep understanding of
leadership roles within organizations, a central theme in the course.
Upon successful completion of this course, Students will demonstrate: critical decision making, critical analysis, and visionary thinking to lead and affect positive healthcare environments;
the ability to build consensus and communicate a compelling vision that facilitates teamwork.
Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
In Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice, students will gain application skills by examining
syndromes rather than looking at body systems independently. The course includes pathophysiologies, the associated
pharmacological treatments, and social and environmental impacts. Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice is an integrated examination of five common and
important disease processes:
These processes are relevant to advanced nursing practice because of their prevalence and impact on the healthcare
system and the health of the nation.
This course provides the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the therapeutic use of pharmacologic
agents, herbals, and supplements. Students will explore the pharmacologic treatment of major health problems and
examine the principles of pharmacogenomics. The effects of culture, ethnicity, age, pregnancy, gender, healthcare setting,
and funding of pharmacologic therapy will be emphasized. Legal aspects of prescribing will be fully addressed. Case
studies will be utilized to present some of these concepts.
Comprehensive Health Assessment for Patients and Populations
In this course, students will learn about the principles of health assessment from the individual to the global level. Students
will learn to perform a comprehensive functional health assessment that includes social structures, family history, and
environmental situations, from the individual patient to the population.
This course builds on prior knowledge gained in previous courses and in nursing practice, in areas such as pathophysiology, pharmacology, and epidemiology, and focus on applying this knowledge in various populations with
common disorders. This course is roughly divided into three parts:
Essentials of Advanced Nursing Practice Field Experience
Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends
Social, political, and economic factors influence policies that impact health outcomes in acute care settings in communities,
nationally and globally. Nurse leaders need to understand the determinants of health as well as how legal and regulatory
processes, healthcare finances, research, the role of professional organizations, and special interest groups/lobbyists
impact health outcomes.This course provides a framework for understanding the organization of healthcare delivery and
financing systems in the U.S. and other nations. It addresses how policies are made and factors that influence policies at
local, national, and global levels that impact health/wellness and the nursing profession. The roles of values, ethical
theories, stakeholder interests, research, and recent legislation related to health policy and health outcomes will be
explored. The nurse leader will gain expertise in effecting change through active participation in influencing or developing
policies that impact health.
Principles of Organizational Performance Management
This is the first specialization course in the nursing leadership and management track. Building on core coursework in the
master’s program, future nurse leaders examine the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of managers in maximizing
productivity and performance in healthcare organizations. They will explore leadership issues, including how to build and
motivate a team, organize staff development (including legal and ethical issues), and budget resources and time. This
course encourages future nurse leaders to examine administration from a systems perspective, relying on evidence to
inform their practice.
Principles of Healthcare Business and Financial Management
Business and financial healthcare practices have a significant impact on organizational outcomes. In this course, future
nurse leaders examine scarce resources, financial principles, and tools for financial and business management. They will
also use financial budgeting and management practices and analyze the impact of regulations on the current healthcare
Strategic Leadership and Future Delivery Models
This graduate-level course emphasizes strategic leadership in healthcare, focusing on the trends and directions in the
industry and the future of healthcare delivery. Future nurse leaders will have the opportunity to explore how the strategic
planning processes incorporates healthcare trends and the evolution of healthcare systems, methods and concepts in
strategic leadership, and the ever-changing technology in healthcare.
Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience
Today’s rapidly changing healthcare delivery environment requires nurse executives to effectively lead change to achieve
organization goals and improvements. Registered nurses needs to hold an active nursing license and have considerable
clinical experience and education to become a nurse leader or manager. The Nursing Leadership and Management Field
Experience provides the graduate student with an opportunity to work collaboratively within the organization where he/she
is employed to address an identified nursing problem, need, or gap in current practices. Students then works to promote a
practice change, quality improvement, or innovation that is based on the existing evidence and best practices.
Nursing Leadership and Management Capstone
The Nursing Leadership and Management capstone course provides the student with an opportunity to engage in a
project that is actionable, relevant, highly collaborative, and based on real world experience. The capstone involves
development of a scholarly project that addresses a problem, need, or gap in current practices. The capstone project
provides an opportunity for the graduate nursing student to demonstrate competency through design, application, and
evaluation of a planned practice change, quality improvement, or innovation that is based on the existing evidence and
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