MS Nursing, Leadership Areas of Study
The WGU Master of Science in NursingLeadership and Management program content is based on research on effective leadership as well as national standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable graduates to design, implement, and manage nursing programs as well as effectively teach nursing courses.
Translational Research for Practice and Populations
This course will help students interpret peer-reviewed literature along with any associated data and apply it to support effective decision making and management in contemporary health care environments. Students will be provided with peer-reviewed literature or results of statistical analyses conducted in specific scenarios for interpretation and evaluation of relevance. Students need to be able to determine which statistical analysis is most appropriate in the evidence-based practice scenario.
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 the masters prepared registered nurse 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’ abilities to direct influence in ways that are intentional and can lead to productive interactions and outcomes.
Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
This course is an integrated examination of common and important pathophysiologies relevant to practice because of their prevalence and impact on the healthcare system and health of the nation. Rather than looking at body systems independently, the course is organized around contemporary disease processes that have either high volume or high impact in care management and guides students to look at multiple systems, disease processes, social and environmental impacts, and associated pharmacological treatments.
Comprehensive Health Assessment for Patients and Populations
This course prepares MSN students to perform comprehensive functional health assessments that include social structures, family history, and environmental situations, from the individual patient to the population level. This course utilizes prior knowledge in pathophysiology, pharmacology and epidemiology and applies it in various populations with common disorders. Advanced communication and problem solving skills are developed within this course.
Advanced Nursing Practice and Field Experience
In this course students will integrate and apply their learning in a clinical environment. They will demonstrate knowledge of skills needed to lead change to improve quality care outcomes; advance a culture of excellence through lifelong learning; build and lead collaborative interprofessional care teams; navigate and integrate care services across the healthcare system; design innovative nursing practices; and translate evidence into practice. Students will also apply advanced comprehensive health assessment skills during the field experience.
Advanced Information Management and the Application of Technology
In this course, students identify the unique responsibilities of nurses related to the application of technology and the management of patient information, as well as understand the evolving role of nurse informaticists. They identify nurse-sensitive outcomes that lead to quality improvement measures and support the unique contributions of nurses to patient care. Students apply technologies to workflow and patient care as well as analyze the implications of new technology on security, practice, decision support, and research.
Organizational Leadership and Interprofessional Team Development
This graduate level course builds on baccalaureate level leadership knowledge, to develop deeper knowledge of working within complex healthcare environments with diverse teams. Graduates will demonstrate knowledge and competencies in the following areas: leadership theory, systems and complexity theory, advanced communication, and building consensus. Knowledge, skills and abilities related to creating cultures of safety and leading quality improvement are critical in contemporary leadership and in this course. Most importantly, the graduates’ role in leadership within their organization is a central theme in the course.
Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends
Social, political, economic factors and other 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 US 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.
This course provides the opportunity to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the therapeutic use of pharmacologic agents, herbals, and supplements. The pharmacologic treatment of major health problems will be explored. Principles of pharmacogenomics will be examined. The effects of culture, ethnicity, age, pregnancy, gender, health care setting, and accessibility of pharmacologic therapy will be emphasized. Legal and regulatory aspects of prescribing will be fully addressed.
Principles of Organizational Performance Management
This is the first specialization course in the administration track. The emphasis is on quality improvement within the unit and across the organization. Particular emphasis is placed on drawing on informatics, management, and organizational development. Students examine administration from a systems perspective, relying on evidence to inform their practice.
Principles of Healthcare Business and Financial Management
Business and financial management as well as healthcare practices impact health outcomes. In this course nurse leaders examine and apply financial principles and tools. They will also use time and financial budgeting and management practices and analyze the impact of current policies and regulations on current healthcare environment.
Strategic Leadership and Future Delivery Models
This course focuses on leading contemporary healthcare organizations, understanding changing delivery and reimbursement models and developing strategies for facilitating effective change for organizational success. It emphasizes trends and directions in the industry and the future of health care delivery. Students explore concepts and models and then apply them in a field experience.
Nursing Administration Field Experience and Capstone
This is the culminating experience for students in the administration specialization. Students identify a contemporary issue within a health care setting and in collaboration with the organization, facilitate a project to address the situation (either an improvement or innovation). Their documentation of this project is the capstone artifact to demonstrate how the students have mastered the competencies of the nurse leader.
Nursing Manager Certification
National certification examinations assess competency standards across the field of nursing. WGU students use this course to prepare for and achieve Nursing Manager Certification.