Nursing Leadership & Management
As a motivated registered nurse (RN) with an MSN degree, you have already established your career in caring. Now you're ready to take on new managerial challenges in nurse leadership and beyond. If your vision of your professional future includes a role in nursing administration and management, a Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing–Leadership and Management can be your next step. Improve healthcare systems, advance patient care, and create a positive environment for other employees as a nurse executive or clinical nurse leader.
Advance your nursing practice and become an effective transformational leader in healthcare. In this post-master's nurse leader certificate, we will empower you with the knowledge and skills to make it happen. And you'll have the opportunity (at no extra cost) to earn the NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality) CPHQ (Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality), an important industry certification.
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree programs in nursing at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
WGU has been named a 2021 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.
Expected time to completion
The program consists of 16 competency units and is paced to be completed in two six-month terms.
Tuition per six-month term is
Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. Finish faster, pay less!
Graduates who recommend WGU:
The vast majority of alumni say WGU delivered on its promises. In fact, over 50% of students found WGU thanks to a friend's recommendation.
No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a specialty certificate—sooner than you might think!
This program consists of the following courses. You will typically complete one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Certificate Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you'll take your assessment, and once you pass, you'll complete the course and move on. This means you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.
Leading with Personal Mastery prepares the advanced professional nurse to demonstrate self-awareness, self-management, executive function, and social awareness skills while leading and managing in diverse healthcare settings. In this course, students will learn how to incorporate these skills when developing personal relationships and building teams. Developing both social and emotional intelligence as a nurse leader will ensure that students have the ability develop strong relationships and make wise decisions when interacting with others. Increasing personal mastery will provide students with a set of tools and strategies to improve healthcare by producing high-quality results. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses, as a leader in healthcare will help students create a vision for success that includes making choices that will help balance their work life more effectively.
Business Case Analysis for Healthcare Improvement provides learning experiences that help students develop essential skills for proposing changes that improve and enhance healthcare outcomes. In this course, students will develop a business case during the early stages of a project by assessing the need for the project and the feasibility of initiating a project. Understanding the techniques used to develop a business case will provide students with the skills to obtain buy-in from key stakeholders and determine the best value strategy. Writing a strong business case presents the benefits, challenges, costs, and risks of moving forward with the project or maintaining status quo. It compares the current situation to a future vision so key stakeholders can make data-driven decisions to move forward with the project. During the development of a business case in this course, students will collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to initiate a healthcare improvement project (HIP) that is grounded in project management principles and influenced by stakeholder perspectives.
Strategically Planning the Execution of a Healthcare Improvement Project will help students develop the skills for systems thinking, problem-solving, and data-driven decision-making. In this course, students will plan the implementation of a healthcare improvement project by identifying people, processes, and procedures that need to be in place for implementation. In addition, sociodemographic data on the population that may be affected by the healthcare improvement project will be analyzed to determine risks and opportunities. During this phase, students will perform an assessment of the forces for and against implementing the project. They will also identify short-term objectives and create action plans to align to the vision, mission, and values of the organization where the project will be implemented. Students will also examine the evolution of existing policies, procedures, and processes at the systems level for the purpose of advocating change that will support a healthcare improvement project. During this course, students will plan the implementation of their healthcare improvement project through the use of sociodemographic and health data, strategic planning, and a comprehensive integration of quality and safety concepts.
The Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience course provides an opportunity for students to apply the knowledge and skills they developed in previous courses toward the successful implementation of their healthcare improvement project (HIP). This phase puts into action all the components of project management that were planned and developed while working collaboratively with key stakeholders to establish the need and feasibility of the HIP, analyzing the organizational readiness for change, and planning the implementation and evaluation phases. In this phase, students will develop and implement a training plan for staff, managers, and leaders. They will also implement the communication plan they developed in a previous course. They will also manage the implementation process by applying organizational standards and practices. Students will demonstrate strong leadership skills when meeting with stakeholders to report the status of the implementation phase and collaboratively problem-solve risks. Completion of the specialty courses is a pre-requisite for this course.
The Nursing Leadership and Management Capstone provides students with an opportunity to evaluate and close their capstone project. This is the final course in the MSN Leadership and Management program. Students will evaluate the success of their healthcare improvement project (HIP) by analyzing results, using the key performance indicators and metrics that were identified while planning the evaluation phase. Students will present the results of the improvement project in a final report and presentation with a focus on lessons learned throughout each of the phases: initiation, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Reflective and analytic thinking are essential aspects of a capstone project, as students reflect and report on the successes and challenges encountered in each phase. In this course, students will also have an opportunity to earn the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality certification by completing and passing the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) CPHQ Certification test. Nursing Leadership and Management Field Experience is a prerequisite for this course.
Managing Human and Financial Resources in an Era of Disruption examines the main premise of people and fiscal leadership. This includes the promotion of healthy work environments through the development of programs in support of mitigating behavior problems for the betterment of work-life balance. Students will analyze business model budgets, revenue streams, and human and financial resource allocation, develop training programs to evaluate compliance and regulatory requirement, and create team building experiences to promote high performing teams by improving engagement, establishing trust, and achieving common goals. Students will assess an organization’s mission, vision, and values to establish alignment between healthcare improvement and an organization’s principles for management. Changes in healthcare are inevitable, as the business success strategies used in the past are not sufficient for surviving in an era of persistent disruption. This course will help students develop the skills nurse leaders need to become partners in recommending innovative strategies that promote value-based healthcare for the future.
Evidence-based measures for evaluating healthcare improvements is an essential component of the planning phase of the healthcare improvement project. In this course, students will determine key performance indicators and metrics used to determine the success of a healthcare improvement project (HIP). The student will develop collaborative partnerships and build consensus with stakeholders to determine how specific data will be collected, managed, and analyzed. This is also an opportunity to discuss data issues and technologies needed for the project. To accomplish this phase, students will also determine the parameters, procedures, and technologies needed for data collection, management, analysis, and reporting.
The learner will explore professional communication by applying the principles of academic writing to their discipline. Learners will incorporate these skills into the development of an evidence-based scholarly paper in their specialty area. As learners develop a scholarly paper, they will acquire a deeper understanding of the research topic selected and analyze whether initiatives and interventions have been effective or ineffective.
The Nursing Leadership and Management competencies in this program are consistent with the American Nurses Association (ANA) standards for nurse administrators and are designed to make you an effective nurse leader and manager. The nurse manager specialization will help you gain knowledge in topics like leadership theories, strategic planning, financial and HR management, and more. This program may help you prepare to sit for these valuable certification exams, if you choose:
- AACN Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
- ANCC Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC)
- AONL Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) or Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP)
Every course in WGU’s online nursing management and leadership post-master's certificate program focuses on a set of clearly defined competencies that you must prove you’ve learned—through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU's curriculum.
That means what you learn can help you at work—and it means what you’re doing at work frequently informs the work you’re doing in your courses. It’s all about real-world applicability so every moment spent studying is time well spent.
Learn why you should choose WGU for your advanced certificate program:
- Flexible schedule. You can continue working at your full-time job or maintaining your responsibilities while earning your nursing leadership post-master's credential. You don't have to log in to classes and there aren't due dates. You are in charge of your degree.
- Valued by employers. Top accreditations mean that your certificate is respected by employers and peers. You will get a quality education that is valuable in the industry with this nursing education program.
- Strong alumni network. When you enroll in the nursing management certificate program at WGU, you join an impressive network of healthcare professionals. Over 14,000 students earned their healthcare degrees from WGU in 2019 alone and are hard at work, changing the lives of patients and impacting communities.
Nurse leaders combine their technical nursing know-how with strong people skills, organizational prowess, and business knowledge to lead healthcare teams to success—success that transforms lives. As a nurse leader, you may increase your earning power. But beyond that, your daily work will improve the quality of life not only for patients, but for the nurses you lead. As a qualified and compassionate nurse leader, your expertise and human touch can make your healthcare facility a place of positivity and healing. With a post-master's nursing certificate, you'll be prepared to work in management or administration in settings such as:
- Long-term care facilities
- Community service agencies
- Governmental agencies and facilities
In order to be eligible for this certificate program, you must be a registered nurse with an active, unencumbered RN license and hold a MSN degree from an accredited program.
Yes! WGU does offer scholarship opportunities for students in post-master's certificate programs.
As a nonprofit university, WGU doesn’t need to benefit shareholders. Our students are our only focus. We also try to keep our operating costs low. And since we’re an exclusively online university, we don’t need to maintain expensive classroom buildings, a campus, or other nonacademic programs.
A post-master's certificate in nursing is a great option for MSN graduates who are looking to change the trajectory of their careers. For example, MSN-educated nurses who want to become a nurse manager can benefit from a post-master's certificate in nursing leadership and management.
Tuition per 6-month term
Flat fee for e-books and learning resources, saving you hundreds per term
TOTAL PER TERM
One-time application fee
Additionally, the certificate program requires a one-time Health Professions Fee of $350.
By charging per term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their education.
Flat-rate tuition of $4,385 per term links cost to time.
By charging per 6-month term rather than per credit hour—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or can learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees.
Adjust the time and see your costs change
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This Post-Master's Certificate is paced to be completed in 1 year.
Read about WGU's Responsible Borrowing Initiative.
Learn about Financial Aid options.
At WGU, we design our online nursing programs to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your nursing education is proof you really know your stuff.
Every course focuses on a set of clearly defined competencies that you must prove you’ve learned—through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing–Leadership and Management curriculum. That means the things you master at WGU are often directly applicable the next day at work—and it means what you’re doing at work frequently informs the work you’re doing in your courses. It’s all about real-world applicability so every moment spent studying is time well spent.
The Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing–Leadership and Management program is a mostly online nursing program that you will complete by studying and working independently with support and instruction from WGU faculty. The program is paced to be completed in two six-month terms.
While most of your coursework will be completed online, your nursing program includes some requirements—including field experiences—that must be completed in a facility near you, which the university will help you find. And while most of your courses can be accelerated based on your prior knowledge and hard work, some nursing programs begin with a cohort-based course that must be completed via five scheduled webcam sessions with faculty and fellow students.
Competency-based education puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a certificate program that's more than simply online—you need one that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience. At WGU, your progress is driven by your ability to prove what you’ve learned. How quickly is largely up to you. Once you’ve mastered the defined competencies (knowledge and skills), you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s curriculum. Other online certificate programs may give you the convenience of distance learning; WGU's competency-based online programs take that flexibility further—many steps further!
“Not only did my degree at WGU help me advance my career—it also helped save a rural hospital and the community's access to local, quality healthcare.” Sarah Aronack
M.S. Nursing – Leadership and Management (BSN to MSN)
“Our partnership with WGU enables our employees to advance their education affordably without interrupting their careers.” John Steele, Senior Vice President of Human Resources,
Once you have completed your Post-Master's Certificate in Nursing–Leadership and Management, you will have the knowledge and skills to be an outstanding nurse manager, leader, or administrator. You'll be in demand because you'll be prepared to translate your extensive nursing knowledge into strong, effective leadership, guidance, mentorship, and management that will change your team—and your facility—for the better.
Projections indicate that employment of medical and health services managers will grow 32% by 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Our 3,300-plus Nursing Leadership and Management alumni have great jobs and satisfying careers:
- Director of nursing
- Chief nursing officer
- Quality director
- Clinical nurse leader
- Project manager
- Health systems
- Cancer centers
- Local, state, or federal government
- Hospice providers
- Ascension Health
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- U.S. Army
- UCLA Health System
WGU graduates boast degrees that prepare them to succeed in their careers. The data below, from a 2020 survey of 300 employers of WGU graduates by Harris Poll, prove it:
95% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.
96% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.
98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.
Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers
WGU graduates are happy with their education:
- 96% of WGU graduates reported that they would recommend WGU to others, compared with 82% nationally.
- 85% of WGU graduates were satisfied with their overall experience, compared with 75% nationally.
Impressive average salary increases:
- WGU graduates reported an average increase on income of $12,300 within two years of graduation, compared with salary pre-enrollment.
- Four years after graduation, the average increase was $21,800, significantly higher than the national average of $11,500.
Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 1,400 new college graduates nationwide compared with survey of 1,340 WGU graduates.
To be considered for this post-master's certificate program in nursing, you must:
- Possess an M.S. in Nursing from an accredited institution or state board of nursing approved program.
- Possess an active, unencumbered RN license in your state of residence, or your state of employment. (Some license holders may be granted a waiver if they are not licensed in their state of residence or employment.)