Nursing and Health Care Leadership

The need for more sophisticated health care leadership to respond to the clinical, organizational and fiscal challenges faced by America's evolving health care industry is an absolute priority. Today's health care managers and executives require not only clinical experience and strong communication skills, but also business acumen and knowledge of financial and personnel management, organizational theory and negotiation.

Are you ready to help meet accelerating changes in health care through better nursing leadership across multiple settings and specialties? Do you want to build on your existing nursing experience and advance your career? It is time to consider earning a Vanderbilt Master of Science in Nursing degree in the Nursing and Health Care Leadership Program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Note: This dynamic program is only offered part time.

Our Strengths

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is ranked as the #14 graduate school of nursing, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Nursing and Health Care Leadership program offers numerous advantages over other business or health care administration degree programs including: 
  • A learning environment with students comprised of nursing professionals from a diverse variety of nursing experience and backgrounds.
  • A team of dedicated Vanderbilt University Nursing and Health Care Leadership faculty that represent clinical nursing and executive leadership with educational experiences in private and public health care settings.
  • A program that successfully links technology with learning while embracing cultural and academic diversity.  

Our Curriculum

As changes in health care delivery accelerate, our master's degree program not only prepares nurses at the graduate level to manage and lead health care services across multiple settings and specialty areas, but also prepares them to face the challenge of an ever-changing health care environment.

The curriculum provides a series of integrated learning experiences that focus on the development of individuals with keen analytic skills who are capable of leadership and innovation in a dynamic health care system.

Stressing professional and personal integrity, commitment and achievement, this highly interactive specialty engages and challenges learners to understand current health care system problems, to anticipate and manage change, and to evaluate new evidence and emerging techniques that enhance leadership performance. 

Curriculum is based on current, relevant nursing practice and challenges you to work as an individual and as a group member to critically analyze, evaluate and develop solutions in response to emerging trends and issues in nursing practice and health care. The curriculum leverages clinical practicum experiences with executive nursing leaders in a variety of quality health care systems. In addition, the specialty content focuses on the impact of national, state and local health care policy and financing on nursing practice. 

The curriculum will prepare you to manage and lead the delivery of nursing and health care services across multiple settings and specialty areas. You will gain the breadth of leadership knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively and assume leadership positions in health care delivery organizations. 

In this specialty you will learn to: 

  • Define, implement and maintain standards for quality patient care
  • Develop, manage and evaluate work teams
  • Implement processes and programs to achieve financial targets and maintain fiscal accountability
  • Implement processes and programs to achieve continual improvement in care delivery
  • Develop, performance counsel and evaluate assigned staff
  • Mentor staff to boost individual and team performance and competency
  • Collaborate effectively across disciplines and health care settings to enhance integration of services and care delivery
  • Facilitate clear communication of expectations and accountabilities to assigned staff
  • Demonstrate collaborative problem-solving abilities
  • Innovate, implement and manage change
  • Engage support from supervisors, subordinates and peers in meeting organizational goals
  • Balance strategic, financial, operational, quality and interpersonal responsibilities

Educational Format

This part-time program  is offered in a distance learning that allows you to earn your degree without having to relocate or give up employment. More information.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Nursing and Health Care Leadership Master of Science in Nursing program, you will be prepared to practice in a variety of settings. While not a complete list, the possible settings include: 

  • Nurse-managed clinics
  • Managed care firms
  • Community-based clinics
  • Ambulatory care centers
  • Hospitals
  • Data management firms
  • Practice management organizations
  • Corporate organizations

Due to State Board of Nursing or State Higher Education requirements, clinical placements may not be available in every location. We make every reasonable effort to accommodate a student’s placement requests.