How to Choose a Masters Degree in Nursing Administration

This article will describe why earning a master’s degree in nursing administration is great move for your career. We will explain the different sorts of master’s in nursing administration degrees you can get, how you should select a program, accreditation, and how to understand the different options for your nursing administration career.

What Is a Master’s in Nursing Administration Degree?

A master’s in nursing administration (MSN) is a graduate degree that is awarded to students who complete a two or three year master’s program. A nursing administration degree is a very wise choice for building a career in nursing or health administration.

Most professionals who want to earn this master’s degree already have their bachelor’s degree in nursing or BSN. You will need to have your RN designation and have worked in nursing for several years to be considered for admission into a master’s in nursing administration program.

Why Earn a Master’s in Nursing administration?

Many professionals are choosing this path in the 21st century because there is greatly enhanced demand for many health care and clinical services; government statistics suggest that the demand for these types of jobs will increase by 17% by 2024.

Why is this? Experts believe that the baby boom generation is a major driver of the increased desire for health care services. As they are aging and heading into retirement, there is little doubt that they are wanting more types of health care services and procedures. They are living longer lives, and they want to live those longer years more productively and healthily.

Obviously, higher demand for healthcare services drives demand for more healthcare services. But there also will be more of a need for health care and nursing administrators to direct, coordinate and manage medical services.

With a master’s degree in nursing administration, you will have the broad administrative and management skills to handle the operation of a nursing home, a health care center, a hospital nursing staff, and other health care administration related duties.

High Pay

When you earn your master’s of science in nursing administration, you will be moving into the top tier of nursing education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that median pay for these professionals is $94,500, with the top 10% earning more than $165,000 per year.

Some other popular occupations for professionals with a master’s degree in nursing administration include the following:

  • Clinical managers: These administrators will oversee an entire department of a health care facility; this can include a nursing staff, but also could be a surgical or physical therapy staff, too. A clinical manager will set and carry out various goals, policies and procedures for these health care departments.
  • Health information managers: These administrators handle the security and maintenance of all patient data and records. It is very important in this role to stay completely up to date with modern information technology as well as any new laws or regulations that are related to health information systems.

Overview of a Master’s in Nursing Administration

In a typical nursing administration program, you can expect to learn how to build a very high quality health care or nursing organization that will be in full compliance with modern regulatory standards.

You also will learn how to create effective organizational structures that support the best patient care, and integrate modern nursing theory and advanced management skills to promote the most ethical health care delivery systems.

The exact names of the courses that you will take in this master’s program will vary, but you can expect classes such as these:

  • Health Care and Nursing Law/Policy
  • Economic Decisions in Health and Nursing Care
  • Quality Improvement in Health Care
  • Leadership and Management for Nursing Executives
  • Advanced Finance and Operations
  • Leading in the Future of Healthcare

Online Master’s in Nursing Administration Degree Options

Liberty University

Liberty University offers a Master’s in Nursing Administration degree that may be earned entirely online in two years full time. This degree program is well suited for experienced nurses with an RN designation who want to advance their career in nursing management and leadership.

This program is known to equip its students with advanced nursing administration skills, the classes in this program integrate nursing research and scholarship with advanced nursing practices. You will have the chance to combine your passion for leadership and nursing by employing advanced nursing process to perform administrative, strategic planning, and fiscal and resource management.

Required coursework in this nursing administration program:

  • Health Policy and Ethics
  • Nursing Theory and Advanced Practice
  • Managing Population Health
  • Nursing Issues, Informatics and Technology
  • Organizational Design and Structure
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management
  • Financial Resource Management for Nurse Leaders
  • Systems Management and Leadership for Nurse Leaders

Jacksonville University

Another master’s program to consider is Jacksonville University Online, which also offers a Master’s in Nursing in Leadership in Healthcare Systems.

This program will prepare you to manage and organize nursing departments, and to provide advanced leadership in a hospital or health care clinic. This degree also will allow you to play a key role in legislative, regulatory and public policy in any private or public health-related organization.

The program is two years in length and is designed for nurses who already have their BSN degree and have worked in nursing for at least two years. It is an ideal online degree program for a busy nurse who wants to complete her master’s degree on a busy personal schedule. All of the classes are online, and each course is eight weeks long.

Past graduates from this CCNE-accredited program usually move into these types of positions:

  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Nurse Administration
  • Nurse Director
  • Program Administrator
  • Head of Nursing
  • Nursing Service Administrator
  • Nurse Manager

Your required classwork is done online, and includes:

  • Nursing Leadership and Advanced Roles
  • Information Systems and Technology for Improved Healthcare
  • Nursing Theory and Research
  • Advanced Role Practicum
  • Nursing Leadership and the Healthcare System
  • Quality and Safety in Healthcare
  • Human Resource Management in Healthcare
  • Financial Management of Nursing Systems.

Licensing and Certification

If you are going to be a nursing administrator, you may need to have a license; any professional who runs a nursing home will need to have a license. You also have to pass a national licensing examination. You should check with the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards for more information.


As you are weighing different options for your master’s in nursing administration program, you should check that the online program has been accredited. Accreditation by a respected body in the field means that you will know that your degree is of high quality. You want to be sure that you are learning what you need to learn to work in the field. Also, you should be sure that your future employers will value your degree.

For the nursing administration and health care administration fields, the accreditation agency to look for is the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education or CAHME.

You also should look for a master’s in nursing administration program that is accredited by the CCNE, or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Selecting a nursing administration degree is a great option for a professional who wants to make a good salary and enjoy strong demand in the health care world for years to come.