Smiling brunette woman in blue scrubs standing in front of other medical professionals
Online MSN Nurse Leader
Earn an MSN That Teaches You to Lead

MSN Nurse Leader

per credit hour for Ohio residents
total credits

Lead Quality Care with a Master's in Nursing Leadership

With its focus on developing leadership capabilities and practical knowledge, the online MSN Nurse Leader degree program is an excellent investment in a successful nursing career. Over the course of this 31-credit program, you will expand your skills to include essential nursing leadership capabilities. You will also explore best practices in policy, informatics, administration and quality improvement. Upon graduation, you will have everything you need to drive both quality care and positive change in today's dynamic health care environment.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at Ohio University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program Benefits

  • 100% online
  • 500 practicum hours, completed online
  • Flexible part-time
  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Nine transfer credits accepted
  • No GRE/GMAT required
  • #46 Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs (tie) – U.S. News & World Report1


Request Info


Lead Your Nursing Team to Success

Earning the online MSN Nurse Leader degree helps you seize opportunities to help teams provide quality, patient-centered care. With this credential, you will become the expert on the floor for your team, while also having the ability to keep providing hands-on care. This combination of skills will help you graduate not only prepared to sit for the National Nurse Leadership Certification exams, but also emerge as a preferred candidate, who can earn an average salary of $101,3402.

Career Outlook

Salary Cards

The examples listed represent the national average salaries for the corresponding roles.

  • Nurse Manager


    per year3

  • Director of Nursing


    per year4

  • Nursing Supervisor


    per year5

An Advanced Nursing Leadership Curriculum

31 credits | 10 courses

The online MSN Nurse Leader curriculum equips you with essential leadership skills and practical knowledge. Throughout your experience, explore a wide range of topics, including health care economics, policy development, strategic planning and quality improvement. In addition, 500 practicum hours, completed online, will allow you to hone and demonstrate the skills you will need as a mid-level manager. 

MSN-Nurse Leadership Course Highlights

  • NRSE 7810 Leadership, Role and Collaboration
  • NRSE 7831 Nursing Administration
  • NRSE 7830 Strategic Planning

View Complete Curriculum

Apply to the Online MSN Nurse Leader Program

No GRE/GMAT required | Transfer up to nine credits

Applying to the online MSN Nurse Leader program helps you begin to build the skills and practical knowledge you need to take on nursing leadership roles across the healthcare industry. As part of the program, you will have access to a supportive community of experienced faculty members and motivated peers who will help you throughout your educational journey. In addition, a focus on evidence-based practice and healthcare policy will provide the expertise that will help you take the next step in building a fulfilling and successful career.

Fall 2024:

  • Application Deadline: 07/05
  • Classes Begin: 08/26

Fall 2025:

  • Application Deadline: 07/06/25
  • Classes Begin: 08/25/25

Admission requirements for this program include:

  • Online application form: Apply Now
  • BSN from a regionally accredited institution
  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Official transcripts providing proof of studies
  • A web-based admission interview with faculty
  • Proof of residency and evidence of valid, unencumbered RN licensure in an approved state
  • Statement of professional goals
  • Resume or CV
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who are knowledgeable about the applicant's ability to complete graduate-level coursework and practice abilities
    • A minimum of two of these must be from individuals prepared at or above the master's level
    • One must be from an Advanced-Practice Registered Nurse or Registered Nurse

Prior to clinical/practicum experiences, admitted graduate nursing students must also provide proof of the following:

  • Specified health status requirements (immunization status, TB screening, etc. as delineated in the current Graduate Nursing Student Handbook);
  • State and Federal background checks free from disqualifying offenses;
  • Malpractice insurance.

View Application Process

Invest in Your Nursing Leadership Career

$15,872 Total Tuition (Resident)* | $512 Per Credit (Resident)

Earning the online MSN Nurse Leader degree is a valuable investment in your nursing career. With this credential, you will be able to lead using skills built on evidence-based practice and masterful knowledge of health policy, informatics and more. This advanced training can lead to increased job opportunities and higher salaries, making it a priceless long-term career move.

Listed tuition is for estimating purposes only and is subject to change.

Financial Aid

OHIO is committed to offering affordable, competitive tuition and has been recognized for the fourth consecutive year as a best-value university by U.S. News and World Report. In addition, student veteran, active military members, alumni, and corporate partners are automatically eligible to receive a 15% scholarship. Depending on your background, costs and credit hours will differ.

Tuition Details

  • Experience Leadership Hands-On

    Ohio University's MSN Nurse Leader program does not require any on-campus residency. During the program, however, you will complete a total of 500 practicum hours in a leadership role in a health care facility near you. This hands-on experience allows you to apply what you learn in courses to real-world situations and prepares you for successful nursing leadership roles after graduation.

    • 500 practicum hours of leadership experience 
    • Practicum must be completed with an approved preceptor at an approved site, with an assigned clinical supervisor
    • Practicum hours are usually completed in a health care setting's organizational unit
  • Online Learning at OHIO

    Ohio University has a long tradition of offering online programs specifically designed for the modality and created for working professionals. Our online students complete engaging, comprehensive coursework that combines the academic excellence and experience-based learning of a traditional program with all the flexibility and convenience of online study.

    With asynchronous courses and part-time scheduling (one course per fifteen weeks), you can earn your degree while maintaining your current work and personal commitments. Virtual office hours give you the opportunity to connect with peers and faculty. Access your coursework 24/7 and complete your assignments on a schedule that fits your life.

What You'll Learn

In the online MSN Nurse Leader program, you will learn communication, collaboration, and decision-making, vital to success in nursing leadership roles. You will also explore best practices in policy, informatics, administration and quality improvement so you can provide quality care and drive positive improvement in health care after graduation.

Program Outcomes

  • Synthesizes knowledge from nursing and other disciplines as a basis for clinical judgment, clinical reasoning, and innovative evidence-based education and practice.
  • Incorporates evidence-based practice in delivering person-centered care to enhance health outcomes and improve health systems.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to select and apply principles of population health and advocacy strategies that optimize health outcomes for individuals, families, communities, and populations.
  • Integrate and evaluate evidence-based practice to inform and promote advanced clinical practice.
  • Analyze and apply quality improvement strategies to create a culture of safe, professional nursing practice that optimizes health and protects all.
  • Apply leadership skills as an interprofessional team member to optimize the health of individuals, families, and populations within complex health care environments.
  • Apply evidence-based, innovative strategies based on organizational and systems policies to enhance value, access, quality, and cost-effectiveness within complex health care delivery systems.
  • Integrate information technology systems to drive decision-making, health care change and interdisciplinary communication in complex health care delivery systems.
  • Integrate the role of the advanced practice nurse by utilizing effective professional communication and presence to promote person-centered care.
  • Contribute to an environment that promotes self-care, personal health, well-being and professional development in a culture of accountability and collaboration.

Learn from Leading Experts

When you earn an advanced degree from Ohio University, your interaction with faculty is key to your success. With that in mind, our program connects with the most experienced faculty possible, with professors trained at either the master's or doctorate level. Collaborative and student-centered, MSN Nurse Leader faculty are also deeply passionate about their research, which ranges from polypharmacy in older adults, to cultural nursing care and beyond. Their research projects and other scholarly pursuits can also be opportunities for you to broaden your knowledge and skills, as faculty often mentor their students in these settings.

Faculty Spotlight

Director of the School of Nursing

A DNP with specific expertise in adult nursing, Charman Miller has experience providing quality health care across the lifespan. She brings that deep, hands-on knowledge, paired with extensive research on clinical practice, palliative nursing and nursing education technology, to help Ohio University's students graduate as true masters in their field.

Read More About Dr. Miller


Related Program

  • Online Post-Graduate Nurse Leader Certificate Program

    This program prepares graduates for the advanced role of nursing and health care management. This specialty is designed to prepare nurses at the graduate level to manage the delivery of nursing and health care services across the spectrum of health care settings.

  • MSN-NE

    Empower the next generation of nurses with our Nurse Educator program. Prepare to inspire future nurses with advanced knowledge of nursing theory and practice as well as understand the design, delivery, assessment and evaluation of nursing education programs in a variety of settings.

Answers to Common Questions

Find answers to common questions about the online program. For information not covered here, our expert admissions team is available to provide additional details and guidance.

Get More Answers

How fast can I complete the online MSN Nurse Leader program?

Our MSN Nurse Leader program can be completed in five semesters with students taking courses in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Semesters are fifteen weeks in length. Students have up to six years to complete the program. Most students take 2 fifteen-week courses each semester for 5-9 total credits. Students can take fewer courses, but it will take longer to complete their program.

Does the online MSN Nurse Leader program require work experience?

Yes, students must provide evidence of the equivalent of two years full time experience working as an RN within the past five years.

What is the total tuition for the online MSN Nurse Leader program?

Tuition for the MSN Nurse Leader is $15,872 for Ohio residents or $16,461 for non-residents. You need to complete 31 credits at $512 per credit for Ohio residents and $531 per credit for non-residents.

Where can I complete my clinical/practicum hours?

Nurse Leader Practicums are usually completed within organizational units of health-care organizations.

How many credits can I transfer toward the online MSN Nurse Leader program?

It may be possible to transfer up to nine graduate credits

  • Criteria for credit transfer:
  • Original or copy of official transcript with transfer credit must be attached.
  • Credits must have been earned no more than five years from when the transfer request is made.
  • Credits must be letter grade B or higher.
  • Transfer credits must have been designated as graduate credit, but not used to confer a degree.

In order to determine whether or not a class will transfer to meet course requirements for a graduate program, a syllabus for that class must be submitted.

How many clinical hours are required in the online MSN Nurse Leader program?

Our Nurse Leader program requires a minimum 500 practicum hours of leadership experience.

Sources and Disclaimer

  1. Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved June 26, 2023 from
  2. Medical and Health Services Managers. Occupational Health Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved on Apr. 17, 2023 
  3. Average Nurse Manager Salary. Retrieved on Apr. 17, 2023 
  4. Director, Nursing Salary. PayScale. Retrieved on Apr. 17, 2023 from
  5. Average Nursing Supervisor Hourly Pay". Payscale. Retrieved May 3, 2023 from

*Listed tuition is for estimating purposes only and is subject to change.

Apply Request Info