Masters in Nursing Leadership
This degree is offered by many schools of nursing as an online or on campus option. The Masters in Nursing Leadership generally is preparation for a role as a senior nurse administrator or manager. That may be at the ward level, clinic level, or facility level. Nursing administration has become an important and specialized form of management, so much so that there is now a program for certification of Nurse Executives. That's the career track for a graduate with a Masters in Nursing Leadership. This is an advanced practice nursing program that provides the graduate with skills and credibility as an administrator working with the nursing staff on a shift basis or as a personnel management supervisor.
There is also a Masters in Clinical Nurse Leader that is for a very specific career track recently devised by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. That degree is for a position that is responsible for healthcare quality and service integration in a clinical environment. It has been developed as an effort to produce a top level nursing position responsible for healthcare quality in the rapidly changing nursing environments brought about by managed care, health informatics, and reduced staffing. That program is reviewed elsewhere on this website. The Masters in Nursing Leadership is a program for RNs who have done enough shift work and would like to move into the management ranks.
Today there are specialization areas for the Masters in Nursing Leadership offered at some schools. In one instance a student can chose from Nurse Leadership in Acute Care Health Systems, Nurse Leadership in Community Based Health Systems, and Nurse Leadership in Health Care Educational Systems. In all three instances students are trained in the finances, organizational functions, personnel management, and regulatory issues for these institutions. The Masters in Nursing Leadership is preparation for a managerial role in healthcare, coupled with the skills associated with advanced practice nursing. It is also readily available online, which makes it more viable for working nurses who must juggle a home life, professional life, and the addition of a graduate school obligation.