Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > MS in Nursing, concentration in Nurse Executive

Master of Science (MS) in
Nursing, concentration in Nurse Executive (Formerly Nurse Administrator)


Program Overview

MSN-prepared nurses act as thought leaders, providing healthcare leadership to patients and healthcare professionals. They have the opportunity to move up the career ladder, pursue a specialization and serve as mentors to new nurses.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Prepare for Leadership with an MSN from The University of Alabama

As a Nurse Executive, you will focus on policy and operational issues, such as nursing shortages. You will spend time meeting with other key healthcare leaders, reporting on outcomes, and developing programs and policies that ensure safety and high-quality nursing care.

Nurse Executives hold a variety of executive-level positions, such as director of nursing services, clinical coordinator and chief nurse executive. They often oversee several departments and report directly to senior leadership.

As you seek to make a greater impact in the nursing profession, UA’s online MSN Nurse Executive program can make advancing through education both affordable and attainable. This accredited program features faculty known nationwide for their contributions to the field and who are passionate about helping others achieve their goals in the future of nursing.

The master’s degree program in nursing at The University of Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  • Application DeadlineMay 1 for fall admission; October 1 for spring admission; February 1 for summer admission
  • RankingRanked 9th for best online MSN programs for Nursing Administration/Leadership by U.S. News & World Report (2022)
  • Required For Entrance RN licensure
  • PracticumYes


Students who focus on Nurse Executive will complete 33-39 credit hours and can choose to pursue the program either full-time or part-time.

Please note that courses are subject to change.

Required Courses

  • NUR 549: Roles and Leadership in Nursing Administration (Didactic)
  • NUR 550: Roles and Leadership in Nursing Administration Practicum (180 Clinical Hours)
  • NUR 551: U.S. Health Care Systems and Quality & Safety (Didactic)
  • NUR 552: U.S. Health care Systems and Quality & Safety (180 Clinical Hours)
  • NUR 553: Advanced Financing and Strategic Planning in Health Care
  • NUR 554: Advanced Financing and Strategic Planning in Health Care Practicum (180 Clinical Hours)

  • NUR 727: Foundations of Implementation Science and Evidence-Based Practice
  • NUR 733: Informatics for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • NUR 735: Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing
  • NUR 737: Interdisciplinary Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence
  • NUR 740: Health Policy and Politics: Implications in Health Care


This program requires a field placement component and it is the student’s responsibility to secure a site for the field placement.

Thesis (Optional): A thesis is an original research project conducted by one student and directed by a graduate committee. Please consult with your faculty advisor. More information can be found by visiting the Graduate Catalog.


Applications are accepted each semester. You must submit all documents by May 1 for fall admission, October 1 for spring admission or February 1 for summer admission.

Admission Requirements:

  • GPA of at least 3.0 overall based on 4.0 grading scale or a 3.0 for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate work.
  • Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited school of nursing.
  • Current unencumbered RN licensure in a state currently approved for admission. View the states from which the Capstone College of Nursing currently accepts applications for admission.
  • Final admission is contingent upon approved drug and background screen results deemed acceptable by appropriate University officials.

MSN/Nurse Executive Application Process:

  • Begin your graduate application at the UA Graduate School.
    • For “Program Type” select Distance (Online/Blended/Gadsden)
    • For “Campus” select Distance Learning 
  • Request official transcripts following the Graduate School’s transcript instructions.
  • Submit supporting documents:
    • Statement of Purpose following the Graduate School’s instructions. 
    • Resume or curriculum vitae. 
    • Contact information for two references – The references should be professionals who can provide insight regarding your potential for success in the master’s program.  The Graduate School will contact these references via e-mail.
    • Copy of active RN license from every state in which you are licensed. A screenshot of your online verification is sufficient. Note: Licensure must be maintained throughout the program.
  • Interview – Applicants who meet all other requirements will receive instructions on this step once the application is complete and submitted with all of the above requirements.

Contact Vickie Samuel at (205) 348-8163 or for additional questions about the application process.

How long is the program?

  • 3-6 semesters (1-2 years)

Are there any campus visits required?

  • No

How many clinical hours are required?

  • 540 hours

Do students find their own clinical sites?

  • Students are expected to find individual sites and preceptors; however, the Capstone College of Nursing will assist students with this process to secure a clinical affiliation agreement with the health care agency.

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