Nursing Leadership:
Executive, Educator, or Legal Nurse Consultant

Master of Science in Nursing

About This Program

Program Purpose

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed to prepare professional nurses for roles in advanced practice. The curriculum emphasizes the relationships among advanced nursing practice, theory, and scholarly inquiry. Nurses educated at the graduate level demonstrate competency in the roles of advanced caregiver, leader, teacher, and participant in and/or conductor of research. Nurses prepared at the graduate level also have the opportunity to influence health policy and to practice with a high level of autonomy in a variety of settings.


The goals of the Master of Science of Nursing program are to prepare graduates to:

  1. Function effectively in advanced nursing practice roles in a variety of settings.
  2. Engage in personal and professional development through life-long learning.
  3. Broaden career mobility and opportunities in nursing.

Program Competencies

Through completion of the Master of Science in Nursing program, graduates will:

  1. Promote the art of nursing by valuing the unique relationships among people, which create meaning and preserve human dignity;
  2. Synthesize theoretical, experiential, and research knowledge as the scientific basis for advanced nursing practice;
  3. Use the ethical and legal standards recognized by the nursing profession to guide advanced nursing practice;
  4. Implement knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research to improve nursing practice by evaluating published research, applying findings to practice, and participating in research activities;
  5. Incorporate findings from teaching/learning theories and research to educate individuals and groups;
  6. Implement knowledge of health policy, financial aspects of health care, and the organization of health delivery systems to influence continuous improvement in health care;
  7. Fulfill a leadership role in advanced nursing practice through effective collaboration, client and peer advocacy, sensitivity to diversity, and ongoing participation in professional organizations;
  8. 8. Negotiate an appropriate role for advanced nursing practice in the context of a dynamic health care system;
  9. Demonstrate advanced oral and written communication abilities;
  10. Demonstrate the ability to access, use, and evaluate information and information technologies.

Prerequisite Course Requirements

All students are required to have prerequisite knowledge of statistics. If the student has not completed an undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of “C” or better, he or she will be required to complete statistics prior to registering in MSN 6606 Available Online Research in Nursing Practice and/ or prior to consideration for degree candidacy (completion of 12 credits). If an undergraduate course in statistics has not been successfully completed, the following course is appropriate:

MAT 308 Available Online Fundamentals of Statistics

Core Requirements

All MSN degree students are required to take the following courses:

MSN 6502 Contemporary Concepts in Advanced Practice Roles (Beginning September 2015, MSN 6502 replaces MSN 6501 Available Online Advancement of Nursing Science)
MSN 6606 Available Online Research in Nursing Practice
MSN 7741 Available Online Politics and Policy in the Health Care System
MSN 7750 Available Online Teaching and Learning in Nursing

Program Design

Today’s health care environment requires competent, innovative leaders. Nurse leaders are needed for managed care initiatives, roles in nursing education, entrepreneurial pursuits, consultation and interdisciplinary coordination of healthcare, and clinical research projects. The purpose of the Nursing Leadership concentration is to provide the opportunity for nurses to acquire and refine the skills needed for leadership roles in nursing.

To fulfill the requirements of the M.S.N. Leadership program, students must complete all courses, consisting of 36 credit hours, while maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Students complete course work with an emphasis in executive practice, the educator role, or the legal nurse consultant role. The program is interdisciplinary, with course work through the Colleges of Education and Business in addition to the College of Health Professions. Technology is integrated into the program, and nursing courses may be offered in a distance learning format. Students in all concentrations can spend time in the final capstone courses in a variety of ways: e.g., field practice time, small project, or thesis development.

All concentrations are designed to develop the students’ knowledge of research to improve the practice of nursing and strengthen the awareness of contemporary influences on health care needs of individuals, families, and communities. Philosophy of nursing leadership and health care expands the foundation for ethical decision making as students develop skill in working within the context of prevailing systems of care. The program is usually completed within a two to three year time-frame; however, it must be completed within five years.


Knowledge of local, national, and global health care policies will enable the professional nurse to work with other professionals in establishing priorities. Beyond this foundational knowledge, the nurse leader needs to refine skills relevant to individual career goals. Selected course work may emphasize entrepreneurial, policy, or management roles of the nurse leader.


Skilled educators are needed to teach students, clients, and staff. Depending on the student's particular interest, course work will provide the opportunity for increased knowledge and skills for the current or future educator.

Legal Nurse Consultant

The Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) role is a functional specialty practice of nursing. Legal nurse consultants use critical thinking and expert knowledge of health care systems and professions to assess health care practice standards applicable to nursing. Courses at Wilmington University prepare students to meet the standards of LNC practice. For LNC students, the capstone experience is a required six-credit field practicum. The LNC courses are available as online courses only. Students should be comfortable with the Online Learning format and are required to take the DIS 095 pre-requisite.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2015 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.