Nursing Leadership: Executive, Educator, or Legal Nurse Consultant, Master of Science in Nursing

Program Purpose

The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) 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 individual and population healthcare through effective collaboration, client and peer advocacy, sensitivity to diversity, and ongoing participation in professional organizations;
    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.
    11. Influence healthcare outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems through advanced assessment of health promotion, prevention, and continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.

      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 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 Inferential Statistics

      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 College of Business and the College of Health Professions for dual degree executive options. Technology is integrated into the program, and nursing courses may be offered in a distance learning format. Students in all concentrations will complete a final culminating project for their MSN 8900 Nurse Leadership Portfolio.

      All concentrations are designed to advance 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. 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. The LNC courses are available as online courses only and students should be comfortable with the Online Learning format.

      Course of Study

      This program course sequencing is for MSN Leadership students who have or are starting their program in Fall I 2016 and after.  Students that began their program before Fall I 2016 should contact their program chair for course sequencing.

      Program Requirements

      Register for MSN 6500 as your first course.  Statistics is the prerequisite for MSN 6608.  MSN 8900 Nurse Leadership Portfolio is the final course in the program.

      Core MSN Courses (12 credits)

      All M.S.N. degree students are required to take the following courses:

      MSN 6502 Contemporary Concepts in Advanced Practice Roles

      MSN 6608 Evidence Based Practice in the Health Professions

      MSN 7741 Politics and Policy in the Healthcare System

      MSN 7750 Teaching and Learning in Nursing

      Core for MSN Leadership (12 Credits)

      MSN 6500 Leadership Roles in Advanced Nursing Practice (First course)

      MSN 6609 Advanced Concepts in Pathophysiology and Pharmacology

      MSN 6610 Advanced Physical Assessment for Nurse Leaders

      MSN 6646 Philosophy and Ethics in Advanced Nursing Roles

      Executive Concentration Requirements (12 credits)

      MSN 6612 Nurse Executive Seminar I (Must be taken before II)

      MSN 6613 Nurse Executive Seminar II

      MGT 6501 Organization Theory and Design

      Portfolio is taken after all coursework is complete.

      MSN 8900 Nurse Leadership Portfolio

      Educator Concentration Requirements (12 credits)

      MSN 6611 Instructional Technology for Nurse Educators

      MSN 7752 Clinical Teaching and Evaluation

      MSN 7753 Curriculum Development

      Portfolio is taken after all coursework is complete.

      MSN 8900 Nurse Leadership Portfolio

      Legal Nurse Consultant Concentration (12 credits)

      MSN 7310 Legal Issues in Nursing Practice (Fall I and online only)

      MSN 7320 Practices in the Realm of Nursing and the Law (Fall II and online only)

      MSN 7350 Forensic Nursing: Clinical and Legal Implications (Summer I and online only)

      Portfolio is taken after all coursework is complete.

      MSN 8900 Nurse Leadership Portfolio

      This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2018-2019 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2018 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.