The nursing field faces so many challenges while touching so many lives. New therapies, technologies and complex medical treatments are introduced on a daily basis. Healthcare legislation and regulation are more stringent than ever before. To keep quality of care aligned with the industry's expectations and demands, hospitals and doctors need highly educated nurses to fill leadership roles.
Southern New Hampshire University's online Master of Science in Nursing can prepare you for these advanced positions with critical-thinking and leadership skills centered on patient care. This affordable master’s in nursing online degree can also start you on the road to becoming an advanced practice nurse.
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online program at SNHU prepares today’s nurses with the key competencies necessary for continuous improvement of the safety and quality of healthcare systems. You may choose to customize your degree and with specialty knowledge electives within the MSN or choose the Clinical Nurse Leader or patient quality and safety programs for specialized education needs that align to your desired career path.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your MSN online at SNHU include:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
MSN students must have:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nursing positions that require a master’s degree will skyrocket by more than 31 percent by 2022. A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled ''The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health'' identifies a growing demand for qualified nurses who are prepared to meet the complex and changing needs of the 21st-century healthcare workforce. The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice has recommended that at least two-thirds of the workforce hold baccalaureate or higher degrees in nursing.
Top treatment centers – including ANCC Magnet hospitals – are actively looking for nurses with advanced degrees to take their patient care to the next level. A master's in nursing online degree can expand your nursing career employment and leadership opportunities and prepare you to serve as a clinical nurse leader, clinical nursing faculty member and a nursing administrator.
Upon completion of the master’s in nursing program, you’ll be able to:
The master's in nursing online degree will provide you with the opportunity to acquire key competencies necessary for advanced nursing practice. The MSN electives allow you to customize your degree with specialty knowledge in the areas of continuous improvement, quality, and safety of healthcare systems, patient-centered care, inter-professional collaboration, and evidence-based practice.
This course is designed to assist the registered nurse with a BSN degree to transition to graduate study in order to maximize their performance and opportunities for success. The course will cover such topics as the standards for scholarly writing, using evidence, study habits, and managing a graduate-level workload. The role of the Master's prepared nurse as a clinical scholar, clinical expert and as leader in evidence-based practice and transformation of health care will be emphasized. The course will introduce the final capstone course and the development of a professional portfolio.
In this course, students will analyze the history and evolution of nursing conceptual models and theories. Students examine the linkages between empirical, aesthetic, ethical, personal, and sociopolitical patterns of knowing with the conceptual models and paradigms of nursing. Students will explore the components of conceptual-theoretical-empirical structures for theory-generating, theory-testing research, and application to practice. Students who successfully complete the course (B- or better, course work & projects) will receive 45 indirect practice hours).
This course in organ systems physiology is designed to teach the fundamentals of normal function that are essential to understanding clinical problems. It will integrate advanced concepts of health assessment, including anticipatory guidance, prevention, and detection of risk factors and disease. Students will continue to develop critical thinking skills to make effective, patient-centered, clinical decisions through case studies. Examples from pathophysiology are used to illustrate physiological concepts that will be analyzed, interpreted, and evaluated. This course includes all major organ systems. It assumes previous academic preparation in anatomy and physiology, an understanding of basic algebra and simple physiology, as well as experience in conducting a health history and physical assessment. Discussion sessions and problem-set case studies provide opportunities to synthesize content and discuss clinical problems.
Graduate students will build upon previous learning of nursing research and evidence-based practice in order to become proficient in critiquing, generating, and translating research evidence into nursing practice. Emphasis will be placed on identifying researchable clinical questions, analysis of research findings for evidence-based practice, ethical issues in nursing research, and the selection of methods that may be used to generate research evidence for practice.
Content focuses on current concepts in the pharmacologic therapies of common health care problems seen in primary and acute care health care. Basic pathophysiology, clinical pharmacology, modes of therapy, and monitoring parametrics are explored. Diagnosis and management of health care problems and their treatment regimens are discussed. Case studies are utilized to clarify, reinforce, and correlate therapeutics with specific health care problems.
In this course, students will build on previous clinical experience as well as undergraduate course work to master health assessment skills and communication strategies. Students conduct comprehensive evidence-based health assessments encompassing environmental, genetic, multicultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors. Students also explore ways of adapting their communication style to meet the specific needs of their audience. The course also focuses on mastering the physical and mental health exam and formulating plan to ensure effective patient centered care.
The capstone course provides the student with the opportunity to present evidence of achievements and competencies in the development of a final capstone project and a professional portfolio. Students are required to identify a clinical problem or issue and develop and implement a scholarly project to facilitate change in a healthcare setting of their choice. Capstone activities should demonstrate completion of all MSN Generalist outcomes.
Global Health and Diversity is a problem-based course designed to give students an overview of health promotion issues, explore selected current topics in health and health policy from a national and global perspective, and investigate the consequences these issues have for the health status of international populations and society. This course will provide the theoretical foundation to allow the practitioner to design interventions that promote health and behavior change in a target population. The concepts of health literacy, consumer advocacy, and their impact of health promotion will be explored.
This course provides students with a basic foundation of biostatistics and its role in public health and health sciences. The course covers the statistical principles that govern the analysis of data in public health and health sciences. Included in this course are exploratory data analysis, probability theory, confidence interval testing, hypotheses testing, power and sample size determination, and multivariable methods.
This course focuses on the knowledge, skills, attitudes needed to assure quality patient and family centered care provided through interdisciplinary collaborative care. Students will focus on strategies that contribute to building a culture of safety assuring accountability and reliability in care processes. Health policy issues access to care, and cost issues are addressed including pay for performance, quality outcomes, and nurse sensitive outcomes, with a special focus on healthcare reforms focus on quality.
Select one (1) course from the following:
Select one (1) course from the following:
This course covers clinical microsystem concepts, tools, techniques, and processes within the context of a clinical or supporting microsystem. This course will use current theories to approach issues related to the redesign of healthcare services to improve quality, add value, reduce variation and improve morale, by empowering frontline caregivers. This course builds upon the Dartmouth Hitchcock Microsystem Improvement Curriculum and the QSEN Graduate Nursing Competencies.
This course provides students with the strategies and tools necessary for leadership roles in systems management and inter-professional practice. Ethical leadership concepts, analysis of diverse organizational systems across the healthcare continuum, change agency and communication skills are emphasized in the processes of coalition building, negotiating conflict, workforce planning and inter-professional team relationship building to produce quality patient outcomes. The course will enhance student ability to think systematically and develop comprehensive understanding of core competencies required to initiate and sustain change in organizations.
Select two (2) courses from the following:
Select two (2) courses from the following:
Students in this course examine the role of health law and policy in the healthcare system. Students explore concepts and principles of law, public health, health law, health policy, finance, legal control, and risk management, as well as their application to the healthcare environment through the lens of the professional discipline. Students evaluate the impact of health law and policy and multicultural, socioeconomic, and political factors on access disparities. Students examine ways to articulate the needs of individuals, communities, and vulnerable populations to consumers, health system officials, and government officials. Students also focus on the opportunities for key stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, to shape health laws and policies.
This course examines the principles of measurement, analysis and models for performance improvement to promote continuous quality improvement. Design and data collection will be explored including sampling methodology, operational definitions, establishment of benchmarks, and data integrity and differentiating between structure, process and outcome measures. Topics for measurement and analysis examined include using statistics to describe data (e.g. mean, median, standard deviation); using statistical process control charts to identify trends and distinguish between common and special cause variation; using tools to evaluate a process or display data (e.g. fishbone, run charts, Pareto chart, control chart, etc.); and evaluating data to support decision-making. Students will also explore models for performance improvement including PDSA, Six Sigma and Lean. Students who successfully complete the course (B- or better, course work & projects) will receive 45 indirect practice hours).
This course examines the tenets that promote a patient safety culture and external controls promulgated from regulatory and accrediting agencies to assure patient safety. Students will explore healthcare accrediting and regulatory agencies including The Joint Commission, DNV, Magnet, OSHA, CMS and state licensing bodies. Topics explored in this course include: assessing the HCO patient safety culture; utilizing technology to enhance patient safety; promoting patient safety through incident or safety reporting systems, monitoring patient safety goals (e.g. National Patient Safety Goals), sentinel events and reporting, and utilizing Root Cause Analysis and Failure Mode and Effects Analysis models. Students will evaluate compliance with internal and external requirements related to clinical practice, service quality, peer review and documentation. Students who successfully complete the course (B- or better, course work & projects) will receive 45 indirect practice hours).
This course provides and in-depth exploration of the concepts and methods of epidemiological research. Students will critique the principles of epidemiology with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention research. Epidemiologic concepts, bio-statistical principles and research design strategies are emphasized. Students will critique current epidemiologic study designs and develop an epidemiologic proposal with implications for health promotion.
This course is designed to prepare CNL students to lead and collaborate with members of the healthcare team to deliver high quality, coordinated care to diverse populations of patients as they transition through a variety of healthcare settings. The course will focus on the relationship between care coordination, the patient experience, and the national quality outcomes that hospitals and nursing professionals should be meeting. Students will explore concepts related to transition management, team based care, quality improvement measures across health care settings, with care coordination as a central element of the patient-centered experience.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
Application Fee ($40), Graduation Fee ($150), Books (course-by-course)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...
SNHU Nursing Student Handbook (PDF)