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Instructor shares quality and safety education for nurses

MSN in Healthcare Quality & Safety Online

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Register By: January 01 Classes Start: January 03

Ensure healthcare quality and safety

  • Low tuition: $627 per credit x 36 credits total
  • 5 term starts per year: No caps or waiting list
  • Complete in as few as 1.5 years
  • Learn from the experts: 100% of full-time faculty are doctorally prepared
  • Program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)1
  • No entrance exams required

Become a Leader in Healthcare Quality and Safety

Become an advocate for change and develop skills to implement a culture of safety with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Healthcare Quality and Safety online program from Southern New Hampshire University.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has noted that, in high-income countries, 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care.1 This harm is reportedly caused by a range of adverse events, and nearly 50% of these cases are considered preventable.1

With the healthcare quality and safety track, you can develop the skills you need to change those numbers. You'll design, implement and evaluate healthcare quality improvement initiatives guided by critical thinking, data-driven decision making and evidence-based practices.

This MSN track can help you become a leader in healthcare quality and safety, capable of advocating for policy change to improve healthcare outcomes and promote a continual state of readiness.

You'll also gain practical, hands-on experience as you go. In addition to the online coursework of the healthcare quality and safety track, you'll complete 135 clinical practicum hours under the guidance of a preceptor, providing an opportunity to apply theory to practice.

You'll master critical skills such as healthcare quality improvement, risk assessment, communication, legal issues and strategies that contribute to building a culture of safety and assuring accountability and reliability in care processes, among others.

Our MSN in Healthcare Quality and Safety track is CCNE accredited and based on professional nursing standards and guidelines. The curriculum promotes advanced nursing knowledge across the four spheres of care, and is grounded in evidence-based practice, interprofessional leadership and global health awareness.

As a graduate of the healthcare quality and safety track, you'll be able to evaluate system efficiencies, promote a culture of safety and determine the necessary resources for healthcare quality improvements.

Learn how to:

  • Apply evidence-based practice and healthcare technologies to support continuous quality improvement
  • Lead and collaborate within interprofessional teams and organizational structures to improve nursing practice
  • Develop advanced communication and advocacy strategies to improve health outcomes
  • Advance equitable health policies and regulations that reduce health risk and promote financial stewardship
  • Integrate systems-based quality improvements across various healthcare settings
  • Analyze integrated healthcare systems and processes to mitigate risks and advocate for a culture of safety

In addition to the online coursework of the healthcare quality and safety track, you'll complete 135 clinical practicum hours under the guidance of a preceptor, providing an opportunity to apply theory to practice.

Interested in exploring some other online master's in nursing track options? We offer an online family nurse practitioner program, as well as tracks in nurse executive leadership and population healthcare. We also offer a master's in nursing education.

Fast Track Your MSN

Ready for the next phase of your career? With SNHU's 5 MSN program tracks — updated to align with today’s healthcare standards — you'll be on your way to earn your degree faster, for less.

Career Outlook

In a post-pandemic world, the need to improve healthcare quality and safety is greater than ever. According to an article by U.S. News & World Report, COVID-19 revealed problems with healthcare delivery across the country, from supply chain breakdowns to staff shortages and burnout.3

This can be devastating to patient populations. But the 2021 National Academy of Medicine report, ''The Future of Nursing: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity," also notes that these processes and delivery systems can have a major negative impact on caregivers as well.

"Nurses’ health and well-being are affected by the demands of their workplace, and in turn affect the quality and safety of the care they provide," the report said.4

"Thus, it is essential to address the systems, structures and policies that create workplace hazards and stresses that lead to burnout, fatigue, and poor physical and mental health among the nursing workforce."4

For nurses who seek opportunities to reduce adverse events, suboptimal care, ineffective treatments, inefficient processes and unnecessary clinical variation in healthcare systems, an MSN in Healthcare Quality and Safety could be the right career path.

As a student of the program, you'll learn how to:

  • Analyze, manage and improve healthcare systems, policies, processes and services
  • Identify, develop and implement quality and safety interventions, and
  • Improve patient outcomes and advocate for a culture of safety.

Upon graduating, you'll be prepared to pursue a number of roles, including:

  • Quality assurance officer
  • Lean improvement officer
  • Performance improvement manager
  • Quality manager
  • Continuous improvement manager
  • Accreditation officer
  • Clinical advancement and patient safety manager

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nurses with advanced skills and other medical and health services managers is projected to continue to grow 32% through 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.5

Top treatment centers – including ANCC Magnet hospitals – are also actively looking for nurses with advanced degrees to take their patient care to the next level. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Healthcare Safety and Quality can expand your nursing career employment and leadership opportunities.

Start Your Journey Towards an Online Patient Safety & Quality Degree

Courses & Curriculum

The Online MSN in Healthcare Safety and Quality is designed to help you build the skills you need to advocate for a culture of safety.

Like all MSN tracks at SNHU, this program requires the following 5 core courses:

  • Role Development and the Transformation of the MSN Nurse
  • Interprofessional Leadership in Healthcare
  • Epidemiological and Biostatistical Applications in Healthcare
  • Global Health & Diversity
  • Evidence-Based Practice & Scholarly Inquiry

Upon completing your core, you'll take the following Healthcare Quality and Safety-specific courses:

  • Healthcare Quality & Improvement. This interprofessional course will take you through the process of healthcare delivery from a quality and safety lens. You'll gain a deeper understanding of how quality is measured, tracked and improved in healthcare. You'll focus on organizational assessments, commonly used tools and the application of analytical frameworks to identify the root cause of an event. You'll then gain knowledge of healthcare data relevance, use of change management principles and tools and evaluation methods.
  • Health Policy and Law. Examine the ways that stakeholders and interest groups can influence health law and policies. You'll explore ways to articulate the needs of individuals, communities and vulnerable populations based on cultural, socioeconomic and political factors to key decision-makers. You'll then explore concepts and principles of public health, health law, health policy, finance and risk management in healthcare, and gain knowledge regarding health law and policy to inform decision-making.
  • Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement. Explore healthcare reimbursement systems and financial principles relevant to strategic planning for healthcare organizations. Topics explored include revenue cycle management, governmental and non-governmental payment methodologies and financial accounting principles. You'll gain knowledge of reimbursement methods and models, regulatory compliance requirements and collaborative teamwork principles related to revenue cycle management.
  • Program Design, Planning and Evaluation. Investigate program planning, design and evaluation. Topics include needs assessment, cultural competency, ethics and data analytics. You'll use project, financial and resource management skills to achieve the outcomes of the proposed program. You'll gain an understanding of how community needs assessments and resource allocation are used in program proposals. You'll also apply leadership skills that facilitate the program planning process.
  • Healthcare Safety, Just Culture, and Regulation. Explore the impact of regulatory and accreditation standards on organizational compliance and liability. Topics include accreditation and regulatory standards, compliance and advocating for a culture of safety. You'll discover how to lead change by developing person-centered solutions that mitigate risks and promote quality and safety.

The MSN in Healthcare Safety and Quality track integrates hands-on learning throughout. "You'll participate in simulated and clinical experiences as you complete course work," said Debra Sowell, clinical faculty member of graduate nursing programs at SNHU. In addition, you'll get "supervised, clinical practicum hours in a healthcare setting that focuses on safety and quality," she said.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • Clinical practice experience (CPE): Clinical practice hours are incorporated into all graduate nursing programs accredited by CCNE. SNHU incorporates these authentic learning experiences into your MSN program through indirect and direct clinical experiences. You'll be able to achieve these CPE hours through coursework and assignments and time spent with a mentor or preceptor, depending on your program choice. Please connect with our Student Experience team to learn more about clinical practice experiences by track.

Students enrolled in the MSN program must comply with requirements of the organizations where their clinical practice experiences/practicum will be completed. These requirements may include (but are not limited to) a criminal background check, active and unencumbered license verification, immunization records, professional liability insurance. Students may incur additional costs to meet organizational requirements (ex. drug screening, physical examination co-pay, etc.). These requirements must be met prior to registering for the clinical practice experience course. 

It is a requirement that nursing students carry their own medical malpractice insurance while enrolled in practicum courses. At least two terms prior to the start of the clinical components, students will be required to demonstrate proof of having an active individual medical malpractice certificate.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour
Degree/Certificates $1,881 $627
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed Annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs:
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Students enrolled in MSN programs may be subject to ongoing licensure checks through a third party vendor, additional fees will apply and may vary by state.

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

Licensure and Certification Disclosures

SNHU has provided additional information for programs that educationally prepare students for professional licensure or certification. Learn more about what that means for your program on our licensure and certification disclosure page.

References