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Purdue University Global

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MSN Degree Programs in Leadership Management

If you're looking to stand out and advance as a nurse, taking on a master's-level degree program in leadership and management could give you the skills and credentials necessary to do so. This article outlines common courses you can expect to take.

Common Courses for MSN in Leadership Management Programs

Schools offering leadership management MSN programs give students a broad background in the different factors involved in healthcare administration. Students learn leadership, team management, and human resources skills as well as methods for managing organizational budgets and the structures involved in providing healthcare services. Many programs are available online, and most can be completed within 2-3 years at a full-time pace.

They also typically involve a real-world practicum requirement in which students work directly alongside nursing organizational leaders in a healthcare setting to assess situations and provide solutions in real time. This experience allows students to integrate instruction from all courses covered during the degree and may require a thesis or scholarly project that summarizes the experiential component in a well-organized fashion.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning classes teach students how to prepare their organization to meet a variety of short- and long-term goals and ensure desirable performance outcomes. Topics covered include effective organization, financial planning, and healthcare service delivery methods. Students might focus on methods for improving nursing safety and quality in particular or take a broader approach and study organizational planning as a whole.

Leadership Foundations

These courses, typically taken at the beginning of a degree program, provide students with a framework of leadership theories to incorporate into their own approach. Different attributes of leadership and how they enable paths to conflict management are typically explored. Delegation, managed care, and the application of economic principles are also among the topics covered.

Human Resources Leadership

The purpose of this course is to enable nurses to effectively transform their organization through the effective management of people. As such, students learn how to employ their knowledge as nurse leaders to address such issues as labor relations and employee retainment. Students also explore the role of human resources management in delivering effective patient care. These courses may precede a program's experiential practicum portion at the end of the degree.

Principles of Healthcare Finance

Economic and accounting principles are the focus of these courses, teaching students how to effectively manage finances and healthcare resources within organizations. Skills necessary for financial analysis - including how to use the appropriate software - are a crucial part of finance courses. Topics such as incorporating variances, discretionary spending, and labor force management are often included to help nurses achieve fiscal goals for their organization.

Ethics in Nursing

Nurses engaged in assessing how their organization is structured and how it delivers services are expected to take a course in nursing ethics to provide them with a strong understanding of the relationships between healthcare providers and patients. Topics such as national and organizational-level policy making and research ethics may be introduced depending on school-specific courses. These courses also typically cover the ethical use of technology, including social media, in healthcare.

Evidence-Based Practice

Nurses learn how to utilize available evidence in a variety of practice-related scenarios to effectively assess and determine solutions for ongoing challenges from an analytical perspective. They explore the different types of research methodologies as well as their benefits and drawbacks. These courses also teach students how to develop research and collect data.

Health Assessment and Promotion

A course related to promoting overall health in families from diverse populations is generally included in this program. These courses might have a multicultural or global focus on the disparities of care resulting from socioeconomic challenges and healthcare availability in different regions. Students learn how to manage patients and families coming from situations that result in a lack of care in an effort to improve their lifelong outcomes. Understanding the management of disease in diverse regions may also be included in this course, including traditional approaches to treatment and behaviors that spread disease.

Each leadership management MSN program differs somewhat in its curriculum, and it's best to look through the courses at any particular school in advance to know what you can expect to take. Some programs emphasize healthcare leadership classes while others also provide training in advanced care as a nurse leader in the field. Either way, nurses looking to better understand the role and management of healthcare service providers at the local, national, and global level can gain a solid foundation with this degree.