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Nursing (MSN) – Health Systems Leader

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College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Be the Leader You’ve Always Wanted to Have

Master of Science in Nursing - Health Systems Leader

Online In-Class

Realizing that excellent healthcare outcomes require trained leaders at all levels, the AUM School of Nursing offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a concentration in Health Systems Leader.

Leaders in a healthcare system make a difference in patient lives at the local, national, or global level by fulfilling responsibilities including:

  • Coordinating care across clinical settings
  • Measuring outcomes and managing data
  • Assuring quality improvement
  • Assessing risk and performing systems analysis
  • Encouraging ethical principles
  • Developing and reviewing health policy
  • Implementing best practices based on evidence
  • Budgeting and fiscal responsibility
  • Leading teams and assuring interprofessional communication

The MSN Health Systems Leader concentration prepares nurses for these and other management-oriented responsibilities found in job titles such as unit manager, clinical coordinator, or nurse executive.

This concentration can be completed in six semesters, with 35 credit hours of coursework and 540 clinical practicum hours. The curriculum consists of courses addressing each of the areas cited above as well as immersive clinical experiences to assist learners in adapting to the role. All courses are online and clinical can be arranged in your own community (in most cases). 

The Health Systems Leader concentration incorporates the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) competencies. The curriculum prepares graduates to sit for the AONL Nurse Manager certification exam.

Two other MSN program concentrations are offered by the AUM School of Nursing: Nurse Educator for Interprofessional Practice and Family Nurse Practitioner.

  • How will this program impact my career? This MSN concentration is designed to help you prepare for leadership opportunities in a hospital or private practice setting, with titles including unit manager, clinical coordinator, nurse executive, nurse administrator, clinical nurse leader, and nurse manager.
  • What kind of academic background do I need?  You need to have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with an upper division nursing major from an accredited program. See “Admissions Requirements” below.
  • Can I afford this program? Tuition at AUM is lower than many other major universities, and scholarships and graduate assistantship opportunities are available.
Program Requirements

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Auburn University at Montgomery are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Why AUM?

Our differences are our strengths!


AUM is honored to have received many national and regional awards over the years. U.S. News & World Report named AUM one of its Top Public Schools for 2021, and Yahoo! Finance honored us as one of the Most Affordable Universities for 2021..


We think a high-quality, graduate education should be affordable. Tuition rates for many of our programs are lower than at comparable universities. In addition, scholarship or other kinds of tuition assistance may be available.


AUM offers a close-knit community where students and faculty get to know each other by name and develop valuable professional networks. We are able to keep class sizes small to facilitate group projects and personalized learning.


We understand that one of the main reasons you are here is to expand your career options. That’s why our programs are practical and often apply to your current work situation. You’ll also have the opportunity to get valuable career assistance.

Program Requirements

Master of Science in Nursing Program:

Hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree

Hold an earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with an upper division nursing major from a program accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing(ACEN), formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).

Registered Nurse License

Evidence of an unencumbered registered nurse license in the applicant’s state with license number to practice.

Current Professional Resume

Include the following:

  • Educational background including institutions, degree(s) awarded, degree(s) in progress, dates of degree(s) awarded, and/or anticipated date of receiving degree(s), if applicable
  • Relevant employment history, including job title (including unit), job description, and relevant duties performed for each position. Also include the following:
    • Employment dates of each position
    • Location of employer for each position
    • Community service or volunteer experience
    • Any awards, publications, presentations, certifications, and professional organization memberships
    • Evidence of leadership and career progression

Personal Statement

Both the writing style (i.e. grammar, punctuation, spelling, word use) and content of the personal statement will be considered in the overall evaluation of the application to the program. Please double space, Times New Roman 12 inch font, one inch margins. The personal statement should address:

  • Career goals after attaining a MSN degree
  • Reflection on candidate’s plan for success in the MSN program
  • Potential contributions to the profession after attaining a MSN

Official Transcripts

From all colleges or universities attended, including community colleges, even if a degree was not awarded

  • Minimum GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for both the nursing courses and overall GPA

Three Professional References

Examples of professional references:

  • A current clinical supervisor or nurse manager who has direct knowledge of the candidate’s skills in the clinical setting and how those skills will translate into the role of advanced practice Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator.
  • professor, faculty member, or academic advisor who can provide a meaningful assessment of the candidate’s academic record. If the candidate has been out of school for five years or more, a nurse educator or clinical instructor can provide the academic
  • A practicing clinical nursing professional, or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), who has served as a mentor and can address the candidate’s abilities as a registered nurse and the candidate’s potential to become an advanced practice Family Nurse
    Practitioner or Nurse Educator.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is required if English is not the first language

Auburn University at Montgomery TOEFL code is 1036. Please see admission requirements for AUM Graduate Studies for International students under Admission Graduate Studies International Students for further information.

We Have the Answers

Ask Us Anything

Healthcare organizations look for managers who are skilled in the clinical and managerial sides. Nurse managers, for instance, have 24-hour accountability and responsibility for a direct care unit and provide the vital link between the administrative strategic plan and the point of care. Health systems leaders, then, are able to drive and manage the one thing common to all healthcare settings: change.

Our MSN/Health Systems Leader curriculum helps to prepare you to sit for either the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Certification Exam.

It depends on several factors, like education level, job title, and work experience, but according to the BLS, master’s-prepared medical and health services managers earn median pay of $101,340 0 as of October 2022.

Yes, many of our MSN candidates work as RNs full time. The program is online but clinical hours take place in your own community (in most cases). In addition, students will come to campus at pre-arranged times for intensive experiences such as orientation, evaluation, and simulation experiences.

Degree Options

Rewarding Occupations and Job Growth

With this master’s degree, you have many career possibilities. Here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (or another source, if noted). 

Career/Job TitleEntry-Level Education RequirementsJob Growth 2021 - 2031Annual Median Salary
Medical and Health Services Manager
Master’s degree28% (Much faster than average)$123,780

Note: Salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education, training, demographics, and industry. Available data represents job titles across industries and may not be specific to your job category.

Learn More

Quick Facts

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

At AUM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, you will have hands-on learning experiences, working side by side with scholars and researchers using state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. 

Our academic departments include the School of Nursing, Medical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and Communication Disorders. To help you pay for college, you might qualify for one of our scholarships.

Official Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Health Systems Leader


Many classes in this degree program are available in both an In-Class and/or Online format. Students may elect to complete the entire program online. Students in these courses enroll in a program to connect in a virtual and/or in-class environment to collaborate using a variety of technological and educational tools. Professors play an instrumental role in building relationships among teams and individuals in this setting. All course criteria for online programs is completed through online efforts.  Be sure to check with your advisor if you have any questions regarding online studies.

Online In-Class
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