By HAD Staff
Nurses who want to shoulder the responsibilities of leadership can advance their careers by pursuing an affordable online nursing administration degree. With the increasing complexity of modern medicine and the need for competent leadership to manage nurses, the need for administrators with these online nursing degrees has never been stronger. Online nursing schools allow working nurses to gain the skills necessary to assume leadership roles while continuing their nursing jobs in hospitals and clinics.
Nursing leadership requires skills in both nursing and business. While attending nursing school online, RNs will learn financial skills, human resource skills and management skills in addition to deepening their understanding of nursing. Students will also learn to apply nursing informatics to their care plans, improving treatment outcomes by harnessing the power of information. Nursing administration degrees prepare nurses to implement the latest developments in nursing theory in the real world.
Earning this online nursing degree can boost a registered nurse’s salary. The median nursing salary for an RN is around $66,000, but those who have successfully completed an online nursing degree in nurse administration can expect to earn around $92,000. Completing one of these online nursing programs can add some luster to nursing resume.
To compile our list of the most affordable online accredited nursing schools, we used the NCES College Navigator database to find all 82 online nursing colleges that offered nursing administration degrees. We then compared the College Navigator’s published annual graduate school tuition rate at each of these schools to select our 30 top nursing schools by price. Whenever an in-state tuition rate was available, we used that rate to compute the cost of that school.
30. Wheeling Jesuit University
Online Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration Track
Located in the city of Wheeling, West Virginia, Wheeling Jesuit University is a Roman Catholic school with a regional reputation for leadership, academic excellence and value. Qualified graduate students can earn an online master of science in nursing degree with an emphasis on nursing administration, preparing students to assume a leadership role in health care settings. The program blends concepts from nursing, business and management to give students the tools necessary for success. Courses are offered entirely online, and students can perform their in-person coursework at facilities in their hometowns.
29. Regis University
M.S. Nursing: Leadership in Health Care Systems: Management Focus
Regis University, a Jesuit college located in Denver, Colorado, has been named as one of the top colleges in the nation for more than 19 consecutive years. The school’s Rueckhart-Hartman College offers a variety of MSN degrees, including an MSN with a management focus. Students can take their classes online or on campus; both options also include two hands-on practicums totaling 210 hours. Classes are offered in eight-week terms, and the full degree program typically takes 2.5 years to complete.
28. Northwest Nazarene University
Online Masters of Science in Nursing
The Department of Nursing at Northwest Nazarene University offers a fully online Master of Science in nursing degree with an emphasis on leadership and education. The program is designed to help working nursing professionals learn new skills and assume leadership roles in their careers. Courses can be completed at any time, allowing students to continue working while they earn their degree. Students who have only earned an associate degree can still apply to the program, though professional experience is necessary. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
27. Indiana Wesleyan University
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration
At Indiana Wesleyan University, students can complete a highly competitive online MSN degree with a focus on nursing administration. Hands-on coursework can be performed in the student’s locality. Students can tailor their coursework to any of the core competencies defined by the American Organization of Nursing Executives, giving students a tangible experience that they can take to new employers. Graduates of the program will also earn a certificate of competency from Sigma Theta Tau, the honors society for nursing education.
26. Grand Canyon University
Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems
At Grand Canyon University, students interested in nursing administration will learn how to analyze research, understand a variety of business models in the health industry, and learn how to become leaders. This school’s program consists of both a capstone course and a practicum. Through the practicum, students will have the chance to directly apply their newly gained knowledge. In the capstone portion, students will be responsible for identifying a challenge in the nursing field and coming up with their own solutions for the problem.
25. Ball State University
Master of Science in Nursing (Nurse Administrator Concentration)
Ball State University, located in Indiana, offers a comprehensive online program for an advanced nursing degree. The courses in the program focus on research, health promotion and decision making. Students will also learn essential leadership skills through the practicum portion of the course. This requires 225 hours of work in an approved health care setting. This part of the course can be done in the student’s own city with the assistance of a health care professional to act as a supervisor. Ball State University’s program requires seven semesters to complete.
24. American Sentinel University
MSN Nursing Leadership and Management Program
Students enrolled in American Sentinel University’s MSN nursing leadership and management program can expected a rigorous CCNE-accredited course. This program prepares students to enter challenging roles as leaders in the nursing field and will teach them how to work with others efficiently and how to think critically when faced with a challenge. Courses last for eight weeks and start up each month, giving maximum flexibility to working students. The program includes a capstone project that encourages students to learn more about research and identifying current needs in the health care industry.
23. MidAmerica Nazarene University
Master of Science in Nursing Healthcare Administration Track
MidAmerica Nazarene University offers nursing specialties for students interesting in earning an advanced nursing degree online. The Master of Science in Nursing Healthcare Administration Track offers an online version to suit the schedule of working students. Courses are taught in eight-week modules and the teachers offer years of experience. The school also offers an MSN/MBA Dual Degree Program that combines mostly online coursework with a weekly on-campus class. Through this offering, students can earn two degrees at an accelerated pace.
22. Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Master of Science in Nursing Administration Track
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers an advanced and flexible program for a Master of Science in nursing, with an administration track for those interested in assuming an administrative role after graduation. The program aims to equip students with the building blocks necessary to become leaders in the workplace. Students who are already working in the nursing field can immediately pick up new skills and knowledge to help them excel. Faculty members try to work with students individually to give personalized assistance. New cohorts begin four times throughout the year. The program can also be combined for an MSN/MBA or MSN/MHA dual degree.
21. California University of Pennsylvania
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Administration and Leadership
The California University of Pennsylvania offers a 20-month online program for a Master of Science in nursing administration and leadership. Each class group is limited to 35 students so that each enrollee can receive individual attention from faculty members. New classes begin twice a year in the spring and fall. Coursework focuses on preparing students for leadership positions and potential doctoral study. The program is fully accredited by the CCNE.
20. The University of Texas at Arlington
Online Master of Science in Nursing in Nursing Administration
As one of only 115 tier-one research universities in the nation, the University of Texas at Arlington offers its graduates a prestigious name to accompany their economical degree options. The university’s college of nursing offers a flexible online MSN in nursing administration that blends online learning with in-person experiences. Several hospitals partner with the university to offer remote students the ability to gain professional experience while they earn their degrees. The online program doesn’t adhere to a strict semester schedule, allowing motivated students to earn their degree in as little as 21 months.
19. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Leadership in Health Systems Track
IUPUI offers a nursing leadership in health systems specialty as part of its Master of Science in nursing program. Topics covered during the program include economics, organizational theory, leadership techniques and more. The capstone administrative practicum allows students to learn more about research and apply the new knowledge they have gained directly into their local community. Students can customize their elective choices in order to better suit their career goals. The program consists of 42 credit hours and 225 practicum hours. IUPUI’s program is consistently rated as one of the best nursing programs in the nation, placing well in the nursing school rankings every year.
18. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Master of Science in Nursing Leadership and Management in Health Systems
Nurses with bachelor’s degrees can earn an advanced degree through the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Throughout the program, students will learn about patient satisfaction and working with others. Fiscal management and leadership skills are thoroughly explored in the coursework. Students can gain hands-on experience through a practicum done within their local area. The program is designed to be completed on a part-time schedule, with many students graduating after four years. Alternative schedules are available for students who wish to finish at an accelerated rate.
17. East Tennessee State University
Master of Science Nursing Administration Concentration
The Master of Science in nursing administration degree at East Tennessee University focuses on several core subjects, including financial planning, organizational theory and leadership techniques. Students can expect individual attention during the program to increase the effectiveness of the coursework. The program includes a practicum to give students more clinical experience to help build towards a future career. Students may choose to follow a part-time or full-time schedule to fit their needs.
16. Queens University of Charlotte
MSN Clinical Nurse Leader Track
Queens University of Charlotte trains nurses to become leaders in their field and to take charge of managing patients through the school’s MSN clinical nurse leader track. The courses cover core concepts in the field, including research methods, data analysis and the latest in medical informatics. Students must complete 300 hours of clinical study under the supervision of an approved professional. Through the clinical study, students can apply new skills while interacting directly with patients. Most students finish the online program in two years.
15. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Master of Science in Nursing i-LEAD Nursing Leadership Program
The University of Colorado-Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus offers nurses who are interested in pursuing an administrative career an online degree to further their career goals. Tuition for the school’s i-LEAD degree (Innovation in Leadership and Administration) is the same for all students, regardless of the student’s state of residence. The program harnesses the power of social media to help students network and engage with health care leaders, especially in the state of Colorado. After completing the 30-credit program, students can also earn a post-master’s certificate to gain further specialization in health care informatics.
14. Kennesaw State University
MSN Advanced Care Management – Nursing Administration and Transformational Leadership Track
At Kennesaw State University, students can complete an accelerated online MSN degree with a focus on administration and leadership, preparing graduates of the program to assume leadership positions in a variety of health care settings. In addition to furthering their understanding of nursing, students will learn several administrative and managerial skills, including conflict management, communication, strategic thinking and more. The program can be completed in only 15 months, and the vast majority of coursework can be completed online. Students will need to make an occasional visit to campus each semester, however.
13. Western Governors University
Master of Science Nursing Leadership and Management
Western Governors University is an exclusively online school that combines convenience and affordability with quality coursework to provide students with an excellent value. Registered nurses who wish to assume an administrative and managerial role in their careers can earn a Master of Science in nursing leadership and management. Progress in the degree is measured by assessments rather than concrete courses. Typically, students can complete the program in about two years, but highly motivated or talented individuals can progress through the degree rapidly.
12. Winona State University
Master of Science in Nursing and Organizational Leadership
Graduate nursing students at Winona State University can earn their master’s in nursing and organizational leadership degree in a variety of formats, including on-campus classes or a hybrid online model; in the hybrid model, most coursework is done online at the student’s own pace. Four times each semester, students must participate in group meetings, which can be done either on campus or via web-based meeting software. The coursework focuses on developing leadership and organizational skills for nursing environments and includes both general human resource management skills and nursing-specific skills that reflect the unique needs of the health care environment.
11. The University of Texas Medical Branch
Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader Track
Located in Galveston, Texas, the University of Texas Medical Branch is the oldest medical school in the state and one of the best nursing schools in the country. The school offers an online Master of Science in nursing degree; registered nurses interested in advancing their careers as administrators and leaders can pursue the school’s clinical nurse leader track. The program will teach students advanced nursing techniques while also equipping graduates with fiscal and human resource management skills to improve patient outcomes while creating more efficient health care programs. The school maintains a network of clinical sites in the Galveston area for students to gain hands-on experience, but students from outside of the area can work with the school to gain equivalent experience with a local health care facility.
10. Ferris State University
Master of Science in Nursing
Ferris State University’s Master of Science in nursing program is designed for the student who needs flexibility. Students may select how many classes they take at a time, and the class load can be adjusted depending on the student’s needs. The majority of the course is online, but some Saturday on-campus meetings may be required. To graduate, students must work on a final project that requires two practicums. In this portion, the students will gain field experience and put their new skills to the test.
9. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
Master of Science, Health Care & Nursing Administration
At Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, students interested in earning a Master of Science in health care and nursing administration will find a supportive faculty. The course aims to prepare students for essential accreditation tests, including exams from the American Organization of Nurse Executives Credentialing Center and others. At the beginning of the program, students can expect to delve into research analysis, health policy and organizational theory. Students will need to complete a 270-hour practicum to finish the course. The program takes about three years to complete with summer attendance.
8. Kaplan University-Augusta Campus
Master of Science in Nursing – Executive Leader Concentration
Kaplan University-Augusta Campus offers a number of distance-learning opportunities, including a Master of Science in nursing with an executive leader concentration. In the core classes, students will learn about advanced nursing roles and the latest options in health care delivery models. The specialized concentration track covers health care finance topics and human resource management. Students will undergo a special project near the end of the program to address issues in the nursing field. New sessions begin regularly throughout the year to give working students plentiful chances to begin their new educational path.
7. McNeese State University
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Executive Concentration
Since 1939, McNeese State University has offered educational opportunities to the people of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Today, the school offers an online Master of Science in nursing, with a nursing executive concentration for aspiring nurses wishing to pursue careers as administrators and leaders in nursing. Coursework can be completed in about two years and focuses on applying concepts from business and administration to the challenges of the health care field. Successful completion of the program will require hands-on practicum experience and a thesis or focused scholarly project.
6. The University of Texas at Tyler
Master’s in Nursing Administration
Successful graduates of the master’s in nursing administration program at the University of Texas at Tyler can expect a rewarding career working as an administrator in a health care setting. In this online course, teachers keep in touch with students through instant messaging and web-based meetings. The course also includes a practicum to get students directly involved in a live health care environment. Students will have the choice to complete a thesis paper or a scholarly project to fulfill the requirements of the course.
5. The University of Texas at El Paso
MSN in Nursing Systems Management
The University of Texas at El Paso offers an online MSN in nursing systems management to help further the skills of RNs who wish to become administrators and managers in their local area. Students will have plentiful opportunities to interact with experienced instructors through the duration of the classwork with personalized advising. Classes in the program cover a wide variety of topics, such as ethics, management roles and working in teams. The program can be completed by most students in two years.
4. Texas Woman’s University
Master’s Degree in Nursing Health Systems Management
Texas Woman’s University is a coeducational university located in Denton, Texas. The school, which is one of the best colleges for nursing in the country, offers a master’s degree in nursing and health systems management. The program focuses on teaching students essential business skills to help them excel as leaders in all types of health care settings. Students will learn about the legal and business side of nursing management and understand how to manage interpersonal relationships in the workplace. Students may pursue a minor in business through this program. A 90-hour practicum is also required to complete the course.
3. Grantham University
Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership
At Grantham University, RNs can enroll in the Master of Science in nursing management and organizational leadership course to advance their current skills to become leaders in their field. This program addresses many important topics in today’s health care system, including the effects of governments and technology. Teachers will help the students gain new experiences in nurse management at the clinical level, working as a leader with multiple teams and understanding the needs of diverse populations. Students conclude their work in this program by composing a research paper for a seminar.
2. Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
Leadership in Nursing Systems, MSN
As part of the Texas A&M University system, this college provides an exceptional learning experience for nurses wishing to expand their knowledge base and skill set into leadership positions. The school’s leadership in nursing systems Master of Science degree equips students with the knowledge they need to deliver health care effectively in diverse regions. Students are in charge of selecting a clinical site in their area for gaining hands-on experience with nursing leadership. The program usually takes three years to finish and is done on a part-time basis to help students continue to work full-time.
1. The University of Texas at Brownsville
Master of Science in Nursing Administration Program
The Master of Science in nursing administration program at the University of Texas at Brownsville aims to shape the future leaders in the field of nursing. The program sets several essential goals for each of its students, such as learning to make decisions guided by ethics and understanding diverse populations. Students will also learn fundamentals to organize a nursing staff, manage finances to provide cost-effective care and gain an understanding of how to perform research in the field.
Nurses continue to be a scarce resource for many health care facilities, and effective management of a nursing staff can help these organization to make the most of their nurses. By blending the proven strategies of human resource management and fiscal governance from the business world with the knowledge and experience of skilled nurses, nurse administrators provide a valuable skill to the health care industry. Completing an affordable online nursing administration degree can equip you with the ability to compete in this rewarding and in-demand career.
You may also like: 50 Best Schools for a Healthcare Administration Degree 2016