Guide the future of health care with an M.S. in Nursing Leadership degree.

Guide the future of health care with an M.S. in Nursing Leadership degree.

It’s an exciting time for nurses. Advances in care and policy have led to larger roles and responsibilities. But with an aging workforce and projected experience gap, up-and-coming nurses need leaders and mentors to guide them.

If you’re an RN with a bachelor’s degree, becoming a nurse educator means you’ll be guiding the next generation of nurses into the leading roles of tomorrow.
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M.S. in Nursing – Leadership in Health Care Systems: Education Focus

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Why should I pursue an M.S. in Nursing – Leadership in Health Care Systems degree with an education focus?

Almost two-thirds of nursing schools responding to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing survey report faculty shortages. As hospitals seek to fill those positions in the coming years, nursing leadership will be one of the most important roles facing health care. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (Table 26), a 35% increase in the need for nursing educators is projected through 2022 due to growth and a retiring workforce.

An MSN with a focus on nursing leadership and education can give you the skills and credentials to lead in clinical and academic settings.

Is an MSN with a focus on education for me?

As a nurse in a clinical setting, sharing knowledge is an important part of your job. If you can translate your teaching abilities and management skills into a nursing leadership position, you’ll embark on a rewarding career built on mentoring the next generation of nurses.

The responsibilities of nurse educators include:

  • Designing curricula
  • Developing courses
  • Teaching, mentoring and evaluating students

People attracted to our MSN program with an education focus tend to share these traits:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Creativity in conveying knowledge
  • Passion for teaching

What will I learn in Regis’ M.S. in Nursing program?

An M.S in Nursing degree with an education focus will prepare you to be an educator in both clinical and academic settings.

The American Association of Nurse Executives (AONE) believes that nurse managers at all levels should have an understanding in the following five attributes:

  • Communication and relationship building
  • Superior knowledge of clinical practice, delivery models, health care economics, policy, governance, evidence-based practice, safety, risk management and quality improvement
  • Leadership, including foundational and systems thinking, succession planning and change management
  • Professionalism, including accountability, career planning, ethics and advocacy
  • Business skills such as marketing, finances and strategic management

For that reason, our Master’s in Nursing Leadership includes courses in:

  • Advanced health assessment
  • Advanced physiology & pathophysiology
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Evidence-based practice research
  • Teaching and learning strategies
  • Curriculum development

The program includes two hands-on practicum experiences (210 hours total) designed to consolidate skills and apply theory to real-world scenarios. The program is tightly aligned with our Jesuit values, so you will also have service learning opportunities as you work toward your MSN.

Our program prepares students to sit for the National League of Nursing (NLN) Certified Nurse Educator exam and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Nursing Professional Development certification (formerly known as Staff Development Certification).

Is Regis’ MSN program accredited?

Regis University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six regional higher education institutional accreditors in the United States and a member of the North Central Association.

The Loretto Heights School of Nursing (LHSON) at Regis University is fully accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (AACN-CCNE).

What class formats are available?

Our M.S. in Nursing – Leadership in Health Care Systems: Education Focus program is seven semesters of full-time study and can be completed in two and a half years. You can earn your degree online or hybrid at Regis University. The majority of classes are offered in eight-week terms allowing you to focus on one or two classes at a time.

The flexible online format allows you to log in anytime, day or night, as you complete assignments. No campus visits are required for online students, but we encourage you to celebrate your graduation in person!

When do M.S. in Nursing classes start at Regis University?

Online courses are offered in blended eight-week terms that begin in January, May or August.

The hybrid program only begins once a year in January.

Can I combine my undergraduate degree with a master’s in nursing?

Are you currently an RN looking to get on a fast track to your MSN? Good news! We also offer a RN to M.S. in Nursing: Education or Management Focus.  Or check out our M.S. in Nursing: Leadership in Health Care Systems: Management Focus for students interested in leading nurses in a professional setting.

Career Opportunities

What careers can I get with an MSN with an education focus?

Nurse educators teach nursing students, conduct professional development and participate in patient, family and community education. Nurse educators typically practice in the following settings:

  • Colleges or universities
  • Hospitals
  • Community health agencies
  • Home care agencies
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Online, using distance learning technology

The shortage of nurse educators means you’ll have a high level of job security. As a nurse educator, you may work on an academic calendar or all year long. Unlike many clinical nurses, you won’t have to work 12-hour shifts or overnight. If you want to keep a foot in both worlds, you can work as both an educator and a clinical provider.

Career support from Regis.

The Center for Career and Professional Development at Regis provides you with the resources, training and advice to help you establish and meet your career goals. That means we’ll help you choose an academic major, explore and find a new career path or create the tools for a successful job search that will promote your career. To learn more, visit our Center for Career and Professional Development page.

What salary can I expect with a Master of Science in Nursing degree?

As with most nursing roles, your salary will vary based on your clinical and teaching experience, years of experience and geographic location. The average salary for a nurse educator is $70,185 according to*. Greater increases can be expected with experience and continued education.

*-Salary information based on data from spring 2016.

Program Requirements

Listed below are the required courses for completion of the Master of Science (MS) in Nursing, Leadership in Health Care Systems, Education focus program at Regis University. The total degree requires 42 semester hours.

Master of Science in Nursing Major Requirements
NR 600 Advanced Nursing Practice: Leadership and Theoretical Frameworks (3 semester hours)
NR 602 Adv. Apps. of Research for Evidence-Based Practice (3 semester hours)
HCE 604 Ethics for Nurse Leaders (3 semester hours)
NR 608 Health Care Policy (3 semester hours)
NR 609 Population Health and Interprofessional Collaboration Practicum (3 semester hours)
NR 614 Foundations of Financial Management for Nursing Leaders (3 semester hours)
NR 620 Health Care Organizations and Systems Leadership (3 semester hours)
NR 646 Teaching and Learning Strategies in Health Care (3 semester hours)
NR 699 Comprehensive Evaluation (0 semester hours)
Education Focus Requirements
NR 630 Advanced Health Assessment of the Patient and Family (3 semester hours)
NR 607 Advanced Pharmacology for Advanced Practice (3 semester hours)
NR 605 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan (3 semester hours)
NR 647 Curriculum Development (3 semester hours)
NR 648 Evaluation Methods in Health Care Education (3 semester hours)
NR 623F Leadership in Health Care Systems Practicum (3 semester hours)

Students interested in both the Education and Management focus areas can complete a dual focus by first completing the M.S. in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems, Management focus, and then the Graduate Certificate in Health Care Education.

A thesis option is available for classroom-based students. Students electing the thesis option complete an additional three semester hours (45 semester hours total) for this degree.

Please note that recent course requirement updates may not be reflected in the list above. For further information contact the Office of Admissions at 303.458.4344.

How to Apply

Take the next step in your Regis experience and start your application today. Complete the Regis University Application or the NursingCAS Application. NursingCAS is the centralized application service for Nursing programs. Regis University accepts either application and gives equal consideration to both.

Have questions? Attend an information session or webinar, or just email or calls us.

The application requirements are the same regardless of which application you utilize to apply.  If utilizing the Regis Application all documents are submitted directly to Regis University.  If utilizing the NursingCAS application, all documents, including transcripts are submitted directly to NursingCAS.    

  • Submit a completed online application.
  • Request official BSN degree–bearing transcript from a NLNAC or ACN/CCNE accredited program as well as an official transcript showing A grade of “C” or better in an introductory course in statistics that includes inferential as well as descriptive statistics. Official transcripts can be mailed or sent electronically. If completing the NursingCAS application, transcript instructions are included in the application and transcripts are sent directly to NursingCAS. If utilizing the Regis University application direct transcripts to the following address:
    • Submit mailed transcripts to:
      Regis University
      Office of Admissions
      3333 Regis Boulevard 
      Mail Code: P-28
      Denver, CO 80221-1099
    • Submit electronic transcripts to
    • Regis accepts electronic transcripts from the following services: Scrip-Safe, Docufide, Avow Systems.
  • Submit three recommendation forms. Select professional and academic references that can address your academic, professional, and leadership potential. One recommendation must be from your current employer or supervisor. The recommendation forms provided must be used. You will need the email addresses for your two references to complete the online forms.
  • Submit a current resume including all professional and volunteer experience 
  • Submit a one-page typewritten personal statement (double-spaced) that addresses the essay question in the application. Essay topic is provided after you submit the application or you can contact your Admissions Counselor.
  • Submit a nonrefundable application fee. Instructions are given when you complete the payment portion of the application.

Materials in support of an application for admission become the property of Regis University and will not be provided or returned to an applicant.

You can email your admission counselor with questions at

Regis University
Office of Admissions
3333 Regis Blvd.
Mail Code P-28
Denver, CO 80221-1099
Phone: 303.458.4344 or 800.944.7667
Fax: 303.964.5534

Admissions Criteria

  • A nursing baccalaureate degree from a NLNAC or AACN-CCNE accredited program. 
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or above on a 4.0 scale. 
  • An active, unrestricted or unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license in the state in which the student’s clinical/practicum experience will be completed.
  • Two years of clinical practice as a Registered Nurse (RN) is preferred for all applicants 
  • Completion of a statistics course with a grade of "C" or better (may be taken after admission but prior to NR 602).
  • Current American Heart Association (AHA) Basic Life Support (BLS) for health care professionals certification.
  • Eligibility for this program is pending the successful completion of a drug screening and a criminal background check. For a complete list of Disqualifying Offenses, click here. 
  • A complete health history and physical examination record indicating that the student is physically able to meet the objectives of the program, and is appropriately immunized is required after admission to the program. 
  • If English is not your native/first language, you must meet one of the following language proficiency requirement: 1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Internet-based: Minimum score of 82 (24 Writing, 20 Speaking, 22 Reading, 16 Listening), Computer-based: Minimum score of 213. Regis University's TOEFL code is 4656. OR 2. Applicants that have successfully completed an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited US institution do not need to provide a TOEFL score.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition (per semester hour) $620
University Fees
Application Fee $50
Graduation Application Fee $50
Parking Varies Learn More

Additional costs may be incurred based on individual and program specific needs. Some costs are controlled by external vendors and are subject to change without notice. A complete list of all program specific requirements is provided to admitted students prior to the start date. The following list gives you an estimate of additional expenses but may not be inclusive of all needs. Students may need uniforms, and/or lab equipment. Costs may be incurred for travel to practicums or service learning. Expenses for books will be incurred, as well as potential costs for required technology not already owned. All campus-based nursing students are required to have a laptop for access to web-based content during class. Please click here for hardware and software requirements.

Other anticipated costs  Estimated Cost
Complio®/Compliance Tracking Annual Fee
Background Check and Drug Screen $57
Basic Life Support Certification Varies
Vaccinations Varies
Physical Exam Varies
Proof of Health Insurance

Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Related Programs

M.S. Nursing: Leadership in Health Care Systems Management Focus