Nursing - Leadership (MSN)

Master of Science in Nursing - Leadership (MSN)
Unit: School of Nursing (GN)
Program Website 

Program Information

This program is completed entirely online.

The Master of Science in Nursing - Leadership is designed for Registered Nurses with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  The program offers two concentrations:  Nursing Practice and Nursing Education.

The MSN in Leadership program provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in nursing leadership, with a focus on leadership in nursing practice or nursing education. Graduates can choose to work in a variety of settings and leadership capacities within the nursing profession, and can advance their career as nurse leaders. Upon completion of the program, graduates of the Nursing Practice concentration are eligible to sit for the Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC) while graduates of the Nursing Education concentration are eligible to sit for the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam.

The University of Louisville School of Nursing is an essential partner of a research-intensive academic health science center in a nationally recognized university serving a metropolitan community. The School of Nursing is a community in which faculty, staff and students collaborate to promote excellence in the profession of nursing. This is accomplished through research and scholarship that inform undergraduate and graduate education, support evidence-based practice and foster advances in nursing science.

Students are prepared to demonstrate excellence in nursing science, practice and leadership, in a variety of settings for the benefit of clients across the lifespan and to meet the evolving health care needs of society.

Admissions Criteria

Students may be admitted into the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) for a summer, fall, or spring term.  

A holistic review process is used when considering applications for admission to the master's program. The holistic review considers multiple criteria for admissions, such as:  the applicant's professional goals, academic capabilities, and grade point averages.  

At a minimum, the applicant must possess:

  • A RN license, in good standing in the state in which it was issued.
  • A Bachelors of Science in Nursing from an accredited institution and a NLN, CCNE or ACEN accredited nursing program.
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of an application in the Nursing CAS system and the University's Graduate School.

The University of Louisville School of Nursing participates in Nursing's Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which provides you with an online application.  NursingCAS collects and processes your application documents and verifies your transcripts.  The School of Nursing will receive your application information from NursingCAS and use it to make admission decisions. 

To be considered for admission to Degree Status, the following items must be submitted:

To the Graduate School

To NursingCAS

  • Official transcripts representing all college coursework with a recommended cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.   Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree must be from an accredited institution and a NLN, CCNE or ACEN accredited nursing program.
  • Applicants who have attended a college or university outside the United States are also required to submit a course by course evaluation of their transcript through World Education Services (WES) or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). Please note that transcript evaluations can sometimes take several weeks.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Within the NursingCAS application, submit names and email addresses of individuals who can speak to your academic and/or professional capabilities and potential.
  • Goal statement, 500 words or less, explaining your reasons for seeking the program, including short- and long-term professional goals. Describe how past educational, work, and/or life experiences have prepared you for this next step in the career. 
  • Resume. 
    • RN license in good standing. from a U.S. state board of nursing.
  • Students for whom English is not their primary language must show English Proficiency. 

To the School of Nursing, Office of Student Services

  • Criminal background check submitted through
  • An interview with faculty may be required.

Students who do not meet admission requirements may contact the University of Louisville School of Nursing Office of Student Services for an advising appointment.

Important Note: All applicants, regardless of their application status, are required to submit official transcripts for all college work completed. An application fee is required of all applicants regardless of where previous degrees were earned. A reduced UofL application fee is assessed for nursing programs participating in the Common Application System (CAS).

Program Requirements

Master's of Science in Nursing - Leadership 

Students in both concentrations in the MSN in Leadership will need to compete the following core requirements:

MSN Program Core
NURS 607Foundational Concepts of Evidence Based Practice3
NURS 643Quality and Safety in Advanced Practice Nursing2
NURS 657Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Culturally Diverse and Vulnerable Populations.3
NURS 743Epidemiology3
MSN Leadership Core
NURS 679Finance and Resource Management for the Nurse Leader 3
NURS 680Integrated Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, and Health Assessment Across the Lifespan3
NURS 685Leadership for Change and Advancing Nursing Practice3
Concentration Requirements (see Concentration tab)10
Minimum Total Hours30