Nursing Health Systems Leadership Pathway


The UAB School of Nursing produces strong nurse leaders and strategic thinkers through it's nationally ranked programs, including the nation's No. 4 Nursing Health Systems Administration Specialty, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2023.

Four Nursing Health Systems Leadership Specialties are currently offered, preparing career-minded graduates for management and executive roles at all levels of a health care organization, including unit manager, clinical coordinator, chief information officer or chief nursing officer, enabling them to implement or lead health system and health care change, making a difference in patient lives globally.

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  • Nurse Educator

    The Nurse Educator specialty track prepares nurses at the master’s level to teach nursing and patient care in a variety of settings. The Nurse Educator designs and implements educational programs for specific populations including patients, families, nursing students, technical students, and continuing education for nurses.

    To best accommodate the needs of the nursing workforce, the courses are delivered through a distance accessible format that combines synchronous and asynchronous online learning opportunities with on-campus intensives where students participate in planned laboratory and simulation experiences designed to promote mastery of essential skill sets. Advanced nursing didactic content is provided in five courses and equips the student with a strong base of knowledge about patient care at an advanced level. Practicum and residency courses offer extensive preparation for the teaching role. The Nurse Educator specialty can be completed in 6 semesters for the student who begins in the Fall semester and in 7 semesters for the students who begins in the Summer semester.

    Admission in both Summer and Fall.

    For more information contact:

    Sample Program of Study1

    Year 1
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    1NUR 737 Interprofessional Leadership and Role Development for Practice Excellence3
    NUR 612 Advanced Pathophysiology3
    2NUR 735 Population Health in Advanced Practice Nursing3
    NUR 613 Pharmacology & Therapeutics3
    3NUR 729 Evidence-Based Practice Design and Translation3
    NUR 614 Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Nursing Practice3
    NTC 660 Foundations in Nursing Education3
    Year 2
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    4NTC 650 Instructional Strategies in Teaching Nursing3
    NTC 658 Simulation and Technologies for Student Learning3
    5NTC 652 Curriculum and Program Development3
    NTC 654 Evaluation of Instruction in Nursing3
    6NTC 683 Nurse Educator Practicum3
    Total Credit Hours36

    1Program of Study varies depending on semester of admission. Students admitted in a summer semester complete coursework over 7 semesters and fall semester over 6 semesters.

  • Nurse Management of Care Transitions

    The Nurse Management of Care Transitions specialty track prepares nurses at the master’s level to improve health outcomes through clinical coordination and management of patient care transitions both inside and outside of a health care organization. The Nurse Management of Care Transitions prepares advanced practice nurses to prevent care disruptions and unnecessary readmissions for patients across the healthcare continuum.

    The Nurse Management of Care Transitions clinician applies principles of evidence-based practice, risk assessment, patient safety, interprofessional coordination, quality improvement, patient and family centered care, communication, and outcome measurement to manage complex and chronic conditions, supporting patients, families, and caregivers while improving the clinical environment.

    To best accommodate the needs of the nursing workforce, the courses are delivered through a distance accessible format combining synchronous and asynchronous online learning opportunities with on-campus intensives where students participate in planned laboratory and simulation experiences designed to promote mastery of essential skill sets. Advanced nursing didactic content is provided in five courses and equips the student with a strong base of knowledge about health system leadership at an advanced level. Practicum and residency courses offer extensive preparation for the Clinical Care Transitions Manager role. The Management of Care Transitions specialty can be completed in 6 semesters.

    Admission is limited to Summer entry only.

    For more information, contact:

    Sample Course of Study1

    Year 1
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    1NHSL 604Q Developing the Advanced Nurse Leader3
    NHSL 610Q Health Care Systems for Advanced Nurse Leaders3
    2NHSL 606Q Evidence-Based Practice and Management3
    NHP 701Q Essentials of Population Health Science3
    3NHP 702Q Population Health: Organization, Delivery, and Financing3
    NTT 620Q Health Issues Across the Continuum I3
    Year 2
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    4NHSA 631Q Advanced Quality and Patient Safety (60 clinical hours)1
    NTT 621Q Health Issues Across the Continuum II3
    5NTT 622Q Care Transitions I3
    NTT 685QL Practicum I: Care Transitions (180 clinical hours)3
    6NTT 623Q Care Transitions II3
    NTT 686QL Practicum II: Care Transitions (180 clinical hours)3
    Total Credit Hours34
    (420 clincial)

    1Course of study is subject to change.

  • Nursing Health Systems Administration

    The Nursing Health Systems Administration specialty prepares students for leadership positions in health care systems, from unit level to system wide leadership roles. Graduates are prepared for management roles at all levels of the organization.

    To best accommodate the needs of the nursing administration workforce, the curriculum is offered via a part-time program of study delivered through a distance accessible format that combines synchronous online classes with on-campus intensives, where students participate in planned laboratory and simulation experiences designed to promote mastery of essential skill sets. The curriculum is accomplished through 36 credit hours of coursework, with 28 credit hours of didactic coursework and 8 credit hours of clinical practica, that is completed in two academic years (six semesters).

    Admission is limited to Summer entry only.

    For more information, contact:

    Photo of Greg Eagerton
    Greg Eagerton DNP, RN
    Specialty Track Coordinator
    205.975.9101

    Sample Program of Study1

    Year 1
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    1NHSL 604 Developing the Advanced Nurse Leader3
    NHSL 610 Health Care Systems Overview for Nurse Leaders3
    2NHSL 606 Evidence-Based Practice and Management3
    NHSA 618 Human Resource Management3
    3NHSA 616 Nursing Financial Management4
    NHSA 617L Nursing Financial Management Practicum2
    Year 2
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    4NHSA 631 Advanced Quality and Patient Safety4
    NHSA 681L Advanced Quality and Patient Safety Practicum I2
    5NHSA 632 Nursing Health Systems Administration I4
    NHSA 682L Nursing Health Systems Administration Practicum I2
    6NHSA 633 Nursing Health Systems Administration II4
    NHSA 683L Nursing Health Systems Administration Practicum II2
    Total Credit Hours36

    1Program of Study is subject to change.

  • Nursing Informatics

    Nursing Informatics is an emerging specialty in nursing that is a combination of computer science, cognitive science, information science, and nursing science that is focused on organization, analysis, and dissemination of information within a health care setting. The Nursing Informatics specialty prepares advanced practice nurses in the analysis, design, and implementation of information and communication systems for health systems, as well as the use of data for effectiveness and informatics research, and the use of information technology.

    To best accommodate the needs of the nursing administration workforce, the curriculum is offered via a part-time program of study delivered through a distance accessible format that combines synchronous online classes with on-campus intensives, where students participate in planned laboratory and simulation experiences designed to promote mastery of essential skill sets. The curriculum is accomplished through 40 credit hours of course work, with 36 credit hours of didactic coursework and 4 credit hours of clinical practica, that is completed in seven semesters.

    Admission is limited to Summer entry only.

    For more information, contact:

    Sample Program of Study1

    Year 1
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    1NHSL 604 Developing the Advanced Nurse Leader3
    NHSL 610 Health Care Systems Overview for Nurse Leaders3
    2NHSL 606 Evidence-Based Practice and Management3
    NNI 631 Foundations of Nursing Informatics – Scope of Practice, Models, Standards and Theories3
    3NNI 632 Nursing Informatics Systems Analysis and Design4
    NNI 633 Informatics and Information Technology to Advance Care3
    Year 2
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    4NHSA 631 Advanced Quality and Patient Safety4
    HI 601 Databases and Data Modeling4
    5NNI 634 Informatics Project Evaluation/Human Factors3
    NNI 636 Data Analytics for the Informatics Nurse Specialist3
    6NNI 635 Essentials of Project Management for Nursing Information Specialists3
    NNI 685 Nursing Informatics Practicum I2
    Year 3
    SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
    7NNI 686 Nursing Informatics Practicum II2
    Total Credit Hours40

    1Program of Study is subject to change.

  • MSN Admission Requirements

    Prospective students must meet the following requirements for admission:

    • Hold a BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution and a nationally accredited nursing program (CCNE or CNEA accreditation), equivalent to the one offered by the UAB School of Nursing;
    • Possess an unencumbered and unrestricted nursing license to practice in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum;
    • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or on the last 60 semester hours.
    • Students with less than a 3.2 GPA (last 60 hours undergraduate GPA or overall undergraduate GPA) are required to complete and submit scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), GMAT, or MAT; only scores completed within the previous 5 years are accepted. Minimum required scores are a combined score of 297 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE, or a score of 410 on the MAT or score of 480 on the GMAT. Applicants who have successfully completed a graduate degree from a regionally accredited academic institution may receive a waiver for this requirement if they achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their previous graduate degree program. The following individuals are not eligible for the GRE waiver process: International applicants, non-native English speaking applicants, and Dual degree seeking applicants (e.g., MSN/MPH). For more information on the Test Score Waiver process click here.
    • Submit three letters of professional reference attesting to the applicant's potential for graduate study;
    • Applicants should submit an official transcript from every college or university they have ever attended (even if for only one semester). Transcripts may be emailed electronically by the issuing institution to the UAB Graduate School at gradschool@uab.edu or mailed to:
      • UAB Graduate School
        LHL G03
        1720 2nd Ave. S.
        Birmingham, AL 35294-0013

    CORE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

  • State Regulations Governing Distance Programs

    Out-of-state applicants to any of our distance-accessible programs should become familiar with their state’s regulations governing distance accessible programs. Prospective students residing in states other than Alabama should contact their state’s Board of Nursing and Department of Education for specific rules and regulations pertaining to students enrolled in out-of-state programs and are planning to conduct UABSON distance education in their home state. Only those students who reside in Alabama or those states where the UAB School of Nursing programs are available will be eligible to receive an offer of admission.

    More information is available at the State Approval Website for Online Degree Programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

  • Application for Admission/Application Deadlines

    Application Deadlines

    Summer 2023: December 31, 2022
    Fall 2023: May 1, 2023

    Applications are accepted and considered on a rolling basis up to the application deadline.

  • MSN Program Outcomes

    Upon completion of the MSN Program, students will be able to:

    • Synthesize research, theoretical formulations, and principles of scientific inquiry to provide evidence-based practice.
    • Assume leadership in managing and evaluating continuous quality improvement processes.
    • Use information systems/technology to evaluate programs of care, outcomes of care, and care systems.
    • Advocate and implement health-care policies that improve access, equity, efficiency, and social justice in the delivery of health care.
    • Provide ethical, culturally sensitive care in an advanced nursing role independently and collaboratively with professionals from multiple disciplines.
    • Monitor the quality of one's own nursing practice based on professional practice standards and relevant statutes and regulations.
    • Apply theories and principles of marketing, economics, consultation, management, and leadership to comprehensively perform an advanced nursing role.
  • Tuition and Fees

    The following tuition and fees are valid for the 2022-2023 academic year. Tuition and fees and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE annually based on approval from the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and/or university.

    The estimates below are based on the costs listed at the UAB Office of Planning and Analysis website.

    Each student’s costs will vary depending upon a number of factors including state of residence, the number of credits taken in a semester, or whether the student attends class live or through a distance-accessible format. Fees vary by program and course.

    Tuition and Fees
    UAB School of Nursing 2022-2023
    Resident
    Charge ($)
    Non-resident
    Charge ($)
    MSN Coursework (distance-accessible format per semester hour)682682
    Fees - UAB School of NursingCost ($)
    Educational Support and Technology Fee (per course)235
    Other Related Expenses (Estimated)Cost ($)
    Books and supplies (estimate per term)600
    Student Hospitalization Insurance Fee1 (estimate per month)200
    Background Check (annual estimate)88
    1May be waived with documented proof of equal or greater coverage
  • Funding Your Education

    UAB Financial Aid and Scholarships

    Information on Financial Aid, University Scholarships and other funding opportunities is available at:

    UAB School of Nursing Scholarships

    • The School of Nursing at UAB has an excellent scholarship program that provides financial support to Alabama’s best and brightest nursing students.
    • Currently, the School’s scholarship portfolio consists of 76 endowed scholarships and 3 active sponsored scholarships.
    • The school currently has an $10.1 million endowed fund that supports nursing scholarships annually.
    • Scholarships are awarded twice a year – spring and fall semesters. The scholarship application process is simple. One application is needed to be considered for all undergraduate or graduate scholarships.
    • Application and additional information can be found at https://www.uab.edu/nursing/home/scholarships-financial-aid

    For Information about School of Nursing Scholarships, Contact:

    Photo of Stephanie Hamberger
    Stephanie Hamberger, MPA
    Director of Student Engagement, Recruitment and Scholarships
    205.934.5483

    Fellowship, Traineeship, and Other Funding for Graduate Programs

    There are a limited number of Graduate Fellowships and Traineeships that are awarded through the UAB School of Nursing that require students to meet specific requirements, and are only awarded when funds are available. When such funds are available in a particular program, students enrolled in the program will be notified and provided information on how to apply. Contact Katrina Staffney (email: KatrinaStaffney@uab.edu), for more information.

    Nurse Faculty Loan

    Federal Nurse Faculty Loan Funds are available to MSN students who intend to assume a faculty position in a school of nursing upon completion of the degree. These funds are limited to payment of tuition and fees and other reasonable educational expenses. Contact JoeAnn Kennedy (email: joeann@uab.edu), for more information.

  • Information for International Student

    NOTE: Prospective International students must first contact UAB International Admissions to determine eligibility to study in the U.S. and/or submit an application for admission to UAB.

    UAB International Admissions
    Email: IntlAdmin@uab.edu
    Phone: 205.934.4686
    Fax: 205.934.8664

    The table below provides information on eligibility requirements for the MSN Program.

     MSNPost Masters
    F1 or J1 Visa AcceptableNot EligibleNot Eligible
    College DegreeX - BSN EquivalentX - MSN Equivalent or higher
    Foreign Transcripts EvaluatedXX
    English ProficiencyXX
    Graduate Record Exam (GRE)XX
    Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the U.S.XX
    X = Requirement must be completed or condition met

    Application Requirements

    • Prospective students must have a bachelors degree in nursing equivalent to that offered by a U.S. regionally accredited educational institution.
    • For Graduate Clinical Programs such as the Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program, prospective students must also be licensed as a registered nurse in the U.S., in the state in which they will reside while completing the program.
    • International applicants must, as part of their application, provide a detailed course by course evaluation of their academic transcripts and verification of their academic credentials. Students may use one of the following firms for transcript evaluation; a report of the evaluation must be submitted directly to the UAB School of Nursing prior to admission decisions.
      • Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
        P.O. Box 514070
        Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470 USA
        Website: www.ece.org
      • World Education Services
        Bowling Green Station
        P.O. Box 5087
        New York, NY 10274-5087 USA
        Website: www.wes.org
    • Applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on prior college/university course work.
    • Applicants must complete and submit their scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as part of the application process. If the GRE was completed prior to application, only scores completed within the previous 5 years are accepted.
    • Completion of a formal admission interview.
    • Meet English language requirements. Students must submit scores on Tests of English Language (TOEFL or IELTS) and achieve the following minimum scores:
      • TOEFL iBT 80 and minimum of 18 in each of the 4 test sections, or
      • IELTS 6.5 and minimum of 6.0 in at least 2 of the 4 test sections.