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. 6 Nursing Health Systems Administration Specialty, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2020.

Three 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.

Admission for Summer term only.

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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).


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
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.


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 635 Essentials of Project Management for Nursing Information Specialists3
6HI 662 Healthcare and Business Intelligence/Analytics4
NNI 685 Nursing Informatics Practicum I2
Year 3
SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
7NNI 686 Nursing Informatics Practicum II2
Total Credit Hours41

1Program of Study is subject to change.

Clinical Nurse Leader

The Clinical Nurse Leader is an emerging leadership specialty that is practiced in a variety of settings. The Clinical Nurse Leader specialty prepares advanced practice nurses to assume accountability for patient care outcomes through the application of evidence-based practice to design, implement, and evaluate care delivery at the micro systems level.

To best accommodate the needs of the nursing 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 37 credit hours of course work, with 26 credit hours of didactic coursework and 11 credit hours of clinical practica, that is completed in six semesters.


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
NUR 612 Advanced Pathophysiology3
3NHSA 616 Nursing Financial Management4
NHSA 617L Nursing Financial Management Practicum2
NUR 613 Pharmacology and Therapeutics3
Year 2
SemesterCourse TitleCredit Hours
4NCL 618L Focus on Advanced Nursing Practice Specialization2
NUR 614 Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Practice Nursing3
5NCL 620 Systems in Population Based Care I4
NCL 685L Clinical Nurse Leader Practicum I2
6NCL 692L Clinical Nurse Leader Capstone Project5
Total Credit Hours37

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 mailed or emailed electronically by the issuing institution to the UAB School of Nursing.

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

Entry Date: Summer 2020
Deadline: October 14, 2019


To Start the Application Process

Click here to apply for admission

Click here for detailed application instructions

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 2019-2020 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 Web site (Tuition and Fees).
  • 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 2019-2020
Resident
Charge ($)
Non-resident
Charge ($)
MSN Coursework (distance-accessible format per semester hour)656656
Fees - UAB School of NursingCost ($)
Educational Support and Technology Fee (per course)225
Other Related Expenses (Estimated)Cost ($)
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 Office of Financial AID
Email: FinAid@uab.edu
Phone: (205) 934-4011
Website: www.uab.edu/students/paying-for-college


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: Stephanie Hamberger
Director of Student Engagement,
Recruitment, and Scholarships
Office of Student Success



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 Ms. Laura Terpo (email: terpo@uab.edu), Office of Academic Affairs 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 Ms. Laura Terpo (email: terpo@uab.edu), Office of Academic Affairs 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.