Photo: Nursing Administration

The Nursing Health Systems Administration (NHSA) specialty, ranked 2nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, provides students with opportunities to explore innovative health care delivery systems in preparation for roles from unit managers to executive positions. Graduates are prepared for management at all levels of the organization -- unit manager, consultant, clinical coordinator and manager, product and service line manager, executive director, director of operation, and nurse executive positions.

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Nursing Health Systems Administration Overview

The Nursing and Health Systems Administration specialty requires 36 total credit hours, 28 didactic and 8 clinical, with 480 total hours of practicum experience contact hours. Didactic content is provided in three specialty courses and provides the student with a strong advanced nursing role base for nursing administration. Practicum experiences offer extensive preparation for the advanced nursing administration role. Part-time programs of study are available for students who enter during the summer academic year semesters.


Further Specialization

Elective courses are available for knowledge base enhancement in areas such as informatics and teaching.



Students are required to visit the UAB School of Nursing campus in Birmingham, Ala., for an orientation before beginning their program of study.


Certification and Licensure


Once students successfully complete the program, they are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing degree and meet the educational requirements to apply for certification in Nursing Administration either through the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) or through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In order to sit for examinations, the organizations may have additional experience requirements. The applicant must also have held an administrative position at the nurse manager or nurse executive level for at least the equivalent of 24 months full-time practice within the past five years. Graduates of the NHSA Specialty Track are licensed by the state in which practice occurs and is subject to the rules and regulations of that state’s practice act.

Doctoral Education


A Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) from UAB prepares graduates for entry into doctoral studies in nursing, in either the School’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, a practice-focused terminal degree to prepare graduates to practice at the highest level in specialty practice or to assume leadership positions in health care or nursing education; or the School’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program, which prepares nurses as scholars, leaders and researchers who will make a substantive contribution to the body of knowledge for the discipline of nursing and thereby improve health outcomes for those who receive nursing care.

For more information:

Martha A. Dawson, MNHSA, FACHE
Specialty Track Coordinator
205.34.6586 |


The Master's Degree Program in Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (