Online RN to MSN
Clinical Systems Leadership

Our College

At the University of Arizona College of Nursing, established in 1957, we are leaders in innovative learning. In addition to our on-campus programs for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Tucson) and Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (Tucson and Phoenix), we offer a variety of nationally recognized online programs including Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Systems Leadership (RN-MSN), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and graduate certificate programs.

Our University

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state’s super land-grant university with a highly recognized health sciences center, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Student Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $580 million in research investment each year, and ranking 19th among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.


U.S. News & World Report ranks the UA College of Nursing among the Best Graduate Nursing Schools and Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.
The Princeton Review lists the University of Arizona as one of the Best Colleges in the Western Region and one of the Best 381 Colleges.

Meet RN-MSN Grads

Beth High image

Beth High (MSN ’14)

This MSN program in particular has given me great insight into the bigger picture of health care. This was accomplished by focusing on Systems Thinking, which is a key skill to cultivate in order to be a leader in today’s complicated and changing world. I now feel that I am well-prepared to face the challenges ahead. The highlight of the program for me was the Systems Leadership Immersion Project, where my team and I collaborated on the creation of a meaningful, comprehensive and innovative nursing intervention with real world applications. Of all the online MSN programs that I investigated, the University of Arizona BSN to MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership is by far the most comprehensive and innovative program available. I would also add that the design of the program allowed me to continue to work my full-time M-F/8-5 job while advancing my career with a superlative education.

By far the most comprehensive and innovative program available.

- Beth High
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Michelle Alcoba (MSN ’14)

The program made me more aware of how I address other people both personally and professionally, especially when wanting others to follow my lead or instructions. I have become better at not only putting presentations together, but leading the actual presentation as well. One of the best parts of the program was the discussion boards and learning from the perspectives of the other students based on their experiences in comparison to my own. While I never thought of myself as interested in or being a public health nurse, I found that we all play a huge role in public health no matter what area of nursing we work in. The group projects were especially enlightening because of the ways we not only had to do our projects, but the various ways we had to interact as a group to complete the project by using different kinds of distance meetings and not all communications being via email. The instructors are amazing and the workloads are very conducive to students who work full-time and have families. The program itself is very well-rounded, and the pace is not too fast or slow.

The program itself is very well-rounded, and the pace is not too fast or slow.

- Michelle Alcoba
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Stacy Slater (MSN ’14)

I have received a tremendous amount of encouragement to further my professional development from my mentors and the organization's nursing leadership. Since graduation, I've taken a more active role in our local American Nurses Association-Michigan chapter. I am serving on the state conference planning committee for the ANA-MI, Region 2, and was recently nominated as vice president of the chapter. The highlights of my experience as a student were creating and making lifelong nursing colleagues and friends with many students, and knowing that we can all continue to learn and draw inspiration and encouragement from each other. The faculty is 110% invested in the successful outcome of each and every student.

The faculty is 110% invested in the successful outcome of each and every student.

- Stacy Slater
Stacy Slater

Stacy Slater

Stacy Slater (MSN ‘14) Revenue Cycle Coordinator REACH FOR NEW CAREER GOALS SOAR TO NEW HEIGHTS Stacy Slater, (MSN ‘14) always wanted to pursue a career in nursing, but after high school, ultimately chose another path. When she realized, 30 years later, that her desire to become a nurse was still just as strong, she decided to take action. “The want was still there and I felt a strong need to pursue this goal,” Stacy says. “I felt I finally had enough life experience to make a positive contribution to nursing in a way that I couldn’t have after high school.” Finding the Right Fit After earning her BSN and entering the nursing profession, Stacy, a self-described “lifelong learner,” looked for opportunities to fast-track her career. “The MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership was the perfect fit for my goal of being able to move effortlessly between clinical nursing and other roles that expand nursing leadership, like serving on a board or entering academia,” she says. MORE THAN A DEGREE Stacy initially chose the MSN program through the University of Arizona for its reputation and online flexibility. As she progressed through the program, she realized that in addition to earning a well-regarded degree, she was also cultivating a valuable support system. “It’s difficult to put into words how important committed, passionate instructors are to the success of an online program,” Stacy said. “The instructors are the heart and soul that keep this program personal for the students. Without their constant support, encouragement and guidance, the program wouldn’t be as successful as it is.” Advancing as a Leader After completing her MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership through the University of Arizona in 15-months, Stacy saw immediate results. She was offered a position as the revenue cycle coordinator for Munson Healthcare. A member of the corporate reimbursement team, Stacy now serves as the liaison between clinical operations and financial transactions. She also works every third Saturday on the cardiac unit to stay connected to patient care and keep her bedside skills sharp. “I’ve gained even more respect from my peers and colleagues,” Stacy says. “I’ve noticed a perceptible increase in requests for my input in many areas of the organization, and I’ve been approached by my leadership to pursue different opportunities now based on my experience and education. They notice the MSN on my name tag.” Visit or call 1.855.789.7046 for more information about the Online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership © 2016 The University of Arizona

The program itself is very well-rounded, and the pace is not too fast or slow.

- Stacy Slater
Terri Jagow

Terri Jagow

SEASONED NURSE LEVERAGES HIGHER EDUCATION TO REDESIGN HEALTH CARE Changing technology and health reform present major challenges to today’s health-care professionals. Forward-thinking nurses like Terri Jagow embrace this transitional phase. That’s because nurses are now getting more education and say in how health systems function. As nurses become more involved in care coordination, organizations benefit from their perspective. This leads to better patient care, which is why Terri became involved in nursing in the first place. “The first hospital I worked in was in the town I had grown up in, and my best memories there were providing care and support to parents and grandparents of the families I grew up with,” Terri said. “It was a very fulfilling experience.” A Healthy Dose of Transformation Many years later, Terri ascended to a leadership role. She was tasked with contributing to major changes in how her organization worked. Her care coordination post demanded deeper insights and new skills that her nursing experience hadn't provided. “Health reform has brought changes to the health-care delivery system over the past five years, and I found myself being challenged to participate in redesigning systems of care,” Terri said. “That requires skills in research, innovative thinking and new models of working with teams across the entire health-care system.” To rise to the challenge, Terri sought a master’s degree online. She wanted a program that looked specifically at improving patient care and reshaping health-care systems. The University of Arizona RN to MSN program melded both concepts with advanced nursing theory to create a practical, flexible program. DISCOVERING A DIRECT CONNECTION With courses like Health Information and Patient Care Technologies, Healthcare Business Dynamics, and Healthcare Environments and Care Coordination, the RN to MSN aligned perfectly with the needs of Terri's new career. The online format was important since she was juggling so much already. It also allowed Terri to start tackling challenges immediately. Beyond that, the program provided convenient access to experienced faculty leaders who became valuable mentors offering practical insights. “I was incredibly impressed with the character and professionalism of the faculty, the creative technology utilized, and how flexible and convenient the program was,” Terri said. From Dedicated Nurse to Visionary Leader In a time where health care is undergoing one of the biggest overhauls in this country’s history, Terri recognized how a seasoned nurse could help ease the transition. “The knowledge I gained in the program helped me develop the comprehensive skills needed to be a strong nursing leader today,” she said. Not only has she learned important leadership skills, but she also feels rewarded by her ability to set goals and reach them. Whereas she started her career caring for families she’d known well for years, her new nursing vision is to instill that same dedication in health systems serving patients all over the country. “My goal was to gain the competencies to perform as an effective leader in developing and implementing enhanced patient-centered programs that support population health and chronic illness management,” she said. “Today, I am part of a team leading a cross-continuum redesign of our health system’s care management programs to accomplish that goal.” TERRI JAGOW (MSN `15) DIRECTOR, MEDICAL SERVICES Visit or call 1.855.789.7046 for more information about the Online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership © 2016 The University of Arizona

The program itself is very well-rounded, and the pace is not too fast or slow.

- Terri Jagow
Todd Gilbert

Todd Gilbert

PATIENT CARE EXPERIENCE INSPIRED HIM TO LEAD A DIFFERENT PATH Sometimes one pivotal experience can change the path of a person’s life. Todd Gilbert, a 42-year-old nurse manager, didn’t have any intention of becoming a nurse until he made a life-changing hospital visit as a young man. While at the hospital, Todd witnessed his grandmother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease and knew he could make a difference in patients' lives as a nurse. This inspired him to change his career path from being a social worker to pursuing a career in nursing instead. On the road to becoming CNO with his MSN Todd began taking prerequisites for nursing school soon after. Since then, he has spent more than 15 years in emergency medicine, starting as an ER tech and moving from staff nurse to manager. His experiences in the ER have shaped his view of nursing. Even in the most traumatic of instances, patient care comes first for Todd. He knew the best way to prioritize patient care system-wide was to reach the role of chief nursing officer. To advance his career, he chose to pursue his MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership online at the University of Arizona. “I already have an MBA, so the next logical step was to pursue my MSN. To be an effective CNO, you have to be knowledgeable clinically, but you have to have business knowledge as well. I knew having both degrees would set me up well for that position.” BALANCE COMES AFTER BEDTIME Todd would spend late hours after his wife and kids had gone to bed studying and organizing his schedule for each class. Finding the balance between family and school was essential for his success, but because the online MSN program is one course at a time, the workload never became overwhelming. “Everyone in the program understands that most of the folks are doing this while working full time. It’s a good balance,” he said. “The professors were phenomenal. They took time to meet with us individually and collectively. I felt connected.” Decades of dedication coming together It has been almost two decades since Todd made that visit to his grandmother, but his motivation is as strong as ever. He’s now a graduate of the MSN program and looking to take his experience and education into a role where he can make an impact on an organizational level. “From the moment I entered nursing school I knew I wanted to be in a leadership position," Todd said. "We [nurses] have a job to do, and with the utmost compassion we can. We can teach you all the skills in the world, but it’s really about how well you take care of patients. That’s the difference between when I started and today.” TODD GILBERT (MSN '15) NURSE MANAGER, NEUROSCIENCE FLOOR Visit or call 1.855.789.7046 for more information about the Online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership © 2016 The University of Arizona

The program itself is very well-rounded, and the pace is not too fast or slow.

- Todd Gilbert

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