Online ADN to MSN
Clinical Systems Leadership

Your Shortcut to Leadership. Our Accelerated ADN to MSN.

Nursing requires leaders. As an esteemed nursing school, we recognize our responsibility to provide functional paths that can advance today’s dedicated nurses. That’s why our Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership program is designed to help active nurses like you go from your ADN to MSN.

Request Information

Which health-care setting do you work in?

Please complete the form below to receive your program brochure.

Skip the BSN

  • Earn your MSN degree in the time it typically takes to earn a BSN
  • Complete program in as few as 24 months


  • Courses delivered 100% online
  • No on-campus residencies or onsite clinical requirements


  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Renowned university faculty of nursing leaders and experts supports your success

Why Choose the University of Arizona for Your ADN to MSN Program?

Our fully online ADN-MSN program caters to active registered nurses who aspire to leadership roles. The program focuses on clinical systems leadership, working to directly connect your practical nursing experience with our esteemed faculty’s leadership expertise. It’s our way of providing an accelerated MSN program through our prestigious nursing school with the goal of advancing RNs from every level of education and experience.


Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing
Affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Affiliated with the Western Institute of Nursing
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.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the UA College of Nursing among the Best Graduate Nursing Schools and Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

Skip Your BSN

As an RN with your sights set on leadership roles, you can move straight from your ADN to complete your MSN in as few as 24 months without pausing to earn a BSN in between.

Become a Nursing Leader

Prepare to evolve your nursing skills to emerge as a leader capable of evaluating care and shaping health systems to better advocate for both staff and patients.

Why Earn Your Online Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership?

As demand for nurses increases faster than the national average for other occupations, nurses with advanced degrees can become better positioned to compete for leadership roles. The Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership provides a path focused on advancement that demonstrates your commitment to excellent nurse leadership.

It’s also a time-saving tool that helps associate-degreed RNs earn an MSN in the time it typically takes to earn a BSN.
In as few as 24 months, you can develop these skills:

Design and lead innovative, patient-centered care in multiple settings

Develop an understanding of population health

Evaluate patient care systems and develop comprehensive care plans

Understand how business and economic principles can shape healing environments

Serve as a key member of interdisciplinary teams while advocating for staff and patients

Understand and utilize multi-dimensional leadership strategies

Fast-tracked ADN to MSN Curriculum

Your ADN to MSN curriculum is provided fully online, allowing you to connect with expert faculty and student colleagues when it works for your schedule. Courses blend theory and evidence-based knowledge to offer key insights into how to manage health care delivery in a variety of settings.

What Is the ADN to MSN Curriculum?

RNs who enroll in the ADN track start with four preliminary courses designed to fast-track your foundational understanding of health system operations, population health issues and patient-centered care.

After completing these these four courses, you’ll move on to the standard MSN curriculum including eight, 7-week courses concluding with a 15-week capstone project (with no onsite requirements). Program starts are in January, May and September.

Curriculum Units ADN Track BSN Track
NURS 520 Foundations of Systems Leadership 4
Using a systems perspective, you will explore basic concepts related to the health-care system, professional knowledge, and quality and safety. **Not required for BSN to MSN track
NURS 521 Evidence-Based Practice Improvement 4
You will analyze and apply evidence for selected areas of clinical practice to facilitate optimal patient outcomes and use evidence to develop, validate and endorse strategies for system-wide practice improvements.
NURS 541 Population Health 4
For vulnerable (including cross-cultural) populations and communities, you will apply concepts related to the assessments, surveillance and interventions for risk reduction, disease prevention and health promotion. **Not required for BSN to MSN track
NURS 545 Healthcare Environments and Care Coordination 4
You will examine health policy and regulation, health economics and advocacy, and apply advocacy strategies for transitioning ‘at-risk’ individuals across the health-care continuum.
NURS 543 Health Information and Patient Care Technologies 3
You will evaluate and apply emerging health-care technologies, such as point of care clinical support, telehealth/medicine and electronic documentation, in support of patient-provider communication, interprofessional practice and coordinated patient care delivery.
NURS 654 Quality and Safety Management 4
You will examine concepts related to the quality and safety improvement process and management strategies that ensure patient safety and quality outcomes, including continuous quality improvement processes and program planning, implementation and evaluation.
NURS 641 Leadership for Patient-Centered Care 4
You will explore the principles of shared leadership, team dynamics and interprofessional practice as the foundation of patient-centered care with emphasis on mediation, negotiation, conflict resolution, collaboration and consultation. **Not required for BSN to MSN track
NURS 653 Healing Environments and Practices 4
You will examine evidence-based integrative approaches that support structural and human care processes and evaluate models of optimal healing environments that promote personal and organizational health/wellness.
NURS 640 Healthcare Business Dynamics 3
You will apply business concepts and principles consistent with patient-centered care across a variety of health-care settings. Concepts include organizational structure and finance, budgeting, cost-benefit analysis, marketing, resource allocation, innovation and entrepreneurship.
NURS 540 Health Promotion and Risk Reduction 4
At the individual and interpersonal level of care, you will explore the concepts of health promotion and risk reduction and examine evidence-based strategies that acknowledge patient-centered values and beliefs optimizing health/wellness.
NURS 660 Clinical Systems Leadership Immersion 7/5
You will work with a faculty mentor to apply patient-centered leadership concepts to the development of a comprehensive care management plan for a chronic care population in this 16-week session.
Total Credit Hours 44 Credits* 31 Credits*

*For students who have not completed a college-level statistics course in the past five years, a three-credit-hour statistics course is required. Students can take Principles of Statistical Inference for Clinical Practice (NURS 502) online at the beginning of the program and will graduate with 47 credits from the ADN track.

Career Outlook for Online MSN Graduates

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Earning your MSN can also prepare you to become more competitive for higher earnings. The average salary for all RNs was reported at $68,450 in 2016, and the highest 10% of RNs earned more than $102,990. By focusing your MSN in clinical systems leadership, you can qualify for a variety of careers, providing more opportunity for increased earnings. Some popular career paths nurses with MSNs pursue are:

Clinical Care Coordinator:

Nurses in clinical care coordination roles use their bedside experience to ensure the timely, patient-centered utilization of care services across the health-care continuum. Clinical care coordinators help manage the overall quality of patient care while also managing costs of delivery.

Clinical Systems Manager:

A clinical systems manager works to improve the system of care delivery within a unit or service line of a health-care facility. Through evidence-based practice, a clinical systems manager works collaboratively with the patient and care providers to assure a safe, quality plan of care to optimize the patient’s quality of life and staff efficiency.

Infection Control Manager

Much like a quality and safety coordinator, an infection control manager is responsible for preventing the outbreak of disease in a health-care facility through careful monitoring of patient care, staff education and infection control policies.

Nurse Administrator:

A nurse administrator, sometimes called the director of nurses or nurse executive, handles the leadership for new models and the daily management of nursing care delivery in a health-care facility. From strategic planning to budgeting to ensuring availability of the right mix of health-care providers, a nurse administrator’s scope of responsibility is broad.

Nurse Educator:

A nurse educator plays an important part in the mentorship of students or novice RNs and can be involved in a multitude of functions ranging from classroom, laboratory and clinical site instruction to conducting special projects and research.

Nurse Manager:

A nurse manager oversees, directs and supervises a nursing unit within a health-care facility. This person also serves as the eyes and ears of the nursing unit and helps to voice questions, concerns, interests and recommendations. Nurse managers ensure that staff levels are met and monitor patient outcome.

Patient Navigator:

Patient navigation is a new concept in patient care developed through the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. The role is designed to help cancer patients and their families navigate the maze of doctors’ offices, clinics, hospitals, outpatient centers, insurance payment systems and patient support organizations. Due to the Affordable Care Act, patient navigation has been expanded to include multiple chronic conditions.

Quality and Safety Coordinator:

A quality and safety coordinator promotes comprehensive health and safety in the workplace by implementing quality assurance programs that comply with local, state and federal accrediting agencies. This role is similar in scope to a clinical systems manager, but is distinctly focused on employee processes rather than patients.

Request Information
Request Information

Which health-care setting do you work in?

Please complete the form below to receive your program brochure.