MSN Operational Leadership

Program Contact: Nicholas Nicholson 203-582-6542

Graduates of the MSN program are prepared for higher level professional practice and leadership roles in a variety of health care settings, as well as advanced study at the doctoral level.

The Operational Leadership program prepares nurses for operational leadership roles in health care institutions and settings. The program offers courses in health policy, organizational leadership, adult learning strategies, epidemiology, biostatistics, health care finance, informatics, health care management, the uses of data in evaluating practice and human factor analysis. The program also makes use of three courses from the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, and provides 360 hours of practicum experience. Graduates who wish to continue their education are well positioned to pursue a clinical doctorate in nursing. The program provides a portion of the content required for eligibility to sit for board certification in Nursing Professional Development or Informatics, both offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Graduates of this program are prepared to assume positions of management, informatics and leadership in a variety of health care settings. Graduates also are qualified to teach undergraduate nursing students in clinical or laboratory courses.

Course Listing

MSN: Operational Leadership Program

OL 630Performance Management3
HM 600Foundations of Health Care Management3
NUR 500Biostatistics1
NUR 514Epidemiology and Population Health3
NUR 516Health Policy and Organizational Systems2
NUR 540Educational Principles for the Health Care Professional3
NUR 541Informatics Fieldwork Experience1
NUR 542Introduction to Health Care Finance1
NUR 543Capstone3
NUR 544Introduction to Informatics3
NUR 613Nursing Leadership Seminar: Applying Data to Practice1
NUR 688Human Factors and Patient Safety3
OL 601Foundations of Organizational Leadership3
Total Credits30

Curriculum Note:

The semester-by-semester Learning Pathway for this program is available in the School of Nursing.

The curriculum for this program is subject to modification as deemed necessary by the nursing faculty to provide students with the most meaningful educational experience and to remain current with professional standards and guidelines.

Admission Requirements

An applicant to the Master of Science in Nursing program must be a registered nurse or NCLEX eligible nurse and have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or another field. An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required.

Applicants should submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. A completed admissions application including a resume and a personal statement addressing the following:
    1. professional goals and motivations,
    2. a nursing experience that has influenced or shaped your practice,
    3. a health care problem that interests you.
  2. Official transcripts from all schools previously attended.
  3. Official recent results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or (IELTS) International English Language Testing System for international applicants.
  4. Two letters of recommendation from persons with authority to evaluate your professional ability.
  5. Proof of current licensure or eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse in the state of Connecticut.

The preferred application deadline is May 1. Applications will be considered after May 1 on a space-available basis. Candidates may be placed on a wait list for Fall admission should space become available. However, acceptances are not deferred to the following Fall and wait-listed candidates need to reapply for the following Fall. Exceptions may be made in rare circumstances by the chair of the graduate nursing program. When all application materials are received, an interview with the graduate program director and/or member of the faculty will be arranged for eligible candidates.

All accepted students also will be required to complete a background check and urine drug screen following acceptance and before the start of classes. Acceptances will be conditional until satisfactory completion of both.

Transfer Credits

Graduate course credit completed with a grade of B or better at another regionally accreditation institution may be considered for transfer credit in place of a similar course. Courses must be at the same level (i.e., an undergraduate course may not be transferred in place of a master's level course) and taken within the past five years. Transfer credit is granted upon admission to the program only. The course description and/or syllabus and a copy of the transcript with a request for transfer credit must be sent/emailed to the chair of the graduate nursing programs. The nurse anesthetist programs may accept transfer credit only for the graduate nursing core courses.

Progression Requirements

Students are expected to take courses in the order they are presented on the curriculum pathways. Any student wishing to take a course out of sequence must seek permission from the graduate program chair. To preserve quality in our clinical placements, we are not able to accommodate a change in program specialty except on a space-available basis. If a change is desired, students should speak with the graduate program director early in the curriculum to check on any opportunities for change and be placed on a waiting list, if necessary.

According to Quinnipiac University policy, all graduate students are expected to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Full-time graduate students are required to achieve a 3.0 GPA each semester. Part-time graduate students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 upon completion of 9 credits and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 thereafter. The grading scale of the Graduate Nursing Program is consistent with that of the university.

A student who earns less than a B minus grade in any nursing course will not progress into the next semester. The student is allowed to repeat the course once at Quinnipiac University provided that the course and the subsequent curriculum sequence are offered and must achieve a B minus or better. The student must achieve a minimum grade of a B minus in all subsequent nursing courses. Failure to meet this requirement will result in dismissal from the program. A student who earns unsatisfactory grades (grade of less than B minus) in two or more nursing courses in any semester is not eligible to repeat the courses and will be required to withdraw from the program.

In clinical practica, students must receive a grade of B minus or better on the final faculty and preceptor clinical evaluations in order to pass the course and progress into the next semester. If a student is not performing satisfactorily in clinical according to the preceptor and/or faculty site visitor, a final faculty visit and evaluation of clinical performance will be made by a full-time faculty member, and this final grade must be B minus or better to pass the course.

A student who receives a grade of Incomplete (I) in any nursing courses or practica must meet all course requirements for conversion to a grade before the start of the subsequent semester.

For post-master’s students, transfer students, or students returning from an elective leave of absence during their course of study, selected courses must have been completed within a specified period of time. For Pathophysiology, credit will be recognized if the course was taken during the previous five years. For Advanced Health Assessment, Pharmacology and any program specialty course, credit will be recognized if the course was taken during the previous three years. For any of these courses which do not meet the specified period of time, the course must be re-taken for credit. Students may be asked to audit courses if the interruption to the continuity of their curriculum plan has been significant.

At the end of each semester, the chair of the graduate nursing programs reviews the cumulative GPA and academic record of graduate nursing students. The graduate nursing program chair will notify both the associate dean and the student in writing, of the student’s failure to meet the academic requirements. Students who are performing at an unsatisfactory level will be: a) placed on probation, b) suspended or c) dismissed. Students placed on academic probation remain in their program but must take specified corrective action to meet program performance standards. Students should meet with their advisers to identify learning strategies to help them accomplish these goals and the student should draft a list or narrative of these strategies, which will serve as a learning contract. A copy of this contract will be placed in the student’s folder and should be reviewed periodically with their advisor. Students must demonstrate a significantly increased GPA at the end of that semester to continue in the program. Students placed on suspension may also need to take specified actions as directed by the academic dean, graduate nursing program chair or academic advisor.

Appeal Process

  1. A student wishing to appeal a progression decision must write a letter to the chair of the graduate nursing program within one week of receiving notice of his/her inability to progress.
  2. Appeals will be considered by a Faculty Appeals Committee and results will be communicated in writing to the student.
  3. A student wishing to appeal a course grade should follow the grade appeal process detailed in the University Catalog.

HM 600. Foundations of Health Care Management.3 Credits.

This course expands the student's understanding of: 1) the organization and functions of various health services organizations/systems and their interrelationships; 2) basic concepts of management planning, organizing, leading, staffing and controlling as they relate to issues critical to the mission and strategic positioning of the organization/system; and 3) the utilization of scarce resources to deliver optimum health care at reasonable cost.

Offered: Every year, Fall

NUR 500. Biostatistics.1 Credit.

This biostatistics course is an introduction to probability concepts and statistical tests currently used in the biological and health sciences. The course covers the application of statistics to data analysis. An emphasis is placed on inferential statistics, which includes estimation, confidence intervals, means, variances and proportions.

Offered: Every year

NUR 514. Epidemiology and Population Health.3 Credits.

This course introduces epidemiologic principles, methods and data used in advanced nursing practice. Population health concepts are coupled with risk analysis statistics to critique evidence for holistic public health approaches. The use of data to assess acute and chronic population health problems, to implement effective interventions addressing these problems, and to examine outcomes is emphasized.

Offered: Every year, Spring and Summer

NUR 516. Health Policy and Organizational Systems.2 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to various social and political policy environments impacting advanced nursing practice and health care systems. Students examine issues that inform health care policy, organization and financing. Nursing's advocacy role in shaping policy in organizational, social and political venues is emphasized.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Summer

NUR 540. Educational Principles for the Health Care Professional.3 Credits.

This course examines the theoretical perspectives of education as it relates to educational leadership and professional development for adult learners. Teaching/learning theories, models and principles are examined as preparation for the design, development, evaluation and revision of professional development-related curricula. Instructional strategies and teaching techniques adapted for diverse populations are explored.

Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 541. Informatics Fieldwork Experience.1 Credit.

This 1-credit practicum provides the opportunity for students to apply essential knowledge and skills in health care informatics. (120 practicum hours)

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 542. Introduction to Health Care Finance.1 Credit.

This 1-credit online graduate course provides an overview of basic budgeting concepts and processes integral to project planning and project management. Students also are introduced to foundational principles of marketing.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 543. Capstone.3 Credits.

This capstone practicum is a culminating experience integrating knowledge and skill learned in other courses into the practice setting. Students complete a synthesis practicum that is an intensive mentored experience in operational leadership in a selected area of interest. (1-credit seminar, 2 credits/240 hours of practicum)

Offered: Every year, Spring Online

NUR 544. Introduction to Informatics.3 Credits.

This online graduate course provides essential knowledge and skills in health care informatics to enhance the quality of patient care and outcomes through the assessment, development, implementation, use and evaluation of information technologies. It prepares the nurse to support evidence-based practice and manage patient-care technologies to deliver and enhance interprofessional care and communication for improved coordination of care.

Offered: Every year, Summer Online

NUR 613. Nursing Leadership Seminar: Applying Data to Practice.1 Credit.

This online seminar develops students' skills in identifying, critiquing and applying data in health care. Students investigate evidence-based research and how that data is used to improve health system outcomes. In addition, they examine electronic data transfer methods and displays that illustrate performance. Finally, students debate the ethical aspects of data access, security and use.

Offered: Every year, Fall Online

NUR 688. Human Factors and Patient Safety.3 Credits.

This course examines issues related to human error and patient safety with an emphasis on crisis management. Students explore the theoretical basis of human error, patient safety and quality assurance in health care. This course introduces a systems approach to error investigation and analysis, and integrates concepts of teamwork, crisis management, simulation and monitoring systems in medical practice. Prerequisites apply to post-bachelor's program only.

Offered: Every year, Fall and Spring

OL 601. Foundations of Organizational Leadership.3 Credits.

This course explores foundational concepts of modern leadership and reviews traditional leadership theory. Contemporary issues in leadership provide opportunity for practical application and personal reflection.

Offered: Every year, All

OL 630. Performance Management.3 Credits.

This course focuses on the theoretical and practical application of performance management systems. The importance of an effective performance management system is examined. An effective performance management system includes a continuous process of identifying factors and integrated approaches that align individual and team competencies with organizational goals. Students gain a conceptual understanding of key factors involved in assessing performance management systems in small and large organizations.

Prerequisites: Take OL 601.
Offered: Every year, Spring and Summer