Leadership in Nursing Systems, MSN

Program Description

The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Master of Science in Nursing degree enhances and expands the clinical competence of baccalaureate nurses. The focus of the degree is to prepare nurses for advanced nursing practice in nursing leadership, family nurse practitioners, or nurse educators. Emphasis is placed on facilitating health care delivery within a multicultural framework. The curriculum includes four core courses and specific courses related to role specialization within the three programs. Three minor areas of study are also available for students seeking to refine their skills as leaders/managers, practitioners, or educators. The variety of learning opportunities and the flexibility of options provided by the curriculum will accommodate the diverse clinical and functional interests of students who enroll in the program. Each program provides a specialty area of study that includes courses with clinical laboratory components that whenever possible, can be completed in the communities where students reside. In some cases, students may have to travel to clinical agencies to access experiences essential to course objectives.

The master's degree program in nursing and post-graduate certificate program at (institution) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

Role Specialization

Students completing the role specialization course work in Leadership in Nursing Systems will be prepared as advance practice RNs to influence the quality of nursing care delivered across diverse healthcare settings. Students acquire skills required for formal administrative positions or for staff positions that include project and team leadership. Courses in the program meet the curricular requirements for professional standards and board requirements for certification examinations.  A Leadership in Nursing Systems MSN degree offers a wide choice of leadership opportunities including administration, management, and quality across diverse healthcare settings.

College of Nursing Goals

The goals of the College of Nursing assist the College in implementing the University and College missions.

  1. To develop within the student the knowledge and skills necessary for beginning professional and advanced nursing practice, cultivating basic and specialized abilities needed to successfully pursue a career, and
  2. To promote the concept of nursing as caring and facilitate attainment of a care delivery system sensitive to multicultural communities and their health values, and
  3. To offer individuals the opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of the theoretical base for nursing practice, enhance and expand competence, prepare for role specialization, and contribute to the discovery of new nursing knowledge, and
  4. To provide an educational environment of respect within which students may evolve as broadly educated, technology competent, responsible, and accountable professionals dedicated to the principles of lifelong learning, and
  5. To build a foundation for life-long learning & systematic practice, and
  6. To serve the community as nursing experts, leaders and consultants in professional organizations, health promoters, providers of health care policy information and advocates of ethical distribution and usage of resources.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Critically analyze, interpret, and integrate appropriate knowledge, research, and theories to meet the health care needs of diverse populations;
  2. Apply competent leadership and collaborative skills as members of a multi-professional health care workforce to promote high quality and safe patient care
  3. Design evidence-based plans to sustain quality initiatives that promote a transparent professional environment and contribute to the delivery of safe high-quality care;
  4. Integrate research into professional practice through the implementation of translational processes;
  5. Demonstrate competence and accountability as clinicians, educators, and leaders in advanced healthcare roles;
  6. Model caring, sensitivity and respect in the delivery of health care to culturally diverse populations;
  7. Operationalize principles of ethical, legal, financial, and economic theories as applied to health care delivery systems;
  8. Guide the adoption and use of information, communication technologies and resources to document patient care and improve patient outcomes.
  9. Evaluate the effect of legal and regulatory processes on nursing practice, healthcare delivery, and outcomes using critical analysis of policies that influence health services.

Graduate Program Options

  1. Leadership in Nursing Systems, MSN
  2. Leadership in Nursing Systems, Post-Masters Certificate
  3. Leadership in Nursing Systems, Minor

For Additional Information


Phone: (361) 825-5893 - CONHS Graduate Academic Advisor

Campus Address:
Island Hall Third Floor

Mailing Address:
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5805
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5805

Heather DeGrande, PhD, CCRN-K | MSN Program Coordinator, Leadership in Nursing Systems and Nurse Educator
Phone: (361) 825-3696
6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5805 Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5805

Admission Requirements

Registered nurses have three entry options to the Master of Science in Nursing program. Individuals who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree but would like to acquire a new specialty area of practice may apply to the College post-master’s certification programs.

For admission to any the graduate programs, applicants must:

  1. Complete an application to the University for admission to College of Graduate Studies and to the MSN Program for degree student status. Applications should be made through College of Graduate Studies using the application in Apply Texas.
  2. Admission to the University does not constitute admission to the nursing program.
  3. Provide evidence of a current valid unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse with authorization to practice in Texas.
  4. Students with a GPA less than 3.00 may be considered for conditional admission with a waiver request.
  5. Write an original essay describing professional goals associated with graduate nursing education specific to the chosen role specialization.  Guidelines for this essay are available at https://gradschool.TAMU-CC.edu/forms/ CONHSGraduateForm.php.
  6. Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can address their potential for graduate study. At least one of these references should be from an individual who can address an applicant’s level of professional competence.
  7. Provide a current resume that delineates an applicant’s professional contributions and work experiences and contains sufficient information to represent the applicant’s accomplishments in nursing. The resume should include information about an applicant’s professional activities outside the workplace. Guidelines are available at https://gradschool.TAMU-CC.edu/forms/CONHS_Graduate_Form.php.
  8. Additional information will be required from applicants before full admission can be granted. Applicants must demonstrate compliance with Texas Administrative Code immunization for health professional student regulations, Texas Board of Nursing disclosure of criminal history or disciplinary action, and affiliated clinical agency requirements for access to clinical experiences. Details are outlined under the Program Requirements section below.

The CONHS Admission Progression and Academic Standards (APAS) Committee will consider the information provided in the application and supporting documents for admission decisions. After due consideration the APAS Committee may permit a student who wishes to pursue the Master of Science in Nursing degree but does not meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate Nursing Program, to enroll on a conditional status. Contact the Graduate Nursing Academic Advisor for instructions on requesting waivers to the admission requirements including pending licensure and GPA. Progression through the program will require a student meet the conditions associated with admission within the timeframe designated if a waiver is granted.

Students who request to transfer into the TAMU-CC MSN program from another program must submit evidence that they left their former institution in good standing before an admission decision will be made.

Program Requirements

The following program requirements apply to all nursing graduate students upon admission and throughout program of study. Students must:

  1. Hold current unencumbered licensure as a registered nurse with authorization to practice in Texas
  2. Upon admission to the College, complete a criminal background check.
  3. Complete a ten panel non-chain of custody urine drug screen.
  4. Purchase professional liability coverage through the University. Fees for this coverage are included in the fees paid at the time of registration at the beginning of each academic year.
  5. Meet Texas Department of State Health Services immunization requirements for students in health professions programs. Students must complete and present evidence that immunizations are complete and current prior to starting classes. Immunizations must remain current throughout the program. Students will not be allowed into courses or clinical laboratory agencies if evidence of compliance is missing. These requirements, as stated in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 97, Subchapter B, Rule 97.64 (https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac%24ext.TacPage/?)
  6. Complete a tuberculosis screening annually.
  7. Hold a current American Heart Association or Red Cross Healthcare Provider CPR certification.
  8. See the BON website, http://www.bon.texas.gov, for the statuses and rules regulating licensure.
  9. Please note that some agencies where you may choose to complete clinical experiences may have stricter requirements than the state minimum standards. Students will have to meet agency requirements to gain access for clinical.
  10. Health insurance coverage is highly recommended as neither the university nor clinical agencies are held responsible for emergency/ health care arising from a laboratory assignment. See University Student Handbook.

Graduation Requirements

Requirements Credit Hours
Core Courses 12
Nursing Specialty Courses 25-37
Total Credit Hours 37-49

The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi College of Graduate Studies Recency of Credit rule requires that all credit earned for a graduate degree must be completed within seven years of the first semester in which a student is enrolled in a graduate program. This requirement means that students are expected to complete their MSN program in seven years. In rare situations, an exception to this seven-year policy may be granted from the Dean for the College Graduate Studies when a student is unable to complete courses in this time. The student must complete a request with an explanation as to why the exception should be made as soon as the student determines that courses will not be completed within this time frame. The request should be submitted to the Graduate Nursing Department Academic Advisor and the Graduate Nursing Department Chair.

Core Nursing Courses
NURS 5310Science in Nursing *3
NURS 5314Research Methods in Advanced Nursing Practice *3
NURS 5315Health Policy and Cultural Diversity *3
NURS 5316Introduction to Advanced Practice Role Development *3
Role Specialization
NURS 5163Project Management for Nurse Leaders (1) *1
NURS 5261Human Capital Management (2) *2
NURS 5331Nursing informatics *3
NURS 5360/HCAD 5325Health Care Financial Management *3
NURS 5362Leadership Theories in Nursing Practice *3
NURS 5364Organizational Design and Behavior in Nursing Practice Environments *3
NURS 5365Quality and Outcomes Management *3
NURS 5469Patterns of Care Delivery *4
HCAD 5320Health Economics and Policy *3
HCAD 5330Health Law and Ethics *3
Total Hours40

Online offering

Field Experiences

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 180 hours of field experience related to their courses and focus of study. Field experiences will include a healthcare financial management lab involving case study analysis, leadership exposure experiences, and a capstone experience consisting of project management and implementation for patient outcomes. Students will be responsible for identifying and selecting agencies or preceptors for their field experiences. For more information, please see the CONHS MSN Student Handbook under Current Students. Field experiences must be completed in the state of Texas.


NURS 5163  Project Management for Nurse Leaders (1)  
1 Semester Credit Hour (1 Lecture Hour)  

An overview of project management techniques and tools as they apply to health care operations, projects and programs. The basics of a sound action plan will be introduced and will include identifying tasks, relevant relationships, and resources. This course will be taken in conjunction with NURS 5469 Patterns of Care Delivery Course.

Prerequisite: NURS 5310, 5314, 5315, 5316, 5261, 5362, 5364, 5360, 5331, 5365, HCAD 5320 and 5330.

Co-requisite: NURS 5469.  
NURS 5261  Human Capital Management (2)  
2 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours)  

Students will explore internal and external issues influencing organizational decisions and policies affecting human capital. Critical human capital functions will be addressed to provide a solid understanding of the many issues confronting the nurse leader.

NURS 5310  Science in Nursing  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Exploration of the historical development and rationale of nursing theory. Examination of selected theories and conceptual frameworks, and their relationship to nursing practice and research. Emphasis is on the utilization of theories and models in nursing as a basis for a practice that provides a caring, comprehensive, and holistic approach to health care within a transcultural society. This course is delivered through online technology.

NURS 5314  Research Methods in Advanced Nursing Practice  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Critical examination of research methods in order to advance and integrate evidence into nursing practice and improve patient population outcomes. Particular attention is given to research appraisal and application, and the ethical aspects of research translation. This course is delivered through online technology.

NURS 5315  Health Policy and Cultural Diversity  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Health policy and cultural diversity are studied to provide foundations for meeting the needs of communities and societies. Current and proposed policies that influence contemporary health delivery are analyzed. This course is delivered through online technology.

NURS 5316  Introduction to Advanced Practice Role Development  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

The course focuses on the development of knowledge and skills necessary for advanced practice. This includes, but is not limited to, negotiation, collaboration, crisis intervention, peer review, leadership, ethics, accountability and basic finances in advanced practice. Parameters of practice within various health care systems are integrated. This course is delivered through online technology.

NURS 5331  Nursing informatics  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

An introduction to the application of computers in nursing. Focuses on concepts and terminology related to computer technology, information management and their use in nursing leadership, nursing education, nursing practice, and nursing research. Designed for graduate students. This course is delivered through online technology.

NURS 5360  Health Care Financial Management  
3 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours, 1 Lab Hour)  

Overview of concepts, principles and uses of basic accounting and budgeting information for the health care manager. Focuses on providing the nurse administrator with a basis for understanding the fiscal status of a health care organization; Includes 45 hours of laboratory time to strengthen financial skills including ROI, budget development, FTEs and financial statement analysis. This course is cross-listed with HCAD 5325. This course is delivered through online technology.

Prerequisite: NURS 5310 and 5314.

NURS 5362  Leadership Theories in Nursing Practice  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours, 3 Lab Hours)  

Examines the relationship of leadership and management theory and processes to nursing practice in both urban and rural health care settings. The independent and interdependent functions of the nurse leader at various levels of decision making are identified and analyzed. Concepts basic to organizational functioning and role relationships within a transcultural framework are considered. A clinical laboratory experience provides students opportunities to analyze the effectiveness of leadership behaviors. The lecture component of this course is delivered through online technology. Laboratory hours must be completed in appropriate settings approved by clinical faculty.

Prerequisite: NURS 5310 and 5314.

NURS 5364  Organizational Design and Behavior in Nursing Practice Environments  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Focuses on the application and utilization of the theories, concepts and principles of organizational design and behavior in nursing leadership. Includes major theoretical viewpoints from organizational dynamics and processes, and their employment in nursing leadership environments. This course is delivered through online technology.

Prerequisite: NURS 5310 and 5314.

NURS 5365  Quality and Outcomes Management  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Examines conceptual models of quality and their application to the management and evaluation of quality of care across health care settings. The role of outcomes measurement as a major indicator of quality of care is emphasized. This course is delivered through online technology.

Prerequisite: NURS 5310 and 5314.

NURS 5469  Patterns of Care Delivery  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

Appraisal of various patterns of care delivery that develop in response to the evolving and increasingly complex resources in the health care delivery system. Students will complete a project evaluating the management and delivery of the continuum of care in one or more health care organizations. Students must earn a B or better grade to earn credit for this course. The lecture component of this course is delivered through online technology. Laboratory hours must complete in appropriate settings approved by clinical faculty. Capstone Course.

Co-requisite: NURS 5163.