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No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.1

Nurse managers make a profound impact on the patient healthcare experience. Develop greater administrative expertise and harness your experience to serve as a leader and role model in your organization with the MSN Nurse Executive specialization.

Why Pursue Your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)-Nurse Executive With Walden?

  • Collaborate and share insights with nurses from around the country. Engage in an interactive online environment that makes it easier to work and advance your education.
  • Learn from highly qualified instructors who leverage their practical experience to help you grow as a nurse leader. All of our MSN-Nurse Executive faculty hold doctoral degrees.
  • Translate knowledge into hands-on practice by designing, developing, and implementing a project in a real healthcare setting.
  • Become a healthcare change agent by applying your enhanced skills and expertise immediately within your professional environment.
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Connect with your peers globally to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.
  • Earn your degree on your terms: Choose this specialization’s course-based format or the flexible, competency-based format, designed to work around your busy schedule.

Success by the Numbers

More than 98% of employers of Walden MSN graduates responding to our survey say they would hire another Walden MSN graduate.2
No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.1

You’ve Got Options

Choose from two MSN-Nurse Executive learning formats.

Course-Based MSN-Nurse Executive

If you prefer an instructor-led approach and learning on a predetermined schedule, the course-based format may be a good option for you.

Competency-Based MSN-Nurse Executive

If you prefer a flexible learning experience with no set weekly deadlines, allowing you to make progress at your pace, on your schedule, the competency-based format may be for you, available only in the BSN-MSN track.

A Path to Success for Every Level in Your Nursing Career

I am an RN with a BSN.” Choose this track if you are a registered nurse (RN) and have already earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

I am an RN without a BSN.” Choose this track if you are an RN entering the MSN program with a hospital diploma or an associate degree in nursing.

I am an RN who wants an accelerated BSN-MSN path.” Choose this option in the RN-BSN program that allows you to take MSN courses as an undergraduate. These credits will transfer to your master’s program once you complete your BSN.


Build Your Future as a Nurse Executive. Get Started Today.

You have the drive to go further. We have the resources to help you get there. From dedicated faculty to exceptional student support, you’re never alone—Walden is with you at every step. Find out how we make the MSN experience invaluable.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this specialization, you will be prepared to:

  • Communicate with and lead multiple stakeholders in order to improve patient care.
  • Evaluate how organizational structure, care processes, financing, marketing, and policy decisions impact the quality of healthcare.
  • Understand the role of organizational behavior in healthcare delivery.
  • Recruit, hire, and effectively mentor new nurses.
  • Synthesize organizational/systems leadership for cost-effective specialist nursing practice that contributes to high-quality healthcare delivery, advancement of the nursing profession, and social change.
  • Critique evidence-based literature drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives and pertinent research to guide decision making that demonstrates best practices for specialist nursing practice in a global society.
  • Integratively assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate cost-effective healthcare strategies that reduce health disparities by patient/population advocacy for access to specialist nursing care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate using audience-specific oral, written, and information technology for professional delivery of specialist nursing care.
  • Evaluate health needs of diverse populations for necessary teaching/coaching functions based on specialist nursing knowledge to restore/promote health and prevent illness/injury.
  • Exhibit ongoing commitment to professional development and value of nursing theories/ethical principles (altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, social justice) in accordance with ethically responsible, legally accountable, specialist nursing practice.
  • Implement specialist nursing roles to promote quality improvement of patient-centered care in accordance with professional practice standards that transform health outcomes for diverse populations.

Career Impact

Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 18% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.3 As the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life, there should be increased demand for healthcare services.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a nurse manager is $84,687.4

If you have the right experience and training, Walden’s MSN Nurse Executive program can help position you for roles such as:

  • Chief nursing officer
  • Director of nursing
  • Head nurse
  • Nurse administrator
  • Nurse manager nursing policy manager
  • Manager of health policy risk manager

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Optional Nurse Executive Certification (RN-BC) is offered through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) as well as optional certification as a Nurse Manager and Leader and Executive Nursing Practice through the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).

Learn more about top industry sectors, most in-demand job skills and top job titles for MSN grads.

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Discover Walden’s CCNE-Accredited MSN

Learn how Walden can help you take your career to a higher level.
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CCNE-accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program

Which specialization is right for you?

Need a little help selecting the right specialization? Simply click "Get started" below and answer the following questions, and we'll find the most suitable options for you.

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Alvin Mena Centaro

Alvin Mena Cantero

MSN Graduate
I have the unconditional support of family and friends, some of whom applied to Walden after hearing about my experience.
I find that when I educate, whether in a formal or informal environment, I learn from my students as much as they learn from me.
I chose Walden because of its faculty commitment to students and its commitment to social change. I want to master the tools I need to better myself and the community in which I serve.
Allison Souza MSN Graduate / DNP Student
Allison Souza
Lynn Sayre Visser MSN Graduate
Lynn Sayre Visser
Cynthia Hickman MSN / PhD in Health Services Graduate
Cynthia Hickman

1Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP code 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse). Includes 2016 preliminary data.

2Source:; % calculated on total number of respondents to our 2015 survey.

3Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical and Health Services Managers. National job growth estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

4Source: PayScale, Average Nursing Manager Salary. National salary estimates may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual salaries (or salary growth), and are subject to change.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

Note on Certification: Walden’s MSN program is designed to provide the academic degree required to apply for national certifications. Because no graduate program can guarantee that graduates will achieve national certification, we encourage students to consult the appropriate credentialing center for the specific requirements. It is an individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all requirements relating to national certification as requirements vary widely. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain national certification. For more information about certification programs, students should contact the American Nurses Credentialing Center at, or other certification websites.

Note on Competency-Based MSN Specializations
Walden University is currently unable to accept applications for the competency-based MSN specializations in Nurse Executive, Nursing Education, and Nursing Informatics from residents of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Walden University’s competency-based options are priced as an all-you-can learn model, where students subscribe to three-month learning periods instead of paying for courses or credit hours. Walden offers monthly starts, the first Monday of every month, for the competency-based option. If you start the MSN-Nurse Executive competency-based specialization before April 7, 2020, please note that not all of the curriculum may be available when you start your program, and the earliest you can complete the program is April 7, 2020.

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Questions about our MSN – Nurse Executive?
Questions about our MSN – Nurse Executive?
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