• Health Systems Management and Leadership students behind a computer

    Health Systems Management and Leadership

    The health care industry is changing at a rapid pace. In many instances, our answers to yesterday's problems may not be sophisticated enough to address the scenarios of tomorrow. Our Health System Management and Leadership program prepares you with skills in nursing and operations, patient safety and service excellence, strategy and finance, inter-professional collaboration, human resource management and transformational leadership and the development of innovative care delivery models. You will receive a strong foundation with coursework tailored to your level of experience. The complexity of the U.S. health care system requires nurse leaders and executives to be prepared for global systems thinking in a variety of settings.

    The online degree can be completed in five semesters and, upon completion, you will meet the educational eligibility requirements to sit for the national certification exam as a nurse executive through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and as a nurse manager and leader through AONE. Each organization has additional eligibility requirements based on experience.

    Why Samford?+

    Health systems management and leadership students:

    • Earn an M.S.N. degree online in five full-time semesters
    • Participate in cutting edge, web-based learning with practicum experiences close to home
    • Access all coursework and resources anywhere, anytime from any internet-connected electronic device
    • Receive personal attention from caring and supportive faculty and advisors
    • Experience a rich tradition of high academic standards and quality education
    • Visit Samford's beautiful campus in Birmingham, Alabama, for three required sessions during the program


    The health systems management and leadership option prepares you to:

    • Assume first-line leadership and management roles in organizations
    • Employ management skills that facilitate collaborative relationships while functioning as a member of the organization's management team
    • Interpret clinical and management-related research findings to improve organizational and client outcomes and the utilization of clinical and fiscal resources

    Admission Requirements & Criteria+

    Health Systems Management and Leadership Admission Deadlines

    Entry month: August 2014
    NursingCAS Deadline: June 1

    Due to state-specific Board of Nursing clinical requirements, we cannot accept applications for the family nurse practitioner, nurse educator or health systems management and leadership programs from Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

    Admission Criteria

    • B.S.N. from NLNAC or CCNE accredited program
    • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
    • A Likelive video submission (link to this site will be provided when NursingCAS application has been submitted.)
    • One undergraduate course in nursing research with a grade of C (2.0) or better
    • One undergraduate health assessment course with a grade of B (3.0) or better
    • International applicants or American citizens who learned English as a second language must score at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer) or 80 (internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
    • Minimum MAT or GRE score within the last 5 years
      1. MAT: 402
      2. GRE Old test: combined score (verbal and quantitative): 970, Analytical writing 4.0
      3. GRE New test: Verbal: 153; Quantitative: 144; Analytical writing: 4.0
      4. The MAT or GRE is waived if the applicant has a cumulative GPA of 3.20 overall or a 3.20 GPA of the last 60 hours taken. Post-graduate applicants (applicants who have successfully completed a graduate program) with a 3.0 or above are also waived.
    • If accepted, a non-refundable fee of $750 is required to secure admission into the program. This fee is applied to the first semester's tuition. 

    Application Process+

    Health Systems Management and Leadership Application Process

    The steps below outline the application process for the health systems management and leadership program. To apply, you are required to submit both an application through the nursing centralized application process (NursingCAS) as well as a supplemental application form. Before starting these applications, we recommend that you complete the following checklist:

    • Obtain student copies of your college transcripts to assist you in completing the coursework section for the application.
    • Carefully read the "Before you apply, Instructions, Code of Cooperation and FAQs" sections at http://www.nursingcas.org before you get started.


      As stated on the NursingCAS site, the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) simplifies the process of applying to nursing programs. Compete one application and send it along with other information to our centralized service. NursingCAS will verify your application for accuracy, calculate your GPA and send your materials to the nursing programs you designate. These sections detail critical components of the centralized application process.
    • Request official transcripts from each institution attended by using the transcript request form in NursingCAS.


      Complete the form, submit it to the registrar's office of each institution attended and instruct them to enclose the form with your official sealed transcript. Transcripts must be sent to the NursingCAS Transcript Department. NursingCAS accepts official transcripts sent directly from the registrar's office only. Please send transcripts as early as possible and no less than four to six weeks before the application deadline due to the time needed by NursingCAS to verify your application.
    • Pay the initial service fee of $65 when submitting the NursingCAS application.
    • Submit evidence of current unencumbered license as a registered nurse through NursingCAS on the Professional Experience/Certifications section.


      Include state of issuance, number and expiration date.
    • Obtain three letters of recommendation from 1) current or previous professor; 2) supervisor; and 3) professional colleague.


      These letters of recommendation will be submitted through NursingCAS. The references should attest to the applicant's academic ability and potential.
    • Submit official test scores to Samford University Graduate Nursing Program.
    • Submit a Likelive video.

    Conditional Admission

    Should any of the above conditions not be met, the applicant may be considered on an individual basis for conditional admission. In the event of conditional admission, the applicant must complete the first nine credits of the required graduate nursing curriculum at Samford University with a B or better in each course attempted. Failure to meet the requirement as stated will prevent progression in the graduate program.

    Plan of Study & Clinical Requirements+

    Health Systems Management and Leadership Curriculum

    The health systems management and leadership curriculum requires 30 credit hours and 500 clinical practice hours to graduate.

    Fall I semester includes: Health Care Systems and Management (3 credits; 45 hours field experience) and Statistics for Advanced Practice Nursing (3 credits).

    Spring II semester includes: Resource Management (3 credits; 50 hours field experience) and Research, Theory & Quality Improvement (3 credits)

    Summer III semester includes: Financial and Project Management (3 credits) and Population Health & Policy (3 credits).

    Fall IV semester includes: Management Practicum (3 credits; 135 hours field experience) and Ethical Leadership and Collaboration (3 credits).

    Spring V semester includes: Management Outcomes Practicum (6 credits; 270 hours field experience).

    Download the plan of study.

  • John Derrick
    Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing

    John Derrick's Story

    A 2008 graduate of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, was called to help provide needed care to vulnerable children around the world.

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  • Have Questions?
    Get in Touch:

    Graduate Admission

    Allyson Maddox
    Director, Graduate Student Services