20 Most Affordable Online Master’s In Nursing Leadership and Nurse Administration 2016

Best Degree Programs - Most Affordable 2016
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Posted March 2016

In this article, we highlight the 20 most affordable online master’s in nursing leadership and nurse administration degree programs for 2016.

American Nurse Today reports that nursing leaders and administrators possess key qualities that set them apart from the rest of their team. These special traits include accessibility, empathy, and a strong commitment and passion for developing others. But, these traits alone won’t secure a leadership role without specialized training. Registered nurses who desire to work in administrative roles should pursue a traditional or online master’s in nursing leadership or nurse administration. Professional nurses may opt for an online MSN degree because of the flexibility it offers. You won’t have to quit your day job to attend grad school. Online MSN programs are available at various institutions that allow students to work at their own pace and even complete their practicum in their geographic location of choice.

Methodology

We looked at over 100 institutions that offer online master’s in nursing leadership or nurse administration degrees. Some of these programs were delivered entirely online, while others required one or more campus visits. From the list of colleges, we selected the 20 most affordable, based on recent graduate tuition rates published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES College Navigator). As tuition costs and fees are subject to change, it is important to contact the institution or program department directly to confirm the most recent rate.

Below is our list of the 20 most affordable online master’s in nursing leadership and nurse administration degree programs for 2016.

#20 – Spring Hill College

Online MSN – Clinical Nurse Leader

Mobile, Alabama

Website
Spring Hill College - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,820

Spring Hill College offers an accredited master’s in nurse administration program that combines online courses and clinical instruction. The program offers four tracks to the MSN degree: RN with BSN to MSN, RN with non-nursing baccalaureate to MSN, RN with master’s degree in nursing post-master’s certificate, and RN with associate’s degree in nursing to MSN. According to the program website, the average class size is ten students. The school reports that 100% of the program’s students are working professionals. On a full-time basis, the program duration is two years. Typical clinical leader courses include care environment management, clinical outcomes management, and theoretical foundations for leadership. The college is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 21st best regional university in the south.

#19 – Ball State University

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Muncie, Indiana

Website
Ball State University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,760

Ball State University offers an affordable master’s in nurse administration with coursework delivered online. There are three areas of focus in the nurse administration program: administration role, nurse core, and research. Typical courses include administrative management for nurses, financial management for nurses, managing organizational behavior, and nursing administration in complex organizations. Students are required to complete 225 practicum hours in a provided health setting that focuses on nursing administration. The practicum may be completed in the student’s geographic location. Ball State is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the university as the 168th best national university. The school’s online graduate nursing program ranks #23 in the nation.

#18 – Kennesaw State University

Online MSN – Advanced Care Management/Leadership

Kennesaw, Georgia

Website
Kennesaw State University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,412

WellStar College of Health and Human Services offers an affordable MSN in advanced care management and leadership concentration. The program is offered entirely online and can be completed in as few as 15 months. Part-time and full-time options are available. Students are required to come to campus between one and two times each semester. The online master’s program focuses on conflict management, ethical decision-making, global initiatives in healthcare, healthcare policy theory, and leadership strategies in development and implementation. Kennesaw State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists Kennesaw as the 71st best regional university in the south and the 6th most innovative school. The online graduate nursing program ranks 107th in the country.

#17 – Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Standish, Maine

Website
Saint Joseph's College - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,296

The accredited master’s in nurse administration program at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine is designed to prepare professional nurses for leadership roles in administration. The MSN administration track provides course content in contemporary issues in nurse administration, financial management, quality performance, and strategic planning. Students must complete a practicum in nursing administration under the guidance of a preceptor. The student, in collaboration with their faculty mentor or advisor, chooses the practicum setting. Since the program is offered online, the practicum may take place in the student’s geographic location. The school’s nursing program has previously been recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#16 – Queens University of Charlotte

Online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website
Queens University of Charlotte - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,825

Queens University of Charlotte offers an affordable master’s in nurse administration degree program with a clinical nurse leader track. Course requirements include management of the care environment, management of clinical outcomes, and professionalism and ethics in clinical leadership. The program teaches students how to assess patient risk, create and implement patient care plans, and take advantage of technological resources. The admission board does not require a GRE score for entrance into the graduate nursing program, although a BSN from a regionally accredited school is needed. Queens University of Charlotte is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 20th best regional university in the south.

#15 – University of Colorado

Online Master’s in Nursing Leadership

Denver, Colorado

Website
University of Colorado - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,816

The online master’s in nurse administration program at the University of Colorado offers a specialized management degree that focuses on innovation, leadership, and administration in nursing. Known as the i-LEAD nursing leadership degree, the program is offered entirely online. Both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same graduate tuition rate, which makes this program one of the most affordable online master’s in nursing leadership degrees available. Course requirements for the i-LEAD specialty option include decision support and data management, relational communication, state of the science – systems, and systems and leadership theory. The university has earned national rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 199th best national university.

#14 – Graceland University

Online MSN in Nurse Administration

Lamoni, Iowa

Graceland University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,797

Graceland University’s online MSN in nurse administration program is designed for professional nurses who want to further their skills and specialize in leadership and administration. Graceland offers full and part time options for completing the program. Course requirements include advanced health assessment, research methods, and theory in nursing. Although the program is offered online, students are required to attend a two-day focus session located on campus. Graceland University is a regionally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News also ranks the institution’s online graduate nursing program as among the best in the nation. Currently the school is ranked 104th among the best regional universities in the Midwest.

#13 – Southern Illinois University

Online Master’s in Health Care and Nurse Administration

Edwardsville, Illinois

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,524

Southern Illinois University offers an affordable online master’s in nursing with a specialty in administration and leadership. The program is designed to equip nurses with additional skills to become leaders in professional nursing practices and patient-centered health care delivery systems. Sample classes include health policy and advanced nursing practice, health care informatics, management and diverse human resources in health care and nursing administration, and quantitative analysis. Southern Illinois University has earned various rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online graduate nursing program is ranked #75 out of over 1,200 similar programs.

#12 – Central Methodist University

Online MSN in Nursing Philosophy – Clinical Nurse Leader

Fayette, Missouri

Website
Central Methodist University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,280

Central Methodist University offers two specialized online master’s in nursing degree programs: clinical nurse leader and nurse educator. The goal of the online MSN – clinical nurse leader program is to provide opportunities for students to gain advanced nursing and clinical leadership skills. Core courses include advanced professional role, evidence-based client care management, health care finance, and health care issues. A clinical nurse leader residency is required and may be completed in the student’s geographic location. Central Methodist is a regionally ranked college. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution as the 36th best regional college in the Midwest and the 25th best college for veterans.

#11 – Winona State University

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Winona, Minnesota

Website
Winona State University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,130

Winona State University offers an affordable master’s in nursing leadership and nurse administration program that focuses on equipping nurses with advanced organizational leadership skills. The program may be completed in two or three years, depending on the needs of the student. Required courses include health care policy and quality health care delivery, nursing informational management and decision making, organizational and systems leadership, and structure and design of nursing services. Winona State is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report and Forbes magazine. In fact, U.S. News ranks the institution as the 72nd best regional university in the Midwest.

#10 – University of Southern Mississippi

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website
University of Southern Mississippi - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,980

The University of Southern Mississippi offers an accredited master’s in nurse administration program that is designed to prepare students for advanced careers in nursing leadership. The program is available to qualifying nurses who desire to pursue a doctorate in nursing leadership or secure advanced roles in nurse administration. The online MSN program is available on a full-time or part-time basis to accommodate the schedules of working students balancing life obligations with education. Course requirements include finance foundations, health care law and human resources, quality and organizational leadership in health care, and theories and ethics for advanced nursing practice. The University of Southern Mississippi is recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publication has ranked the school’s online graduate nursing program as the 60th best in the nation.

#9 – University of South Alabama

Online MSN in Executive Nurse Administration

Mobile, Alabama

Website
University of South Alabama - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,966

The affordable master’s in nurse administration degree program from the University of South Alabama is designed to prepare students with the skills necessary to become executive nurse administrators. The online program is compliant with the Council on Graduate Education for Administration in Nursing criteria. Course requirements include managing health care personnel, nursing administration finance, and organizational and systems leadership. Field studies and an internship in administration are required for graduation. The University of South Alabama is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In recent years, the online graduate nursing program has been recognized as a Best College program.

#8 – Lubbock Christian University

Online MSN in Nursing Leadership

Lubbock, Texas

Website
Lubbock Christian University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,840

Lubbock Christian University offers an accredited master’s in nursing leadership degree program that is designed to accommodate the schedules of most working nurses. Courses are offered in a hybrid format, with online studies available. The program combines leadership, education, and administration concepts that prepare students for leadership roles in a variety of health care settings. Courses include global culture and health, leadership and management, management of health care resources, and nursing theory. According to U.S. News and World Report, Lubbock Christian University ranks 83rd among the best regional universities in the west and 53rd among the best colleges for veterans.

#7 – Western Governors University

Online Master’s in Nursing Leadership

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website
Western Governors University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,790

The online master’s in nursing leadership program at Western Governors University offers an RN to MSN or BSN to MSN option. The program is designed for registered nurses who can comfortably spend at least 15 hours per week on their studies. The program is flexible and can be adapted to individual schedules. Key subject areas include health assessment, nursing leadership, and translational research for practice and populations. A capstone project is required, which is considered the culmination of the program. Students are also required to complete a 40-hour practicum in nursing management in a program-approved healthcare facility.

#6 – McNeese State University

Online Master’s in Nursing – Nurse Executive Concentration

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Website
McNeese State University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,755

McNeese State University offers a cheap master’s in nurse administration program that is designed for professional nurses with desires to wok as nurse leaders, administrators, or executives. The nurse executive concentration covers courses in fiscal and economic principles for nurse leaders, health care workforce management, and nurse leadership and administration. Students are required to complete a focused scholarly project or a thesis to graduate. McNeese is a regionally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks McNeese as the 87th best regional university in the south and the 42nd top public school.

#5 – Texas Woman’s University

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Denton, Texas

Website
Texas Woman's University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,162

Texas Woman’s University offers an online master’s in nurse health systems management program that can be combined with an administration or business minor. Full-time and part-time options are available, and all classes can be completed in the convenience of the student’s home. The master’s degree program is designed to prepare professional nurses to assume administrative and leadership roles in diverse health care settings. A 90-hour practicum in three separate categories is requires – fiscal assessment, organizational assessment, and outcomes assessment. Students may complete practica in arranged health care organizations in their geographic area. Students are paired with experienced nurse leaders who act as mentors.

#4 – Ferris State University

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Big Rapids, Michigan

Website
Ferris State University - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,144

Ferris State University offers an accredited master’s in nurse administration program that may be completed online or on campus. The online MSN degree builds on the BSN degree and provides three specialty concentrations, including nursing administration. Required practicums may be completed at the student’s current place of employment. Ferris State is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publication ranks Ferris the 61st regional university in the Midwest and the 15th top school. The institution’s online graduate nursing program ranks #69 out of 1,200 programs.

#3 – Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi

Online MSN – Leadership in Nursing Systems

Corpus Christi, Texas

Website
Texas A&M Corpus Christi - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,903

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi offers an online MSN in leadership program that prepares RNs to influence quality care across diverse nursing platforms. Students acquire the administrative skills necessary to assume leadership roles in various nursing and medical environments. The degree sequence is designed to be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Required courses include diverse care environments, health economics and policy, health law, leadership theories in nursing practice, patterns of care delivery, and quality and outcomes management. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university and many of its graduate degree programs. In fact, out of 1,200 similar programs, Texas A&M’s online graduate nursing degree is ranked #36.

#2 – Indiana University – Purdue University

Online Master’s in Nursing Leadership

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Website
Indiana University Purdue - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,880

Indiana University at Purdue University offers a cheap master’s in nurse administration degree program designed to equip professional nurses with leadership and administration expertise. Successful completion of the online MSN earns a master’s of nursing leadership in health systems. Required courses include administrative management in nursing, informatics in nursing administration practice, leadership for advanced practice nursing, and measurement and data analysis for administrative decision-making. U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution’s nursing school as the 129th best nursing school in the country. The publication also ranks the school as among the best regional universities in the Midwest.

#1 – The University of Texas at Brownsville

Online Master’s in Nurse Administration

Brownsville, Texas

Website
University of Texas Brownsville - Online Master's In Nursing Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,462

The most affordable master’s in nurse administration and nursing leadership program on our list is found at the University of Texas at Brownsville. No GRE is required. Students take classes in advanced community nursing, clinical leadership in nursing, health care finance, and nursing administration concepts and theory. An individual research project, or thesis, is required for degree completion. The program has earned full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is a member of the Higher Degree Programs in Nursing and the Association of College in Nursing.