Online MSN: Health Services Leadership and Management

Ranked Among the Best

Best MSN Admin 2023-2024

See all of our rankings.

Lead with confidence in today’s complex health care environment.

Complete the top-ranked program entirely online.

‌When your career goals are to lead in health care or to become a nurse educator, you need hands-on experience to develop the necessary skills to be successful in today’s health care environment.

Our Master of Science in Nursing specialty in Health Services Leadership and Management offers leading-edge courses, personalized mentorship, and individual placements in a practicum that supports your career goals and takes you beyond your current place of employment to push you to refine advanced nursing leadership and nursing administration skills. Placements are with leaders at hospitals and health care systems, universities and community colleges, national and state agencies, and more.

Program Snapshot


As little as 2 years



Tuition and Fees View overview

In State Tuition: $873.00/credit
Out of State Tuition: $1,549.00/credit



Accreditation Read Details

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Southern Regional Education Board map; states that receive in-state tuition include Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Deleware

Live in one of the yellow states? You may be eligible to pay Maryland in-state tuition for this program.

Through an agreement with the Academic Common Market, you may be eligible to pursue this Master of Science in Nursing degree at UMSON at an in-state tuition rate. You'll complete the program online, and our faculty will help place you at a practicum site convenient to you.

How the Program Works

As a student in this Master of Science in Nursing program, you’ll complete master's core courses and the Health Services Leadership and Management core courses. Following completion of the core courses, you’ll concentrate on one of three focus areas:

  • Leadership and Management: a customized plan of study that allows you to support your personal career goals by defining and honing the nursing leadership skills you need to succeed in a variety of health care settings and roles
  • Education: a way to maximize your career goals by creating a dual pathway to advancement; you’ll focus on the knowledge and skills you need to excel as a nurse leader and as a clinical instructor or faculty member, because you never know where your career might take you. You may want to pursue a position as a nurse manager now, but eventually you may want to pursue options beyond the clinical setting — especially given that the nursing shortage has led to a tremendous demand for nurse educators, which our dean discusses in this CNN Money article.
  • Business: a dual MSN/MBA option that allows you to blend your health care background with business skills and expertise, positioning you to take on nursing administration roles in a health care system and for senior management-level decision-making on financial, strategic planning, resource management, and governance issues. It is a good fit for students who have ambition to pursue senior administrator/executive leadership roles (unit director, senior director, or eventually C-suite positions). 
    • Your MSN will be awarded by the University of Maryland, Baltimore; your MBA will be awarded by the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business or the University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business.
    • This dual degree requires 66-72 credits and can be completed part time over as many as seven years.

This program can be completed entirely online.

Save Time and Money

If you're currently a registered nurse with an associate degree, you can save 6 credits (one full semester) when you enroll in UMSON's RN-to-MSN, an accelerated path to both the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and this MSN specialty.

What You’ll Do

  • Leadership and Management: You’ll be prepared to lead patient care teams in a variety of health care settings, such as acute care, ambulatory, long-term, or home health care. As part of that role, you’ll support positive change in the health care industry and collaborate with other health care professionals and managers to maximize patient and organizational outcomes.
  • Education: You’ll be prepared to serve as both a manager or administrator of health care services and a clinical instructor in a health care setting or faculty member in an academic setting. You might also contribute to professional development in a clinical setting, for example as an education coordinator in a hospital.
  • Business: Your business background prepares you to contribute to the development of new approaches to providing health care services. You might work in finance, marketing, or HR within a health care organization or serve as the director of operational services, a finance officer, a chief nursing officer, or a consultant. Learn more about the dual MS/MBA option.

More Information About the Health Services Leadership and Management Specialty:

Online Program Overview

  • This program can be completed entirely online.
    • All master's core courses and HSLM specialty courses are offered online.
    • Electives may also be taken online, although some face-to-face options may be available.
  • Our faculty members are fully committed to distance learning. Students will receive individual attention from their assigned advisors and communicate with them via telephone or email.
  • For the required practicum, you and your advisor arrange a mutually agreeable site.
  • We understand that online learning is not for everyone. If you want to explore your potential for distance learning and examine our resources for this method of learning, visit the online learning page.

This program is not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, due to the amount of online courses.

Courses You'll Take

For financial aid purposes, there are credit minimums for full-time status that may differ from the plans of study. See details.

The Health Services Leadership and Management master's specialty requires:

  • 38 credits
  • 135 practicum hours

(The dual MS/MBA option requires 66-72 credits. See a sample plan of study.)

Course Overview:

The course listings below are for fall 2021 and beyond.

Leadership and Management Core Courses

Course Title Credits
NURS 690 Managerial Health Finance 3
NURS 691 Organizational Theories: Applications to Health Service Management 3
NURS 692 Administration of Nursing and Health Care Services 3
NURS 695 Practicum in Health Services, Leadership, and Management 4
NURS 736 Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3
  Total 16

Master's Core Courses

Course Title Credits
NRSG 780 Health Promotion and Population Health 3
NRSG 782 Health Systems & Health Policy: Leadership & Quality Improvement 3
NRSG 785 Professional Writing 1
NRSG 790 Methods for Research and Evidence-Based Practice 3
NRSG 795 Biostatistics for Evidence-based Practice 3
  Total 13

Leadership and Management Focus

Course Title Credits
NURS xxx Elective 3
NURS xxx Elective 3
NURS xxx Elective 3
  Total 9

Education Focus*

Course Title Credits
NURS 787 Theoretical Foundations of Teaching and Learning in Nursing and Health Professions 3
NURS 791 Instructional Strategies and Assessment of Learning in Nursing and Health Professions 3
NURS XXX Elective** 3
  Total 9

*Students must select an Education course for their elective.

**Students admitted Fall 2015 and before are required to take NURS 792: Practicum in Teaching in Nursing and Health Professionals in place of the elective.

Scholarship Opportunities

Your nursing education is an important investment. Financial aid and scholarships can help make your goals a reality.

UMSON offers multiple opportunities to help you afford your graduate education.

Type of Aid Award
Federal Financial Aid various award amounts
Maryland Financial Aid various award amounts
Merit Scholarships $1,500-$3,000 per semester
(You are automatically considered for a merit scholarship upon submitting a completed application for enrollment in an UMSON academic program.)
Donor-Funded Scholarships $500-2,000 per semester
(offered during the fall and spring semesters)
Conway Scholarship full scholarship: tuition and fees
(for those who will have completed 9 credit hours of graduate study by the start of the semester for which the Conway Scholarship is awarded and who have at least half of their credit hours remaining)
Graduate Assistantships stipend, tuition remission, in-state status, and paid student health insurance

Learn More About Financial Aid and Scholarships

All students receiving funds through the University must:

  • be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) in a degree-seeking program
  • complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by UMB's award priority deadline
    • FAFSA Submission period: Oct. 1 (of the previous year) through Feb. 28
    • FAFSA School code: 002104

The UMB Office of Student Financial Assistance & Education is available to guide prospective and current students through the FAFSA application process and the financial aid award package.

Contact Us:

UMSON Scholarships and Grants Office
410-706-0489 |

UMB Student Financial Assistance and Education Office
410-706-7347 |


MSN Admission Information

In this section:


Spring 2024 Timeline
Priority Deadline  Nov. 1, 2023
If your online application and all supplemental application materials are received by this date, your application will be reviewed immediately for priority consideration for admission decisions and scholarships.
Deadline Jan. 2, 2024
Completed applications received after the deadline are reviewed solely on a space-available basis. Only those who complete an application by this deadline will be eligible for consideration for merit scholarships (no additional application required) and the Conway Scholarship (additional application required). This deadline does not impact eligibility for federal financial aid.
Supplement Items Due Jan. 8, 2024
Admissions Decisions Announced Jan. 15, 2024


  • bachelor’s degree with a major in nursing from:
    • an ACEN- (formally known as NLNAC), CCNE- or NLN CNEA- accredited college or university
    • an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution
  • an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0

Application Materials:


Submission Guidelines

Online Application and non-refundable $75 application fee.

Start your application now via the Admissions Dashboard.

The Admissions Dashboard is where you will:

  • submit your online application and fee
  • submit/request any supplemental documents
  • check your application status.
You can save your progress and return to your application at a later date. We recommend that you continue to log in for regular updates. 
One recommendation. Your recommendation must come from a recent professional source. Only the first recommendation received will be considered. Submit/request these materials via the Admissions Dashboard.      
Essay. Please submit a 500-1,000-word essay that addresses the following:
  • The specific specialty area you like to pursue and your motivation for pursuing a master’s degree in nursing in this specialty.
  • The population you would like to service or the area of health care in which you would like to work after graduation.
  • The qualities you feel are essential to the advanced nursing profession that you bring with you.
  • What are your research interests or your practice issues in this specialty area?
Typed résumé or CV. Be sure to include your full name with your résumé submission.
A copy of your valid, unrestricted (current) RN license in the United States. For a current list of compact states, see the Maryland Board of Nursing website; if you hold an active Maryland RN license, send us a copy of your printable license verification, available on the Maryland Board of Nursing website.

Official transcripts. An official transcript from every institution previously attended or currently attending must be submitted in a sealed envelope, as prepared by the sending institution. 

Returning students are not required to submit UMSON transcripts; we will upload a copy of your UMSON transcript to your application.

Please note that UMSON is listed two ways in the Academics area. Please make sure you choose one of the following:

  • Maryland Baltimore, Univ of
  • UMB- School of Nursing

Have each institution submit electronically to


Residency classification. Applicants who are claiming in-state (Maryland) residency MUST apply for in-state status.  Complete a residency application and submit it either by mail, e-mail, or fax to the Office of the Registrar using the instructions supplied at the bottom of the residency application. The completed application, signed and dated, should be submitted prior to the first day of enrollment for the term and program for which you are seeking admission.

Applicants without a High School Diploma or College Degree in the U.S:

  • If you do not have a degree from a U.S. high school, college, or university, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • If you have completed coursework outside of the U.S., you must have your transcripts evaluated.

More information.

The Health Service Leadership management and Nursing Informatics master's specialties are not eligible for F-1 or J-1 student visa sponsorship by the University of Maryland, Baltimore due to the amount of online courses.

If you have questions regarding the admissions requirements or process, contact the Office of Admissions and Student Scholarships to avoid errors that could delay the processing of your application.

With my newly acquired leadership skills, I can now make significant contributions to reaching organizational goals while ensuring greater clinical outcomes. Zivago Bunting, MS '17
I originally went into leadership feeling like becoming a nurse manager of a unit would be a great career achievement, but as I went through the program, as I learned about opportunities in leadership that exist, those horizons broadened. Greg Raymond, MS ’10, BSN ’05
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