Nurse Leadership – Online

A nurse wearing scrubs sitting at a computer
Master of Science in Nursing

About the Program

As a student in Case Western Reserve University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Nurse Leadership program, offered by Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, you’ll learn to meet the goals of your healthcare institution—as well as the needs of your patients—through the application of practices involving clinically based leadership, quality assessment and involvement.  This degree can be completed synchronously online in two years with a final in-person immersion experience and is designed for current and aspiring nurse leaders who are leading, or who expect to lead, at the unit level (such as nurse managers, assistant nurse managers or the like).  When you graduate, you’ll be prepared to combine your clinical experience and leadership training to apply for nurse management positions in a variety of settings, including at hospitals, long-term care facilities and beyond.

What to Expect

As an MSN student specializing in nurse leadership, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Leadership for Quality Healthcare within Organizations and Systems
  • Management of Clinical Operations for Nurse Leaders
  • Leading Innovation, Change and Intrapreneurship

And, you’ll even take two Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)-level courses, preparing you to further your education after earning your master’s.

In addition to 31 hours of coursework, you’ll complete 300 practicum hours within your chosen clinical setting. With the help of your advisor, you will identify nursing and/or other healthcare administrators to help foster your leadership growth and apply the skills you’ve learned in the classroom to meet unit-specific challenges and needs.

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Beyond the Classroom

Case Western Reserve University is a destination for nurse leadership training. We're home to the Marian K. Shaughnessy Nurse Leadership Academy, through which you can get involved in educational programming, research and networking to advance your skills and your career.

Through the center, we work to implement world-class relational leadership programs for nurses at all levels. We connect nurse leaders to share best practices, research in nursing leadership science, health policy design and implementation, and healthcare delivery. We conduct research to advance the science of nursing leadership.

And, most importantly, we empower you to elevate the voice and expertise of nurses in healthcare—no matter where you're located. 

By the Numbers


years to complete


MSN program, (U.S. News & World Report, 2025)


credit hours


hours of clinical experience


classes count toward your future DNP program

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • An online application, completed by March 15 for summer and fall enrollment or Oct. 1 for spring enrollment 
  • Completion of an accredited first professional degree program in nursing
  • Three professional recommendations
  • One year of working experience
  • An interview

GRE/MAT scores are not required to apply, but the scores may be requested for an admission decision.

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