Health Systems Management

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Health Systems Management concentration prepares nurse leaders at the MSN level for management and executive level positions in complex health care organizations including public and private sector hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, and long-term care facilities as well as for positions in quality improvement, information systems, and policy. This specialty emphasizes competencies in (1) communication and relationship building, (2) knowledge of the healthcare environment, (3) transformational leadership, (4) professionalism, and (5) business skills [AONE competencies]. Innovative learning experiences are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to perform effectively at the business and clinical interface of health care delivery organizations.

Distance education option: The MSN in Health Systems Management is offered in an online, web-based format. In this option, students enroll in 2-4 courses per term and complete most of the course requirements via the internet. Classes meet 'live' at the University twice per term (first and last days of the semester). When circumstances prevent ‘live’ attendance at the University, students may access these class meetings via a web-camera.

Full-time students can complete the MSN in Health Systems Management in as little as 12 months. Part-time students complete the program in approximately 24 months.

Pam Kulbok
Pamela Kulbok, Program Coordinator
Kathryn McEldowney
Kathy McEldowney, Administrative Assistant

Program Coordinator (Interim): Pamela Kulbok, DNSc, RN (434) 924-0128;
Direct all questions on admissions and financial aid to Assistant Dean Clay Hysell (434) 924-0141,


Students complete a total of 504 hours of administrative practicum near the completion of the program. The two clinical courses are GNUR 7481 (Administrative Practicum I, spring semester) and GNUR 7482 (Administrative Practicum II, summer session).

Students develop their own clinical goals with the HSM faculty. Some students select to do both practica at one site; others seek two different experiences.


Students completing this track will have completed course work necessary for Certification in Nurse Executive, Advanced or Certification in Nurse Executive. The practice requirements for this certification are met through paid employment as a nurse manager or nurse executive for 24 months of the last five years. Thus graduates will need to obtain this experience after earning the MSN degree.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive and based on evaluation of all portions of the application. To be considered for the Master's of Science in Nursing, applicants must submit a completed application and:

  • Have a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a nationally accredited school.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate study.
  • Be licensed as a registered nurse in the US, with eligibility to transfer your license to Virginia.   All matriculating students who are not active-duty military nurses must have a Virginia RN license before the first day of classes.
  • Submit a total of three satisfactory recommendations (academic, professional, and clinical).
  • Submit a copy of your resume or C.V.
  • Have completed an undergraduate or graduate statistics course within the past 5 years.
  • Be available for an interview if requested.
  • International applicants have additional admissions requirements.

Please note: The University is in transition with establishing regulations to support out-of-state students for distance-learning.  If you are a non-Virginian student interested in enrolling in a distance-learning program, please contact Clay Hysell, the Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid at to see if you would be eligible to enroll.

Note: New BSN graduates may apply for the Health Systems Management MSN program. Applicants to the advanced practice programs (NP and CNS) should have at least one year of full-time RN experience before enrolling in the program.

Technology requirements: All graduate nursing students are required to have a laptop. Students in the advanced practice programs (CNS and NP) are required to have a smartphone (Apple or Android) in addition. Information on the laptop and smartphone requirements will be sent to enrolling students in the summer before classes begin.

Application deadline: November 1 for fall entry

*Submission of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional.  If you want to have GRE scores sent to the University, the institutional code is R-5820.  The School of Nursing accepts GRE scores that are more than 5 years old. If you have your 'older' scores, you may submit a copy of the Student Report. 

A competitive candidate for admission to the Health Systems Management program would have the following at the time of application:

  • BSN gpa of 3.25 or higher;
  • More than 1 year of full-time, RN experience;
  • Active membership in a national nursing organization (preferably in the applicant's practice area);
  • Exhibit leadership behaviors in a nursing practice setting (mentoring other nurses, participating in unit or hospital-based leadership teams, engaged in practice change and evidence-based practice projects);
  • Excellent writing skills.

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Downloads, Program of Study, and Links

For More Information

For additional information on admission to and programs of study at the UVA School of Nursing, please complete our online inquiry form. You are also welcome to call the Office of Admissions and Student Services at (434) 924-0141 / (888) 283-8703.

Questions on admissions and financial aid should be directed to Clay Hysell, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid,