Health Systems Management

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

**Please note: the School of Nursing is not accepting applications for new students in Health Systems Management at this time.

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.


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.

All clinical/practicum activities are generally conducted within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Clinical/practice activities may be conducted in a different state as long as that state participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. A list of participating states can be accessed at


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.

Downloads, Program of Study, and Links



  • Program Coordinator (Interim): Pamela Kulbok, DNSc, RN (434) 924-0128
  • Admissions and financial aid questions: contact the Office of Admissions & Student Services, (434) 924-0141 or (888) 283-8703