nursing students in brick red taking blood pressure of another student with their instructor guiding them

MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership

Study Healthcare Administration and Leadership at Azusa Pacific University

This program is for nurses with a bachelor’s degree looking to advance their career into healthcare management and leadership roles. You’ll fulfill educational requirements necessary to sit for the American Organization of Nursing Leadership nursing leadership exam. We’ll also support you as a working professional with flexible scheduling. You can choose to complete the program entirely online or take a few classes on campus.

Program at a Glance

The nationally ranked School of Nursing prepares nurses to lead the way in healthcare by providing a deeper level of compassionate care in clinics, hospitals, schools, and beyond.

Application Deadline

  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed as they are completed for each term. The application deadline is approximately three weeks before the start of each semester.

Contact a program representative

Program Units

Cost per Unit

Base Cost


  • Online Asynchronous
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Yellow Ribbon and Military Friendly School

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Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Experience interdisciplinary education with students in the School of Nursing and the School of Business and Management.
  • Take nursing core courses focused on the critical analysis of nursing and other topics.
  • Take healthcare administration and leadership courses.
  • Fulfill educational requirements necessary to sit for the American Organization of Nursing Leadership nursing leadership exam.
  • Learn from experienced faculty-practitioners who provide opportunities for students to put course material into practice.

By the Numbers

1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
13 :1 Student-to-faculty ratio
100 % of incoming students receive financial aid

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Program Details

The entry-level master’s option in healthcare administration and leadership prepares nurses for early to mid-level management and leadership roles in a variety of healthcare settings. Students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and manage a team of healthcare providers in organizations, functioning in areas such as operations management, project management, and healthcare consulting. The program emphasizes competencies needed for graduates to apply for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) nursing leadership certification exams.

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.

The university graduate and program admission requirements below must be met before an application is considered complete.

  • Graduate application for admission
  • $45 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and all postbaccalaureate study

    An official transcript is one that Azusa Pacific University receives unopened in an envelope sealed by the former institution and that bears the official seal of the college or university. A cumulative minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average on the posted degree is required for regular admission status. Provisional admittance may be granted to individuals with a lower GPA if competency can be shown through multiple measures.
  • Transcripts should show completion of a BSN from a NLN- or CCNE-accredited program. Transcripts should also indicate completion of the following prerequisite undergraduate courses: health assessment, pathophysiology, nursing research, and statistics.
  • Written statement, one to two pages in length:
    • Describe your professional nursing goals
    • Articulate your personal definition of nursing and concept of career opportunities in this field
  • Copy of active and unencumbered nursing license in the state where the clinical practicum experience will take place
  • Current résumé, including the following:
    • Employment and educational experience
    • Professional or academic honors
    • Volunteer activities
  • Two recommendations from professional references who have the ability to evaluate your performance (e.g. managers, supervisors, and academic faculty; not coworkers)
  • See additional requirements for program-specific requirements

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

Admission Requirements—International Applicants

Azusa Pacific University is authorized under federal law by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State to enroll nonimmigrant, alien undergraduate and graduate students. APU issues and administers both the I-20 and DS 2019 (F-1 and J-1 status documents respectively).

To apply for a graduate program at APU, the following requirements must be fulfilled in addition to meeting the domestic applicant and program-specific admission requirements specified above.

International applicants must also:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in English through a placement test with the Academic Success Center, or through a TOEFL/IELTS score that meets program-specific requirements. Refer to APU’s English proficiency requirements to learn more. Request that official test scores be sent to APU. All other forms of proof indicated in the English proficiency requirements must be submitted directly to International Services.
  • Provide a Graduate Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF) and a bank statement from within the last six months proving financial ability to pay for education costs through personal, family, or sponsor resources.
  • Submit a copy of a valid passport showing biographical data, including your name, country of citizenship, date of birth, and other legal information.
  • Get foreign transcripts evaluated. International credentials (transcripts, certificates, diplomas, and degrees) must be evaluated by a foreign transcript evaluation agency. View our policy and a list of approved Foreign Transcript Evaluation Agencies.

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

What to Expect

After all admission materials have been received by the Student Services Center, the faculty or department chair reviews the applicant’s file. The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision.

Delivering high quality graduate programs takes a comprehensive support system. Your investment in an advanced degree includes those services and personnel that partner with you in pursuit of higher education. Below is a detailed breakdown of the fees associated with the benefits and services included in your degree program.

School of Nursing Fees

Tuition and Fees
Nursing Master’s Degree, Credential, and Most Certificate Programs (per unit) $860
PhD in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)(per unit) $1,160
Oncology Nurse Practitioner Certificate (per unit) $1,160
Audit (per unit) half-price tuition
Nursing Clinical Fee (per semester; includes malpractice insurance) $600
Graduate Nursing Advanced Practice Lab Fee (per course) $275

Nursing courses may require additional fees. View a complete list of university fees.

All stated financial information is subject to change. Contact Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 for more information.

Financial Aid

Several types of financial aid are available to graduate students. The resources range from federal loans and state grants to, for some graduate programs, fellowships and scholarships. For details about financial aid available for your program, please contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020.

Military Benefits

Military members—and in some cases their spouses and dependents—qualify for financial assistance covering tuition, housing, and books. Azusa Pacific is a Yellow Ribbon University and Military Friendly School, so you can be confident that you’ll receive the benefits and flexibility you need to complete your education.

Program-Specific Aid

For more details on these scholarships and funding opportunities, as well as other possible resources, please contact the School of Nursing at (626) 815-5386.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program is a government loan program set up to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty by providing loans to students in advanced nursing education programs. Students must be pursuing a MSN or doctoral nursing degree. The NFLP loans will be forgiven—up to 85 percent of the amount received—over a consecutive four-year period if the student commits to serve as full-time faculty at a school of nursing following graduation. Faculty at private universities, state schools, and community colleges are eligible. Students receiving these loans must also complete the nursing education courses prior to graduation.

School of Nursing Alumni Tuition Discounts

APU’s School of Nursing offers an alumni tuition discount for APU alumni starting in the following graduate programs:

Students must be in good academic standing and maintain satisfactory academic progress with a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. If qualifications are met, the discount may be renewed each term. APU will pay $500 per term (up to $2,000 over the course of the program). This discount cannot be combined with other institutional aid. Contact Student Financial Services for complete eligibility details.

Note: Award and eligibility are applicable for the 2022-23 academic year and apply to students admitted beginning fall 2020. The discount is subject to change.

Academic Practice Partner Discount

For employees of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Methodist Hospital of Southern California, Rady Children's Hospital, Redlands Community Hospital, and Riverside University Health System, Azusa Pacific pays 10 percent of tuition for the RN to BSN program or 15 percent for the MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership, MSN in Nursing Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) programs (limited to three doctoral DNP or PhD students) for the duration of the agreement with the employer.

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, be continuously enrolled in fall and spring terms at least half-time, and must submit an MOU Discount Form along with verification of employment. This discount cannot be combined with other institutional aid. Contact student financial services for complete eligibility details.

Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) Discount

For members of the Association of California Nurse Leaders, Azusa Pacific pays 10 percent of tuition for the RN to BSN program, MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership, MSN in Nursing Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) programs for the duration of the agreement with the association.

Students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress, be continuously enrolled in fall and spring terms at least half-time, and must submit an MOU Discount Form along with verification of membership. This discount cannot be combined with other institutional aid. Contact Student Financial Services for complete eligibility details.

To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

Students in the healthcare administration degree program take courses from APU’s School of Nursing and APU’s School of Business and Management, benefiting from experienced nursing and business faculty-mentors who incorporate real-world experiences in the classroom.

This interdisciplinary content includes leadership styles and theories, strategic planning, quality improvement and patient safety, change management, effective human resource management, financial management, and healthcare informatics. Students apply their knowledge and develop competencies in healthcare settings during practicum experiences. Additionally, all courses are grounded in APU’s values-based education with a focus on developing collaborative, compassionate healthcare leaders who are motivated by a spirit of commitment to the nursing and healthcare profession.

With courses offered online and in face-to-face formats, the program supports working professionals. All nursing core courses are available online and face-to-face at the main Azusa campus, as well as the Inland Empire and San Diego regional campuses. Healthcare administration and leadership role specialization courses are offered only online.

Healthcare Administration and Leadership Program Online

Azusa Pacific’s online MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership program delivers curriculum for adult learners wishing to complete their MSN degree without the on-campus class requirement.

The program allows students to take advantage of the convenience of online learning without sacrificing either the quality of instruction or meaningful professor-student interaction.

Convenient Schedule

Students bring a rich diversity of experiences with them the interactive online environment, resulting in lively discussions involving shared experiences.

Committed to Your Success

Successful students in this online format clearly recognize that, while flexibility exists in asynchronous learning, a strong commitment to consistent participation, communication, and completion of all work is critical. Participation in MSN Student Orientation is mandatory for all online students prior to the start of their online program.

Throughout this online program, students engage with the School of Nursing and APU staff in one-on-one communication for academic and financial advising. A virtual nurses’ lounge is also available to facilitate community within the cohort and between cohorts, faculty, and staff.

School of Nursing Philosophy

Consistent with the mission and purpose of the university, the School of Nursing is a Christian community of disciples, scholars, and practitioners. Its purpose is to advance the work of God in the world through nursing education, research, professional practice, community, and Church service.

Health is defined and understood by the faculty as totality or completeness, whether for an individual, family, or community. That totality or completeness, within this conceptual definition, cannot be seen apart from the constitutive element of spirituality. Our conceptual approach to health highlights our distinctive role as a Christian university and provides the discipline of nursing with a distinctive domain for research, education, and advanced nursing practice.

1. How many units is the MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership (HAL) program?

The HAL Program is 37 units. Full-time students take two courses per semester, which is typically 6-7 units. View the course list and program requirements in the university catalog. Part-time students take one course per semester (3-4 units).

2. How do I know if an MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership is right for me?

The MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership may be right for you if you are...

  • driven to improve healthcare quality and outcomes.
  • interested in strategizing how to more efficiently manage and grow patient care programs.
  • committed to making evidence-based decisions to improve an evolving healthcare delivery system.
  • eager to enhance patient care transitions across healthcare settings.

3. What are the different roles and settings in which nurse leaders can serve?

Nurse leaders serve in a variety of roles, including the following:

  • Program Director or Coordinator
  • Academic Instructor
  • Patient Safety Specialist
  • Clinical Educator
  • Care Coordinator
  • Quality Improvement Specialist
  • Population Health Liaison
  • Consultant
  • Health Coach
  • Nurse Navigator
  • Clinic Director
  • Project Manager

The various healthcare settings where nurse leaders can serve include:

  • Nurse-Managed Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Managed Care Firm
  • Data Management Firms
  • Community-Based Clinics
  • Practice Management Firms
  • Ambulatory Care Centers
  • Corporate Organizations

4. What are the opportunities for graduates and what positions might a HAL graduate seek?

Nurse leaders graduating from the HAL program are prepared to serve in diverse leadership roles in health settings. Currently there is significant demand for highly trained leaders in hospitals, clinics, physicians, and other healthcare professionals to ensure that both clinical and operational systems run smoothly.

Azusa Pacific’s HAL program focuses on nursing leadership in healthcare systems, equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and manage a team of healthcare providers in areas such as operations management, project management, care coordination, direct clinic operations, health coaching, and healthcare consulting.

5. What specific competencies will I attain in the HAL program?

The program includes graduate nursing core courses based on the American Organization of Nurse Executives’ Competencies for Nurse Executives––these detail the skills, knowledge, and abilities that guide the practice of nurse leaders in executive practice. They include the following domains for health care leadership: communication and relationship management; knowledge of the healthcare environment; leadership; professionalism; and business skills and principles.

The HAL courses focus on leadership styles and theories, strategic planning, quality improvement and patient safety, change management, effective communication and conflict resolution skills, staffing challenges and constraints, financial management, and healthcare informatics.

View the course list and program requirements in the university catalog.

6. Does the program prepare me for a certification exam needed to become a nurse executive?

Students who successfully complete the program and have acquired the necessary practice experience may sit for the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) certification in executive nursing practice.

7. Are the professors experienced nurse leaders?

Yes, and faculty have both research and practice doctorates. They currently work or have worked in leadership positions in nursing, healthcare organizations, and in our community, serving in a variety of roles including: acute care hospitals, healthcare systems, ambulatory care, health information technology, academia, and research centers, with titles such as chief nursing officer, system director of education, system director of research, and professor.

8. What is unique about the Healthcare Administration and Leadership (HAL) program at Azusa Pacific University?

Azusa Pacific is informed by a Christian worldview, and APU’s School of Nursing prepares professional nurses for leadership and compassionate, collaborative practice in health care.

APU nursing students:

  • Become strategic thinkers, educated as transformational leaders in evolving healthcare systems.
  • Practice from strong ethical principles based on a foundation of Christian values.
  • Stand out as difference makers who will change lives.

9. When are classes offered? Is there an online format?

Classes are offered in two different program formats––online and face-to-face––to support working adult students.

All MSN core courses are offered online and face-to-face on all campuses. The role specialty courses are offered only online.

10. How many practicum hours will I need to complete?

The purpose of the practicum experience is to immerse the student in the role of healthcare administrator. Practicum experiences occur in two courses and total 225 hours. The first practicum course, GNRS 543 Transitions Across the Healthcare Continuum, requires 90 hours of precepted experience in a healthcare setting. Students will team up with a nurse leader and evaluate the nuances of providing care to individuals throughout their lifespan. They will propose how care management may be improved at the organizational level. In the next practicum, students will further develop and operationalize this improvement plan. Competencies that govern the role of the healthcare administrator are explored in depth. Students focus on the context for enacting the role of administrator in a healthcare delivery system.

11. Does Azusa Pacific offer financial aid or scholarships?

Azusa Pacific offers substantial financial aid for eligible students, including select scholarships through the School of Nursing and Health Professions. Additionally, US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for $20,500 in federal loans per academic year. You can apply for Graduate PLUS loans to make up the remainder of the cost.

Learn more about tuition and aid for the MSN Healthcare Administration and Leadership program above.

If you have questions, we’re here to help! Connect with a representative who can walk you through the program details and application process.

Contatct Your Admissions Representative

Additional Program Contact

Suzie Fox, Program Manager, (626) 815-6135, [email protected]

School of Nursing


(626) 815-5386


School of Nursing
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

Student Services Center

Contact (626) 812-3016 or [email protected], and visit for details on the admissions process, financial aid, and class registration.

International Services

International students should contact +1-626-812-3055 or [email protected], and visit

  • Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).  
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing, master’s degree in nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice at Azusa Pacific University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Meet the Faculty

Linda Searle-Leach

Linda Searle-Leach

Associate Professor

Career Outlooks and Outcomes

Azusa Pacific campus

APU School of Nursing Receives $4.4 Million in Grants from HRSA

APU’s School of Nursing, the third largest producer of nurses in the state of California, received two grants totalling $4,396,200 from the Health Resources and Services Administration to help students afford a nursing education.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.
*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.
All stated financial information is subject to change. View Tuition tab above.

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