Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Note: This information is current for the 2020-21 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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