RN to MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership

Advance into leadership, administration or an area of specialization in your field by earning your MSN through the University of Arizona College of Nursing.


#1Online Master's Nursing
Program in Arizona

- U.S. News & World Report, 2021

#32Best Online
Master's in Nursing

- U.S. News & World Report, 2021

Quick Facts

Credits Required: 30
Cost Per Credit: $680

The Fastest Path to an MSN

Earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree in Clinical Systems Leadership in as little as 15 to 24 months. Combining high-quality instruction with proven distance-learning technologies, the online MSN program will solidify your confidence across a broad spectrum of health care environments. Build on the expertise you’ve attained as a practicing professional to elevate patient care and leadership skills.

College of Nursing

Graduates of the online RN to MSN program will earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree in Clinical Systems Leadership.

There are two tracks available for this program: as an applicant with an existing Associate Degree in Nursing or as an applicant with an existing Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The ADN track includes three additional courses to address material typically covered in a BSN undergraduate program. Both tracks include a 16-week capstone project.

As one of our nation's most respected premier nursing programs, the University of Arizona College of Nursing’s online RN to MSN is an engaging and patient-centric curriculum uniquely designed for working nurses. It includes coursework in evidence-based practice improvement, systems management, nurse leadership, healthcare technology, quality and safety, health promotion, and creating healing environments.

Eligibility: Applicants must have passed a 3-credit, college-level statistics class within the last 5 years. If you do not meet this requirement, you can still qualify through one of the following options:

  • Take a college-level statistics class at another regionally accredited institution before you start or during your first semester in the program (Minimum grade of C required)
  • Take NURS 629 in your first semester at University of Arizona
  • Attempt a proficiency exam and if completed with a 70% or better, have your statistics class requirement waived

Residents of Tennessee, Washington D.C. as well as the US Territories are not eligible.

NURS 520: Foundations of Systems Leadership
NURS 521: Evidence-Based Practice Improvement
NURS 540: Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
NURS 541: Population Health
NURS 543: Health Information and Patient Care Technologies
NURS 545: Healthcare Environments and Care Coordination
NURS 640: Healthcare Business Dynamics
NURS 641: Leadership for Patient-Centered Care
NURS 653: Healing Environments and Practices
NURS 654: Quality and Safety Management
NURS 660: Clinical Systems Leadership Immersion


Earning your Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Systems Leadership will build core skills, including:

  • development of comprehensive care plans
  • evaluation of care systems
  • interdisciplinary team experience
  • leadership and innovation
  • patient-centered care
  • staff and patient advocacy
  • understanding of business and economic principles

Your online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership will challenge you to think more holistically and strategically about care systems, giving you a bold and broad new view of the paths your career might take. The positions below are just a handful of professions that will open to you when you've earned your MSN.

  • Clinical Care Coordinator
  • Clinical Systems Manager
  • Infection Control Manager
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Manager
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Patient Navigator
  • Quality and Safety Coordinator

Choose Your Track:

Nurse working on an IV Drip


Licensed RNs with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing take a total of 11 courses to earn an MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership. Each course is 7 weeks long and the program can be completed in as little as 24 months.


Female nurse comforting an elderly patient


The BSN track has been designed for students who already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This 15-month curriculum consists of only 8 courses, minimizing overlap with your prior coursework. Each course is just 7 weeks long.



Upcoming Start Dates

With classes starting three times a year, the next opportunity to start your MSN program is never more than five months away:

  • May 17, 2021
  • August 23, 2021


Admission Requirements

Applications must be submitted through NursingCAS and the University of Arizona Graduate College

Nursing CAS Application


Create Your Account

Create a NursingCAS account or sign in with your username and password. Once you create an account, you can access your application as often as you need.


Review Requirements

Review the program materials section of NursingCAS to learn more about the specific admissions criteria, requirements and deadlines for your program. Collect and submit any required supporting materials, such as personal statements, documents and certification data.


Complete Application

Send your official transcripts and test scores to NursingCAS and complete your application. Once you have submitted your application and any additional supporting materials, monitor your application status in your NursingCAS account and follow-up on any necessary actions.

University of Arizona Graduate College Application


Go to GradApp

To complete your online application, go to the online portal and either enter your NetID or create a new account.


Create Your Account

After you have created a GradApp account, you can begin your application. Remember to choose Arizona Online as your campus.


Complete Application

Choose your area of specialty and follow the instructions to complete the application for that specialty.

RN to MSN Opens Doors

Lead the Way

Today, 3 million RNs in the US are the backbone of American health care. You make an incredible impact on people’s lives through the care you provide.

An MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership opens doors that will empower you to help even more people. It can give you a seat at the table for decisions about care policies and practices and the business of improving health.

Advance Your Career

Not all RNs want to advance into leadership. However, without an MSN or doctoral degree, most nurses are already at a career ceiling.

An MSN empowers you to advance your career in any direction, such as teaching nursing, leading clinical classes and mentoring those who are just starting their journey.

Improve Your Future

As an RN, you do vital work that you should be proud of. Because of the intensive and demanding work, some RNs eventually experience their own health challenges, in part from the physical rigors of their work.

If that’s you today, an MSN opens up new ways to help people with new roles and responsibilities. An MSN ensures that when you’re ready to transition to a different kind of nursing: your options will be wide open.

Live Your Best Life

Do you struggle with work-life balance? Most MSN jobs have regular hours, more in sync with the schedules of friends and family.

Do you value independence and respect in your work? An MSN is a professional signal of greater expertise as well as your commitment to making a difference.


Meet an MSN graduate below and see how our program made a difference in her life and career.

Watch Beth's Story

"The highlight of the program for me was the Systems Leadership Immersion Project"

-Beth High

RN to MSN Graduate

RN MSN accreditation seals

The online MSN in Clinical Systems Leadership is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

Additionally, the University of Arizona College of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Western Institute of Nursing.

Wildcat family statue on campus


Need help filling out the application? Our dedicated enrollment counselors are here to help. Call us at 520.621.6676 or send us an email.

Dentin Garrett
Senior Enrollment Counselor

Heidi Creel
Senior Academic Adviser