RN to MS in Clinical Systems Leadership

Advance into leadership, administration or an area of specialization in your field by earning your RN to MS in Clinical Systems Leadership through the University of Arizona College of Nursing.


Online Master's Nursing Program in Arizona

- U.S. News & World Report, 2021


Best Online Master's in Nursing

- U.S. News & World Report, 2021

Quick Facts

Credits Required: 30
Cost Per Credit: $680
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The Fastest Path to an MS

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

College of Nursing

As one of our nation's most respected premier nursing programs, the University of Arizona College of Nursing’s online RN to MS 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.

The emphasis in Clinical Systems Leadership builds on your clinical nursing experience in order for you to become a highly qualified nurse leader. You will learn to establish patient-centered care that is comprehensive, coordinated, and compassionate, emphasizing patient advocacy through systems leadership.

Upon the completion of this program, you will be prepared to provide leadership in a variety of practice environments, ready to influence the delivery of complex healthcare to patients across the trajectory of illness and achieve optimal health outcomes.

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 the 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.

Examples of courses that you may take include:

NURS 521 : Evidence-Based Practice Improvement
NURS 540 : Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
NURS 543 : Health Information and Patient Care Technologies
NURS 545: Healthcare Environments and Care Coordination
NURS 640: Healthcare Business Dynamics
NURS 653 : Healing Environments and Practices
NURS 654 : Quality and Safety Management
NURS 660A : Foundations of Master’s Nursing Practice: Pathophysiology, Therapeutics, and Assessment
NURS 660B: Clinical Systems Leadership Immersions


Earning your Master of Science in Nursing 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 Master of Science in Nursing 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 MS.

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

Upcoming Start Dates

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

  • August 23, 2021
  • January 12, 2022
  • May 16, 2022


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 MS 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.

A Master of Science in Nursing 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 MS or doctoral degree, most nurses are already at a career ceiling.

An MS 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 MS opens up new ways to help people with new roles and responsibilities. An MS 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 MS jobs have regular hours, more in sync with the schedules of friends and family. 

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


Meet an MS in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership 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 MS Graduate


RN MSN accreditation seals

The online MS 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.

Savanah Whitney
Graduate Enrollment Counselor

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