Master of Science in Nursing –Online Program

Offered by: Wilmington University

College credits: 36

Course length: 7-15 Weeks



The Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program is designed to prepare professional nurses for roles in advanced practice. The curriculum emphasizes the relationships among advanced nursing practice, theory, and scholarly inquiry. Nurses educated at the graduate level demonstrate competency in the roles of advanced caregiver, leader, teacher, and participant in and/or conductor of research. Nurses prepared at the graduate level also have the opportunity to influence health policy and to practice with a high level of autonomy in a variety of settings.


The goals of the Master of Science of Nursing program are to prepare graduates to:
  1. Function effectively in advanced nursing practice roles in a variety of settings.
  2. Engage in personal and professional development through life-long learning.
  3. Broaden career mobility and opportunities in nursing.

Program Design

Today’s health care environment requires competent, innovative leaders. Nurse leaders are needed for managed care initiatives, roles in nursing education, entrepreneurial pursuits, consultation and interdisciplinary coordination of healthcare, and clinical research projects. The purpose of the Nursing Leadership concentration is to provide the opportunity for nurses to acquire and refine the skills needed for leadership roles in nursing.

To fulfill the requirements of the M.S.N. Leadership program, students must complete all courses, consisting of 36 credit hours, while maintaining a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Students complete course work with an emphasis in executive practice, the educator role, or the legal nurse consultant role. The program is interdisciplinary, with course work through the College of Business and the College of Health Professions for dual degree executive options. Technology is integrated into the program, and nursing courses may be offered in a distance learning format. Students in all concentrations will complete a final culminating project for their MSN 8900 Nurse Leadership Portfolio.

All concentrations are designed to advance the students’ knowledge of research to improve the practice of nursing and strengthen the awareness of contemporary influences on health care needs of individuals, families, and communities. Philosophy of nursing leadership and health care expands the foundation for ethical decision making as students develop skill in working within the context of prevailing systems of care. The program is usually completed within a two to three year time-frame; however, it must be completed within five years.


Knowledge of local, national, and global health care policies will enable the professional nurse to work with other professionals in establishing priorities. Beyond this foundational knowledge, the nurse leader needs to refine skills relevant to individual career goals. Selected course work may emphasize entrepreneurial, policy, or management roles of the nurse leader.


Skilled educators are needed to teach students, clients, and staff. Course work will provide the opportunity for increased knowledge and skills for the current or future educator.

Legal Nurse Consultant

The Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) role is a functional specialty practice of nursing. Legal nurse consultants use critical thinking and expert knowledge of health care systems and professions to assess health care practice standards applicable to nursing. Courses at Wilmington University prepare students to meet the standards of LNC practice. The LNC courses are available as online courses only and students should be comfortable with the Online Learning format.

Program Competencies

Through completion of the Master of Science in Nursing program, graduates will:
  1. Promote the art of nursing by valuing the unique relationships among people, which create meaning and preserve human dignity;
  2. Synthesize theoretical, experiential, and research knowledge as the scientific basis for advanced nursing practice;
  3. Use the ethical and legal standards recognized by the nursing profession to guide advanced nursing practice;
  4. Implement knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research to improve nursing practice by evaluating published research, applying findings to practice, and participating in research activities;
  5. Incorporate findings from teaching/learning theories and research to educate individuals and groups;
  6. Implement knowledge of health policy, financial aspects of health care, and the organization of health delivery systems to influence continuous improvement in health care;
  7. Fulfill a leadership role in individual and population healthcare through effective collaboration, client and peer advocacy, sensitivity to diversity, and ongoing participation in professional organizations;
  8. Negotiate an appropriate role for advanced nursing practice in the context of a dynamic health care system;
  9. Demonstrate advanced oral and written communication abilities;
  10. Demonstrate the ability to access, use, and evaluate information and information technologies.
  11. Influence healthcare outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems through advanced assessment of health promotion, prevention, and continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.

Prerequisite Course Requirements

All students are required to have prerequisite knowledge of statistics. If the student has not completed an undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of “C” or better, he or she will be required to complete statistics prior to consideration for degree candidacy (completion of 12 credits).


You will complete classes such as:
  • MSN 6502 Contemporary Concepts in Advanced Practice Roles
  • MSN 6608 Evidence Based Practice in the Health Professions
  • MSN 7741 Politics and Policy in the Healthcare System
  • MSN 7750 Teaching and Learning in Nursing
  • MSN 6500 Leadership Roles in Advanced Nursing Practice (First course)
  • MSN 6609 Advanced Concepts in Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • MSN 6610 Advanced Physical Assessment for Nurse Leaders
  • MSN 6646 Philosophy and Ethics in Advanced Nursing Roles
View syllabus / course list

Cost and Schedule

Guild provides reduced cost education for working adults. We’ll help you have an affordable path to move your education forward.


With financial aid, Guild students attending Wilmington University may be eligible to pay a fraction of the published cost to advance their education. For example, Guild students may pay as little as 10% of the published course or program cost to earn their bachelor's degree when taking advantage of:

●      Federal financial aid funds
●      Tuition assistance benefits from your employer.
●      The $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit.
●      Guild's tuition discount, and no out-of-state tuition costs.
Active Military or Veteran? If so, talk to your coach or Wilmington University about your eligibility for additional tuition benefits.


●      WilmU’s online classes are primarily offered in 15-week and 7-week formats and you can start every other month.
●      Take your classes online, with flexibility to balance work, school, family, and personal life.
●      Gain knowledge and skills that are career-relevant and can be applied tomorrow.
View syllabus / course list

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I attend Wilmington University?
Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution committed to providing flexible, career-oriented online associate, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs for working adults. Founded in 1968, today WilmU provides affordable tuition, academic excellence and individualized attention to more than 20,000 students annually. As an institution with admissions policies that provide access for all, WilmU offers opportunity for higher education to students of varying ages, interests, and aspirations.

What is the application process like?
Your Guild advisor will be in contact throughout the application process to help you complete the application as well as answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, here is a general outline of what to expect for most offerings:
1. Apply to this offering
2. Complete the SmarterMeasure assessment related to your online learning style
3. Send Guild your unofficial transcripts
4. Talk to your Guild advisor about how to complete the final steps of your application

What does it mean that my degree is offered in partnership with Wilmington University and Guild Education?
Here at Guild, we strive to offer excellent education that is flexible and affordably priced. We partner with universities and institutions that do the same. With this partnership, you will enroll as a Wilmington University student, get the support of a Guild coach, and be able to navigate balancing work and school in pursuit of your degree.

Tell me more about Guild Education.
Guild Education partners with employers to offer a variety of online classes, programs, and degrees from top-ranked universities that you can complete while working.

You will get support from a Guild advisor, who will help you find the right program, navigate the financial aid process, and provide you with personal college and career advising to help you navigate the college process from day one to graduation.

To give employees a variety of options, Guild partners with a consortium of universities and learning providers, including Brandman University, Western Governors University, Bellevue University, and StraighterLine, in addition to offering custom content. 

Benefits of partnering with Guild include:
  • A path to finish your degree or take graduate courses, at little to no cost
  • A personal college and career adviser to help you navigate programs and offerings
  • Online classes that allow you to work at your own pace
  • Relevant classes and programs designed to help you advance in your career
  • Credit recognition for past college credits and corporate credits towards your degrees

What are Guild's guiding principles?
  • Students first: We're here to help you, and you come first in our world. In exchange, we expect you give your all and to support your fellow classmates.
  • We learn best by doing: Experimentation, learning by doing, feedback and reflection lay at the core of every learning experience with Guild.
  • Feedback makes us better, in fact, it’s a gift: Practice only makes perfect when we get feedback on how to improve.
  • Reflection is a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have: Reflection allows us to digest the learnings and feedback we’ve received.
  • Community matters: We’re all in this together and we expect all Guild members to appreciate the role we play in each other’s learning experience.