Nursing — Nursing Administration and Leadership | Online

Program Type
Master’s Program (Online)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Mode of Study
Accelerated Online

Earn your MSN in as few as 12 months

Gain advanced skills in nursing practice, leadership, and business management. Our online curriculum focuses on information technology and quality improvement, nursing theory and leadership, organizational behavior, evidence-based practice, and financial management. You’ll gain leadership experience while exploring management strategies and administrative roles through two hands-on practicums.


All students receive our e-tuition rate. This accelerated online program does not charge Mandatory Fees. See cost details

Credit hours

36 required credit hours. Most courses are equal to 3 credit hours. Browse course list

Financial aid

Over 150 graduate assistantships available with stipend & tuition assistance, plus scholarship, fellowship & research opportunities. Explore aid


6 entry terms per year. No GRE required. View application process & deadlines

Program highlights

  • Earn your degree in as few as 12 months with our accelerated online program.
  • Begin as soon as you’re ready: Choose from 6 start dates throughout the year.
  • Save money with affordable tuition: All accelerated online students are eligible for our low alternative tuition rate.
  • Become eligible to sit for national certification through the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL).
  • Receive personalized support from our easily accessible staff and faculty.
  • Study in a program that is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Students walk down the sidewalk by Wishcamper Center on the Portland campus on a sunny day.

Admission information: Nursing — Nursing Administration and Leadership (MSN) | Online

Application deadlines & program start dates

Choose from 6 start dates per year.

SessionApplication deadlineProgram start date
Summer 2024 term: Session 1April 24, 2024May 13, 2024
Summer 2024 term: Session 2June 12, 2024July 1, 2024
Fall 2024 term: Session 1August 15, 2024September 3, 2024
Fall 2024 term: Session 2October 9, 2024October 28, 2024
Spring 2025 term: Session 1January 2, 2025January 21, 2025
Spring 2025 term: Session 2March 5, 2025March 24, 2025
Summer 2025 term: Session 1April 30, 2025May 19, 2025
Summer 2025 term: Session 2June 18, 2025July 1, 2025

Each student’s application for admission will be evaluated based on a composite of the following recommended standards:

  • A baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing from a degree program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing.
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a B average.
  • RN licensure — unencumbered and current licensure in the state in which practicum will be completed.
  • Undergraduate Statistics course with a grade of C or better.
  • Students with a GPA less than 3.0 may submit GRE or MAT scores to be considered.

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

General requirements

  • Application: Online application
  • Application fee:
    • In-state, out-of-state, and Canadian applicants: Free to apply
    • International applicants: Submit US $50 fee to apply
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information regarding test scores and requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Essay/Personal Statement addressing the following:
    • Demonstrate your understanding of the nurse administrator/educator role and reasons for becoming a nurse leader.
    • Explain your professional goals that will be supported by the Master of Science in Nursing degree.
    • Outline the experiences, capacity, and abilities brought to a master’s program.
    • Document your reasons for choosing the University of Southern Maine for this program.
  • Evidence (photocopy or PDF) of an unencumbered registered nurse license.

International student instructions

View additional application requirements

English proficiency test scores

View test requirements

Where to send application materials

Get our mailing address and email address

Learn more about our online Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Leadership

Three nurses stand together in a medical setting, reviewing an ipad together.

Hands-on learning

Practicum offers a two-part exploration of nurse leadership roles within diverse healthcare systems. You’ll engage in activities and self-reflection to develop your advanced nursing professional identity and competence in personal, professional, and leadership practice.

A graduate nursing student looks toward an instructor, with a groups of fellow students standing behind her.

National certification

Prepare for a leadership role as a nurse manager or supervisor, director of nursing, clinical manager, chief nursing officer, or clinical nurse manager. Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible to sit for national certification through the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL).

A view of Masterton Hall on the USM Portland campus.

Dedicated faculty

Our faculty are active in research and policy issues at the state and national level, are board members of state and national nursing associations, and frequently publish in leading nursing journals.

Graduate students attend their orientation in a lecture hall, with a staff member speaking at a podium.

Graduate student support

Our Office of Graduate Studies connects you with opportunities for professional development, scholarships, and graduate assistantships. They also foster our graduate student community through Peer Mentorship and the Graduate Student Board.

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Scholarship opportunities

Scholarships offer financial aid that doesn’t need to be repaid. We encourage students in graduate degree programs to apply for scholarship opportunities.

The accreditation logo for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)


This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

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Connect with us

Our monthly Graduate Information Sessions are an excellent way to learn more about the benefits of our program, as well as our admissions and financial process.

Register today
Next steps

Our graduate admissions counselors are here to answer your questions about the admissions process, our academic programs, and student support services.

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