Master of Science in Nursing



Advance as a leader in nursing with our online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Organizational and Systems Leadership. The MSN prepares BSN nurses for leadership and management roles in a variety of healthcare specializations. Our nursing legacy dates back to 1899, and we’ve pulled together the expertise of current local and national nurse executives to ensure that our MSN program will enable you to graduate with the technical abilities, knowledge, and skills to be a successful servant nurse leader in today's healthcare settings. Aligned with our Catholic heritage, our curriculum prepares graduates to be experts in the operations and finances of evolving healthcare delivery systems. Ready to advance your nursing career? Apply or request information today! 

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Of the Nation's RNs Hold a Master's Degree1


Semester Program (1.5 Years)


Total Credit Hours


Start Only (Aug./Sept.)

Our body of work


Our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Organizational and Systems Leadership curriculum is designed for nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and want to advance into systems leadership roles. Our program's learning outcomes are aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's (ACCN) Essentials of Master's Educationensuring our graduates are prepared to meet the rigorous expectations set for nurses educated at the MSN level. 

Being a well-rounded nurse in today's complicated healthcare environment requires advanced leadership skills in addition to clinical experience and expertise. Our MSN program supports your growth and ability to communicate interprofessionally, lead strategic planning efforts, and manage operations and complex budgets. Healthcare systems continue to change to meet the needs brought about by COVID-19 and an aging population. Nurse leaders who have the experience and ability to think holistically about the modern challenges facing healthcare delivery and to envision creative responses to workforce shortages are needed now more than ever. 

Our MSN program includes 37 credit hours, to be completed online over five semesters (1.5 years). The program offers full-time and part-time options to meet your individual needs. There is one start date per year in the fall (August/September). 

Priority Application Deadline: Application materials (including all transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate institutions attended) must be received by July 1. No GRE required! 

The Higher Learning Commission has approved the institution’s request to offer the Master of Science in Nursing: Organizational and Systems Leadership.

Don't have a BSN? Are you a Registered Nurse but don't have your BSN yet? Don't worry! Our online, one-year RN to BSN program can get you ready in no time!

On January 20, 2021, the Iowa Board of Nursing gave interim approval for Mercy College of Health Sciences to offer the Master of Science in Nursing: Organizational and Systems Leadership.

Faculty in the MSN program are highly motivated and skilled healthcare practitioners comfortable with the latest technology and evidence-based practices in their specialty areas of healthcare. All hold a doctorate and have more than 23 years of clinical experience combined! As a student, you will receive an exceptional level of personalized instruction from experienced educators dedicated to your success.

Meet Your Faculty


I love that the class sizes at Mercy College are small enough to work closely with those in my cohort. It is beneficial to be able to build relationships with faculty that help us grow into better healthcare professionals.

Arianna E., BSN Candidate (Accelerated), Tampa, FL

The Master of Science in Nursing follows our Graduate Tuition rate, calculated on a per credit hour basis.

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Male nursing student with mask

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Nursing in Organizational and Systems Leadership program, you must first be admitted to Mercy College of Health Sciences as a graduate student. 

Students must meet the following requirements for graduate program admission:

  • Prior completion of a U.S. bachelor's degree, or equivalent degree from another country (as determined and approved by NACES-approved evaluation agency)
  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

+ Students who do not meet the GPA requirement may qualify for a holistic admissions review

Complete our FREE online Mercy College application. Early application is encouraged. 

To be considered for admission to the MSN program, you must meet the criteria below and submitted the following documents with your application:

  • Active unencumbered RN license
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing from a nationally accredited program (CCNE, ACEN, or CNEA)
  • A CV or current resume
  • A personal statement (250 word minimum)

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The following courses are required to earn your Master of Science in Nursing in Organizational and Systems Leadership. Students admitted to the program will follow the below recommended course sequence. Students may also enroll part-time. For graduate courses, students enrolled full-time will take 8 credit hours or more in a semester. Students enrolled part-time will take 4 to 7 credit hours in a semester.

Semester 1 (Fall):
MAT 500 - Statistical Methods (3 cr)
NUR 504 - Translating Research into Evidence Based Practice (3 cr)
NUR 516 - Advanced Pathophysiology (3 cr)

Semester 2 (Spring):
NUR 512 - Advanced Pharmacology (3 cr)
NUR 514 - Advanced Physical Assessment (3 cr)
NUR 524 - Quality Improvement And Patient Safety (2 cr)

Semester 3 (Summer):
NUR 644 - Clinical Prevention and Population Health (2 cr)
NUR 522 - Health Systems Leadership and Interprofessional Practice (3 cr)
NUR 626 - Finance, Policy, and Economics of Healthcare (3 cr)
Semester 4 (Fall):
NUR 506 - Informatics for Healthcare Practice (2 cr)
NUR 681 - Organizational & Systems Leadership (3 cr)
NUR 661 - Evidence-Based Management & Quality Improvement (3 cr)
Semester 5 (Spring):
NUR 683 - Planning, Management & Evaluation of Programs (2 cr)
NUR 687 - Organizational and Systems Leadership Immersion (2 cr)

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The Master of Science in Nursing in Organizational and Systems Leadership program offers one start date per year in the fall. The fall semester begins at the end of August or early September. View our full academic calendar for exact semester start dates. Other programs, pre-requisites, and Core requirements may be completed at Mercy College of Health Sciences year-round, including our one-year online RN to BSN program

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About Our Nursing Programs

Mercy College, Loras Announce Nursing Partnership
Mercy College Student, Professor Named DAISY Award Winners
Becoming a Nurse: Meghan Charted Her Course with Mercy College

1American Association of Colleges of Nurses 2018 Nursing Fact Sheet

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Next step before transforming into a life-saving hero: complete the form below. Our admissions team will get you all the info you need to know.

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Admissions: (515) 635-1133
General: (515) 643-3180

About Us

Mercy College of Health Sciences has been transforming students into healthcare professionals since 1899. Located in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, we offer master's degreesbachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, certificate programs, and continuing education courses.

Mercy College is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), in addition to numerous programmatic accreditors.

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Mercy College is a Catholic, accredited, nonprofit institution of higher learning.