Skip to content
Nursing graduate students

Nurse Executive Leadership


For more information about the DNP program please visit the DNP section of our website.

UTK College of Nursing Elevates Advanced Practice Registered Nursing to the Clinical Doctorate

In 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommended moving all Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) programs to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level. Today’s health care environment requires APRNs who can deliver high-quality, safe, and effective care to individuals, families and communities. As the state’s flagship institution, we are committed to educating the best prepared APRNs at the highest level of scientific knowledge and practice expertise to lead changes in health delivery systems, explore and implement ways to cut health care costs, measure outcomes of groups of patients, populations and communities and provide evidenced-based care.

These principles guided our decision to elevate all APRN concentrations (except nurse anesthesia) to the DNP-degree level. Students seeking admission in fall 2018 to APRN clinical specialties will apply to the BSN-to-DNP program as we will not be accepting MSN applicants. We will continue to offer the post-masters certificates programs in each of the specialty areas.

As the healthcare system continues to evolve, APRNs will assume greater authority and independence for providing a broader range of clinical care than ever before. The UTK College of Nursing’s move to the DNP as entry into advanced practice is congruent with the national trend to empower nurses and advance the profession.

For more information about the DNP program please visit the DNP section of our website.

The nursing administration concentration consists of advanced study to prepare students for positions at all three managerial levels, but especially for beginning and middle management in a variety of health care settings.

Nursing administration has long been a vital component of the health care delivery system. Nurse managers establish and manage departments that provide high-quality health care and at the same time support the professional nurse in the delivery of that care. Such factors as prospective payment systems, alternative health care delivery systems, cost containment, and increased competition have made the challenge to nurse administrators at all levels even more complex and exciting.

Concentration courses (N589, N590, N591, N594, N595) build upon and expand concepts from the core courses of the curriculum. Students explore, analyze, and apply selected organizational, management, and leadership theories and financial principles to the delivery of nursing services. They also study the structures, functions, and adaptive processes of health care organizations. Human and financial resources, conflict resolution, and organizational development are analyzed with application to the various management levels. Examples include but are not limited to organizational behavior, marketing principles, principles of health care finances, and health/nursing policy and planning. In the clinical component of the concentration, students observe and work with graduate degree–prepared managers and administrators.

Graduates are employed as nurse managers or directors of nursing in acute care inpatient settings, emergency rooms, women’s centers, mental health agencies, long-term care settings, and as faculty in schools of nursing. Additional clinical practice will make the graduate eligible to pursue certification as a nurse executive (basic) through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

The nursing administration concentration is a blended curriculum. Specifically, classes include both on campus and online activities. Online courses may be offered through a hybrid of traditional online learning and video conferencing.

The concentration is typically a full-time course of study (involving three semesters). Student curriculum plans of study are individualized and carefully determined under the guidance of the concentration coordinator. A part-time program of study may also be available upon coordinator approval.

Nursing administration students work closely with their concentration coordinator and faculty to find appropriate clinical placements that meet the individual academic needs of the student. While students may help identify potential clinical sites, they are not guaranteed any particular site placement. It must be noted that travel to and from clinical sites is part of the nursing administration concentration requirement.

Applications are no longer accepted for this program, please see our DNP program.

The nursing administration concentration is part of the College of Nursing MSN graduate program and follows the standard admission process and cycle.


Applicants for the nursing administration concentration must meet the following admission requirements:

  • Meet all admission requirements of the Graduate School and the College of Nursing.
  • Submit an online application to UT Graduate Admissions.
  • Achieve a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the internet-based test if native language is not English.
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from a regionally accredited program.
  • Hold or be eligible for licensure to practice nursing in the state (or a compact state as applicable) for which the student will be earning clinical credit as an advanced practice nursing student.
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale, or a GPA of 3.3 or higher for courses in the undergraduate major.
  • Have completed an undergraduate-level health assessment course.
  • Have completed 3 hours of graduate-level statistics. This requirement may be completed during the summer once admitted—see the statistics requirement chart for additional information. Any statistics course taken at another college must be preapproved by the College of Nursing after admission. Submit a copy of the course syllabus to for review.

GRE: The GRE is not required for admission to the MSN program unless an applicant has an undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or lower.

Credit transfer: A maximum of 9 graduate hours taken before acceptance into the master’s program may be applied toward the degree (does not include statistics course prerequisite); none may be clinical. Transferred courses must have been completed within the six-year period prior to receipt of the degree.

You may find additional information on acceptance details, tuition and fee estimates, scholarships, thesis vs. nonthesis options, and comprehensive exams on the Acceptance and Program Information portion of our website.

Fall I (9 hours) Hours
510 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing 3
589 Human Resource Management 3
594 Health System Quality Management 3
Spring I (12 hours)
501 Nursing Research 3
507 Leadership and Change in Dynamic Systems 3
590 Nursing Administration I 6
Fall II (13 hours)
500/582 3
591 Nursing Administration II 6
512 Practice Issues: Nurse Practitioner 1
595 HealthCare Finance 3

For Course Descriptions, see the Graduate Catalog.

In addition to the core nursing classes, the nursing administration concentration includes the following:

NURS 589 Human Resource Management3 credit hours

Exploration and analysis of nursing human resource management that focuses on change and performance management, staff development, succession planning, coaching and guiding skills, mentoring, and cultural and generational competencies.

NURS 590 Nursing Administration I—6 credit hdours

Exploration, analysis, and application of selected organizational, management, and leadership theories and financial principles to delivery of nursing services. Structure, functions, organization, behaviors, and adaptive processes of health care organizations.

Contact Hour Distribution: 2 didactic and 4 practicum. Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Prerequisite(s): 510. (DE) Prerequisite(s): or (DE) Corequisite(s): 501 and 507. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing—nursing major.

NURS 591 Nursing Administration II—6 Credit Hours

Utilization of human and financial resources, conflict resolution, and organizational development with application to mid- and top-level nursing administration positions.

Contact Hour Distribution: 2 didactic and 4 practicum. Credit Restriction: Graduate credit only. (RE) Prerequisite(s): 510. (DE) Prerequisite(s): or (DE) Corequisite(s): 501 and 507. Registration Restriction(s): Master of Science in Nursing—nursing major.

NURS 594 Health System Quality Management3 Credit Hours

Exploration and analysis of health care quality management to include current quality of care issues, research and evidence-based practice, creating and sustaining accountable organizations/high-reliability organizations, principles of Continuous Quality Improvement, Total Quality Management, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecards, and LEAN.

NURS 595 HealthCare Finance3 Credit Hours

Exploration and analysis of health care reimbursement, concepts and principles in health care financial planning/management, capital budgeting, strategic planning/project management, and effective management of labor costs essential to nurse administrators.


Get in touch with Nursing Administration Coordinator Pam Hardesty.

Pamela Hardesty
Clinical Associate Professor

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

Report an accessibility barrier.Privacy.