Nurse Leader/Executive Advanced Development (LEAD)

Nurse Leader/Executive Advanced Development (LEAD)

LEAD: Who's it for?

A program for all RNs who want to develop as leaders, managers, administrator, and executives.

There is a strong demand for nurse leaders in all types of health care organizations with advanced knowledge and skills. These nurse leaders are needed to develop and sustain systems of care that ensure the delivery of quality, safe, and effective care that results in improved patient outcomes across the care continuum.

The LEAD program has 3 pathways to your master's degree or postmaster's certificate

  • RN to MSN– an accelerated path for RNs with an associate degree (ADN/ASN) or diploma in Nursing.
  • BSN to MSN– for RNs with a bachelor's degree.
  • PMC – Postmaster's Certificate: for RNs with a MSN degree who desire advanced leadership education.

The next level of nursing professionalism brings you multiple benefits

LEAD will increase your expertise, expand your skills and equip you with new credentials to advance your career. It will prepare you to help lead nursing into the next generation. The benefits are several:

  • greater professional respect, career options and earnings potential
  • higher quality care and better outcomes for your patients
  • increased career satisfaction in leadership roles that advance nursing and mentor other nurses

The LEAD program offers a flexible distance/online curriculum to fit your schedule

The program is delivered using advanced web-based applications, including synchronous (real time) and asynchronous classes (web-based). All classes are accessible from your home or work setting as well as from our 5 campus sites. Support for students includes technical support, multiple learning resources, and student-teacher interaction using a variety of distance strategies.  

Complete clinical requirements locally

Clinical requirements may be satisfied in your community or one nearby, using local preceptors.  

Full or part-time study options

  • Flexible, part-time study options to fit the busy lives of RNs.
  • Consult a graduate student services representative for guidance in planning a course schedule that fits your goals, work schedule and family responsibilities.

Program start date – application due date

The LEAD program admits students twice annually. Application due dates and program start dates follow the twice-annual MSN/PMC schedule – see key dates/calendar.  

Admission steps/requirements

LEAD admission requirements follow respective-level College program admission criteria, as follows:

  • LEAD RN to MSN – see MSN admission requirements
  • LEAD BSN to MSN – see MSN admission requirements
  • LEAD PMC – see PMC

Questions about the LEAD program?

In conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute of Medicine issued a seminal report: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.  

It explores how nurses' roles, responsibilities and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America's increasingly complex health system.   A thorough examination of the nursing workforce, the report lists eight recommendations centered on four main issues:  

  1. Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.  
  2. Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.  
  3. Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals, in redesigning health care in the U.S.  
  4. Effective workforce planning and policymaking require better data collection and information infrastructure.  

Browse the IOM report. 


"Nurses should achieve
higher levels of education
and training …"

IOM report:
The future of nursing