Nurse Leader/Executive (LEAD)

Nurse Leader/Executive Advanced Development (LEAD)

A distance education advancement program for all RNs   

LEAD: Who's it for?

The LEAD program offers advancement options for all RNs below doctoral level:

  • Diploma RNs
  • Associate-degree RNs
  • Bachelor's-degree RNs
  • Master's-degree RNs

Leadership preparation – 3 pathways to your master's degree or postmaster's certificate

There are 3 entry points based on your previous nursing education:

  • 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.

Also available: a traditional RN to BSN option for ADN/ASN/Diploma nurses to advance to a bachelor's degree.  

Flexible distance/online curriculum to fit your schedule

Curriculum comes to you in advanced web-based applications, including synchronous and asynchronous classes. Supporting you: a digital buffet of learning resources, student-teacher interaction and technical support.  

Satisfy clinical requirements locally – conduct research assignments locally

Clinical requirements may be satisfied in your community or one nearby, using local preceptors. Research projects, if applicable to your course of study, may also be conducted locally if/as the research subject allows.  

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.

Strong demand for nurses with deeper knowledge and skills

Nebraska and the U.S. face a critical nursing shortage. Health care urgently needs not just more nurses. The market also demands higher education among current RNs, precisely because they affect care so directly and immediately.  

Lead your career forward as you lead nursing forward

Seize the opportunity before you. Health facilities of every kind seek nurses who can elevate care quality and improve delivery. Wanted: culturally competent nurse leaders to develop, implement and sustain the systems crucial to safe, efficient and effective care across the nursing continuum.  

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

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 MSNadmission requirements
  • LEAD BSN to MSN – see MSNadmission 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