Masters Program in Nursing Leadership Begins August 2010

The newest graduate-level program at EMU has a “click” and “brick” approach to the learning process.

Building on its well-known and respected undergraduate BSN programs, EMU’s nursing department is launching a masters program in nursing leadership and management. The program is designed to prepare graduates to lead and collaborate in complex health care systems. The master’s level program offers a 24-month, 37-credit hour cohort model in which no more than 16 students work together and move through the program as a cohesive unit.

Dr. Ann Hershberger, coordinator of EMU's new MS degree in nursing leadership program
Dr. Ann Hershberger, coordinator of EMU’s new MS degree in nursing leadership program, reviews clinical experiences in local health organizations with nursing students. Photo by Jon Styer

“The EMU teaching framework includes approaches that are vital for nurse leaders and managers to bring about change within the systems in which they work,” noted Ann G. Hershberger, professor of nursing and program coordinator. “Approaches in the EMU philosophy include empowerment, reconciliation, partnership, presence, justice, service and advocacy.

“The overall goal is the creation of just systems through cultural competence, evidence based practice, conflict transformation, and enhanced communication,” Dr. Hershberger said. “Just systems are recognized by enhanced quality and patient safety.”

A ‘click and brick’ approach

The program will run fall, spring and summer semesters, with a teaching-learning approach known as “click and brick,” a combination of distance learning courses (“click”) and at least one face-to-face meeting (“brick”) each semester.

According to Hershberger, the program is designed for working nurses who need to maintain family commitments, stay in the same area and remain on the job while developing leadership and management skills and deepening scholarship.

“Professors will draw on EMU’s extensive experience in cross-cultural learning and the nursing department’s established reputation for educating nurses with high moral values, a broader view towards others, in depth communication skills and cultural competence,” she said.

“Students will gain from the expertise of entrepreneurial faculty in EMU’s other graduate programs in business and conflict transformation as they cultivate leadership skills and an effective voice; remaining mindful of what is just, respectful and sacred,” Hershberger added.

The MS in nursing leadership and management degree program began accepting applications Mar. 15. The first cohort begins Aug. 28, 2010. For more information, contact Joan Henry, 540-432-4983, email: or visit the website,