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  • MSN in Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety, and Risk Management Online Degree

    MSN in Quality, Safety, and Risk Management in Healthcare

    Drexel’s online MSN in Quality, Safety, and Risk Management in Healthcare program draws from multiple disciplines. It’s ideal for working nurses who want to improve patient outcomes, reduce mortality rates, and create positive change in patient care.

    The interdisciplinary patient safety and healthcare quality Master of Science in nursing program focuses on helping you build key competencies. You’ll learn how to enhance and monitor quality metrics, further safety for both patients and staff, and manage risks in a dynamic healthcare and nursing environment. Plus, the format enables you to learn and collaborate as you would in practice.

    MSN in Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety Online Program at a Glance

    • 46 quarter credits (equivalent of 30.67 semester credits)
    • 100% online
    • No on-campus residency requirement
    • Ideal for nurses who want to take their career to new levels and impact quality, safety, and risk management in the healthcare industry
    • Ranked #41 in 2020's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by U.S. News & World Report
    • Ranked #16 in 2020's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report
    • Learn from faculty members who are practicing experts in the fields of nursing, law, quality, patient safety, and risk management
    • Study topics from a wide array of disciplines with the opportunity to learn and collaborate as you would in any practice setting
    • The online format is highly interactive, challenging, and engaging while still fitting the schedule needs of working nurses and healthcare professionals
    • Learn through realistic virtual simulation experiences through a partnership with faculty from Drexel’s state-of-the-art simulation center
    • Three-year tuition lock for students who complete the program within three years
    • The program is accredited and certified by The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). CAHME serves the public by advancing the quality of healthcare management education globally. CAHME is an interdisciplinary group of educational, professional, clinical, and other health sector organizations devoted to quality improvement of education for healthcare management and administration professionals.

    Quality, Safety, and Risk Management Capstone Project

    The capstone project provides an opportunity to deepen your newly acquired nursing skills, while developing additional competencies needed to be successful in quality, safety, and risk management in healthcare. It's designed to provide an opportunity to integrate core and support course content related to improvement capability, patient safety, triple aim for populations, person- and family-centered care, leadership, and quality, cost, and value. The capstone project allows you to apply the knowledge learned throughout the program and demonstrate competency in the skills related to QSRM. You have the ability to complete the capstone project at your place of employment, allowingyou to make a meaningful contribution to quality and safety at your organization.

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    What is an MSN in Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Degree?

    An MSN in Patient Safety and Healthcare program is designed for Registered Nurses (RNs) seeking to study the various ways to oversee and advance protocols for patient care in clinical settings.

    You’ll learn through classwork and hands-on experiences that apply principles you’ve learned throughout the program to realistic, high stakes simulated activities. While sharing core interdisciplinary requirements, there are two kinds of degree options within this program, each one containing different course sequences and requirements:

    • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – designed for nurses
    • Master of Science (MS) – designed for healthcare professionals

    Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
    The MSN sequence integrates the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (AACN, 2011), Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies (NONPF, 2014), and QSEN Graduate Competencies (AACN, 2012).

    It’s designed for students who have earned a BSN from an institution accredited by the National League for Nursing (NLN) and/or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and have a valid RN license. Or, for students who have an accredited bachelor’s degree or an ASN and have a valid RN license.

    Master of Science (MS)
    The MS sequence includes a wide range of courses from different disciplines, with similar content as the NURS counterpart courses.

    It’s designed for students who have earned their bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university. It is also preferable to have healthcare experience.

    What Can You Do with an MSN in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Degree?

    An MSN in patient safety and quality improvement might be useful in the pursuit of leadership roles within public and private sectors. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of occupational health and safety is experiencing fast growth, adding new jobs at a rate of 12% through 2026.

    Upon completion, you can apply your knowledge and skill sets across community-based care delivery settings, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations. While job titles vary depending on where you work, you could look for positions such as:

    • Director of Risk Management
    • Director of Quality and Patient Safety
    • Healthcare Risk Manager
    • Patient Safety Officer
    • Performance Improvement Advisor
    • Quality Improvement Coordinator

    MSN in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Salary Expectations

    Patient safety officers working in state, local, and private hospitals earned a median annual wage of $73,880 in 2018. In the broader industry, salaries range from $42,450 to more than $108,520. In any field, salaries will fluctuate, due to location, clinical settings, and other factors.

    States with the Highest Employment of Occupational Health and Safety Specialists



    Annual Median Wage













    New York



    *Data from bls.gov

    Questions? We're here to help!

    College of Nursing and Health Professions Program Team

    Related Program

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.
    The MSN program at Drexel University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Graduate students who utilize student loans (FAFSA) muct maintain a minimum enrollment of 4.5 credits per term.

    View a sample plan of study.

    MSN Core Courses  
    NURS 500 Confronting Issues in Contemporary Healthcare Environments  3.0
    NURS 502 Advanced Ethical Decision Making in Healthcare  3.0
    NURS 544 Quality and Safety in Healthcare   3.0
    RSCH 503 Research Methods and Biostatistics  3.0
    RSCH 504 Evaluation and Translation of Health Research   3.0
    Track Courses  
    IPS 501 Legal Compliance: Structure and Implementation  4.5
    IPS 504 Regulations in Healthcare  4.5
    IPS 505 Healthcare Quality and the Legal Context  4.5
    IPS 506 HIPAA: A Patient’s Legal Right to Privacy  4.5
    IPS 584 Analysis of Performance Standards in Healthcare Quality  3.0
    IPS 585 Science of Safety, Human Factors, and Systems Thinking  3.0
    IPS 586 Creating a Culture of Safety  2.0
    IPS 601 Quality, Safety, and Risk Management Capstone   5.0
    Total Credits 46.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
    • Your BSN must be from an institution accredited by the National League of Nursing (NLN) and/or the American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The accrediting body for NLN is ACEN and the accrediting body for the American Association Colleges of Nursing is CCNE.
      • Nurses with a non-nursing bachelor's may consider applying for the RN-BSN-MSN program to earn both a BSN and MSN concurrently, or apply to the RN to MSN Bridge Program.
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.0
      • If your GPA is lower, you're still encouraged to apply, but should ensure that relevant professional experience is included on your resume. You must also provide two professional letters of recommendation from either previous or immediate supervisors or former faculty members who can attest to your clinical knowledge, skill, and potential aptitude for graduate study.
    • While specific clinical work and/or volunteer experience is not required, it may make your application more competitive.

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools)
    • Personal statement describing your interest in the program and particular specialty
    • Resume
    • Copy of your United States RN license
    • Additional requirements for International Students

    An admissions interview may be required.


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2020-2021 is $1026 per credit. (A 10% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1140 per credit)

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations.
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

    Additional Equipment/Lab Fees


    Academic Calendar

    2020-2021 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2020

    September 21, 2020

    December 5, 2020

    December 7, 2020

    December 12, 2020

    Winter 2021

    January 11, 2021

    March 13, 2021

    March 15, 2021

    March 20, 2021

    Spring 2021

    March 29, 2021

    June 5, 2021

    June 7, 2021

    June 12, 2021

    Summer 2021

    June 21, 2021

    August 28, 2021

    August 30, 2021

    September 4, 2021

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