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University of Colorado College of Nursing

College of Nursing

i-LEAD Nursing Leadership Program

Earn Your Master's in Nursing Leadership Online

i-LEAD provides nurses who are interested in advancing their careers with essential competencies to become effective leaders and managers in a variety of health care settings. Knowledge gained in cultural competence, informatics, and evidence-based practice will provide graduates with the ability to lead in today's complex and changing health care system.

This 30-credit master's program is offered entirely online. It provides an innovative, flexible opportunity that is accessible not only to full-time Denver metro nurses who want to maintain their work and life balance, but also to nurses residing in rural areas of Colorado, across the nation and throughout the world. Students, both in-state and out-of-state, pay the same low tuition rate of $585 per credit hour.
Required core master’s courses:
Required courses for i-LEAD specialty option:
Specialty Course: Choose one of the following:

Program Description

One crucial point in national health care reform is the state’s demand for nurses to support health care services continues to exceed the supply of qualified and educated nurses in health care systems. In addition, requirements of the nationally acclaimed Magnet Hospital recognition program have mandated that nurse managers hold a master’s degree. Our i-LEAD Program strives to make a substantial contribution in overcoming these obstacles.

Benefits and Uniqueness of the i-LEAD Program

  • The College of Nursing faculty are experts in health care systems, informatics, leadership, research and practice.
  • i-LEAD is available entirely online; therefore, it is accessible to students in rural Colorado, nationally and internationally.
  • i-LEAD utilizes the benefits of social media to integrate students into the administrative network of experts within Colorado as well as across the country.
  • Both in-state and out-of-state students share one low tuition rate.
  • The program is designed to foster nursing leadership and reduce health disparities.
  • Nurses interested in administrative positions will gain core competencies in management.

Exit Options 

This master’s program provides a 30-credit core master’s degree in nursing leadership and health care systems, with the following exit options:

  • Graduation with a MS in nursing leadership and health care systems
  • Completion of an additional 12 credits for specialization in Health Care Informatics, offered as a post-master’s certificate
  • Seamless progression into our PhD program with a health systems research focus

More Information and Contacts 

While seeking admission to this MS option, a potential student would be eligible to enroll as a non-degree-seeking student and may take up to 12 semester credits prior to acceptance into this MS option. 

Please contact the Office of Professional Development for more information about enrolling as a non-degree-seeking student.


Phone: 303-724-1372


Upon completion of the nursing program, students will be prepared to incorporate pertinent knowledge, values and abilities for direct and indirect provider roles to

  • Implement caring and competent nursing practice with individuals, families and communities based on understanding the human experiences of health, illness and healing.
  • Integrate the ethical use of technology and information systems to augment the human capacity for health, facilitate decision-making, support collaboration and foster communication.
  • Promote health of local to global communities through promoting safe environments and safe and effective health care addressing the interaction among individuals, communities and their environmental contexts.
  • Manage care to achieve quality, cost-effective and ethical outcomes in the delivery of health care for individuals, families and populations.
  • Engage in leadership to promote social justice related to access, quality and socio-cultural acceptability of health care through relationship-centered caring, advocacy and empowerment.
  • Negotiate and adapt the delivery and management of health care and health care systems for diverse populations and environments.
  • Practice relationship-centered caring through self-awareness, by developing and maintaining respectful relationships, communicating effectively, and integrating the influence of the human experience of health, illness and healing.
  • Practice nursing reflectively, guided by theory, based on best evidence and integrating creative and critical thinking.
  • Participate in generating and testing knowledge regarding nursing, health care and reflective caring practice.
  • Actively engage in self-directed learning to maintain state-of-the-art nursing practice and to facilitate the education of future practitioners, paraprofessionals and healthy communities.
How long will it take to complete the i-Lead, innovative in leadership and administration in nursing and health care systems option program?
Are all of the required option courses available online?
Will I be required to do any clinical experiences?
Will I be required to come to Denver to do the clinical internship?
Can I take a course before I apply?
Can a new BS graduate apply for this specialty option and/or take a course as a special student with limited clinical experience?
Is the master’s program accredited?
Who can I contact to obtain more information?

You may contact the i-LEAD Program Coordinator, China Hutchins, for additional information.


Amy Barton, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs:
Office of Clinical Affairs & Informatics Advisor
College of Nursing

Gail Armstrong, PhD, DNP, ACNS-BC, RN, CNE​
Associate Professor
College of Nursing

Carolyn Hughes, PhD, LCSW

Assistant Professor
College of Nursing​

Jacqueline Jones, PhD, RN
Associate Professor
College of Nursing

Diane Skiba, PhD, FACMI
Informatics Advisor
Health Care Informatics Option Coordinator
Project Director, I –Collaboratory
College of Nursing

John Welton, PhD, RN, FAAN
College of Nursing