Master of Science inNursing

MSN Care and Outcomes Manager (COM)

This course of study allows students to focus on care management, using an outcomes approach skill set necessary for being responsive in a continually changing health care environment.  This concentration prepares students to provide quality, cost effective care in a defined context, to participate in the design and implementation of an evaluation and outcomes model, to assume a leadership role in managing health care resources, and to integrate clinical and evaluation competencies for care and outcomes management.

Care and Outcomes Manager Roles

The MSN Care and Outcomes Manager program (COM) is designed to equip nurses with the knowledge and skills to lead change, promote health and elevate care in various roles and settings. The curriculum prepares the MSN COM graduate to provide flexible leadership and critical action within complex, changing systems, including health, educational, and organizational systems. The core MSN curriculum prepares an Advanced Generalist, who has the knowledge and skills required of all masters‐prepared nurses as determined by the AACN Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (2011). The COM coursework is organized around learning modules that allow the program to be further tailored toward a specific role. Role specialization can include: Nurse Educator, Clinical Nurse Leader, or Nurse Administrator. Students who focus on the Nurse Educator role are additionally required to take NURS 550 Curriculum and Instruction and focus their minimum 360 hour clinical practica in the education role to meet the nurse educator core competencies. In the Clinical Nurse Leader® (CNL) focus students meet the competencies for the Clinical Nurse Leader role during the 400 hours of clinical practica and complete a 300 hour immersion in the CNL role. Students choosing to focus in nurse administration take an approved graduate business course(s)(at least one 3 credit course) as well as doing all their COM practica in the nursing administration role.

PLU MSN COM Students have 100% Pass Rate on CNL Exam
PLU MSN COM graduates had a 100% pass rate on the August 2013 Clinical Nurse Leader Certification Exam.  Thirteen MSN COM graduates from the 2012 and 2013 classes took the national CNL Certification Exam and all passed, scoring higher than the national average in all three areas of the exam:  Nursing Leadership, Clinical Outcomes Management and Care Environment Management.

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) the newest role in nursing having evolved over 10 years ago out of demands by healthcare to improve quality.  CNLs are masters prepared nurses who oversee patient care coordination, assess risk, facilitate teams and implement evidence-based quality improvement strategies to improve care at the unit level.  PLU’s MSN Care & Outcomes program prepares graduates to take the CNL Certification exam and to function as a CNL within a healthcare system.

Program Length and Term of Entry

15 months, not including the pre-requisite course work .  A minimum of 33 credits is required for the MSN program; students may opt for a role specialization by completing one or more specific courses. While the common MSN core curriculum is offered on a set schedule, the timing of focus area coursework differs.  Students will be presented a program plan outlining their individual program of study at the time of admission.   To assist you with planning, please note the following information about typical start-times and program length:

  • Summer start (mid-June):  MSN advanced generalist, nurse educator, and clinical nurse leader focus areas.  Typically these programs run over five terms:  Summer, Fall, January, Spring, and Summer. The application priority deadline is November 15.
  • Fall start (early September):  MSN nurse administrator focus area (only).  Depending on available programming: this program can be as little as 12 months (Fall, January, Spring and Summer), or can run 15 months (Summer, Fall, January, Spring, and Summer; OR Fall, January, Spring, Summer, and Fall).  Summer-start students enter the program in mid-June; Fall-start students enter the program in early September.  The application priority deadline for a fall start is March 1; students applying after this deadline are eligible for a Fall start, but may be unable to start in summer.

Program Schedule--Designed for the working RN

The MSN program is designed for the working nurse, with most working on average a 0.5-0.8 FTE while enrolled in this traditional, on-campus program. Classes are typically Thursday evenings and all day Fridays, plus additional hours for practicums.  None of the classes are offered online.  Clinical experiences are offered during the day or evening shift, depending on preceptorship requirements (which are heavier toward the end of the program).


  • Please click here to see the MSN/COM curriculum and course descriptions.


  • Please click here to see MSN/COM tuition and expected fees.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Please click here to see scholarship and financial aid opportunities for MSN/COM applicants.

Questions? Contact Us 

If you have questions or would like information to be sent to you by email or mail, you may contact:

Office of Admission

Phone:  (253) 535-8570

School of Nursing

Phone:  (253) 535-7672

Information Request Form