a black female nurse in a hospital talking to a colleague

Are you a Registered Nurse (RN) who plans to move into a leadership and management role in healthcare? 

This program will help you build on the foundational leadership and management content you learned during your undergraduate degree in nursing (BScN).

Take courses that address your specific learning needs regarding leadership and/or management. Use your new knowledge and skills to help solve practical leadership or management issues.

This program is designed to align with the integral leadership and management functions of today’s nurses. It is the first academic program in Ontario to be based on the LEADS framework (Graham, 2006)1:

  • Lead Self
  • Engage Others
  • Achieve Results
  • Develop Coalitions
  • Systems Transformation

1 The LEADS Framework encompasses the current best practice guidelines for Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership, as published by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).

What Will You Learn? 

Learn the core components of nursing leadership and management using the LEADS in a Caring Environment Framework.

Choose electives to customize your learning and meet your professional goals and interests. Depending on your choice of electives, your learning will include some of the following focuses:

  • change and innovation
  • program planning and evaluation
  • conflict resolution and negotiation
  • team work strategies
  • international community development
  • organizational behaviour
  • managing interpersonal dynamics and teams
  • healthcare systems
  • leadership knowledge and skills
  • leadership for nurses
  • human resources management
  • project risk and quality management
  • planning and scheduling
  • community collaboration
  • organization theory and design
  • project management
  • financial management

Who Should Take This Certificate?

This certificate was specially designed for Registered Nurses (RNs) who wish to enhance their professional knowledge and skills and better position themselves to move into leadership and management roles.

Who Teaches the Courses?

Our instructors are experienced leaders in nursing and healthcare management. They bring years of industry expertise into the classroom.

Dr. Nancy Purdy, RN, PhD, is the program’s Academic Coordinator. Nancy is an Associate Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University. She has an extensive background in acute care having worked in various clinical, education, and leadership roles. Nancy’s research interests centre on empowering work environments, patient outcomes, leadership, and program evaluation in education. Nancy participated on an expert panel to develop a best practice guideline for Developing and Sustaining Nursing Leadership in 2006 and was the co-chair for the panel that prepared the second edition of the guideline in 2013. 


Industry and Careers

If you are a Registered Nurse (RN) considering a career in nursing management, it is critical that you take courses to enhance your knowledge of leadership and management theories and related skills. 

Nursing leaders have begun a wave of retirement, creating a potential nursing shortage of over 4,000 nurse managers by 2020 and beyond. At the same time, the number of Canadians working as head nurses has grown by 33 percent since 2013.1

All levels of an organization need nursing leaders to innovate and transform the current healthcare system.

1 Canada's Best Jobs 2018: The Top 25 Jobs in Canada

Certificate Requirements

  • 2 required courses
  • 4 electives*
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

*Electives are divided into 3 groups, allowing you to dive into specialized skills. Select 1 elective from Group A: Program Planning and Evaluation; 1 or 2 electives from Group B: Leadership; and 1 or 2 electives from Group C: Management.

To assist you in selecting your program focus and electives, you will be required to take part in an individual consultation with a program advisor. Contact Jouanna Labib, Student Affairs/Program Advisor, to book your consultation: jlabib@ryerson.ca or 416-979-5000, ext. 5238.


Recommended Course Sequence

We recommend you take courses in the following order:

  1. CVNU 360 - Advanced Leadership and Management
  2. Electives – Group A (1 selection)
  3. Electives – Group B (1 or 2 selections)
  4. Electives – Group C (1 or 2 selections)
  5. CVNU 370 - Change and Innovation

Note: It is highly recommended that you complete CVNU 360 as your first course. The capstone course, CVNU 370, may only be taken as the last course in the certificate. You are encouraged to contact the Nursing program advisors in order to plan your capstone registration.

Admission Criteria


  • You must be a Registered Nurse (RN) who is registered with the professional governance body of their jurisdiction
    • With a Canadian undergraduate degree in Nursing (BScN) or equivalent degree

Admission Interview/Placement Assessment
An individual consultation with a program advisor is required in order to assist students in selecting both a focus for the certificate and appropriate electives. Contact the Nursing program advisors at cenurse@ryerson.ca or 416.979.5000, ext. 4775.

Awards and Financial Aid


Frequently Asked Questions

How much time will I have to spend on homework each week?
Students typically spend between four and six hours per week for each course.

Can I complete the entire Certificate in Advanced Nursing Leadership and Management online?
All of the courses are available online. Online courses can help you to fit your studies into your personal and professional commitments while still giving you access to a high-quality education.

How will I be tested in these courses?
Testing methods will depend on the specific content of each course. Generally, participants will be required to submit three pieces of graded work. Examples include essays and group presentations.

Contact Us

Questions about the certificate? Contact Dr. Nancy Purdy, Academic Coordinator. 

Email: npurdy@ryerson.ca

For more information about enrolling in the certificate or Nursing at The Chang School, contact Jouanna Labib, Student Affairs/Program Advisor.

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 5238
Email: jlabib@ryerson.ca

Additional Details