Master of Science in Patient Safety Leadership

The online MS in Patient Safety Leadership program delivers practical knowledge you can immediately apply to your work, and features learning activities directly aligned to patient safety professions.

In this leadership program you will:

  • Develop strategies for proposing and implementing process improvements within your healthcare organization
  • Review historical approaches to patient safety and quality care, and discover newer strategies for quality improvement and risk-reduction, including information systems applications
  • Learn principles to improve communications, techniques to resolve conflict, and guidelines to train teams

The program offers a comprehensive blend of online learning and practical application. The nine course master’s program includes a three-day on-site residency in Chicago, and culminates with a capstone project that you will develop in consultation with faculty mentors.

Program Progression

The master’s degree program features a four-part progression via the nine courses in the program, with a three-day residency in Chicago after course five:

MS Four-Part Program Progression
  1. Introduction to current literature and the patient safety field
  2. Immersion in theoretical and practical leadership scenarios
  3. Application of your acquired knowledge
  4. Contribution to the patient safety field: an original capstone project you will design, develop, and complete under the guidance of faculty mentors

Program study areas across the nine courses include:

  • Patient safety and quality care improvement
  • Error theory, systems thinking, risk assessment
  • Advanced communication strategies and collaboration
  • Organizational leadership, theory, culture, and change
  • Applied leadership and decision-making, synthesis and integration of patient safety theory and practice
  • Research methodologies and information technology
  • Legal, economic, accreditation, and regulatory issues
  • Impact of process improvement and behavior change
  • Effective leadership and the integration and application of program knowledge and skills

Download program information

On-Site Residency

The on-site residency in Chicago offers three days of active, in-person, experiential learning, collaboration, and community-building with faculty and fellow students. You will apply the tools and principles learned in the first four courses and continue to build, with faculty support, your capstone project.

You will also be assigned a capstone mentor, along with a second reader, who as a committee will serve as your collaborators and assessors for your individual capstone throughout the remainder of the program.

Capstone Project

You will begin thinking actively about your capstone topic from your very first course in the program and build your proposal by the midway point in your degree. Continuing work on the capstone through the latter part of your degree, the final course in the master’s program provides you the opportunity to complete the capstone – your original project in the patient safety field. In consultation with UIC faculty, you can either review the state-of-the-art capstone topic through an integrative literature review or build an implementation or evaluation plan based on evidence in an area of interest to you.

Your capstone project will demonstrate effective leadership skills and an advanced level of understanding, synthesis, and application of the content explored throughout the program.

The capstone is a critical component of your master’s degree. It not only represents the culmination of the theoretical and practical skills you’ve learned in the program, but it will also contribute to the advancement of the patient safety field.

It is our hope that your capstone project is implemented and your work shared via a conference poster or paper, meeting abstract, or peer reviewed journal article.