Master of Health Studies (MHST) 604

Leadership Roles in Health


Delivery Mode: Paced/home-study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: For MHS Students: MHST 601
For MN-Gen Students: NURS 608

Co-requisite: MHS and MN-Gen Students: MHST603/NURS 603

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

Centre: Centre for Nursing and Health Studies


Master of Health Studies/Nursing 604: Leadership Roles in Health is designed to provide students with an overview of contemporary thought on leadership, the leader's role, and to explore applications of that role. Resources include a current literature and multi-media learning resources stemming from health care and other disciplines, plus input from participants in the course. The framework for the course focuses on developing a knowledge of the theoretical perspective of leadership within the context of one's professional and personal life.

The course content is enhanced through the sharing that occurs among participants and the rich experiential backgrounds that each brings to the discussion.

Students are strongly encouraged to seek additional resources beyond those identified and to share them with course participants. This mutual sharing and participation will ensure that each person gleans knowledge that will contribute to and enhance their personal leadership potential.

Course Goals

MHST/NURS 604 is designed to help you achieve the following course goals:

  1. Apply general leadership theory;
  2. Explore the competencies required to be an effective leader;
  3. Assess the relationship between leadership competencies and organizational effectiveness;
  4. Critically discuss selected topics related to leadership;
  5. Analyze personal experiences in light of relevant literature;
  6. Formulate an understanding of contemporary leadership thought;
  7. Critique your personal leadership capabilities identified during the course, and
  8. Further develop your scholarly writing skills.

Course Materials

Please note that a list of supplementary materials appears in the online Study Guide.

Special Course Features

In this course, you will access health-related websites worldwide. You will also participate in email and computer conferencing with other students. Students are expected to connect to an Internet Service Provider at their own expense.

Learning Resources

There is no print textbook in this course. Instead, you are guided to a collection of online learning resources (including multi-media resources) that will help you meet the course learning outcomes.

Course Structure

MHST/NURS 604 is an asynchronous online course. This means there is no established time when you must log on. However, at a specified time each week, the instructor will make an online presentation relating to the topic for that week and the issues of the day. This presentation will set the tone for the online discussion. The purpose of the weekly input is to keep each of us focused on the same topic. Once the instructor's presentation is posted, you may add to the discussion at any time. You must log-on once a week at a minimum. However, to benefit most from this part of the course, you are advised to check in on the discussion several times a week, adding your thoughts and comments to those of others so that the discussion grows as it continues back and forth.

Special features of the course include an emphasis on student choice. In keeping with principles of adult learning you will find opportunities to select readings and learning activities that are most meaningful to your learning needs. There is also a focus on creativity. Exemplary leaders are able to think innovatively. Some activities in this course will challenge you to stretch your mind to become more open, innovative and creative.

A summary of the expectations of online participation can be found in the assessment section.

Technical Requirements

Computer System

In order to successfully complete this course, you must own or have ready access to certain computer hardware and software programs. For complete and up-to-date information on the minimum computer requirements required to complete the graduate nursing courses, visit the Centre for Nursing and Health Studies technical site.

Course Outline

MHST/NURS 604 consists of four topics that are divided into 13 units.

Topic One: Leadership and Leadership Research

  • Unit 1: What Does it Mean to Be a Leader
  • Unit 2: Traits, Behaviours, and Relationships
  • Unit 3: Contingency Approaches to Leadership

Topic Two: The Leader as a Social Architect

  • Unit 4: Creating Vision and Strategic Direction
  • Unit 5: Shaping Culture and Values
  • Unit 6: Leading Change

Topic Three: The Leader as Relationship Builder

  • Unit 7: Motivation and Empowerment
  • Unit 8: Leadership Communication and Leading Teams
  • Unit 9: Diversity, Power and Influence
  • Unit 10: Reading Week

Topic Four: The Personal Side of Leadership

  • Unit 11: The Leader as an Individual/ Leadership Mind and Heart
  • Unit 12: Courage and Moral Leadership and Followership
  • Unit 13: Reflection

Assessment Structure

In the MHS and MN:Gen programs, students must achieve an overall program GPA of 2.7 ( B- or 70 percent), to graduate. The minimum passing grade requirement for each MHS and MN:Gen course is C- (60 percent).

The following course activities will contribute to your course grade, with the percentage weighting of each activity as follows:

Assignment Weight
Conference Participation 15%
Assignment 1: Five Paragraph Paper on Leadership 20%
Assignment 2: Presentation on Leadership Strategies Related to a Real-life Leadership Challenge 30%
Assignment 3: Part One: Personal Case Study 15%
Assignment 3: Part Two: Case Study Solution 20%
Total 100%

Assignment 1: Five Paragraph Paper on Leadership

In this assignment, students articulate their philosophy of leadership in a five-paragraph essay.

Assignment 2: Presentation on Leadership Strategies Related to a Real-life Leadership Challenge

Assignment 2 gives students the opportunity to create a presentation that they could use if asked to present a professional development session to a group of novice healthcare leaders. Specifically, this presentation (assignment 2) is something that students might use in their professional roles now or in the future. The target audience for the presentation is novice healthcare leaders.

Assignment 3: Personal Case Study and Solution

In Part One of the assignment, students develop their own case studies. Prior to writing a case study, students select a topic that is focused, reality-based, and relevant. Once the topic is selected, students develop learning objectives or outcomes that reflect the learning expected from the case study and formulate interactive questions that challenge a learner to assess, plan, prioritize, implement, evaluate, or anticipate the actions that may be required to address the issues presented in the case study.

In Part Two of the assignment, students take their case study one step further and prepare an integrated solution to it. Students compose a persuasive analysis of the problem(s) described in the case study by analyzing the problem, determining causes, considering possible alternatives, recommending a preferred plan of action, and describing steps toward implementing the action plan.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 9, April 20, 2018.

View previous syllabus