Addressing the healthcare shortage: OpusVi, NAU introduce new nursing degree

A nursing professor teaches in the classroom

A new master’s of science in nursing degree program from OpusVi and Northern Arizona University aims to address the severe shortage of healthcare workers by giving working nurses an affordable, online opportunity to further increase their skills and prepare them for leadership positions in a post-COVID healthcare industry.  

OpusVi (formerly Dignity Health Global Education), a leading workforce development solutions provider backed by CommonSpirit Health, Providence Health and Premier Inc., partnered with NAU to create the program in response to the changing demands on the U.S. healthcare industry.  

“We hear daily about the challenges facing healthcare and specifically, the nurse workforce, following the pandemic. Nurse leaders have to think and act differently to meet the needs of the patients,” said Julie DeLoia, chief academic officer at OpusVi. “We’re proud to have worked with NAU to bring this affordable, innovative, high-impact master’s program designed for a post-pandemic world to nurses across the U.S.”  

For years, the United States has grappled with a severe shortage of nurses—a shortage that has increased since the pandemic. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing projects the United States will need an additional 1.1 million registered nurses (RNs) by 2030 to meet the growing demand for nursing care. This shortage of qualified nurses represents a critical challenge to the healthcare system, posing a substantial threat to the delivery of quality patient care and exacerbating the already overburdened healthcare infrastructure.  

  “NAU is proud to partner with OpusVi in offering the new strategic systems leadership program,” said Janina Johnson, dean of the College of Nursing at NAU. “This program is designed to equip and empower nurses and health professionals to lead in complex settings and situations. The courses are engaging and built on relevant current information and trends that are directly applicable in healthcare settings.”  

This in-demand degree program provides nurses access to a high-quality, accredited, engaging and accessible education opportunity at an affordable cost. OpusVi is offering the full online curriculum for $16,470—a price significantly lower than similar degree programs. The 100 percent online format and engaging learning platform also allows working professionals to earn a degree while maintaining a full-time job.   

“With NAU, we’re creating one of the most relevant, engaging and immediately applicable healthcare programs possible,” says Kurt Hayes, chief product officer at OpusVi. “Our goal is for learners to find value in every interaction and to support the whole learner by providing tools for personal well-being throughout a deeply relevant curriculum. Due to this, nurses will graduate feeling more competent and confident in their roles. By taking this holistic approach, we are committed to helping drive the future of nursing in an affordable, accessible and meaningful way.”  

The program, which focuses on strategic systems leadership, equips nurse leaders to manage complex industry challenges and develop innovative approaches to the problems facing healthcare.     

This degree program also benefits the healthcare leaders in charge of the nursing workforce as better-educated nurses lead to improved patient care, better prepared rising leaders, reduced costs on wasted materials and decreased nurse turnover. According to the 2023 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, each RN turnover percent change can cost or save the average hospital $380,600 per year. By providing support for the careers of the nursing workforce, leaders will see cost savings, improved employee well-being, increased retention and enhanced patient care.  

The Master of Science in Nursing degree is awarded by NAU, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission; the program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.  

For additional information on the OpusVi Master of Science in Nursing degree program, visit 

NAU Communications