Healthcare Leadership

Meet the Specialty Director

Kelly Wolgast, DNP, MSS, RN, FACHE

Dr. Wolgast is Specialty Director and Assistant Professor in the Healthcare Leadership specialty. Prior to arriving at Vanderbilt in August 2011, she served 26 years on Active Duty in the United States Army as an Army Nurse and retired as a Colonel. Her experiences include earning the Bronze Star for combat experience as Deputy Commander and Chief Nurse in Afghanistan, a deployment in support of Hurricane Katrina relief operations in New Orleans, serving as a Hospital Commander, and serving as the Senior Nurse Executive of the US Army Medical Command. Kelly has many years of executive nursing and healthcare leadership experience and has a strong background in Medical-Surgical Nursing. Kelly earned her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from Penn State University, a Masters of Science in Nursing (Administration and Education) from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (Executive Nurse Leadership) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.


How It Works

Online Learning Works with Your Schedule


The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) specialties have been designed and developed by experienced faculty with a deep knowledge of teaching and learning, and the school improvement process. The e-Learning program combines the best of traditional learning and makes it better by utilizing the advantages of the Internet. Vanderbilt University's e-Learning Health Systems Management program will allow you to realize career-advancing opportunities while you continue working. This specialty is designed for busy professionals like you, to help you improve and expand your knowledge and competencies.


  • Flexibility - log in anytime, from any Internet connection. Post responses on the discussion board, receive feedback, and submit assignments, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Connection - gain individualized attention from faculty and develop close relationships with fellow learners as you interact with them, creating a vast network of professional contacts.
  • Interaction - post and respond to messages with fellow nurse leaders. Online learning puts you much closer to the thinking and experience of your instructors and classmates.
  • Timely Curriculum - course content is continually updated. Assignments incorporate the specific issues you deal with at work, allowing you to apply lessons from each course.
  • Access to State of the Art Reference Information and Computer Support - active enrollment provides students access to the entire Vanderbilt University online library system as well as an information technology service which offers voice, video, data, computing and conferencing services.