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MSN/MBA: Is this Type of Nursing Degree Right for Me?

Higher Education Articles July 1, 2013

Due to the tremendous expansion of healthcare facilities and services, this industry offers widespread opportunities for employment both now and in the future. Among these opportunities lie openings in the field of healthcare and nursing management and administration. According to recent surveys on the future of healthcare administrative jobs, these positions will be in great demand in the years to come, with a projected growth rate of twenty-two percent in the next eight to ten years.

Those interested in establishing a prosperous nursing career have different options for their educational training as there are many types of nurse degrees to select from. Selecting the right nursing degree program is critical to the career one wants to establish. In order to advance in today’s competitive field, nurses require a comprehensive education that provides extensive training in their chosen profession. A joint Master of Science/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA) degree enables nurse graduates to expand their skills and abilities in both the nurse practicum and administrative fields. Of the different types of nurse degrees, a joint MSN/MBA education provides ample opportunities for nurses to launch successful and rewarding healthcare careers.

A Look at Nursing Degree Programs

Universities offer a variety of nursing degrees to coincide with the specific requirements of the nursing profession. Although it is possible to begin a career with only a two year Associates degree, most employers today require that nurses have a minimum four year Bachelor’s degree that combines theory with practical training skills for the profession. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) requires an additional two years of study beyond the Bachelor program; this degree program concentrates on advanced nursing practices and skills. Successful completion of an MSN degree earns one the title of Advanced Practical Nurse (APN). As an APN, one has the ability to perform any number of nursing specialties to include clinical specialist, nurse practitioner, midwifery, nurse anesthetist, etc.

Joint degree programs such as the MSN/MBA will be extremely beneficial for individuals interested in extending their careers to the administrative level. Most universities offer this joint degree program concurrently, enabling students to earn both Master’s degrees within eighteen months to three years, depending on full or part time participation. Completion of this degree program provides nurses with specialized practical nursing skills as well as the business knowledge required for executive management. As such, nurse graduates can expand their career options into the areas of administrators and managers of private practitioners’ offices, healthcare organizations, hospitals, etc. The MSN/MBA program serves the dual purpose of honing practical nursing training and providing business skills in areas such as human relations, accounting, finance, management, etc.

Benefits of an MSN/MBA Degree

Taking into consideration the growing need for qualified healthcare administrators, a joint MSN/MBA degree will be a tremendous asset for those considering nursing as a fulltime career. Potential salaries for healthcare managers were extremely promising for 2010, ranging from approximately $50,000 to $150,000 a year, depending on an individual’s education, prior experience, location and employer. A MSN/MBA degree offers qualified nurses the opportunity to establish successful professions in both spectrums of the nursing field, significantly expanding their career options for the future.

Nurses with the skills and vision for administrative service would do well to consider completing a joint degree. Graduates of an MSN/MBA program gain valuable insight into nursing leadership responsibilities and learn teamwork and people handling skills that improve their nursing careers. Interviews with current professionals in the healthcare administrative field reveal a serious need for more women executives in this area due to the increase of women patients in hospitals across the United States. Executive healthcare professionals Connie Cibrone, former CEO of Allegheny General Hospital, and Sharon O’Keefe, President, Chicago University Medical Center, encourage women nurses to pursue administrative positions not only for their own professional advancement, but to better represent the needs and interests of women patients under medical care.

An MSN/MBA degree enables nurses to meet the challenges and advancements of today’s rapidly evolving healthcare system. In addition, it offers nurses greater vision and challenge for the future, which will help them feel happier and more fulfilled in their chosen profession.

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