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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Systems Management

Majors Overview August 21, 2014

Receive information about bachelor’s degree programs in health systems management and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and licensure, certification, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Health Systems Management

Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program in health systems management are provided with the skills necessary for directing, planning, budgeting and coordinating the delivery of healthcare services. Graduates may seek continued education in a master’s degree program or opt to enter the workforce immediately. The nursing school, school of public affairs or business school of a university or college typically offers this program. Students learn about the way the industry functions, and can expect to gain a grasp of the importance of ethical issues and become adept at managing essential outcomes in the healthcare field. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Schools often offer interdisciplinary health systems management programs, wherein courses may include business topics related to the healthcare field. Also included are internships with a company in the healthcare industry or at a healthcare provider. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Management in healthcare
•Healthcare finance
•Law and healthcare
•Healthcare economics
•Communications
•Statistics

Career Choices

Numerous settings, such as insurance companies, pharmaceutical firms, healthcare service companies, nursing homes and hospitals, offer these professionals attractive career options such as:

•Assistant administrator
•Health information manager
•Nursing home administrator
•Clinical manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of 23% have been predicted for medical and health services managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $88,580 (BLS).

Licensure, Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s degree program can seek continued education by earning master’s degrees in health systems management. Some schools who offer both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs offer dual or accelerated degree programs. Students enrolled in these programs are allowed to combine course credits that would halve the time taken to earn their graduate degree to one additional academic year instead of two.

State licensure is compulsory for nursing home administrators (BLS). Requirements may differ from state to state, but most include the passage of a test and completion of a state-approved training program. Licensure may also be mandatory in some states for health administrators and managers employed in assisted-living buildings.

Graduates can also opt for voluntary professional certification that would enable them to showcase their knowledge and skills before potential employers. The Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) Certification offered by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems is a suitable choice and can be obtained through the passage of an 115-question exam after experience and education requirements are satisfied.

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