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Overview of Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program focusing on Healthcare Management

Majors Overview January 18, 2018

This article talks about the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program focusing on Healthcare Management and its education requirements, coursework, career options, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Program focusing on Healthcare Management

Individuals who seek management and leadership positions in the healthcare industry can benefit from enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with an option of studying health systems management or healthcare. Some programs allow graduate students to earn an MSN degree and a Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.) or Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree simultaneously.

Coursework covers subject areas such as healthcare delivery systems, health policy, and epidemiology. Students are also required to complete clinical experiences in related healthcare facilities, including hospitals. Some schools offer these programs in partially or fully online formats, via weekend and evening courses; some programs are available as part-time programs.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or licensure as registered nurse along with a bachelor’s degree in any field. Some schools also require students to have earned the Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification from the American Heart Association.


Coursework is devised to teach future nurse managers ways of providing high-quality, cost-effective primary care services aimed at addressing and attempting to resolve issues in the healthcare field. While the focus of these programs are on leadership qualities related to the healthcare industry, the curriculum also imparts fundamental business practices, such as management techniques, accounting, project management, and economics.

Students enrolled in these programs are imparted the skills and knowledge they would need for various roles. These roles include participating in healthcare research, managing the delivery of care and finances, assessing employees and work teams, implementing standards of quality patient care and facilitating communication across disciplines, departments, and healthcare facilities. In some schools, focus areas are offered through subjects such as informatics, community nursing, and education.

Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Managed healthcare
•Human resources management
•Community nursing
•Health care issues
•Health services applications
•Practical nursing issues
•Organizational leadership

Career Options

Program graduates can seek leadership and management roles in the nursing field in various healthcare settings, including:

•Community-based clinics
•Nurse-managed clinics
•Data management firms
•Ambulatory care centers

Job and Wage Outlook

Medical and health services manager are expected to see a 20% job growth, over the 2016-2026 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2016, epidemiologists and health educators brought in an average annual wage of $70,820. Individuals working for skilled nursing facilities, and those employed at hospitals earned respective median wages of $82,240 and $104,680 (BLS).

Continuing Education Options

Graduates from an MSN or dual-degree degree program could opt for continuing education via doctoral studies, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.). These programs can enhance their career opportunities by including nursing education, advanced practice nursing, or executive management positions. Program graduates could also gain voluntary certifications in numerous disciplines, including the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Advanced Nurse Executive credential or the Commission for Case Manager Certification’s case management certification.

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