In most healthcare facilities including nursing, one of the fastest ways to get a managerial position or get into the administrative rank is to get a master’s degree in healthcare. Earning a master’s degree also allows you to specialize and widen your opportunities for earning a lot more money and having bigger responsibilities. Regardless of the master’s degree that you pursue, you can advance your healthcare career and become an administrator, manager, or supervisor. The important thing is that the graduate degree incorporates business and healthcare knowledge and that the program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education. There are numerous healthcare graduate programs you can choose from including MSN, MBA, MHA, MPH and MPA. Below is an overview of the said programs.
Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Masters of Science in Nursing is the graduate program of choice for registered nurses who want to become nurse managers or nurse administrators. MSN programs usually include courses on organizational development, management, budgeting, and healthcare economics. All of the students who take up MSN have previously attained a nursing undergraduate degree or are usually practicing nurses in their discount landau scrubs. In some schools, there are MSN/MBA combined programs offered where nurses take some of their classes with MBA students.
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA)
There are also many healthcare executives that have earned a degree in Master’s of Business Administration. There are MBA programs that particularly tackle health-care related administration and offer multiple electives for such. In general, MBA focuses more on the business side rather than the healthcare side as opposed to an MHA. Some of the courses include macroeconomics, microeconomics, human resources, and strategic planning. Students who take up MBA as a graduate degree come from diverse backgrounds such as finance, marketing, consulting, manufacturing, and practically any industry.
Master’s of Health Administration (MHA)
Master’s of Health Administration is the graduate program of choice for many healthcare executives because this program is centered on operating a healthcare facility. The coursework is typically designed around business strategies and administration such as business planning and development, conflict resolution, management strategies, supervision, and marketing. MHA students usually have undergraduate degrees in nursing or healthcare or have experience working in the industry.
Master’s of Public Health (MPH)
Master’s of Public Health is more concerned with public health issues, environmental health, issues on domestic violence and HIV, and epidemiology and is not really focused on business administration and management techniques. However, there are some courses offered in health services administration. Many MPH graduates go on to work in public health agencies, community service, research, and health education and policy. Students who pursue MPH also come from diverse backgrounds, clinicians and non-clinicians in different stages of their careers.
Master’s in Public Administration (MPA)
Master’s in Public Administration is not a common graduate program of choice for most healthcare professionals but there are some MPA degree holders who end up as administrators in healthcare. There are programs in MPA that offer healthcare-related curriculum. Students in MPA programs usually enter a career in public service or the government and advance to management and administrative ranks in the local, state, or federal agencies. Those taking up MPA are usually those already in public service including bureaucrats and police officers.