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Best Nursing MBA Degree Careers + Salary Outlook

February 21, 2017 1:22 pm0 commentsViews: 95
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MBAs and Other Business Programs for Working Professionals

Nursing, many say, is not a job but a calling. Unless you truly have a desire to care for others, this job is not for you. However, once you are a nurse, you may find that your passion does not actually lie in the direct care of others. Rather, you may be more interested in the management of care of patients, the management of hospitals, the management of other nurses, and so on. It is very common for nurses, once they are registered nurses (RNs) to consider advancing their career. Many do this by completing the Master of Science in Nursing degree, but others are now opting for the MBA in Nursing instead, or the MSN/MBA dual degree. This option effectively means that you can get involved in the business element of the health care system. It is an uncommon educational path, but one that is gathering more interest. So what are the top MBA careers in nursing?

1. Executive Nurse or Chief Nursing Executive

The executive nurse or chief nursing executive has to have an enhanced understanding not just of patient care, but also about the outcomes within the business of health care. Executive nurses will spend most of their time managing other nurses, departments, or even entire hospitals. The primary goal is to make sure that patients have the best possible outcomes, but this is not done by having direct care responsibilities. Rather, executive nurses make sure the hospitals run as efficiently as possible, within budget, and without compromising on quality.

2. Head of Nursing or Chief Nursing Officer

The head of nursing or chief nursing officer are some of the most experienced and highly trained professionals within the entire nursing profession. Not only do they have to be an RN and complete a degree like an MBA, but they are generally also expected to have a minimum of 15 years of experience. They will continue to build on their nursing skills, but they will also have policy making, personnel oversight, and planning duties. This is also one of the highest paid positions in nursing as it is an executive position. Yet, they will be expected to have hands on experience in nursing, because they will be responsible for making sure the need of practical nurses are conveyed to top management.

3. Nursing Director or Nursing Supervisor

Nursing directors are responsible for things, such as scheduling, policy setting, and budgeting. Essentially, they will manage every element of the nursing staff. Additionally, they will be the liaison officer between hospital administrators and nursing staff. They have a direct supervisory role, managing other nurses as best as possible. This means that they must have excellent leadership, project management, and people skills.

4. Nursing Program Administrator

Most larger hospitals and group clinics have a nursing program. This program looks at the recruitment and retention of top talents in nursing, as well as at their training and professional development. The administrator of this program will work closely with staff nurses to determine their needs, with the HR department to determine the needs of the health care organization, and with external providers in order to determine how these needs can be met. The nursing program administrator will also set performance standards and policies.

5. Nursing Consultant

Nursing consultants work in a variety of health care settings, or as an external consultant. The role will be an advisory one, working with different health care entities and facilities in order to determine how their nursing staff can best be used to achieve the right outcomes. There are a number of sub-specializations:

  • Management consultant – tackles specific nursing management issues, including risk management, cost, budgeting, and communication.
  • Legal nurse consultant – works with insurance companies and lawyers to make sure any legal issues that health care facilities are facing are properly managed.
  • Health condition consultant – helps to find the right nursing staff to deal with very specific health conditions.
  • Community consultant – makes sure the community has access to the right health care staff. This is a role usually taken on in underserved populations and communities.
  • Occupational consultant – focuses on the occupational health of nurses within a health care setting, enabling them to avoid workplace injuries.

6. Departmental Leader

The departmental leader manages the nursing workforce of a specific department within a larger hospital. This is a particularly interesting position for nurses who want to move out of clinical practice, but who continue to have a passion for a specific health care problem, or a specific population group.

7. Lead Nurse

People in this position are expected to have an MSN/MBA dual degree, as it continues to be a clinical position. The lead nurse has direct patient involvement, although an overarching responsibility will be to provide guidance to other nurses within your ward or department.

8. Nurse Administrator

In this role, the experience and training obtained both as a nurse and an MBA graduate will be focused on improving staff efficiency and patient quality. Nurse administrators are responsible for managing the financial and regulatory issues within the field of health care, as well as the hiring and training of nurses. Some nurse administrators continue to provide advanced patient care as well, although this is more common in smaller health care facilities.

9. Federal Nurse Advisor

Federal nurse advisors work for the government and advise them on policies that should be implemented within national health care. These include studying and reporting on best practices in areas of patient care. Nurse advisors advocate and champion for reform, helping to improve not just patient care, but also employment standards for nurses on the frontline. They will have to demonstrate that their suggestions will make the overall health care industry more effective and efficient.

As can be seen above, if you have a passion for nursing, yet you no longer want to work on the front line, instead making a difference behind the scenes so other nurses can do their job better, there are a lot of options. As stated, the MSN/MBA degree, or even an MBA with a concentration in nursing, is still a relatively uncommon option. However, demand is growing rapidly, particularly now that President Donald Trump is committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act, which is set to change the field of health care tremendously once again. This will require the skills and knowledge of those who do not just truly understand nursing as a practical skill, but also the impact of public policy on nurses and on the patients they care for.