MSN vs MBA

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am currently an assistant nurse manager of an inpatient hospital unit. I have my BSN, and am ready to pursue a master's degree. An MBA in healthcare seems like a much more interesting curriculum than taking more nursing courses in an MSN program.

    Is there any downside to obtaining an MBA? Will not having an MSN slow my career progression?

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Road2CNO
    I have my BSN and am in currently in low-level management. I am currently obtaining my MBA as I felt I needed more of the business side of things in order to keep moving up in management. We have the nursing knowledge, right? When you're in management, I feel you get more of the nursing business side of things with regards to where you work, you adopt their mission, right? So, basically knowing the ins and outs of business was the way to go for me.
  4. by   llg
    Quote from Road2CNO
    We have the nursing knowledge, right? .
    No, you don't. You just have entry-level nursing knowledge. I believe if you are going to try to be a nurse leader at a high level -- which includes management/administration/leadership of people in advanced roles and with graduate level nursing education -- you need to have more than just the entry-level nursing education. You should have a graduate education in nursing. My experience with "nurse" leaders with only entry level nursing education is that they are often clueless about nursing as it is taught and practiced at the higher levels.

    My favorite leaders have been those with both -- some graduate level nursing education AND ALSO some education outside of nursing in field such as Healthcare Administration, Personnel Management or Business.
  5. by   Road2CNO
    Quote from llg
    No, you don't. You just have entry-level nursing knowledge.
    Well, that is an opinion, just like my post is MY opinion. The OP is asking for everyone's opinion and input. I'm NOT a brand new grad and I went back to nursing school as an adult, first earning my ADN, working the floor for several years, then going back to get my BSN which was a lot of ethics and such with regards to nursing. As I stated, you adopt the values of your current employer, so knowing how to LEAD people is the most important aspect of leadership. I am working on my 4th degree so I do not believe I have "entry-level education" nor am I clueless about nursing.

    People don't come on allnurses to read people's comments that bash others, they come here for guidance and support!
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Road2CNO
    Well, that is an opinion, just like my post is MY opinion. The OP is asking for everyone's opinion and input. I'm NOT a brand new grad and I went back to nursing school as an adult, first earning my ADN, working the floor for several years, then going back to get my BSN which was a lot of ethics and such with regards to nursing. As I stated, you adopt the values of your current employer, so knowing how to LEAD people is the most important aspect of leadership. I am working on my 4th degree so I do not believe I have "entry-level education" nor am I clueless about nursing.

    People don't come on allnurses to read people's comments that bash others, they come here for guidance and support!
    Guidance is here in spades, but support not so much. Despite popular belief this is not a support group. It's a good place to get your questions answered and to solicit opinions, though.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from cablefree
    Hello everyone,

    I am currently an assistant nurse manager of an inpatient hospital unit. I have my BSN, and am ready to pursue a master's degree. An MBA in healthcare seems like a much more interesting curriculum than taking more nursing courses in an MSN program.

    Is there any downside to obtaining an MBA? Will not having an MSN slow my career progression?

    Thanks for your help!
    I have an MBA, and it was fascinating. However my hospital requires an MSN for promotion into management positions. Good thing I got over that idea!
  8. by   traumaRUs
    My opinion is that a combined MSN/MBA is the way to go. When I did my MSN (2005), I was enrolled in a dual program: MSN/MBA. I dropped the MBA part because I thought it was "boring." Well, fast forward to now and I so wish I had completed the MBA too.

    Nurses don't know the business aspect of healthcare. Its crucial that we pick up this knowledge so that we know our worth.
  9. by   MBARNBSN
    I work at two large organizations (known nation-wide) and they allow for promotion to senior and executive leadership with ANY Master's degree and your RN license. So, my MBA is not a hindrance to my career. In fact, I have reviewed course work for an MSN and I think I would enjoy that too had I done it years ago. At this time in my career it is better for me to earn a terminal degree, rather than an MSN and the schools of interest to me do not require an MSN for a terminal degree in nursing. On the other hand, if you work for an organization such as one poster pointed out, that will not allow for promotions without an MSN, then either earn an MBA/MSN combination or only earn an MSN. GL!

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