NP or MHA?

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    Hello! I need career guidance. I am looking at continuing my education and would like to enter either an MHA program for Masters of Health Administration, or become a Nurse Practitioner. I don't even know how to begin to decide. I am asking myself if I want to remain in the clinical realm or work in administration. I am praying for a mentor and would like to ask others how they made the big decisions of choosing a Masters program. Any advice?

    Anne Marie
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  3. 4 Comments so far...

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    I've been in nursing a long time, and the only people in healthcare I've seen with MHAs are people in other disciplines (disciplines that don't offer a graduate degree with a concentration in leadership/administration). Nurses who want to pursue a management/administration career tend to have MSNs in leadership/management. Is there some reason you don't want to get the MSN?
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    I work for an MHA academic program, and the people coming out of my program are basically being trained to be future CEOs of hospitals and health centers. It's a terminal professional degree, so rather than getting an MSN in leadership/management in order to administrate a nursing staff, you're learning project management, economics, health policy, strategic planning, HR, finance, and a bunch of other topics in order to manage on a much grander scale.
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    Those are pretty different career directions. I'd recommend spending time soul-searching, job shadowing, and looking at job outlook in the area you intend to work. There's really not much help others can be until you at least have an idea whether you wish to be a clinician or an administrator. That being said, there are certainly NPs who move into more administrative roles but without additional training such as through a DNP or post-masters there would be a big gap in educational preparation. So focus whether you'd like to manage patients or manage practices.
    zmansc and elkpark like this.
  7. 0
    Thank you for all of the replies! My gut tells me that I would like to be a part of the business and/or patient satisfaction side of things. For example, there is a job at my hospital called, "Patient experience coach." I believe I would love this sort of job, being able to work with facility leadership to improve patient experience. I would also enjoy working with Lean Six Sigma and process improvement. Pro-student, I think you asked a wonderful question, and I believe I would prefer to manage practices. I am also very interested in the economics of health care and changing policies. I would like to be involved in helping a hospital gain Magnet certification (for example) or be involved in a hospital expansion project.

    I live in Las Vegas, and UNLV doesn't seem to have MSN/leadership - it is more geared towards Education or Advance practice nurse, so that is the reason I was considering the MHA at UNLV, rather than an MSN program.


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