Quote from Otessa
I am 37 and have been an RN for 15 years.
I have worked ICU,ER, CCU, Float Pool and now Quality Improvement.
I can't decide what I want to do for the next 18-28 years....
which would you choose: MSN, MPH, MBA.........???:innerconf
Obviously, the path I took is evident in my screen name. The reason for my choice is that I enjoy the clinical setting and wanted the autonomy the NP field offered. However, my current role is physically and mentally demanding. I am able to handle these challenges at the present time since I am still young but surely, I don't see this role as something I will do until retirement.
In making your decision, ask yourself what you enjoy the most. Do you like staying in clinical practice? Do you enjoy teaching/training nurses? Do you see yourself participating in research in the nursing field? Then maybe an MSN will be right for you. An MSN can point you to many different directions of advanced practice nursing either as a CNS, CRNA, CNM, or NP. There are also career paths in nursing education, informatics, and even nursing management.
I notice, however, that you are now working in QI. Is this something you enjoy and wish to build up on? Do you want to advance in the corporate ladder as a manager? You still have the option of pursuing an MSN in this case. As I've already mentioned, some MSN programs are geared towards nurse managers and provides you advanced training in nursing service administration.
Although, there are many interdisciplinary aspects added to most MSN curricula, an MSN is a nursing degree unlike the MPH and MBA. MPH programs welcome candidates from multidisciplinary fields. You receive well-rounded training in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social sciences, and management. An MPH degree can open many doors in healthcare research and can further one's goal to advance in the management ladder.
An MBA is similar, in that it is multidisciplinary but without the public health focus. There are MBA's that are geared towards health systems management. A number of these programs have actually been changed into Master of Health Service Administration to make it more obvious to candidates and prospective employers that this is the focus of the degree. These degrees are excellent for advancing your goal of a career in management in hospitals and other healthcare facilities as well private practices.
A surgeon who I currently work with is actually enrolled in an MHSA program at a well-known university where I am and his classmates have upper management positons in large hospitals around the country. It seems to me, however, that when it comes to management degrees, the school name matters a lot on how far you can go with the degree.