MBA degree


Specializes in Acute care, travel nurse, public health, CM. Has 16 years experience.

Also posted in the CM forum:

I have been a case manager for a public health department for a large metropolitan county for over 5 years. I want to stay on the case management and utilization review track for the remainder of my career. Lately, I have grown interested in pursuing a graduate degree and have noticed a few threads suggesting the MBA route. I am NOT interested in being a nurse manager or transitioning into any kind of supervisory role.

So— is pursuing an MBA worthwhile for a nurse interested in staying in the CM/UM specialty?

What programs are reputable? What have your experiences been? Online programs would be great as I must continue working full-time and have a child. Can anyone speak to the quality of that format? 

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

I was in a business field for over a decade prior to nursing and was admitted to Emory's full-time MBA program but decided not to go. I did a BS in finance/economics and a MS in finance.

What kind of knowledge and/or skills do you need for CM/UM? My quick reaction without knowing a ton about CM/UM is that MBA is probably not that useful for CM/UM and you'll end up taking ton of courses that you will never remotely utilize. This is because in CM/UM, you're still handling decisions about individual patients. I think that the farther away you are from patients, the more MBA becomes relevant.

The MBA curriculum really is quite broad and focuses on top-level organizational (or departmental) strategies, budgeting, financial evaluations, and organizational management. For someone without a business or quantitative background, it should be very rigorous (assuming you go to a decent school, not an online diploma mill) especially the finance/accounting/operations courses. Numerical data, financial statements, graphs, and spreadsheets will become your friend.

Many reputable universities now offer online MBA...for example, UNC, USC, Indiana, Villanova, and Penn state. Check out USNews rankings for a list. When I did my MS finance, there were a ton of case analysis. We ran a crap load of Excel models and wrote reports, and there was some group work/presentations. But I think MBA can definitely be done online especially with technology like zoom. However, IMO, the greatest value one can get from an MBA program is if you want to make some kind of career switch. Getting an MBA might also make sense if you're already in a role or field where people traditionally obtain an MBA as a next step, which I don't believe is the case for UM/CM.

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 35 years experience.

Do you already have a BSN? During my search for an MSN program, I stumbled across a couple of programs that offered dual degrees (MSN + MBA; MSN + MPH), but I wasn’t interested in a dual degree. I would look into those if I were you, especially if you plan on remaining in never know what the future holds or what the requirement will be.

I was convinced that I was absolutely done when I received my BSN, but things changed. With my current employer, I see so many nurses who top out at a Nurse II salary because their nursing degree is an ASN/ADN with a non-Nursing Masters. Having my BSN, I would be able to progress to Nurse III with a non-nursing Masters; but I figure if I’m going back, I might as well go for what I know, which is nursing (MSN).

Good luck in your search..

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Don't start any program until you have taken a thorough look at the courses in the curriculum and know that those courses will be relevant and helpful in the career you plan to develop.

What is in the MBA program that you will use? That is the question. If the the answer is "Not much," then don't waste resources on an MBA program. If they answer is "A whole lot," then the MBA program might be a good choice.

First decide on your career path and goals. Then keep you eyes on that path when you select any future education to invest in.