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Msn or certification?


I want to work in health administration. I currently have my BSN and really don't want to go back to school. I was wondering if I could receive my certification in nurse administation instead of going back for my msn in administration. Is that a bad plan or should I definitely get my msn? I graduated in 2010 with my BSN, worked on the floor for a year and worked 3 years in the operating room. Please any advice will help. I'm ready to advance my career and would love a job in health administration. Thanks.


Specializes in CEN, CFRN, PHRN, RCIS, EMT-P.

MSN is the only way to go in my opinion, competition is hard enough even with your MSN.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

Yes, if you want to go into administration, you need an MSN (if not a doctorate).

An alternative option is an MBA or MHA. But notice, both of those are Master's degrees as well.

In order to move any further than the unit nurse manager level, you will need a Master's.

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr.

OP: I agree with the others. A certification in health management exist and are important to some degree, but I have never ever seen them trump a Master's degree. They are usually specific to a particular specialty and look good when you work as an Administrator within that particular specialty. With that said, I have the same aspirations as you and am being sought out now for two entry level management positions because I not only have a BSN and nursing work experience, but I also have an MBA (MSNs look good too).

By the way, to break into management is tough even for nurses! You will find that becoming charge is not as hard, but after charge nurse it is a fight! :) I have personally applied to many positons that I qualified for based upon the job description and was rejected for a more qualified candidate. Typically one that already had managerial work experience even though the positons I apply to are entry level managerial positons not requiring management experience. Thus, I highly advise that you not only obtain a Master's degree, network your bottom off and participate on committees and/or QI projects. This will get your face and name out there in a way that speaks of your leadership abilities, your clinical/technical mind, and your personality. Good luck! :)

-Fellow future nurse manager

Edited by SummerGarden


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