MSN in leadership & management??


I'm thinking I'd like to pursue a master's degree in healthcare administration. I've started researching some programs, and it's left me with more questions. I've realized there are both MSN in Leadership & Management degrees and also M.B.A. in Healthcare Administration degrees out there--how do I know which one to pursue? Does anybody have any insight into these two types of degrees as far as how career opportunities/job market/salaries would differ? Right now I have a B.S.N with about 3 years clinical experience, and meet qualifications to apply for both these programs. Anyone with any input, please help!


8 Posts

I have the same questions as you. I'm interested in those areas as well. I have a BSN also with 10+ years experience as mostly med/surg charge nurse.

Specializes in Research, ED, Critical Care. Has 28 years experience.

It really depends what you want career wise, and where you want to work - 10, 20 years ago it was the MBA. It may still be MBA in rural areas. I think nursing leadership has developed into many skilled tasks (direct care, assessment, resource management, human resources, research, implementation, program planning and development, project management, customer service etc.) and the influence of the MBA leadership in health service delivery has not been viewed as positive in recent years. An example of this is the Magnet Certification process, I'm not sure of the exact time frame, but Magnet now requires nursing leadership to be MSN.

I was taught in my MSN Healthcare Leadership program the basics of accounting and finance, but the emphasis was more on relationships, team building and organizational management. The sense was that as a leader, you need to understand finance (read an operational budget, a financial statement etc.), and a leadership program will expose you to the basics, but there will always be accounting and finance experts to provide you the information to make operational decisions.

On the other hand there are many MSN, MBAs out there.....

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

165 Articles; 21,215 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I have an MSN in management and leadership and wish that I had done the MSN/MBA, combined program. That way you both the management knowledge coupled with the business acumen. When I did the MSN, my idea was to go into management. However, found that was not what I wanted to do and then did a post-MSN clinical nurse specialist.

You probably want to consider your state's requirements to teach too. In IL, in order to teach nursing, you have to have an MSN, any other masters degree won't allow you to teach nursing.


10 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, phase 2 recovery.

I just completed my first semester for my MSN & leadership & management at George Washington University. It really isn't my goal to go into admin but I live in Okinawa & so I have to do distance education (I just don't think you can really get a good clinical degree without some face-to-face interaction). Anyway, I am really enjoying my classes. So far, I have had research & health program planning. I think this degree focuses more on nursing and how we can shape healthcare whereas, the MBA is strictly business. If you want to go into admin, maybe the combined degree will be better suited for you. However, I think you would do just fine in a program like mine. Later courses will focus on stuff like economics so you will learn what you need to be a great administrator. I don't know if it's everywhere, but the hospital I was at didn't even require an MSN to manage. I think they looked more at clinical experience which has it's good & bad points.

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