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Specializes in Med/Surg, Psych. Has 9 years experience.

Sorry, I meant for the subject to state "MBA vs MHA".

I'm sure this topic has came up before, but I haven't found too much info on it. I'm looking into enrolling in an online MSN program, but still debating what route to go. I have my BSN and I currently work as a case manager in the hospital setting. I see a lot of programs that offer the MSN with a MBA or MHA. I want to move up into an administrative position, preferably within the hospital setting, but not sure which program would be more beneficial - MBA or MHA.. For anyone that has either, did it help you get a higher position? And which one is more favored by employers?

Edited by msladynurse4life

Murse901, MSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Case Management, Informatics. Has 13 years experience.

I think the short answer is going to be -- it depends. I think the longer answer is going to be -- it doesn't matter. I compared a LOT of MBA and MHA programs before I decided to just bite the bullet and go for an MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Management. I think at the entry level, it just depends on what area you want to work in. If you want to work more in finance or marketing, go for the MBA. If you want to work more in things like risk management and quality improvement, go for the MHA. BUT, coming from a clinical background, I don't think that one degree versus the other will necessarily limit you in any way.

In the longer view, the degree won't matter as much as your performance and networking. I recently moved to a corporate position and have noticed that the scenario plays out just about exactly as what I've described above, but YMMV depending on the organization you work for.

As a side note, and just to add confusion, you may also consider a Masters in Public Health, if you're interested in improving health in whole communities.

msladynurse4life, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Psych. Has 9 years experience.

Thanks for responding. I have been debating this for quite some time now. It is a difficult decision. I was accepted to an MSN-FNP program, but now having a change of heart to a more administrative side of nursing versus direct hands-on patient care. Since I already have years of good clinical experience, I should probably go for an MBA to be more well-rounded and marketable. I do agree with networking to promote. It's all about marketing yourself out there. I try to attend conferences and in-services when I can to help network with others.

I never though about a Masters in Public Health. I may have to check that out too. I'm looking at the dual MSN/MBA program with University of Phoenix. It seems to be a flexible and convenient program with a reasonable tuition. I know several people at my job that went thru that program. I'm still looking at other programs too. I hope to start one soon ;)

Have you figured out what you are wanting to do?

I feel your pain in attempting to make a decision. I am currently an assistant manager on my unit. It's a small inpatient rehabilitation unit and I absolutely love it. I was working as a charge nurse for several months prior to being presented with the opportunity for manager. I was hesitant at first, because the aspect of my job that I love as a nurse is the direct patient interaction and care. With that said, I was concerned I would lose this. However, I find myself on the floor a lot of the time, because I purposefully make rounds to check in on the patients and their families, and I also attend change of shift report in the morning, morning huddles between nursing and therapy staff, as well as team conference that's held twice a week with the attending physicians. Overall, I'm really enjoying the transition.

I had a heart to heart with my DON, who is an amazing leader and she is highly experienced. My debate has been between NP or continue with management. I'm still trying to figure this out, but talking to her allowed me to look at things in a different light. I am seriously considering about a MSN/MBA program because I feel that is most marketable and in addition it will have better longevity. Plus, administration seems like it is going to have a continued job growth, as well as the area I live in I forsee a saturation in the amount of NPs. Many are going back for their MSN, especially primary FNP, and I expect many will have to commute an hour or more for jobs.

msladynurse4life, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Psych. Has 9 years experience.

Well, I've decided to go back for an MSN/MBA dual agree with a concentration in health care administration. The big question is which school? I've researched many online programs, but still undecided. Like most, I need a program that's flexible, affordable and will provide a good education.

Thomas University is the program I've applied. It's local, accredited, and doesn't charge out of state tuition I believe, although it is private and tuition is higher than some of the other universities I've looked at.

msladynurse4life, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Psych. Has 9 years experience.

That's good to hear that you found a program that works for you. I've been looking at Indiana Wesleyan. It's private, but the tuition is a lot cheaper than most schools. They have MSN/MBA for about $30K. I just don't like that I have to write a few essays and get letters of recommendation to apply. Maybe it will be worth it.