MSN/HCAD or just HCAD or MBA?

  1. I am trying what career path to take now that I have reentered nursing, and if there is anyone who can relate experiences that may help me decide. I have my BSN circa 1977, now work CCU after a 20 year absence. I was previously self-employed and had about 16 employees, so I have a lot of managerial experience.
    I need to decide if it is best just to sit tight and be a 48yo male staff nurse and feel totally unfulfilled or if pursuing a graduate degree in Health Care Administration or a dual MSN/HCAD, MSN/MBA has any real benefit in salary over the next 15 years. I would like to do anesthesia, but we all do, so I must be realistic in what I can accomplish at this stage in my life. At 48, I think I may have too many miles to be accepted to anesthesia, but the HCAD and MBA I can do part time in as little as 2 years. Also, I would probably have to work some going to school and all CRNA's I have talked to say this is a no no. So if you were in my shoes what would you do?
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    About Glad2behere

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 572; Likes: 6


  3. by   llg
    I think the real questions are: "What type of work do you really want to do?" "Are you interested in a Nursing Administration job? or just in hospital administration?" and "Are you able to be flexible in your geographic location to find the right job?"

    There are opportunities for Master's-prepared nursing administrators and hospital administrators -- and the upper-level jobs in both of those fields are generally well paid. However, you would need the education and also some experience in a hosptial "middle management position" before you got a promotion that would lead to a really big salar increase. In other words, you might have to take a step backwards (or at least sideways) in pay before you moved forward in salary.

    You might also consider a career in another, health-related industry. e.g. working for a company that makes health care products. You might have to start in sales or client support or something that would not pay great and probably require lots of traveling. However, you would have the potential to move up the corporate ladder to levels that would pay better.

    Just a few thoughts,
  4. by   Glad2behere
    Thanks for the response llg,

    Your thinking is close to what I have come up with also. I have already decided that I am not interested in sales, however I am very good at market strategy, and getting 110% for whomever works with me. I am also very good in managerial accounting, and can understand what a financial statement is really trying to say and why. If I interpret you correctly, I need to secure a nurse manager position somewhere immediately after graduate school and build from there. Or would the shorter path be to seek midmanagement in a LTC where the entry is easier? I am really more oriented to numbers and people and a very good motivator. I guess my question is should I back away from seeking a NM position as I am starting to think that may be a dead end street for what my ambitions are?
  5. by   llg
    Good question. I wish I had the answer. I think a lot would depend on the local market. Is there anyone familiar with the regional market that you could talk with?

  6. by   Wgbem
    I have a similar dilemma. I am an ADN RN with a BA in organizational management. Unfortunately, I have learned that this has thrown me off of a lot of nursing related positions. I chose this degree because I wanted to complete my degree quickly.

    I wanted to go back for a master's in nursing informatics but unfortunately, you need a BSN in order to go for that degree. I am presently in an MBA/HCA now but hope that it does not totally lead me off the nursing track as I am a nurse until I die. Any career advice?
  7. by   Glad2behere
    Hi Wgbem,

    If you are in the HCA, you are ahead of me, so how far along are you in the program and what are your aspirations when you finish? I have found no posters here that have the MBA/HCA credentials who are willing to share career pathway do's and don'ts. Speaking from experience myself, the business world and the nursing world are two different animals desiring occasionally compatible outcomes, but not often. Trying to assimmilate the two is difficult. Seems to me you are on the track to be a Nurse Manager or Nursing Administration, that is not too far removed is it, from core nursing? My question in initiating this post was to see if the MBA/HCA degree has any value in the real setting, as opposed to all the hoopla that is generated by college professors to sell the program to students. In other words, does an MBA/HCA degree actually do much for career advancement, and are there opportunities that can be taken advantage of that these programs are tailoring themselves to those opportunities in the marketplace? Last thing I need is another plaque on the wall as an ego booster but possessing no substance.
  8. by   PhePhe
    I have a BSN and MBA and have found that the MBA means squat in Nursing positions. You need an MSN. How short sighted! Most nurses have no business training in their programs. Perhaps that is why salaries are so low! I worked in the pharmaceutical industry from 1990 to 2002. Also had 11 years of prior nursing experience. I started at 38K and my last position was 115K. Now I just want to work agency or contract cause they pay is higher than staff jobs. I could make just as much doing that. Good luck! Try Pharmaceuticals!
  9. by   szoozoo
    Hello, PhePhe! I was really shocked when I read your reply about MBA degree. I just decided to get it and will apply next year, but after reading your story I don't know what to do... Tell me why MSN is better than MBA in hospital setting, and also what do I need to do to get into pharaceutical sales? I would really appreciate your answer!
  10. by   elleNY
    Didnt mean to pull up old thread, sorry.