Opportunities for Someone w/ MBA?

by ckranzle (New) New

I recently visited with a counselor at A&M Corpus Christi about the opportunities nursing school would provide me with. I was very disappointed in many of her answers and I believe it was mainly because she did not keep up with current information. I asked her what opportunities I would have with my MBA once I completed my Bachelors in Nursing and she said it wouldn't make a difference?! I also asked about starting salaries in our area and she had to look it up!

My biggest concern is being able to use my MBA in conjunction with a nursing degree and if the monetary benefits will be worthwhile (I know my heart would be in it, but would I be taking a pay cut?). What path would be most beneficial to me financially and what type of time frame would I be looking at?:confused:

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

What kind of work are you wanting to do?

If you are looking at being a businessman/business woman in the health care field, then your MBA will be useful. If you were applying for jobs that required business knowledge more than patient care knowledge, that MBA will help a lot.

However, if you want to be a bedside patient care giver, then the counselor was right, the MBA will not help -- and it may seriously hurt your chances of getting some jobs because managers may hesitate to hire someone who is going to:

1. Be likely to leave after a short time to pursue other opporutnities (that use their business skills)

2. Be likely to cause irritation among the staff and management of the department as they try to reorganize and run everything

Also, since your MBA won't be relevant to your practice as a bedside care giver, it won't give you a higher salary or anything. You'll be a beginner-level nurse and be paid as a beginner.

If you want to go into hospital administration, perhaps you should get a degree in that instead of nursing. If you want to be a nursing administration, you will need to work as a staff nurse for a while, then as middle management for a while, etc. -- You'll need to start at the bottom first and get the experience as a practicing nurse before you will be qualified to run a nursing department. That will require you to "suppress" that MBA stuff for a while.

If want to open your own business ... that's a whole other story.

So ... what type of work are you actually thinking of doing with that BSN? What type of nurse do you imagine yourself being?


38,332 Posts

I once met an LVN who was very proud of her MBA from Harvard. She stated she intended to cease working in home health care as an LVN and start her own home health agency. I have no idea if she ever did that, nor do I know why she did not get an RN license.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience. 9,051 Posts

PPs & the nursing school counselor are correct. That MBA will not give you an edge with starting a nursing career. If you have a background in business, you are undoubtedly well aware that Healthcare finance is a very different animal than 'normal' industries. In our industry, an MBA is not much help unless it is an MBA with specialization in healthcare finance. I would also recommend that you keep your MBA on the down-low if you do enter nursing school. It could be very off-putting to your peers and embarrassing for you if you are trying to establish yourself as an 'alpha nurse' and fail to do so. It's the same for all other second career folks.

BTW, the reason the nursing school counselor had to look up starting salaries is that they change frequently - even in the Corpus area. LOL. They are market driven and shift whenever the market does.

One of the defining characteristics of healthcare is the fact that we have the most educated workforce of any industry. Masters degrees are relatively common in all areas. For many clinical areas, a masters is actually the entry-level degree. If you are interested in moving into nursing management, you will need an MSN. At the Nurse Executive level, a doctorate is becoming the requirement for larger organizations.

As to your questions about ROI & amount of time needed... depends.

What salary are you making now? Be aware that nursing has enormous salary compression... no where near the mid-career and late-career growth seen in other fields.

What type of program are you trying to enter? There are three avenues you could explore if you have your pre-requisites completed. If you choose to do generic BSN, it is 2 years of clinical education. You could go with an accelerated BSN intended for 'second career' folks.. very intense 12 to 15 months depending on the program. If you go with entry-level MSN, it will take about 2 years. I would not recommend the last option, because Texas employers are loathe to hire these folks as new grads. If you choose the ABSN or entry MSN, the coursework is intense, and it would be very difficult to work while you're in the program. There is enormous competition to get into nursing school these days due to all the popular hype, so your GPA will need to be in tip-top shape no matter which avenue you choose.

Best of luck to you in whatever you choose to do,


4 Posts

Thanks for everyone's responses...I'm really not sure what path I want to take yet. This is the first time in my life that I have the ability to take time off of work and go to school so the nursing program has never been an option for me.

The reason I was frustrated with the counselor is that she pulled out a magazine that wasn't even specific for Texas and gave me some numbers...very frustrating.

I'm interested in being a nurse practitioner. I plan on applying for the accelerated BSN program if I decide to make this switch. I know I will have to pursue my masters in this area as well...my GPA for my masters was a 3.68 so I think I'll be ok in terms of grades. I understand that I will need to start at the bottom and will not be able to utilize my MBA anytime soon...I'm talking two to five years from working as an RN and getting some experience under my belt.

I've always been self employed so it will be different for me to start at the bottom, but I love taking care of people, I thrive under pressure, and am looking for a more fulfilling career. Someone mentioned opening up my own business...what are my options there?

Edited by ckranzle
add question


4 Posts

Still looking for some more advice...hoping to bump this thread to the top ;)

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

An MBA will not be of significant help on your path to being an NP. That's a clinical role and you have to start at the bottom of the clinical ladder just like everybody else.

Once you become an NP, perhaps you can use your business background to run a department, clinic, etc. and be the business manager of a facility. But if you want to see patients, assess them, provide treatment, etc. then your MBA will not help you there.

That's probably why you are not getting more responses. There is nothing more to say. Your MBA is only relevant if you choose to manage the business aspects of healthcare. It is not relevant to clinical practice roles and will not give you a significant edge or boost to a clinical career path. I'm sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear.

My advice is that you need to decide what you want to do with your life. If you want to build on your MBA, then you need to travel a path down the business end of healthcare, not the clinical end. If you want to be a patient care-giver, you need to be prepared to let those "MBA expectations" go and be prepared to start an entirely new career from the bottom.

Good luck to you -- with whatever path you choose.