Why Nurses Should Get Their MBA

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Why Nurses Should Get Their MBA

Career Development
Michelle D. Metzger
January 24, 2017

General nursing education programs rarely prepare students to look beyond earning their undergraduate degrees. Many nursing students are not aware of the different ways that they can continue their education and advance their nursing career.

While some nursing students might pursue their MSN so they can become a Nurse Educator or a Nurse Practitioner, there are more high-level career path options than students realize. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree is often overlooked by nursing students but can be an invaluable way for nurses to advance in their field. An MBA helps nurses achieve an understanding of core business principles and allows them to come up with comprehensive solutions to complex challenges in the healthcare field.

Nursing is just as much a business as it is the art of caring for people. Nurses must understand the driving force behind the financial decisions made by hospital CEOs and CFOs if they want to gain a foothold in the decision-making process.

Here are three benefits of nurses taking the next steps to earn their MBA degree:

Understanding how a hospital functions as a business

MBA degrees help nurses understand how business and finance relate to healthcare.  Nurses who understand how a business works will be able to influence the future of nursing, providing insight and solutions that address both the needs of the patient and the demands of the hospital. How do hospitals charge for care and gain reimbursement? What is classified as inpatient versus outpatient? Knowing the answers to questions like those will help nurses understand how hospital functions and what it can do to serve its patients better.

Stronger management and leadership capabilities

With an MBA, nurses can become better leaders and decision-makers. A background in business helps nurses understand insurance reimbursements, cash flow, expenses, budgets and labor costs. Managing a budget is an essential part of a Nurse Manager’s job; they must figure out how to operate within a budget to ensure they get the funding they need to maintain a thriving nursing unit.

Opportunities for advancement

MBA degrees can open the door of opportunity to more leadership positions, such as Nurse Manager and Director of Nursing. Nurses with their MBA may even advance to senior leadership positions and executive-level roles, such as Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer or Chief Executive Officer.

The world of healthcare is evolving quickly, and there are not enough qualified nurses to step into key positions and lead the way for change.  This is a great time for nurses to pursue an advanced degree and extend their voices beyond the bedside. 

 Interested in a pursuing your MBA? Learn more here. 

Michelle D. Metzger is a Registered Nurse who earned her Master of Science in Nursing Administration (MSN) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 2013.  She has more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare starting as a Certified Nurses’ Assistant. Michelle is currently the Department Chair of Nursing at the Herzing University Kenosha Campus.  Also, she is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice in Education Leadership.  

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