If you’re thinking about entering a master’s degree program and you’re a registered nurse (RN), the logical answer may be to get one in nursing.
While that’s a great choice that will open up a great deal of specialized, advanced nursing roles, there are other options for taking your skills as a healthcare professional to the next level.
It may not be the first degree that comes to mind, but a Master in Business Administration (MBA) could be the perfect addition to your resume as a medical worker.
What can a nurse do with an MBA? The short answer is “a lot.” For an RN with an MBA, job opportunities abound. Read on to learn about what a nurse can do with an MBA and how you can use the skills you already have to advance your career and earn more.
The six reasons why nurses should get an MBA
Before you start on any educational or career path, it makes sense to ask yourself what you’d be getting out of it. Even if your career is based on your passions, don’t forget to think about yourself and your needs. Here are some of the top reasons to get an MBA for nurses. If these motivations strike a chord, it might be time to consider this educational path:
- To avoid burnout: being a healthcare professional is emotionally and physically tiring. This kind of fast-paced, high-intensity work can lead to burnout. If your burnout is severe or recurring, you may be considering another career. An MBA can help open you up to future job opportunities.
- To capitalize on your business skills: Yes, you’re a nurse at heart, but you’re also a #boss. It’s normal to want a career change at some point, and getting an MBA can help set you up for more opportunities. So, if your encore dream career is to work on Wall Street, you’ll be well-prepared.
- To bring some heart into the business world: The business world can get wrapped up in numbers and facts. But, as a nurse, you have hands-on bedside experience that can breathe some empathy into more pragmatic industries.
- To earn more: Getting any graduate-level degree usually increases your earning potential. Even if you were to pursue an MBA in nursing, your salary potential would increase. And, getting an MBA is nearly a sure bet in terms of making more money. Higher salaries are one of the key benefits of MBAs for nurses. Wherever your career takes you—whether in the medical field or another industry—having a business degree will help you become a more successful entrepreneur and changemaker, and clients and companies will recognize this value.
- To have access to new jobs: Having an MBA opens you up to careers not just in healthcare but also in other fields. Even if your dream is to open your own small business doing something different from nursing, an MBA will come in very handy. Whether you want to become a Chief Nursing Officer or a Chief Executive Officer, you’ll have a much better chance with a master’s degree in business.
- To attend school part-time: These days, there are plenty of options for getting your MBA part-time and even from the comfort of your home with online programs. Work on achieving your dream degree (and job) when convenient for you, depending on your schedule (which is undoubtedly complicated as a medical professional).
The seven types of jobs available to nurses with MBAs
- Leadership: You can still work in healthcare but in roles that manage health services, clinical standards and patient care.
- Finance: Both in the hospital and outside of it, you can work in hospital finance, manage healthcare institutions’ budgets or find work in finance for any industry.
- Human resources: No one knows how to locate, onboard and train medical professionals quite like someone who has worked in the field—especially when bolstered by schooling in business administration. You’ll be valuable to human resources departments with a nursing degree and an MBA.
- Healthcare administration: The word is right in the title of this business degree and for a reason. You can work as a nursing administrator, director of nursing or another medical or non-medical supervisor with this degree.
- Practice manager: After years on your feet as a nurse, you can take a break by switching to a more administrative role. Keep track of everything from the practice calendar to patient needs in this job.
- Legal consultant: As someone who has had hands-on experience in a healthcare organization and perhaps even specialized, you’re a valuable asset to an insurance company. Your knowledge provides nuance.
- Advocate: Activists need to have a lot of heart, but they also need to be incredibly organized. Use your passion for healthcare and combine it with strategic planning to support a cause you love (and even make changes to health policy).
MSN vs. MBA programs
The main difference between these two degrees is that one focuses on nursing science and the other on business. Both are master’s degrees, but a business degree prepares you for work in several industries. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is great for healthcare professionals who already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and wish to advance their career and gain access to more specialized, high-responsibility roles within the nursing practice.
Whether you need luxe scrubs for work at the hospital or you want to feel comfortable while studying at home, we’ve got you covered. And even if your dream is to continue your career outside of the healthcare profession, we’ll be here for you, rooting for you no matter where your path takes you.