A Bachelor of Science in nursing is a valuable degree. A nurse with a BSN will have a wide variety of career options made available to them. One of those options is to pursue their education further, which will open up entirely new levels of opportunity. These additional opportunities include hospice and neonatal nursing, management and administrative positions, and critical care nursing, among many others. A Masters of Science in nursing improves your overall qualifications for whatever nursing or administrative position best suits your needs and abilities.
An MSN is not the only option, however. A Master’s degree in healthcare management is also a widely touted option. So, when it comes to opening up doors in the field of nursing, which is better: the MSN, or a Masters in healthcare management?
The Masters of Science in Nursing
As a general program, available in a wide range of institutions, the MSN has a lot to say for it. An MSN is a high-level qualification reflecting an advanced educational and academic career, as well as a certain amount of practical nursing experience. A nurse with an MSN is a well-qualified individual for a wide variety of nursing jobs that are at once very demanding and deeply rewarding. Neonatal nurses, for example, provide care for newborn infants in their first month of life. Hospice nurses deal with the unique demands and challenges of caring for individuals who are in their final stages of life, often coping with severe physical and mental challenges of their own. Such cases present with concerned family members, whose needs are almost as much a part of the nurse’s repertoire as the patient’s own. Critical care nursing is another such demanding field, in which one is confronted with people in a state of medical emergency on a daily basis.
A Masters of Science degree in nursing is also a good qualification for management and administrative programs. It prepares nurses for leadership positions in the workplace by way of necessity: dealing with an intensive medical crisis frequently requires the ability to stay cool under fire and direct a team of professionals in what to do next. In this particular aspect, however, it may come second place to the more administratively focused Masters of healthcare degree.
The Masters of Healthcare
The Masters of healthcare is unquestionably a prestigious and important degree within the healthcare field. It prepares an individual for a wide range of administrative and managerial career paths in the healthcare industry. If you are planning on pursuing a career that leads to policy and administration, the Masters of healthcare is a good option to pursue, particularly if it is combined with the expertise of a Bachelors of Science in nursing.
There are a variety of different programs that are frequently referred to as a Masters of Healthcare. Many well-established and reputable medical institutions offer a Masters of Science in healthcare administration. Other organizations, including a number of for-profit universities and online schools, offer an MBA program — a healthcare-specialized take on a Masters of Business Administration. Masters of Arts management programs also exist, some of which are extremely reputable.
If you’re entering into your graduate studies with a BSN, and you’re of a mind to pursue an administrative career path, a Masters of Science in healthcare administration from a leading institution is your best bet to complement your nursing expertise. If, for whatever reason, that is not an available option, an MBA is a reputable and internationally recognized alternative. An MA in management is an admirable degree, but is not as heavily associated with industries like healthcare and medicine.
For More Information
The Harvard Business Review goes into a detailed look at the overall merits of the MBA, and whether it can hold up to the rigors of the modern administrative position. The guidance personnel and other career professionals at your chosen school can help connect you with additional resources in determining which degree program is right for you; there are also professional associations offering resources for students.