M.B.A. and M.S.N.


A graduate degree certainly helps nurses get ahead in their careers, but a dual degree can give them a competitive edge. A Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (M.S.N./M.B.A.) program combines nursing with business courses, which enables students to better serve in a range of health-care management positions, especially in executive roles.

Many universities offer the M.S.N./M.B.A. jointly through their business and nursing schools. Students earn both degrees simultaneously, enrolling in business classes such as labor relations, finance, management, and accounting, while refining their nursing knowledge and skills in M.S.N. courses and clinical work. A typical program of study requires between 57 and 78 credits, including a practicum, extensive research, and a thesis or some other final project. Some programs stipulate that students complete an internship. The time it takes to get the dual degree is actually shorter than it would take to acquire the M.S.N. and the M.B.A. separately, as some core requirements in each degree program overlap. Full-time students can finish the program in three years, but part-time study is usually available.

In general, most applicants are RNs with current licensure and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.). GRE and/or GMAT scores may be necessary for some programs. Students may have to apply to a university’s business and nursing schools separately to enroll in an M.S.N./M.B.A. program. Specific application requirements vary by institution.

The M.S.N./M.B.A. prepares students for administrative jobs, which generally pay better than other nursing positions. M.S.N./M.B.A. graduates work in many health-care facilities, including corporate offices and hospitals.