Online Master's Degree to Become a Nurse Administrator

Read about your master's-level program options in the nurse administration field, and learn how online programs work. Explore some course topics you'd study as an online nurse administration student, and find out where you can take your career in nursing with a master's degree. Schools offering Nursing Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Online Degrees Are Available in Nursing Administration?

One degree option is a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). These programs are typically designed for registered nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). It's a 2 to 3-year program that trains you in advanced nursing techniques and administrative practices. Some programs may include a concentration option in nursing administration, and some programs may allow you to major in nursing administration.

You could also enroll in a joint MSN/MBA (Master of Business Administration) program. An MBA is a terminal degree in business that qualifies you for upper-level management or executive positions. In addition to building on your nursing expertise, joint MSN/MBA programs also provide advanced training in management, finance and healthcare systems. Both degrees can be found online formats.

Degree OptionsMaster of Science, dual Master of Science/Master of Business Administration
Common CoursesNursing research, healthcare policy, administration in clinical care, healthcare informatics
PrerequisitesBachelor's degree, preferably in nursing; resume, GMAT scores, nursing experience
Career PathsNursing education, nursing leadership development, hospital management
Median Salary (2018) $99,730 (for all medical and health services managers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 20% growth (for all medical and health services managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Curriculum Like?

Even if you pursue an online degree, you will probably have to complete clinical hours. As a distance learning student, you would likely complete your clinical requirement at a healthcare facility near you. You will learn about medical techniques, leadership, accounting and management. The following are examples of courses you could take:

  • Corporate finance
  • Macroeconomics
  • Nursing research
  • Healthcare policy
  • Healthcare informatics
  • Accounting analysis
  • Managerial finance
  • Administration in clinical care

Are There Admissions Prerequisites?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission into master's degree programs in nursing, and applicants with a non-nursing bachelor's degree must often have experience as a nurse or pass an additional entrance exam. If you apply to joint MSN/MBA programs, expect to meet admissions requirements of both programs. MBA programs usually require management experience, a resume, Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores and professional references.

What Are My Career Options?

A master's degree in nursing administration could qualify you for a number of careers in healthcare and business. You could work in a managerial capacity for healthcare providers, including hospitals, ambulatory care centers, clinics and private practices. Alternatively, you could work as a consultant or nursing expert in areas like healthcare economics, healthcare marketing, nursing education or nursing leadership development.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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