Earning an MSN in nursing administration takes time, money and dedication, so you may be wondering if it’s a worthwhile step in your professional development. This article will break down who this degree is for, what it will teach you and how it will help you advance your career.
What is an MSN in Nursing Administration and Who is the Program For?
An MSN in nursing administration is a master’s degree in nursing with a focus on administrative leadership. This degree track aims to help registered nurses transition from bedside patient care into a managerial role. If you aspire to work as a nurse manager, clinical leader, director of nursing or even a chief nursing officer, an MSN with a focus in nursing administration will prepare you for the evolving challenges of healthcare leadership.
An MSN in nursing administration is a great choice no matter where you are in your nursing career. Whether you’re just starting out or have decades of experience, this program can help you accelerate advancement or change your career path.
What Will You Learn in an MSN in Nursing Administration Program?
As healthcare delivery grows increasingly complex, nurses in leadership roles will play a critical role in improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. Nurses with leadership skills are sought after across the healthcare landscape—from hospitals and clinics to community and public health, as well as industries such as insurance or higher education.
The MSN in nursing administration curriculum is designed to prepare nurse leaders for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The foundational aspects of an MSN in nursing administration program include courses in the following areas. Top 5 Reasons To Hire A Truck Accident Law Firm
- Population-Based Care: Learn to design, implement and evaluate services and care plans in order to promote, maintain and restore health for different populations.
- Evidence-Based Practice: Explore and analyze methods to improve nursing practice and health outcomes by critically evaluating the latest research to determine how it can be applied to quality assurance within a healthcare setting.
- Health Policy: Delve into the ins and outs of health policy and politics to learn the role healthcare leaders play in informing and advancing policies that help their organization meet its goals.
- Healthcare Delivery Systems: Gain insight into the fundamental role that healthcare leaders play in the American health system, including how its organized, managed and financed.
- Practicum or Capstone: The practicum or capstone experience is the culmination of an MSN in nursing administration program. The focus is on integrating all of the concepts learned in the program through both seminar and precepted clinical experiences.
Throughout the course of an MSN in nursing administration program you will also be able to take electives that help you further focus on the areas you’re most passionate about or where you need to sharpen your skills. Electives may include topics such as:
- Finance and Accounting in Healthcare Organizations
- Global Health
- Healthcare Operations Management
- Human Resource Management
- Health Information Management
Reasons Why MSN in Nursing Administration is Worth It
There are many reasons why earning your MSN is rewarding both personally and professionally. Let’s look at what makes an MSN in nursing administration particularly valuable for aspiring nurse leaders.
1. Become an effective people manager. An MSN in nursing administration will teach you the skills you need to manage other nurses and step up as the leader of your medical unit.
2. Put the latest clinical care methods into practice. Through an MSN in nursing administration program, you will gain insight into the newest techniques and technology in advanced nursing practice. As a manager or leader, it will be your role to help implement these best practices through program development and execution.
3. Expand your knowledge beyond clinical care. The MSN in nursing administration will provide insights into best practices for health policy, healthcare delivery and administrative decision making. Many of these topics are not taught within a BSN program or learned on-the-job as a bedside nurse.
4. Qualify for a management or leadership position. An MSN may be a requirement to move into management, senior or executive-level positions within healthcare organizations.
5. Increase salary expectations. According to Lightcast™, the median advertised salary for nursing administrators with an MSN is $103.2K. This is much higher than the median salary for a RN, which is $77.6K.
6. Strengthen your critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The rapidly changing healthcare industry requires nimble professionals to lead organizations forward. An MSN in nursing administration will not only prepare you for the challenges of today, but also give you the skills to adapt to the challenges of tomorrow.
7. Build a better workplace culture. As an MSN-prepared leader, you will have the tools to build a culture that values the advanced training and education of nurses.
8. Work better hours. By moving into an administrative role, you are more likely to work traditional office hours and have more control over your schedule than you did as a shift nurse.
9. Expand your opportunities to work in different industries. An MSN in nursing administration provides the flexibility to pursue careers in industries such as government, health insurance, pharmaceuticals and nonprofits.
10. Become a nurse educator. You can translate the concepts you learn in an MSN in nursing administration into a career teaching the next generation of nurses.
11. Earn a seat at the table to inform health policy. An MSN in nursing administration program will help you become a thought leader and influencer within your organization.
12. Increase your professional network. An MSN in nursing administration will connect you with like-minded professionals, expert faculty and professional organizations who can help build connections that lead to future leadership positions.
13. Expand your business acumen. An MSN in nursing administration can help prepare you to work within the consulting industry as a healthcare operations specialist.
14. Prepare to earn a doctorate degree. If you’re interested in taking your education a step further, a DNP with a leadership focus can help you go from a leader to an agent of change and transformation within the healthcare industry.
5 Reasons an MSN in Nursing Administration May Not Be Worth It (For You)
An MSN in nursing administration is a valuable step on the path to healthcare leadership. However, moving into an administrative role may not be for everyone. Here are five reasons why an MSN in nursing administration may not be the right MSN program for you.
1. You want to specialize in an area of patient care and practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). A different MSN program, such as Family Practice, Adult-Gerontology or Psychiatric Mental Health may be a better fit for your goals.
2. You don’t want the additional responsibilities that come with leadership. If you prefer to leave decision making up to others when it comes to areas such as people management, staffing and resourcing, an administrative path may not be a good fit.
3. You aren’t passionate about the business side of healthcare. Nursing administration involves managing finances, day-to-day operations, strategic goal setting and more. If you aren’t comfortable being held accountable for operational performance, not just patient care, this path may not be right for you.
4. You want to continue to work directly with patients. Many nurses get into the profession in order to care for patients. If you move into an administrative role, you need to be comfortable knowing that you will be impacting patient outcomes in new and different ways.
5. You aren’t comfortable managing disputes. As a nursing administrator, you will need to be confident that you can handle not only the positive aspects of people management but you will also be able to manage conflicts that arise.
An MSN degree can help you increase job prospects, open the door to advancement opportunities and increase your salary expectations. If you’re not passionate about administration and want to focus on advanced patient care, an MSN can also serve as a springboard to becoming a nurse practitioner.