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Five nursing jobs that use MBA skills

As healthcare changes due to demographic shifts, cost management needs and new regulatory demands, healthcare providers have begun to recognize the value of earning an MBA in Healthcare Management to supplement their clinical knowledge. Today’s nurses have opportunities that expand their roles beyond the bedside, requiring them to fulfill many different types of business management roles in which the skills they gain from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management are employed as often as their clinical skills.

Here’s a look at five nursing jobs that require healthcare-specific MBA skills.

1. Nurse Team Leader or Charge Nurse

The nurse team leader must have a keen understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team. In this position, you must build cohesive, multidisciplinary teams using communication and leadership skills to create a climate in which members of your team are empowered to make important contributions. The skills you learn in a healthcare MBA program train you to foster a work environment that recognizes the value of each team member while providing mentoring to get the most from your employees.

2. Nurse Manager

The nurse manager typically reports to the chief nursing officer or vice president of nursing. In addition to assuring patient safety and quality of care, nurse managers are responsible for staffing and staff development, customer satisfaction, finance and operation, and strategic goals for the unit. The skills that you build by earning an MBA in healthcare will develop your ability to interpret data and predict trends in cost fluctuation. You will also understand accounting, budgeting, staffing and management within the healthcare framework and learn invaluable leadership skills that help you attract and retain the best possible staff for your unit.

3. Clinical Surgical Services Manager

The clinical surgical services manager is a nurse who oversees operational standards for a hospital’s or clinic’s surgical department. In this role, you play a major part in strategic goal development, quality control and customer satisfaction. It also requires strong communication, leadership, and decision-making and problem-solving skills. A nurse with an MBA would be an ideal candidate for this position since MBA programs are designed to develop these business skills.

4. Director of Performance Improvement

So much of what you learn in an MBA program revolves around understanding people, particularly employees. As a director of performance improvement, your primary goal is to understand your facility’s strategic goals and measure the effectiveness of each clinical unit and role according to specific standards of quality and efficiency. This requires many skills that are taught in MBA programs, including data analysis, problem solving, operations management, communication, and process improvement.

5. Nursing Informatics

Aside from the chief nursing officer, this type of nursing position may be one of the most MBA-intensive the healthcare sector has to offer since it integrates nursing knowledge with information management and communication technologies to promote health. In nursing informatics, you create an information infrastructure using data and communication standards and policies and procedures that support and promote safe, patient-centered care. You also provide vision and leadership to design and implement solutions that address your facility’s inter-professional work-flow needs.

Many healthcare professionals agree that today’s healthcare challenges require business solutions. By combining your clinical background with a level of business acumen that can only be gained through an MBA education, you will position yourself to bring a balanced perspective to resolving the most pressing healthcare issues of the 21st century.

Learn more about the UT Tyler online MBA in Healthcare Management program.

Stanton, Ken and Jerry Garfield. “Team Building Essentials,” Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses.
Parker, Sally. “Hot Jobs, Emerging Careers,”
Role of the Nurse Manager,” Agency for Health Research and Quality
Nursing Informatics,” American Medical Informatics Association

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