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Why nurses should seriously consider an MBA in healthcare

Now more than ever, healthcare issues are business issues

An MBA in healthcare, is the MBA for nurses. It provides the background nurses need to understand the business implications of healthcare delivery and to lead and confront a wave of sweeping change in healthcare policy.

As they continue to become more active and visible in the healthcare sector, nurses in particular have new challenges and new opportunities to become more effective leaders if they have a thorough understanding of the business aspects of healthcare. At a time when new legislation has completely changed the financial side of healthcare, nurses who earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management empower themselves to bring a balanced perspective to tomorrow’s healthcare solutions and decisive leadership in the midst of uncertainty.

An MBA for nurses? Why?

For many years, nursing roles have expanded far beyond acute care. As nurses advance in their careers and practice in a variety of healthcare settings, they assume leadership roles not just as clinicians, but also in many business-related areas. Many nurses in management and executive roles find themselves in charge of financial operations, staffing and staff development, growth strategy and initiatives and marketing in addition to their clinical role. They frequently find themselves in situations that require them to make business decisions and understand the impact of those decisions on patient care. Earning an MBA in healthcare helps nurses understand the implications of business on healthcare delivery and vice versa.

Nurses with MBAs in healthcare understand both sides of the healthcare coin

It is not uncommon for clinicians to be thrown into leadership roles with no leadership training. They are expected to perform regardless. Healthcare MBA programs provide the background they need to lead and to confront a slew of new healthcare policy changes. Also, no matter where you stand on the healthcare debate, there is no question that the Affordable Care Act has dramatically changed the financial landscape of healthcare. Never before has the system demanded more interdisciplinary solutions to healthcare issues. Nurses with healthcare MBAs are empowered to be integral parts of creating and implementing those solutions safely, effectively and without sacrificing the needs of the patient.

Healthcare MBA programs teach nurses to tolerate ambiguity

As a care provider, you’re trained to gain a clear understanding of the problem and provide specialized care to resolve it. But what about the parts of your role as a nurse that conflict with the business side of things or that present you with a degree of uncertainty? As healthcare and business increasingly intersect, ambiguity becomes de rigeur for healthcare providers in leadership roles. An MBA in healthcare program teaches students how to think strategically to account for ambiguity and to manage uncertainty. These are key characteristics of effective leadership and skills that allow you to provide clear direction even when the way forward is not completely clear.

The most innovative solutions to today’s healthcare issues will require an understanding of both the clinical and the business aspects of healthcare. Nurses who earn an MBA in healthcare are uniquely poised to provide a new style of leadership that combines both types of acumen.

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

Gariboldi, Adrian. “Business training offered to future doctors at Duke med” September 25, 2014.
Chin, William W., MD, et al. “5 Imperatives Addressing Healthcare’s Innovation Challenge.” Harvard Forum on Healthcare Innovation, 2012.

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