Bachelor of Health Systems Management: Degree Overview

A bachelor's degree program in health systems management provides students with the skills required to direct, plan, budget and coordinate the delivery of healthcare services.

Essential Information

This degree program may be offered through a college or university's business school, nursing school or school of public affairs. Students learn how the industry functions, how to manage basic outcomes and the importance of ethical issues in the healthcare field. Many programs also include an internship with a healthcare provider or with a company in the healthcare industry. Applicants must have a high school diploma or a GED to enroll in this program.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Health Systems Management

Coursework in a health systems management program is often interdisciplinary, with students taking classes in business topics as they relate to the healthcare industry. Common course topics include:

  • Healthcare economics
  • Law and healthcare
  • Healthcare finance
  • Management in healthcare
  • Statistics
  • Communications

Popular Career Options

Job opportunities are good for medical and health services managers, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting that employment in this occupation will increase by 17% from 2014-2024. Average earnings were $106,070 in May 2015. Program graduates could be prepared for graduate school or entry-level positions in areas of healthcare administration. They might work in many environments, including hospitals, nursing homes, healthcare service companies, pharmaceutical firms and insurance companies. Possible career titles include:

  • Nursing home administrator
  • Assistant administrator
  • Clinical manager
  • Health information manager

Continuing Education, Licensure and Certification

According to the BLS, quite a few students go on to earn master's degrees in health systems management. Some schools offer accelerated or dual degree programs that result in both a bachelor's and a master's degree. These programs allow students to combine course credits and earn their graduate degree in one year of additional study, rather than two.

Graduate who plan to work as a nursing home administrator must secure state licensure, according to the BLS. Requirements vary by state but typically include completing a state-approved training program and passing a test. Some states may also require that health managers and administrators in assisted-living buildings also be licensed.

Voluntary professional certification is also available and provides health managers a way to stand out to potential employers. Several organizations certify health systems management professionals. For example, Healthcare Information and Management Systems offers the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) Certification, based on education, experience and passing a 115-question examination.

Through an interdisciplinary curriculum of business and health care courses, bachelor's degree programs in health systems management prepare students for entry level jobs in medical and health service management, voluntary professional certification and entry into a master's degree program.

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