How to Choose a School with a Nursing Administration Program

Nurse administrators must have skills in nursing, financial management and organizational management. There are a number of accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs with a focus on nursing administration available in the U.S.

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Accredited Master of Science in Nursing programs with healthcare administration or healthcare leadership concentrations are widely available; some universities offer the business portion of their curriculum in conjunction with a business school or program or offer dual MSN/MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree programs. While these programs take longer to complete, the courses in them can apply to areas outside of nursing.

Schools with Nursing Administration Programs

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer nursing administration programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $31,068
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Master's, Doctorate In-state $20,638; Out-of-state $41,688
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $48,710
University of Maryland - Baltimore Baltimore, MD 4-year, Public Master's In-state $10,530; Out-of-state $17,424
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public Master's In-state $21,260; Out-of-state $34,944
University of Alabama - Birmingham Birmingham, AL 4-year, Public Master's In-state $7,340; Out-of-state $16,628
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's/Post Master's Graduate Certificate $43,620

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in nursing administration programs have a number of considerations to keep in mind.

  • Students should select schools accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
  • Students may want to find schools highly rated in both nursing and business.
  • Larger metropolitan areas tend to provide more opportunities than rural areas, so students may want to select a school in or near a city.
  • Most accredited programs conclude with a nursing administration practicum in which the student works closely with a nursing executive in the area in which they have an interest, such as in a hospital, corporation or advisory board, and this may influence the program choice for those with particular specialization interests.

Nursing Administration Program Overview

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Nursing Administration Concentration

This program combines advanced nursing study with business and management. It is generally an 18-month, 36-credit-hour program that provides one or more practicum experiences. Because these programs are designed for working professionals, many are offered in hybrid form, meaning that the student engages with a cohort for a certain number of days each semester and completes the rest of the work online.

Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Business Administration (MSN/MBA) Dual Degree

Like the MSN in Nursing Administration, courses include those in business and nursing; the difference is that students can complete more courses in both nursing and business. These programs generally comprise 60-63 units.

A Master's of Science in Nursing with a specialization in nursing administration or a graduate certificate in nursing administration can prepare individuals to pursue careers as nursing administrators. A number of public and private institutions offer programs for those interested in this area of specialization.

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