MSN in Health Care Management: Degree Overview

A Master of Science in Nursing in health systems management can prepare students to take on management and leadership positions in the health care industry. Specific courses that students will study in this program include human resources management, organizational leadership, and pharmacology.

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Essential Information

All MSN students take core courses in health policy, health care delivery systems and epidemiology. They also complete clinical experiences in hospitals and related healthcare facilities. Some of these programs are available partially or fully online, through evening and weekend courses, or on a part-time basis.

Students need a bachelor's degree or must be a licensed nurse before enrolling in this MSN program. Some programs require Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification from the American Heart Association. Some specializations available for students include community nursing, informatics and education.


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  • Health Care Administration
  • Health Information and Records Admin
  • Health Information Technology
  • Health Management and Clinical Administration
  • Health Unit Coordinator
  • Health Ward Supervisor
  • Medical Administrative Assistant or Secretary
  • Medical Claims Examiner
  • Medical Facilities Management
  • Medical Insurance Billing and Coding
  • Medical Insurance Services
  • Medical Office Computer Technologies
  • Medical Office Management
  • Medical Office Specialist
  • Medical Receptionist
  • Medical Staff Services
  • Medical Transcriptionist

Master of Science in Health Care Management

Within these degree programs, future nurse managers learn to provide high-quality, cost-effective primary care services that address and attempt to solve issues in the health care field. Though these programs focus on leadership qualities related to the health care industry, students also learn fundamental business practices, such as accounting, management techniques, economics and project management.

Essentially, these degree programs provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in health care research, manage the delivery of care and finances, assess work teams and employees, implement standards of quality patient care and facilitate communication across departments, disciplines and health care facilities.

Other courses specific to health care might include:

  • Health services applications
  • Health care issues
  • Pharmacology
  • Community nursing
  • Human resources management
  • Organizational leadership

Popular Career Options

Graduates can become leaders and managers in the nursing field and seek employment in a wide variety of health care settings. These could include:

  • Ambulatory care centers
  • Data management firms
  • Community-based clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Nurse-managed clinics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Medical and health services manager employment from 2014-2024 is expected to increase at a fast rate of 17%, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The mean wage for all medical and health services managers was $106,070 in May 2015, according to the same agency. Those working for skilled nursing facilities received a mean wage of $87,970, and those at hospitals earned a mean wage of $114,180.

Continuing Education Information

Upon graduating from an MSN or dual-degree degree program, graduates could pursue doctoral studies, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, to broaden their career opportunities into advanced practice nursing, nursing education or executive management roles. Nursing leaders could also obtain voluntary certifications in several disciplines, such as the Advanced Nurse Executive credential offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center or case management certification provided by the Commission for Case Manager Certification.

A Master of Science in Nursing in healthcare management is intended for a nurse who is interested in a leadership role in the nursing field in various settings such as hospitals, nurse-managed clinics or data management firms. Graduates have the opportunity to seek voluntary certifications upon graduation.

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