Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) dual degree programs are designed for licensed nurses wishing to advance to administrative and/or leadership positions in healthcare. The dual degree programs typically allow students to complete each program faster and finish typically 18 to 24 months. Some of these dual degree programs are also available online. Find out more about this degree program and its requirements.
Information on MSN/MHA Dual Degree Programs
Depending on the MSN/MHA program, some nursing portions may require a practicum and/or capstone course, while some healthcare administration portions of the program may require an internship. Other courses may vary as well, but here we discuss some of the more common courses found in these dual degree programs.
Typically required in the nursing portion of the dual degree program, courses in advanced pathophysiology may also include topics in advanced physiology. These courses explore the issues and themes of pathophysiology and how disease affects the condition, evaluation and treatment/management of patients. Students further develop their clinical reasoning skills and become familiar with pathophysiologic processes across the lifetime.
Advanced Health Assessment
Another common course in the nursing section of the dual degree program is advanced health assessment, which trains students in the holistic assessment of patients across the lifespan. These courses typically include advanced topics in anatomy, physiology and health assessment skills. They also help further develop students' communication skills in written and oral form.
Most healthcare administration sections of the dual degree programs include a course that provides students with an overview of the concepts and skills needed in financial management. These courses focus specifically on the role of financial management in the field of healthcare, as well as ethical considerations. Specific topics may include capital structure, time value of money, risk assessment, cost analysis and rate setting.
Some courses in legal perspectives may also include a discussion in clinical ethics, but usually these courses focus on the legal issues in healthcare. Students examine health laws and regulations from various viewpoints, as well as how healthcare managers prevent and/or respond to legal action. Some of these courses may explore the legal, ethical and even religious perspectives on healthcare topics such as life support, informed consent and care of premature infants or the elderly.
Healthcare administration sections of the dual degree programs usually include a course that explores how the planning and control of organizations impact quality patient care. Students may discuss topics in project management, inventory management, community resources, quality assurance and performance systems. These courses often examine ways to develop and implement improvements to patient management and care.
Common Entrance Requirements
Applicants to MSN/MHA dual degree programs generally need to hold at least a diploma or associate's degree in nursing, along with a bachelor's degree. In addition, students must hold a valid, current RN license. Many of these programs also have a minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0 and may require students to have work experience in a healthcare setting. It is also fairly common for applicants to submit to a background check and/or drug screen testing. Most applications require students to submit their official transcripts, letters of recommendation and/or a statement of purpose.
Dual MSN/MHA degree programs usually include both nursing and healthcare administration courses to prepare students for leadership positions in healthcare. Most of these programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 to apply and may include internship or practicum experiences.