healthcare administration degree connecticut

Healthcare Management vs. Healthcare Administration: What’s the Difference?

The healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace. With the increasing number of workers, patients, treatments, and technologies, today’s healthcare system demands great leadership – Leadership that is capable of managing staff, resources, and policies within an organization.

That is where healthcare administrators and managers come in.

If you desire to become a leader in healthcare, and wish to work on the “business” side, of the industry, you may be considering a career in healthcare administration or management. You may also be wondering if there is a distinction between the two disciplines. Are healthcare management and healthcare administration one in the same, or are they two separate career paths?

This is a common question we hear from prospective students. And the answer will vary greatly school to school. Healthcare administration and healthcare management are often used interchangeably in higher education. However, some schools will make a clear distinction between the administration and management sectors – for example, if they have a bachelor’s degree in one area, and a master’s degree offering in the other.

When considering healthcare administration and healthcare management in the workplace, they are usually seen as two separate professions:

  • Healthcare management typically involves the business-end of running a hospital or facility. This includes establishing policies, ensuring compliance, planning budgets, as well as allocating and managing resources. Essentially, health managers are responsible for ensuring healthcare operations are running efficiently, safely, and legally.
  • Healthcare administration usually involves a more hands-on management role, such as managing staff, assigning tasks, overseeing training, and supervising departments more closely. Considering this, healthcare administrators are generally responsible for staff management, and all that goes along with it.

Of course, these are not hard-and-fast definitions. Healthcare administrators can be (and often are) responsible for operational tasks such as budget and policy planning—and vice versa. Healthcare managers, such as Nurse Managers, may take on a staff management role in their facility or floor.

The alterability of these two terms also stands when qualifying for jobs. Whether you are applying to manage a healthcare team, or hoping to run the behind-the-scenes operations, an employer is not necessarily going to look for a “Healthcare Administration degree” or a “Healthcare Management degree.” The naming convention will not matter as much as:

  • The degree level (is it a bachelor’s or master’s?), and
  • The coursework (are the courses relevant to the role?)

When considering your career goals, try not to weigh healthcare administration vs. healthcare management. Instead, ask yourself what type of leader you are. Are you more interested in running business operations, in an executive office environment? Or do you prefer to manage the staffing of an organization, including supervising teams and departments? This answer will help you decide the best career (and educational) path for you.

Healthcare Administration and Management at Goodwin University

At Goodwin University, there are two different pathways you can take towards a management career in healthcare – an undergraduate and a graduate program.

The undergraduate program is our Bachelor’s in Health Science, with a concentration in Healthcare Administration. In this program, you will take health administration related courses such as:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Applied Accounting
  • Public Health Personnel and Administration
  • Business Planning and Development
  • Organization and Administration of Long-Term Care

Upon completing the bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration, you will understand the policies, business challenges, strategies, and roles specific to the health care delivery system. You will leave a manager—prepared to successfully enter the healthcare field.

The graduate program available at Goodwin University is a Master’s in Nursing (MSN). Note: this is available to licensed Registered Nurses who have a bachelor’s degree, and who are interested in advancing towards a more executive role. To prepare the next generation of nursing and healthcare leaders, our MSN coursework focuses on areas such as:

  • Policy, Politics, and Organization of Healthcare
  • Leadership Practices in Organizational Communications
  • Healthcare Quality: Communication and Informatics

Upon completion of this program, nurses leave as nurse leaders. They are able to pursue a variety of healthcare administration and management careers, including:

  • Nurse or Healthcare Administrator
  • Nurse or Healthcare Manager
  • Clinical Nurse Leaders

You can learn more about the different career outcomes of our Master’s in Nursing Leadership here.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers (an umbrella term for these various leadership positions) earn close to six figures per year – $99,730 annually, to be exact. The jobs in this field are also growing at a rapid rate of 18 percent, with over 70,000 jobs being added between the years 2018 and 2028. Now is the time to advance your career. Now is the time to become a leader in healthcare.

To learn more about the healthcare degree programs at Goodwin University, or to get started on your path towards becoming a leader in healthcare, please do not hesitate to call 800-889-3282. You may also visit us online to request more information.