msn in healthcare administration connecticut

Master’s in Healthcare Administration vs. an MSN Degree: Which is Right for You?

A nursing career is one of the most rewarding career options out there. Nurses have the opportunity to make an incredible impact in people’s lives by providing a high standard of care and compassion to patients. Nursing is also a great profession for those who want to grow in their careers and amplify their influence and reach in the healthcare industry.

Many nurses looking to take the next step in the field choose to follow a leadership path in administration. Fortunately, there are multiple graduate programs that nurses can pursue to help them get to this next level. Some people, however, may be unsure of whether they want to pursue a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or healthcare administration as a whole for their graduate program. Let’s explore both of these options and the similarities and differences between a master’s in healthcare administration versus a master’s in nursing degree.

Master’s in Healthcare Administration:

A master’s in healthcare administration is a great degree option for those who want to pursue a career specifically in administration, and who want to get involved in the greater healthcare system. The world of healthcare is constantly evolving, with new policies and laws being introduced and modified constantly. A healthcare administrator typically focuses on the higher level operations and strategies of an entire healthcare organization or department. They need to have the right skills and professional competencies to be able to manage and make decisions about the healthcare environments that they oversee.

Therefore, a master’s in healthcare administration program prepares students in the areas of healthcare policy, management and leadership techniques. The curriculum is designed to equip and empower graduates to be able to create and implement strategies and rollout operations that will positively impact a healthcare organization and patient care outcomes. Master’s healthcare administration programs are offered across the country in both online, hybrid, and in-person formats.

A master’s in healthcare administration can lead to several different careers in a variety of healthcare settings. Some of the specific jobs that somebody with a healthcare administration degree can hold are nursing director or manager, clinic manager, hospital administrator, and department supervisor. For nurses wishing to pursue a more business-related role rather than a clinical role in healthcare, a master’s in healthcare administration could be the right fit.

Master of Science in Nursing:

While a master’s in healthcare administration is business and administration focused, a master’s of science in nursing can prepare graduates for a leadership role on both the clinical and administration side of nursing. Similar to a master’s in healthcare administration, MSN programs are designed to prepare graduates to become great leaders in the high-demanding and ever-changing world of healthcare. Many MSN program curriculums, like the one at Goodwin College, place a heavy focus on healthcare policy and politics as well as communication skills to successfully lead in the field. Goodwin College’s MSN degree is also focused on population health, equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to handle patient care across many diverse populations, demographics, and environments.

MSN programs are also offered in multiple formats to support the many juggling priorities of a nurses. These formats can include online, in person, and hybrid courses. Therefore, students have the freedom to choose a degree path that works with their schedules and learning styles.

One of the top career outcomes of an MSN, including the MSN program at Goodwin College, is a nurse administrator. Nurse administrators are executive-level professionals that manage and oversee nursing departments and patient care. They ensure that every patient receives high-quality care, but also handle very administrative tasks such as department budgeting, regulatory compliance and ethics, and record maintenance. Nurse administrators, most of all, are leaders in the nursing field – motivating other nurses and whole departments to deliver excellent patient care and compassion at every stretch. Nurse administrators listen to their staff, facilitate change within nursing departments, and serve as a voice for the many hard-working RNs out there.

Other related leadership careers that an MSN graduate can pursue are that of a nurse manager, clinical nurse leader, a nurse educator, and a nurse practitioner. Learn more about all you can do with an MSN degree by clicking here.

Regardless of whether you decide to pursue a master’s in healthcare administration or an MSN degree, both degrees could be instrumental for nurses pursuing advanced opportunities in the field. While both are great stepping stones for nurses looking to make an impact in the healthcare industry, an MSN degree along the nursing administration path is a great option for someone looking to make an impact in the lives of both patients and RNs. If you are interested in learning more about Goodwin College’s MSN program, please contact our advisors today at 800.889.3282, or visit us online to request more information.