What Can a Nurse Do with an MBA?


A nurse MBA is shown with the left half of her in a business setting and the right half in a hospital setting.

At first glance, an MBA may seem antithetical for those in nursing careers. But, in fact, learning the business side of health care can greatly expand the horizons of nurses who aim to continue their careers in administrative or leadership positions.

Nurses who earn their MBAs and join the management side of health care bring with them an invaluable perspective. Truly, their experience can give them an edge over other job candidates. They’ve been on the front lines. They understand what patients need and how to serve them and their families.

If this describes you, then earning an MBA and taking on an administrative role might be your chance to create change in health care systems and help patients thrive.

It’s also a way to stretch yourself professionally and increase your income.

Reasons to Get a Health Care MBA

  1. On average, nursing administrators earn a median annual wage of more than $104,000—almost $30,000 more than the median salary for a registered nurse. And the job outlook is bright, with open positions expected to increase by nearly 33% in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  2. If you’re an RN with leadership ambitions, an MBA enhances what you already know about patient care. An MBA program exposes you to management expertise, business training and financial skills. The advanced degree would complement the clinical knowledge you already have. Plus, it’ll open up a world of career advancement.
  3. Medicine is big business. Executive candidates require a foundation that a formal educational background provides. A master’s in business administration allows you to dig into and understand the complexities of health care industry priorities such as operations, budgeting, accounting and human resources.

Potential Careers for a Nurse MBA Student

The types of jobs available to nurses with MBAs cover a variety of roles and environments.

  • Leadership roles at health care institutions: overseeing health services, clinical standards and patient care.
  • Human resources: recruiting, supervising and training staff members.
  • Hospital finance: managing budgets, billing and accounting.
  • Health information management: ensuring patient safety, legal compliance and cost-effectiveness; maintaining critical records and data.
  • Nursing administration/director of nursing: heading departments, serving as a lead nurse and taking on other supervisory tasks.
  • Management of a physician’s office or group practice: scheduling, overseeing staff and coordinating doctor and patient needs.
  • Legal nurse consultant for an insurance company.
  • Administration of long-term care facilities or nursing homes.
  • Public health advocacy in nonprofits or government organizations.

Most universities offer MBA programs for working adults, meaning you can earn your degree while keeping your current job. There are full-time, part-time, online and in-person options available. Most candidates earn their MBA in one to three years.

Specialize in Health Care Administration at Elmhurst University

Earn your MBA with a specialization in Health Care Administration at Elmhurst University in the Chicago suburbs. You will combine six core business courses with four health-care-focused classes.

Our flexible program follows the cohort model and includes online and hybrid options. Fill in the form below to learn more today!

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