Nursing vs Healthcare Management

by NurseJournal Staff
• 2 min read

As you consider furthering your healthcare education, you may think about working more on the business side of health care, or on the clinical nursing side. Depending upon what your preference is, you may decide to earn either your MBA in health care management, or a master’s in nursing degree.

Both are good options, but the career path for both is of course quite difference. What are the primary differences between these master’s programs? Let’s consider.

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Healthcare Management

This type of degree is for business leaders in health care who want to better harness the powers of business to improve the health care industry. After all, the health care industry in the 21st century demands leaders who are able to innovate and lead in a time of change and shrinking budgets.

A healthcare-focused MBA differs quite a bit from a regular MBA. A regular MBA focuses mostly upon building strong managerial skills for supervising or for staff roles. A healthcare management MBA does work on these key areas, but it focuses many of its courses on the health care arena specifically.

Many health care management programs focus at least 50% or more on health care management classes, and the rest are traditional business classes. The health care management MBA provides both the intense focus on health care related subjects as well as on the financial, technical and strategic skills of the regular MBA.

There are other types of health care management degrees available, but not with the same type of applied management education that you get in an MBA program.


After you graduate with your healthcare management MBA, you will have both the advanced leadership abilities and a complete understanding of the many financial, organizational, policy and strategic challenges that are affecting our modern health care environment.

Also remember that earning an MBA in healthcare management provides you with serious income potential. Recently, stated that the average salary for professionals with a healthcare MBA is over $95,000.

Earning an MBA in health care management is easier than ever as well – there are many excellent online MBA healthcare management programs available.

The demand for knowledgeable health care business experts is also always on the increase. While earning an MBA in healthcare management may not be as common as earning one in finance, it still is an excellent career path.


For people who want to advance their nursing career in the clinical field, earning a master’s degree in nursing, or MSN, is also a good option. There are several reasons to consider earning an advanced degree in nursing if your goal is more of a clinical nursing career, rather than a business focused career:

  • High degree of specialization – A graduate degree in nursing allows you to really get into an area of interest in clinical nursing. A master’s degree in this field helps you to develop the advanced clinical and leadership skills that help to improve the nursing and health care field as a whole.

  • Higher job demand – The US is chronically short of doctors, and there is a much higher demand for skilled nurses and nurse practitioners with advanced nursing degrees.

  • Teaching – Highly skilled nurse educators are always in great demand. There often are not enough skilled nurse educators to teach the classes that are needed to meet the demand for RNs. With an MSN, you will be able to command a high paying educator position, if that is your career goal.

  • More money – Advanced practice nurses make high salaries; the most common positions are certified registered nurse anesthetist, nurse researcher, psychiatric nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist.

  • Online programs – It has never been easier to earn a degree in nursing. You now can take many classes online, and also complete your clinical work in your local area.

If your career goal is more in the clinical nursing field, getting your advanced nursing degree is also a smart choice. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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