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The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Daniel Bal, MS.EdNurseJournal Rankings Team
Updated August 16, 2023
Reviewed by
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Explore how an MSN/MBA dual degree program can help nurses pursue various employment opportunities and leadership roles in the healthcare field.
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Team of nurses examining a patient in the emergency room. Image Credit: Monkey Business Images / ShutterstockCredit: Monkey Business Images | Shuttershock

Programs that offer a master of science in nursing (MSN) alongside a master of business administration (MBA) can offer nurses a variety of new employment opportunities and a higher earning potential.

Whether you are looking for a new avenue to explore in healthcare or want to qualify for leadership roles and increased responsibilities, MSN/MBA dual degree programs offer registered nurses (RNs) the opportunity to advance their professional careers.

Explore the process of earning an MSN/MBA and review some of the best program options.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best ADN-to-MSN (RN to NP) bridge programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Learn About the Best MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs & Schools

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.
#1 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Johns Hopkins University

  • Location-markerBaltimore, MD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$55,350
  • Out-of-state$55,350
  • Retention Rate97%
  • Acceptance Rate11%
  • Students Enrolled27,079
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment46%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Purdue University-Main Campus

  • Location-markerWest Lafayette, IN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$9,208
  • Out-of-state$28,010
  • Retention Rate91%
  • Acceptance Rate60%
  • Students Enrolled45,500
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment22%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Messiah University

  • Location-markerMechanicsburg, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$35,280
  • Out-of-state$35,280
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate76%
  • Students Enrolled3,374
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment15%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Liberty University

  • Location-markerLynchburg, VA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$15,417
  • Out-of-state$15,417
  • Retention Rate81%
  • Acceptance Rate51%
  • Students Enrolled85,586
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment92%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

West Virginia University

  • Location-markerMorgantown, WV
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$8,976
  • Out-of-state$25,320
  • Retention Rate79%
  • Acceptance Rate84%
  • Students Enrolled26,839
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment34%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Location-markerGreensboro, NC
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,422
  • Out-of-state$19,581
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate82%
  • Students Enrolled20,196
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment51%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Union University

  • Location-markerJackson, TN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$21,600
  • Out-of-state$21,600
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate53%
  • Students Enrolled3,172
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

The University of Texas at Tyler

  • Location-markerTyler, TX
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,540
  • Out-of-state$20,760
  • Retention Rate71%
  • Acceptance Rate83%
  • Students Enrolled9,617
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment62%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Lewis University

  • Location-markerRomeoville, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$33,270
  • Out-of-state$33,270
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate64%
  • Students Enrolled6,359
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment43%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 The Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

Drexel University

  • Location-markerPhiladelphia, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$52,146
  • Out-of-state$52,146
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate75%
  • Students Enrolled24,205
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment38%
  • AccreditationYes

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in an MSN/MBA DUal Degree Program

To choose the right MSN/MBA dual degree program, you should consider several factors. Exploring each program’s admission requirements, accreditation, curriculum, specialization, and program length can help you determine the one that best fits your academic and professional goals.

Admission Requirements

Specific admission requirements can vary from one institution to the next; therefore, it is important to review each school’s acceptance guidelines to determine if you meet their standards. Doing so will allow you to avoid wasting time applying to a program for which you do not qualify.


MSN programs require students to select a specialization, even for those enrolled in a dual degree program. If you know the specialization you want to pursue, make sure it is available at the schools that interest you. If you are unsure of one that interests you, identify programs that allow you to explore the available options.

Program Curriculum

Reviewing a program’s curriculum allows you to determine if it offers courses that will help you meet your goals. While core courses may be similar from one school to the next, some may offer electives or other opportunities that interest you.

Clinical Experience

All MSN/MBA programs require their students to complete a clinical rotation; however, the specifics of the experience may differ. To make sure you can meet the requirements, be sure to identify the length of the school’s clinical requirement, when it needs to be completed, and whether or not you need to find your own placement.


Ensuring a program is appropriately accredited ensures it will provide you with a high-quality education. Graduating from an accredited program benefits both you and your future employer, offering opportunities for higher earning potential and better employment opportunities.

Program Length

MSN/MBA dual programs typically take three years for full-time students to complete. If you can only enroll as a part-time student, explore the options the school offers to make sure the program can work for your schedule.

School Graduation Rate

Most post-secondary schools base their graduation rates on their undergraduate programs, identifying the percentage of students who graduated on time based on a four-year program. Although rates may not be directly connected to graduate programs, it still indicates the quality of the school.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Exploring the format of a school’s online programs allows you to choose one that makes sense for your learning style and schedule. Schools may offer synchronous courses (real-time), asynchronous courses (on your own time), or a combination of the two. Programs may also include on-campus requirements for their online students.

Why Is MSN/MBA Dual Degree Program Accreditation Important?

Attending an institution with an accredited program provides various benefits for both nurses and their future employers:

  • Accreditation showcases the high-quality standards the program offers.
  • Organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing only give accreditation to programs that provide students with the highest quality preparation.
  • Employers prefer to hire graduates with a degree from an accredited program and typically offer higher salaries.
  • Students enrolled in an unaccredited program may not be eligible for federal financial aid, certification opportunities, or licensing exams.
  • Accredited programs may not accept transfer credits from unaccredited ones.
  • Doctoral programs typically only accept applicants who hold degrees from accredited institutions.

How Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs Work

In comparison to in-person programs, online MSN/MBA programs are offered either entirely online or require minimal campus visits. Online programs often provide various benefits for students with personal or professional obligations, allowing them to select a program that fits their schedule. These programs are usually less expensive than their in-person counterparts.

Online programs offer courses that are synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination of both. Synchronous courses occur in real-time, with students and instructors meeting virtually at a set time; students can complete asynchronous courses on their own time through the use of podcasts, videos, web quests, and other online tools.

Online students still need to complete their clinical rotation in person. Some programs require students to arrange their own placement while others help you if needed.

Applying to an MSN/MBA Dual Degree

Before applying to an MSN/MBA dual degree program, review the admission requirements and application materials to ensure you have the background needed for acceptance. Many institutions seek applicants who meet the following general requirements:

  • chevron-right

    Admission Materials

    Applicants must hold an unrestricted and unencumbered RN license, an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) from an accredited program, and at least one year of clinical experience.
  • chevron-right

    GPA Requirement

    General admission materials include transcripts from your BSN program, 2-3 letters of recommendation, an admissions essay, and a resume.
  • chevron-right

    Other Requirement

    3.0 GPA or higher

Paying for an MSN/MBA Dual Degree

Tuition can vary depending on the program’s length, school’s reputation, in-state vs. out-of-state enrollment, online vs. in-person format, and part-time vs. full-time status. The cost of a program can often deter you from applying to certain schools. Luckily, there are financial aid opportunities available that can help reduce the graduate school costs.

Students who need financial support to pay for their nursing degree can apply for scholarships, grants, and loans to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Scholarships and grants provide funds based on merit, need, or academic performance, while loans are borrowed money that must be paid back upon completion of the program.

What Can You Do With an MSN/MBA Dual Degree?

Nurses with an MSN and MBA can pursue a variety of administrative roles in the healthcare field, including executive nursing roles.

With a dual degree, nurses can work in leadership roles in healthcare administration. The program prepares nurses for work in human resources, healthcare informatics, public health advocacy, and hospital finance, among others.

Nursing Director

Nursing directors are responsible for leading an entire nursing department. Duties include oversight of a department or multiple units, implementing new policies and procedures, developing a budget plan for the nursing unit, and ensuring the department is compliant with all local and national regulations.

Average Salary
Source: Payscale, October 2022

Medical or Health Services Manager

Services managers can manage a department, clinical area, or entire facility. Their responsibilities include improving the efficiency of healthcare services; developing goals and objectives; ensuring the facility is meeting all laws and regulations; preparing and monitoring budgets; and recruiting, training, and supervising staff.

Median Salary
Source: BLS

Chief Nursing Officer

Chief nursing officers are the highest-ranking executive leadership positions available to nurses. Their work focuses on developing, organizing, and supervising a facility’s nursing services, which includes coordinating daily operations and implementing changes to patient care.

Average Salary
Source: Payscale, October 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About MSN/MBA Dual Degrees

What is the difference between MSN and MBA?

A master’s of science in nursing degree allows current nurses to advance their nursing knowledge while focusing on a chosen specialty. Nurses with MSN degrees can become licensed nurse practitioners by passing an exam. Master’s in business administration programs focus on key business principles in marketing, finance, and accounting. MBA graduates can pursue management positions in healthcare, technology, human resources, and finance.

What can nurses with an MBA do?

Nurses with MBAs can pursue a variety of careers in the healthcare industry that extend beyond clinical work. Options include managerial roles, public health advocacy work, healthcare administration, or information management.

Is an MSN/MBA dual degree worth it?

Nurses interested in advancing their careers in healthcare administration may consider an MSN and MBA dual degree. Graduates with clinical experience and business expertise makes them a desired addition to the healthcare setting. The dual degree also provides career advancement, allowing nurses to pursue leadership roles that have high earning potential.

How long is an MSN/MBA?

It takes full-time students approximately three years to complete an MSN/MBA program. Many programs also offer part-time enrollment, which can increase the program’s length by at least one year.

Page Last Reviewed: November 2, 2022. Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.

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