Best Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs

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This guide features information and program listings for students interested in earning a combined master of science in nursing and master of business administration (MSN/MBA). The dual degree program targets nurses interested in the business side of healthcare, nurses seeking a career change within healthcare, and nurses looking for career advancement and higher salaries.

MSN/MBA degrees can open doors to leadership positions, such as nurse managers and administrators, healthcare and health information managers, directors of nursing, and chief nursing officers and executives.

The three-year MSN/MBA curriculum includes coursework in accounting for nurse managers, advanced financial management, healthcare informatics, and healthcare leadership. Distance learners take synchronous online classes, for which they log on at scheduled times, or access asynchronous prerecorded lectures at their convenience. Many programs blend both types of instruction. Students complete supervised clinical hours in person and can often find opportunities in their home communities.

Rank School Location
1 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
2 University of Texas at Tyler Tyler, TX
3 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
4 Benedictine University Lisle, IL
5 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
6 Jacksonville University Jacksonville, FL
7 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
8 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
9 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
10 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
Advertisement NurseJournal.org 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.

Featured Online Programs

The Best Online MSN-MBA Programs

  1. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Johns Hopkins offers a flexible MSN-MBA online program. The dual degree can be completed in 3-6 years. The MSN program offers a health systems management track students can design to meet their interests in administration, technology, policy, or public health. The MBA program allows students to select six electives for a further customized education. The program emphasizes decision making and organizational policy.

    The program requires 65 credit hours and 376 clinical hours. Residencies in Baltimore, Maryland, are required, which includes three days during the business communication and leadership courses, and one-and-a-half days during the negotiation course. Students take nursing and business courses concurrently.

    A BSN with a 3.0 GPA and satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores are required for admission. Applicants must have an active RN license and two years of work experience, with recommendations.

  2. University of Texas at Tyler
    Location

    Tyler, TX

    Part of the University of Texas system, UT-Tyler is located in east Texas. Tyler boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 18-to-1, and offers access to resources at campuses in Longview, Paradise, and Houston.

    Students earn their MSN-MBA online in three years when attending full time. The degree requires 63 credit hours and 112.5 clinical hours. Coursework includes translational science, legal and financial management, care delivery, and leadership. Students select three electives and complete a capstone course. There are no residency requirements; students may complete the practicums in their own communities.

    UT-Tyler charges out-of-state tuition for nonresident students. BSN graduates may apply to the program for spring or fall start dates. GMAT scores and a minimum 3.0 GPA are required. Applicants must also submit three professional letters of recommendation, proof of licensure, and an essay.

  3. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    The West Virginia University School of Nursing is located in Morgantown. WVU has an extensive medical system, WVU Medicine, and the campus hosts a hospital and multiple clinical facilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention run a research facility on the campus. These facilities provide valuable learning opportunities for students.

    Students earning their online MSN-MBA dual degree take advantage of on-campus experiential opportunities during four multi-day residencies. The 67-credit program can be completed in 8-11 semesters. Online coursework is offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. An executive project and two practicums are required.

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for a fall start date. Graduates are eligible for the nurse executive, advanced certification or the certification in executive nursing practice exams. The executive focus major meets competency requirements for multiple nursing and business organizations, positioning graduates for employment in executive roles.

  4. Benedictine University
    Location

    Lisle, IL

    Benedictine University is a Catholic University in the Benedictine tradition with campuses in Illinois, Arizona, China, and Vietnam. Offering one of the top MSN-MBA online programs, Benedictine has a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

    Students earn their degree in two-and-a-half to four years, depending on enrollment status. The program requires 78 credit hours, and students must complete MSN requirements before taking MBA coursework. Classes are offered asynchronously, and there are no residency requirements. MSN coursework requires 36 credits in interpersonal relationships and cultural competency, leadership, and safety. Students complete 140 clinical hours in their chosen area of nursing and develop an applied project. The MBA curriculum consists of 42 credits in management, economics, and accounting. Coursework provides an opportunity for case analysis and integration of executive nursing skills.

  5. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian institution of The Wesleyan Church. The main campus is in Marion, and the school has locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

    The MSN-MBA online program is offered in a fully online, accelerated format. The 60-credit program can be completed in 22 months. Students progress through the program in a cohort, taking one course at a time until all courses are completed. A minimum of 210 practicum hours are required; students locate their own practice sites and must maintain a valid nursing license. A project demonstrating the integration of nursing and administration skills is also required.

    Applicants must have a BSN or 10 years of experience as an RN. Additionally, 1,000 hours of nursing practice is required. IWU does not charge an application fee and the program offers three start dates (January, April, and June). To be eligible for graduation, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

  6. Jacksonville University
    Location

    Jacksonville, FL

    Jacksonville University is in northeastern Florida. The online MSN and MBA dual degree is administered by the Nathan M. Bisk Center for Professional Studies, which is a part of the downtown Jacksonville campus.

    Students complete a total of 55 credits, which consists of 37 business credits and 18 nursing credits. Essential courses in accounting, economics, quantitative methods, human resources, and the legal environment are required before enrolling in upper-level coursework. The business program includes courses in strategy, global business, and service operations. The nursing program has a research focus and includes coursework in technology and advanced leadership. A practicum is required.

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Three start dates are available each year. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA in nursing, a GRE score of 290 (or a higher GPA), and a current Florida RN license; out-of-state applicants must be eligible for endorsement.

  7. University of Mary
    Location

    Bismarck, ND

    The University of Mary is a private Catholic Benedictine university with a main campus in Bismarck, North Dakota, and additional locations in Arizona, Montana, Minnesota, Kansas, Rome, and Peru.

    The MSN-MBA online program is offered in an accelerated format and can be completed in seven semesters. Students complete 22 courses for a total of 60 semester credits. Coursework covers topics in developing resilient leadership, critiquing research, and evidence-based nursing and business practices. The required 500 experiential hours give students the opportunity to apply their learning through service projects and leadership experiences. During the capstone, students work as a part of a clinical team to develop a service project that serves the community. Students report their findings to the review board.

    An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a valid RN license are required to apply. The application includes two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a goal statement.

  8. California University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    California, PA

    Cal U is located on a rural campus 35 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Online students have access to dedicated support staff, library resources, and the Global Online learning platform. The alumni network helps online students connect with graduates around the world.

    The online MSN and MBA dual-degree program at Cal U does not require residency and can be completed in two and a half years. Students who have not taken an introductory course in financial accounting and economics will need to complete the prerequisite. Otherwise, the program consists of 54 credit hours, which includes coursework in nonprofit financial management and disease prevention. A 150-hour practicum and a capstone project are required. The practicum can be completed at your place of employment.

    Applicants must have a BSN with a 3.0 GPA and an active RN license. Online students may be eligible for reduced out-of-state tuition.

  9. Grand Canyon University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Founded as a Baptist university, GCU is now a missionary Christian university. The main campus is located in Phoenix, Arizona, with locations throughout the state.

    The 66-credit program does not require a residency or a practicum. During the capstone course, students complete an evidence-based practice project in which they identify a problem, develop a proposal, and write a report. The 16 additional courses cover topics in leadership theory, management, and ethics in nursing. Courses are eight weeks long, and multiple start dates are available.

    Up to 12 credits may be transferred to the MSN MBA online program. Admission requirements include a 2.8 GPA or a GMAT score of 500 or a GRE score of 1,000. Online students pay the same rate of tuition regardless of residency.

  10. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Liberty University is a nonprofit evangelical university founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell. Located in Virginia, Liberty has been providing distance education since 1985.

    The MSN-MBA online degree requires 60 credits and can be completed in two-and-a-half years. The fully online program consists of eight-week courses with multiple start dates each year. Students complete 30 credits in nursing and 30 credits in business. Four courses in nursing administration are required, covering topics in professional roles, leadership, and resource management. A nursing administration capstone project is also required. Business coursework includes organizational design and international business.

    Liberty transfers up to 30 credit hours to the program. Applicants must provide a valid nursing license and a written recommendation from a nurse supervisor. Transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA are also required. Application fees are waived for military service members and spouses and veterans.

Applying to an Online MSN/MBA Dual Degree Program

Most MSN/MBA programs require a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or MSN with a 3.0 minimum grade point average (GPA) and an active, unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license. Some schools admit non-BSN applicants with significant RN experience, an associate degree or diploma in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in other fields with BSN-level prerequisite coursework. Additional submission requirements often include Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores, personal essays, 2-3 letters of recommendation, resumes, and documentation of work experience.

Graduates need a healthcare administrator license if they plan to manage long-term care facilities. States impose different requirements, including a potential National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards examination. Optional credentials are offered by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, the American Nursing Credentialing Center, and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can you do with an MSN/MBA?

    Dual MSN/MBA degree holders have many options. Students focused on nursing and business administration pursue careers as healthcare administrators, executives, and program directors. Healthcare informatics prepares graduates for employment as nurse managers and consultants. Other leadership positions include chief nursing officer, director of care management, and director of compliance.

  • What are the top paying careers for MSN/MBA graduates?

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the top-paying industries for medical and health services managers as pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, paying an average salary of $204,300, and scientific research and development with wages of $169,240. In addition, Payscale reports the top annual salary for MSN/MBA in nursing graduates as $118,000 for operations managers.

  • Is a dual degree program more difficult?

    Pursuing a dual degree can make graduate school more challenging. However, dual degrees tend to take less time to earn. MSN and MBA programs each require a time commitment of two years of full-time study, but students can finish a dual MSN/MBA in three years.

  • What is accreditation and why is it important?

    Accreditation consists of regular curricular review to ensure academic quality and effective career preparation. Prospective MSN/MBA students should explore programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. MSN/MBA programs may also hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.