Are you a school administrator? Yes No x to close
Find Your School
Find VA-Approved Colleges For Military and Veterans

Healthcare Masters in Business Administration for Nurses, Military, and Veterans

A student going into nursing might assume they’ll only ever work as a nurse practitioner, registered nurse, or in a job serving patients in a hospital, doctor's office, or other care facility.

Did you know there are also options to work in high-level administrative positions by earning a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) in addition to a nursing degree and with it, earn a much higher salary?

Nurses with an MBA have an advantage in that they have valuable experience working directly in patient care while working in business supporting patient care.

If you’re a nursing student this is a great opportunity to use your medical expertise in business and administrative roles and find a lucrative opportunity and a long-lasting career.

Reasons for Getting an MBA as a Nurse

Nursing is a tough profession. High workloads, long hours, and the emotional toll of caring for sick and dying patients are significant contributors to burnout. To increase your employment opportunities, particularly in administrative roles, you’ll often need an advanced business degree.

Pursuing an MBA as a nurse offers you greater career advancement and enhances your business acumen. With an MBA, you can move into leadership roles in healthcare and attain influence and higher salaries. Additionally, an MBA equips you to drive healthcare innovation and improve on an already existing healthcare system and the businesses that support it.

If you are more entrepreneurial, you may start and manage a healthcare business, such as a clinic. Networking opportunities and mentorship from MBA programs will also further support career growth and personal development.

U.S. healthcare systems are complex, and some positions within them require both clinical expertise and business acumen. A traditional nursing degree focuses on patient care and clinical skills. In contrast, an MBA provides knowledge in leadership, finance, and strategic planning. As healthcare systems aim for greater efficiency and better patient care, the unique skills an MBA nurse possesses are increasingly important.

Where Do Nursing MBA Students Work?

You may work in a healthcare setting or hold a position at a consulting firm, providing advice on healthcare delivery and operational efficiency. Outside of traditional healthcare, you can find work in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries as a product manager, sales director or in regulatory affairs. You may also work in academia, contributing to healthcare management education and research.

You can also work in health insurance to help design policies, manage provider networks, or oversee claims processing. Healthcare tech is another option—in this role you may contribute to the development and implementation of electronic health records (EHR) systems, telehealth services, or health information exchanges.

Public health organizations and government agencies often seek nursing MBAs for roles in health policy development, program management, and regulatory oversight. In these roles, you can influence public health strategies and initiatives.

Jobs for Nurses with an MBA

  • Healthcare Administrator: MBA nurses can manage hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes. They may oversee budgets, staffing, policy development, and compliance with regulations.
  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO): CNOs are responsible for the overall management of nursing staff. They may develop and implement policies and procedures, oversee day-to-day operations in a healthcare facility, and work closely with other administrators to better align nursing practices with the organization's goals.
  • Clinical Manager: Clinical managers supervise specific departments within a facility—they coordinate staff, manage budgets, and deliver high-quality patient care.
  • Healthcare Consultant: Consulting nurses advise healthcare organizations on improving efficiency, budgets, and patient care. They may conduct assessments, develop strategies, and implement solutions to address an organization's challenges.
  • Clinical Informatics Manager: This role manages the use of technology and data to improve healthcare delivery through electronic health records (EHR) systems.

MBA Nursing Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing administrators can earn an average of over $104,000. This is $30,000 more than the average salary for a registered nurse. Positions for MBA nursing students positions will increase by nearly 33 percent by 2032.

According to the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, “The average annual MBA salary after five years averaged approximately $142k for women and $152 for men, while the average MBA salary after ten years ranged from $179k to $242k for women and men, respectively.” Individual salaries will vary based on the specific role, the nurse’s level of experience, and the city or state of employment.

Full-Time MBA

Full-time MBAs are one- or two-year programs. Students attend class full-time and typically do not hold a job during this time.

Professional MBA

A professional (or part-time) MBA allows students to work while attending school. Students are either “lockstep,” in which they enroll in set classes with other students or “self-paced,” in which they complete their studies on a more flexible schedule.

Executive MBA

An executive MBA (EMBA) is also a part-time degree program, but is geared toward students who have between 10 to 15 years of experience in the working world. They are designed to help students focus on building a business career to the executive level.