4 Best Online MSN/MHA Dual Degree Programs – 2023
Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Are you a registered nurse interested in earning a master’s degree in nursing? Have you wondered what it would be like to have a job as a leader or administrator in healthcare? Maybe the idea of both career paths interests you, but you do not know which degree to choose. The good news is, you do not have to choose one or the other!
MSN/MHA dual degree programs offer a unique opportunity to earn two master’s degrees, one in nursing and the other in healthcare administration. Perhaps you thought of earning both degrees but do not feel as though returning to campus is something for you. In that case, an online option could be perfect for you.
Maybe you thought of pursuing your degrees online but wondered, "What are the best online MSN/MHA dual degree programs?” In this article, I will answer that question by sharing the 4 best online MSN/MHA dual degree programs for 2023 and giving you information about each one. When you finish this article, you will have enough information to decide if this degree path is one you wish to pursue.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF AN ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM?
The goal of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs is to prepare students with master’s degrees in nursing and healthcare administration who are capable of leading teams of nurses and other healthcare professionals in the care of patients. These programs aim to provide instruction about nursing theories and offer practical training experiences that complement that instruction to prepare students for upper-level jobs in nursing and healthcare administration.
5 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN AN ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM
Online MSN/MHA dual degree programs offer excellent learning opportunities through which you will develop several skills and abilities. From lectures to assignments and clinical experiences, you will develop and hone skills designed to make you a strong nurse and effective healthcare administrator. The following list includes five of the most important skills and abilities you will gain when you pursue your degrees through one of these specialized dual degree programs.
1. You will learn to apply statistics in nursing and healthcare administration:
Healthcare administrators use statistics to measure the success or failure of the company's performance. Nurses use statistics to interpret findings and communicate those findings to patients and interdisciplinary team members. In online MSN/MHA programs, you will learn the art of using statistics as it applies to both specialties. When you use statistics effectively, it can result in positive patient and organizational outcomes.
2. You will learn to use conflict resolution techniques:
Conflict resolution is the process of creating a culture that addresses conflicts by taking action. You will learn ways to maintain a non-judgmental attitude and use mediation techniques to address and resolve conflicts in the workplace.
3. You will master change adaptability:
Nursing and healthcare are ever-evolving, and to be effective, you must learn, grow, and change, as well. One of the most important skills you will learn in MSN/MHA online dual degree programs is the ability to adapt to change. Change adaptability helps you face uncertain changes and lead your team by example.
4. You will learn to mentor others:
When you earn master’s degrees in nursing and healthcare administration, your staff will look to you for guidance. You will learn to use motivational strategies to lead your team and cultivate an atmosphere of continual growth and development, which leads to positive outcomes for patients, nurses, healthcare providers, and organizations.
5. You will learn to use critical thinking in decision-making:
As a dual degree holder in nursing and healthcare administration, you will face important challenges that require you to utilize critical thinking and decision-making skills. In online MSN/MHA dual degree programs, you learn the theory of critical thinking and decision-making from faculty and put that theory into practice in clinical practicum experiences. The more experience you gain, the better you will be able to use these skills, but the programs will give you a solid foundation to build upon.
5 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
In addition to the skills you will gain, online MSN/MHA dual degree programs also offer a lot of practical advantages for your education and career. During and after your education, you will begin to see the true benefit of a dual degree MSN/MHA program. Here are five advantages of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs (keep these in mind when the going gets tough!)
1. You have the option of pursuing one career path or combining both degrees for a specific job:
One of the great things about MSN/MHA online dual degree programs is you earn two distinct degrees that can stand independent from one another. What that means for you is that you can combine the credentials from your dual degrees to pursue jobs that require both degrees, or you can work in a job that requires either a Master of Science in Nursing or a Master of Healthcare Administration degree.
2. You will have a competitive edge over other job applicants:
Healthcare employers understand the complexities involved in the ever-changing world of healthcare and want the most qualified individuals to lead their organizations. Earning dual MSN/MHA degrees means you will have the knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to become an effective leader in healthcare, which gives you an edge over other job applicants.
3. You will develop skills that are relevant outside the clinical setting:
Although your dream, for now, may be is to work in a clinical setting, one of the excellent benefits of pursuing your degrees through online MSN/MHA degree programs is that many of the administration skills you develop can be used in administrative positions outside of nursing and healthcare. You can utilize the knowledge and skills you obtain in these programs to pursue management or leadership roles in various settings. Additionally, if you love healthcare but do not want a clinical role, you could leverage your degrees to earn a position in academia.
4. You can use your knowledge, skills, and credentials to become an effective advocate for patients, nurses, and other healthcare providers:
With dual master’s degrees in nursing and healthcare administration, you will be positioned to act as an advocate for patients and healthcare professionals. You can use the knowledge and skills you gain to promote changes in healthcare organizations impacting the way healthcare services are provided and influencing decisions that affect healthcare professionals, promoting positive patient, organizational and professional outcomes.
5. You can earn two master’s degrees concurrently for a fraction of the cost of earning them separately:
If the financial obligation of going back to college concerns you but you want to earn your master’s in nursing and healthcare administration, MSN/MHA online dual degree programs are an excellent option. In fact, the cost of these dual degree programs is one of the greatest advantages of pursuing your degrees using this path. Depending on how many credits you need and whether you pay in-state or out-of-state tuition, you could earn your dual degrees for as little as $33,000.
3 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Now that you know some of the advantages of MSN/MHA dual degree online programs, it is a good idea to consider possible disadvantages as well. Knowing the pros and cons and weighing them out will help you decide if this is the academic and career path best for you. The following list includes three main disadvantages of earning your degree through these types of programs.
1. You could become overwhelmed by the information:
In online MSN/MHA programs, you will earn two graduate degrees, which means rigorous coursework and clinical experiences. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, especially if you have been out of school for a while. Pace yourself and plan a schedule for studying and completing assignments that works well for you. Also, if you think the course load may be too much, you could consider pursuing the degrees part-time instead of full-time.
2. You may find it difficult to transition to some administration jobs:
The MHA component of MSN/MHA online dual degree programs prepares you for administrative and leadership roles in healthcare. Although there are a multitude of jobs for individuals with an MHA credential, you may find yourself limited to roles only in healthcare. Should you decide you want to venture out and leave nursing or healthcare administration, you may feel at a disadvantage compared to individuals who earn a Master of Business Administration instead.
3. You must deal with people from all walks of life:
Nurses understand that no two patients are the same. You learn to work with patients from different socioeconomic backgrounds and those with diverse cultural or spiritual beliefs. We learn early on in nursing school to set aside personal prejudices and care for the patient as an individual with rights and responsibilities. That truth does not change when you earn your MSN.
Additionally, when you add an MHA to the mix of your education and credentials, you must continue to work with individuals from various backgrounds. Your patients, their families, the nurses, and other healthcare professionals will rely upon you to approach your job with an unbiased attitude and be always professional...even if you disagree with them. Online MSN/MHA dual degree programs can instruct you on how to communicate and deal with others, but it is up to you to follow through and lead by example.
WHO ACCREDITS MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS?
The top online MSN/MHA dual degree programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), or the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
WHEN DO MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS START?
MSN/MHA dual degree online programs have varying start dates, as determined by each school. Some schools offer one start date, typically in the spring or fall semester. Other schools may offer three or more start dates. As you search for the program you want to attend, it is important to verify application deadlines and program start dates to ensure you can begin at a time that is good for you.
At Liberty University
, classes for the online MSN/MHA dual degree program begin in the spring semester
• Valparaiso University
students may choose to begin classes in the fall or spring semester
of each academic year.
• Clarkson College’s
online MSN/MHA dual degree program accepts applications on a rolling basis and begins classes in the spring, summer, and fall semesters yearly
At Saint Joseph’s College
, you will begin classes in the fall
HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS?
Online MSN/MHA dual degree programs include master's level nursing and healthcare administration classes and practical training experiences. Although actual credits may vary, most programs feature an average of 60 credits in their curriculum. The credits in online MSN/MHA dual degree programs are less than you may need if you pursued the degrees separately because core courses often count toward both degrees, giving the added benefit of less time in school. Examples of credit requirements are as follows.
At Liberty University
, you will complete 60 credit hours
to earn the dual MSN/MHA degree. The MSN component is 30 credits, and the MHA component is 30 credits.
• Clarkson College’s
online MSN/MHA dual degree program consists of 54 credit hours
Students at Valparaiso University
earn a total of 57 credits
in the MSN/MHA dual degree online program. 27 credits are earned through the MSN pathway and 30 in the MHA pathway.
The Saint Joseph’s College
online MSN/MHA dual degree program has a credit requirement of 60 hours
HOW LONG ARE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS?
MSN/MHA dual degree online programs typically take two to three years to complete. However, the length of the program will be directly related to whether you choose to study part-time or full-time and the number of transferable credits you bring.
Students at Liberty University
can earn a dual MSN/MHA degree in two and a half years
, on average.
At Clarkson College
, you can complete the program in ten semesters or three and a half years
. This schedule is based on a full-time plan and includes three summer semesters.
• Valparaiso University’s
online MSN/MHA dual degree program can be completed in 18 to 24 months
The Saint Joseph’s College
online MSN/MHA dual degree program can be completed in as few as two years
full-time. Part-time students take four to five years to graduate.
HOW MUCH DO MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS COST?
One of the great things about online MSN/MHA dual degree programs is that, compared to other graduate degrees, they can be relatively affordable. With per-credit tuition rates as low as $565 and total program costs ranging from $33,000 to around $41,000, you can earn two master’s degrees and begin an excellent career! The following list reflects the cost of tuition for the four best programs in the nation featured in this article.
At Liberty University
, tuition rates
are based on whether you enroll part-time or full-time. Part-time students pay $615 per credit hour, and full-time students pay $565. The program is a 60-credit pathway, which means part-time students pay approximately $36,900, and full-time students pay $33,900.
Tuition at Clarkson College
is $697 per credit hour, making their program cost an average of $37,638
• Valparaiso University
charges $715 per credit hour for both MSN and MHA courses. The dual degree program features a 57-credit curriculum. Therefore, tuition costs approximately $40,755
Tuition for the online MSN/MHA dual degree program at Saint Joseph's College
costs $637 per credit hour. The program is a 60-credit pathway, which makes tuition cost $38,220
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
One important factor admission teams consider when reviewing applications is academic history, including your college grade point average. The four best MSN/MHA dual degree online programs featured in this article all require candidates to have a minimum college GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
It is important to understand, however, that admission to some MSN/MHA online dual degree programs can be quite competitive. Therefore, it is always good to strive for a GPA that exceeds the minimum required. Having a good grade point average shows your determination to work hard and reflects your likelihood of success in these programs, which makes you a good candidate for admission.
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
Online MSN/MHA dual degree programs require applicants to meet specific requirements to be considered for admission. Each program may have different guidelines or criteria candidates must meet. It is important to review the admission requirements for each program carefully so you can ensure you apply on time and submit all supplemental documents. The following are the admissions guidelines for the nation’s four top programs.
To be considered for admission
to Liberty University's
online MSN/MHA dual degree program, you must meet the following criteria. You must have a bachelor's degree from a nationally or regionally accredited nursing program and a GPA of at least 3.0 for all undergraduate coursework. In addition to submitting an application, you must provide official transcripts from all colleges you have attended, a copy of your current and unrestricted RN license, and a letter of recommendation. Applicants whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency.
At Clarkson College
must have an RN license without encumbrances and a BSN grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The college determines which supplemental materials you need based on your initial application and GPA. Some information you may need to provide includes official college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an admissions essay.
Admission criteria for Valparaiso University
include the following. Applicants must be graduates of an accredited college or university with a minimum undergraduate and/or graduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You must complete a graduate application
and provide official transcripts for all post-secondary schools. Additionally, all applicants must submit two letters of recommendation
from employers or professors and a Statement of Purpose.
At Saint Joseph’s College
, you need
a BSN degree earned at an accredited nursing school and an active RN license with no restrictions. Candidates need to complete a college-level statistics course with a minimum grade of “B.” Additionally, you must submit a Statement of Intent and a professional resume or curriculum vitae and provide three letters of recommendation.
WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
MSN/MHA dual degree online programs offer rich curriculum plans focused on advanced nursing and healthcare administration. The classes you take may vary depending on which classes you took in your previous degree program. As you compare programs, you may find that class names differ from one school to another. However, if you read the course descriptions, you will see that the content for the curriculum is quite similar. Below are some examples of classes included in the programs at our featured schools.
At Liberty University
, you will take
MSN classes, including Managing Population Health, Nursing Issues Informatics & Technology, and Financial & Resource Management for Nurse Leaders. MHA classes for the dual degree curriculum include Healthcare Administration, Strategic Management & Marketing for Health Professionals, and Operations Management for Health Organizations.
• Clarkson College’s
dual MSN/MHA curriculum
consists of classes such as Healthcare Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Healthcare Data Analytics, Management of Health Information, Fundamentals of Informatics, System & Database Design, and Healthcare Information Systems.
Students at Valparaiso University take classes
like Foundations in Nursing Education, Evaluation in Nursing Education, Leadership in Clinical Nursing Education, Quality Healthcare Management, Managing People & Human Resources, Health in the Community, and Legal Issues in Healthcare.
The online MSN/MHA dual degree program at Saint Joseph’s College
including Organizational & Systems Leadership, Population Health & Interprofessional Collaboration, Quality Management & Performance Improvement, Health Services Administration, Healthcare Marketing, Nursing Research Methods, and Advanced Pathophysiology.
WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS?
All online MSN/MHA dual degree programs have a practical training component. Some programs require students to complete nursing clinicals and a healthcare administration practicum. Others combine the clinical practicum with healthcare administration hours. Each school determines its practical training requirements based on state and federal guidelines. The following are examples of the practical training at our four featured programs.
At Liberty University
, you will have rich practical training experiences
to prepare you for post-graduation work. You will complete at least 500 hours of direct clinical practicum to satisfy the MSN component of the dual degree. At Liberty, you are responsible for locating clinical sites and finding an MSN or doctoral-prepared preceptor. All sites and preceptors must be approved by the university’s clinical coordinator prior to beginning any practicum course. You will also participate in practical training experiences where you will work with healthcare leaders, learning the role of healthcare administration.
When you pursue the dual degree MSN/MHA program at Clarkson College
, you will complete a 135-hour nursing healthcare leadership practicum
and approximately 500 hours of nursing clinicals. You will be responsible for identifying clinical sites and preceptors and requesting approval prior to enrolling in any clinical course.
• Valparaiso University
students complete both MSN clinicals and a Health Administration Internship to achieve practical training requirements
. You will provide 70 clinical clock hours of hands-on patient care under the direction of a clinical preceptor to earn MSN clinical hours. Additionally, you will complete your MHA internship with a master's or doctoral-prepared healthcare administrator. Clinicals are arranged as close to your home community as possible.
At Saint Joseph’s College
, you will complete a 135-hour nursing administration practicum
, which involves applying the theories, concepts, and research needed in nursing management and administration. You will have opportunities to lead changes and improve outcomes while building and leading collaborative teams. The practicum experience will help you gain the skills and confidence you need to become an effective nursing and healthcare leader. All clinical practicum hours are completed under the supervision of a master’s prepared nurse preceptor approved by the program.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?
(Based on our ranking methodology
, the following are the 4 Best Online MSN/MHA Dual Degree Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)
VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY
3 MAJOR CHALLENGES STUDENTS FACE IN ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS AND HOW TO OVERCOME
There are many benefits of getting your degrees through MSN/MHA dual degree online programs. However, there are also some challenges to overcome. If you know what to expect, you can be better prepared and improve your chance of success. The following are three major challenges you may face.
CHALLENGE #1: It can be challenging to juggle school and personal responsibilities.
About the Challenge:
Online MSN/MHA dual degree programs require a significant time commitment. The heavy course load, clinicals, and practical training experiences required by the program may leave you wondering if there is time for much else. Depending on whether you work, have a family, and other obligations, it can be challenging to juggle all the things you need to accomplish
How to Overcome:
Many students start school with a "let me see how this goes" attitude. Unfortunately, that approach almost always fails in online MSN/MHA dual degree programs. The best course of action is to be prepared. Consider your work schedule, family needs, and other responsibilities and the time you must devote to each.
Factor in the time you need to dedicate to school. Although there is no set amount of time, most online MSN/MHA college professors and academic advisors recommend spending at least three hours per week for each credit hour you are enrolled dedicated solely to school. For example, if you are enrolled in ten credit hours, you should prepare to spend 30 hours each week studying, preparing for exams, and completing assignments. If you have a lot of responsibilities, attending school part-time may prove to be the better choice to help you succeed.
CHALLENGE #2: The coursework covers two graduate degrees and can be rigorous.
About the Challenge:
Online MSN/MHA dual degree programs feature in-depth curriculum plans. As a student in one of these programs, you will study master’s level nursing and healthcare administration courses designed to prepare you for upper-level jobs in nursing and healthcare administration. The amount of content and depth to which you must learn can be challenging.
How to Overcome:
One of the best ways to overcome the challenge of rigorous coursework is to pace yourself. Keep track of assignments and deadlines in a planner. Be deliberate about scheduling time for studying. Finally, do not wait to ask for help. If you feel overwhelmed or unsure about content, assignments, or your responsibilities as a student, reach out to your instructor(s) for guidance.
CHALLENGE #3: You must develop a business mindset.
About the Challenge:
As nurses, we are trained to look at things from a clinical perspective so we can assess patients and determine appropriate nursing interventions. Although you will continue to use your clinical judgment when it comes to patient care, in MSN/MHA online dual degree programs, you must also learn the business side of healthcare. Transitioning your way of thinking to include a business approach can be challenging, especially if you have little or no experience in business management or administration. Your interest in how business and healthcare intersect will be what drives you to succeed.
How to Overcome:
If you are considering a degree in healthcare administration, chances are you have already done some research on the topic. To prepare for the challenge of developing a business mindset, consider reading books on leadership, especially in healthcare. A few great books are Human-Centered Leadership in Healthcare: Evolution of a Revolution
and The Emerging Healthcare Leader
WHERE DO GRADUATES OF ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS MOSTLY WORK?
Graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs have a wide range of options when it comes to finding a good job. When you complete your program and earn the dual degrees, you may choose to work for a private healthcare organization, a government-owned hospital or long-term care facility, in academia, or open your own business. The following are a few examples of some of the top places program graduates work.
One of the most common places graduates of MSN/MHA online dual degree programs work is hospitals. In this setting, you may work as a hospital administrator or work as a supervisor in a specialty area of the facility. Your role may involve hiring, training, or supervising clinical staff, promoting quality assurance initiatives, and participating in public relations events.
2. Physicians' Offices:
Doctors and nurse practitioners need knowledgeable people to manage their offices. When you graduate with MSN/MHA dual degrees, you will have the knowledge and skills to manage clinical nursing staff and run the business side of busy clinics. In one of these settings, you may interview and hire new staff, order or authorize the purchase of clinic supplies, create schedules, and collaborate with providers to establish operating practices.
3. Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities:
Another top place of employment for MSN/MHA degree holders is nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. In this role, you may act as the facility supervisor or director of nursing. Your job will include responsibilities such as supervising staff, handling administrative affairs, including planning and managing budgets, acting as a liaison between clients, families, and practitioners, and hiring new employees.
5 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
MSN/MHA dual degree online programs offer graduates a number of job opportunities. Whether you want to work in a hospital, nursing home, a large healthcare organization, college or university, or in a government setting, the possibilities are endless. The following are five top jobs common among program graduates.
1. Hospital Administrator:
Hospital administrator is one of the top jobs for graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs. You may work in a community hospital or for a large university-run hospital. Either way, the role of a hospital administrator is vital to the success of organizations and positive patient outcomes.
2. Director of Nursing:
With dual MSN and MHA degrees, you will be qualified to become a director of nursing. As a director of nursing, you will work as a liaison between doctors, healthcare administrators, and nursing staff. You will oversee recruiting and training of new nurses, develop departmental goals, create nursing schedules, and evaluate nurse performance.
3. Chief Nursing Officer:
The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) is the highest position you can get in a nursing department. The CNO is a leader who manages finances, creates and implements treatment plans, creates and assigns schedules, and integrates new or emerging medical technologies.
4. Nursing Home Administrator:
As a nursing home administrator, you will oversee all aspects of the operation of the nursing home. You will lead teams of leaders, including the Director of Nursing, CNA supervisor, nutrition specialists, therapists, and other personnel. Your job will involve interviewing job prospects, planning, implementing, and managing budgets, and advocating for clients.
5. Government Healthcare Consultant:
With master's degrees in nursing and healthcare administration, you can work as a consultant in a government healthcare role. You will use your knowledge and training to provide guidance to government officials and legislators and offer valuable insight to help promote new or updated healthcare policies or to support new or existing healthcare initiatives.
WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?
New graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs can expect to start making an hourly wage of $42.03, which is equal to $1,681 weekly, $7,290 monthly, or $87,420 annually.
WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS EXPECT?
After gaining some experience, graduates of MSN/MHA dual degree online programs can expect to make an average hourly rate of $62.43, a weekly wage of $2,497, a monthly income of $10,820, and an annual salary of $129,844.
10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE ONLINE PROGRAMS
Graduates of MSN/MHA dual degree online programs can expect good job potential for the next ten years. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects graduates of these specialized programs will see an increase in jobs by nearly 46% between 2021 and 2031. The ten-year outlook suggests this is an excellent time to pursue this dual degree program.
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
IS THE COST OF AN ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAM WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?
If you are considering pursuing your education through MSN/MHA dual degree online programs, it is natural to wonder if it is a smart decision financially. The easy way to determine if a program is worth it is to figure out your potential return on investment. What that means is, you can compare the cost of earning your degrees to your earning potential.
The best online MSN/MHA dual degree programs featured in this article cost between $33,000 and $42,000. The average income for new graduates of the programs is more than $87,000. If you attend one of the more expensive programs and begin work with the new graduate income, you could easily double your investment in one to two years.
What’s even more impressive is that with experience, you could earn an average annual salary of nearly $130,000. When you consider your potential salary plus the fact that most online MSN/MHA graduates work in places that offer great benefits packages, the return on investment is certainly worth the cost of earning the dual degrees.
BONUS! 5 EXPERT TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING ACCEPTED INTO THE BEST ONLINE MSN/MHA DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Once you decide that pursuing MSN/MHA dual degree online programs is the path you wish to follow, the next step is to find schools, start applying, and get accepted. Because these programs feature two master's degrees, competition for admission can be fierce.
Although schools have admission criteria candidates must meet, simply meeting the minimum admission standards may not be enough. The following are a few tips to follow to help your application stand out and improve your chances of getting accepted into a top online MSN/MHA dual degree program.
1. Focus on achieving a good college GPA.
While your grade point average is not the only factor admissions teams consider, it does say a lot about you. If your college GPA is low or on the line of meeting the minimum required, it could lead admissions teams to question whether you will succeed in a dual degree program like the MSN/MHA. Although most schools have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, if you have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, it can significantly increase your chances of getting admitted.
2. Get relevant work experience.
Schools that offer online MSN/MHA dual degree programs usually require applicants to have at least one year of clinical nursing experience before applying. Also, positions where you function as a leader or manager look great on your application. If you do not have leadership work experience, consider applying for jobs as a nurse manager or team leader. You can also volunteer to head projects or become part of a multidisciplinary team working on a project or initiative. Having work experience that reflects clinical nursing knowledge and work or volunteer experience that demonstrates your willingness to take on more responsibilities is an excellent way to get the attention of admissions teams and improve your chances of getting into a good program.
3. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the program and degrees in your written statement.
One of the requirements during the admissions process will likely be to prepare a written statement, either in the form of an admissions essay or a statement of intent. This statement is your opportunity to show your genuine desire to earn dual MSN/MHA degrees and to show you clearly understand what is expected of you in the program and after graduation.
Craft your statement carefully by including important details such as your work and volunteer experience, and discuss how earning your degrees through the program can help you achieve your professional goals. Also include reasons why you feel the school is the best place for you to earn the degrees. Proofread your essay for grammar and punctuation errors, and consider having someone else read it for you, as well. This step is especially important as well-written, error-free statements reflect professionalism.
4. Apply to more than one program.
Because admission is competitive, you can increase your chances of getting into a program by applying to more than one school. There is no magic number for how many applications you should submit, but if you find at least three or four schools and apply to them, your chances of admission are much greater. When applying, be sure to verify the criteria for each school and follow their application guidelines carefully. Finally, applying early is also important. Many dual MSN/MHA degree online programs have limited capacity. So, if you apply early, you have a better chance of your application being viewed and moving forward in the process instead of being wait-listed.
5. Prepare to “wow” faculty in your admissions interview.
Typically, the last step in the admissions process is the interview with the program faculty. After the admissions team has evaluated your application packet, supplemental documents, and letters of recommendation, then it is your turn to meet them face-to-face and "seal the deal." Make a list of questions relevant to both MSN
programs and practice answering them with a friend or family member.
Remember, faculty interview many candidates for each admission cycle. They may ask each candidate the same questions, which means to be memorable, your answers need to be different. Be prepared to explain why you have chosen to pursue your education through a dual MSN/MHA program, what your professional goals are, and how you believe the school can help you achieve those goals.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
If you are considering a career in nursing and healthcare administration, choosing a dual degree program is a great option. Asking, “What are the best online MSN/MHA dual degree programs?” is natural. The 4 best online MSN/MHA dual degree programs for 2023 are offered at Liberty University, Clarkson College, Valparaiso University, and Saint Joseph’s College. If you truly desire a career in nursing and healthcare administration, I encourage you to reach out to these schools and look at your options. A bright future with long-term job stability and excellent income potential could be one application away!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT
1. What Is The Best Online MSN/MHA Dual Degree Program In The Nation?
Liberty University is the best online MSN/MHA dual degree program in the country. They consistently meet and exceed all education standards, producing competent and confident nurse professionals.
|Liberty University - Lynchburg, VA|
2. Is It Easy To Get Admission Into Online MSN/MHA Dual Degree Programs?
Admission to online MSN/MHA dual degree programs can be competitive. It is important to verify admission criteria and ensure you follow instructions and guidelines when applying.
3. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into MSN/MHA Dual Degree Online Programs?
The minimum GPA requirement for most online MSN/MHA dual degree programs is 3.0. However, there are some programs that may accept students with a slightly lower GPA if other criteria are met or if you show promise of success in the program.
4. Can I Get Into MSN/MHA Dual Degree Online Programs With A Low GPA?
Most online MSN/MHA dual degree programs want students to have at least a 3.0 GPA.
5. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For MSN/MHA Dual Degree Online Programs?
The typical cost per credit hour for MSN/MHA online dual degree programs is about $680 per hour. However, there may be some variance from school to school.
6. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?
Many students find it possible to work part-time while completing an online MSN/MHA dual degree program.
7. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?
In some cases, students may be able to work full-time while completing an online MSN/MHA dual degree program. However, because the coursework and practical training can be rigorous, working full-time can be difficult. If you feel you must work full-time, counsel with your academic advisor and employer about scheduling. You may find enrolling in school part-time makes full-time work more feasible.
8. What Are The Hardest Classes In Online MSN/MHA Dual Degree Programs?
Some of the hardest classes in online MSN/MHA dual degree programs are Nursing Issues in Informatics and Technology, Financial and Resource Management for Nurse Leaders, and Healthcare Data Analytics
9. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?
New graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs earn approximately $87,420 annually.
10. On Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?
On average, graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs make $62.43 per hour.
11. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?
Graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs earn an average of $10,820 each month.
12. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of MSN/MHA Dual Degree Online Programs Make Per Year?
The average annual income for graduates of online MSN/MHA dual degree programs is $129,844.
Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).