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2 Best Online RN to MSN/MBA Programs – 2023


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a registered nurse with an associate degree considering climbing the career ladder? Do you have a knack for business and like the idea of learning more? You may want to remain in the healthcare field but want to understand more than clinical nursing by learning the business side of the profession. If so, an RN to MSN/MBA program could be the perfect fit for you!

Maybe you have been researching your academic and professional options and wondering, “What are the best online RN to MSN/MBA programs?” In this article, I’ll answer that question by sharing the 2 best online RN to MSN/MBA programs for 2023. You will learn about the top two programs in the nation, what you need to be accepted, and information about income and job potential. When you finish reading, you will have the information you need to determine if this is a good academic and career path for you.


RECOMMENDED ONLINE RN to MSN PROGRAMS

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE GOAL OF AN ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAM?


Online RN to MSN/MBA programs aim to prepare you for advanced practice nursing and business leadership roles. These programs combine your previous nursing degree and healthcare experience with graduate-level nursing theory, nursing clinicals, and business classes, allowing you to earn a dual degree as a Master of Science in Nursing with a Master of Business Administration degree.



IS AN ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAM HARD TO COMPLETE?


Online RN to MSN/MBA programs can be challenging. These programs combine upper-level nursing and graduate business courses, including in-depth theory of nursing and business content. Because the courseload is heavy, you must dedicate significant time to your studies.

However, if you truly desire to earn the dual degree, you can succeed. Carefully consider how much time you can dedicate to classes and independent study to decide whether part-time or full-time enrollment is the best option. Keep your eye on the prize, so to speak, and remember anything worth having is worth working to achieve.



5 MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ABILITIES YOU WILL GAIN IN AN ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAM


You will gain numerous skills and abilities from RN to MSN/MBA online programs. Here is a list of five important competencies you'll have a firm grasp of once you complete the coursework.

1. How to Analyze Important Data:

In an online RN to MSN/MBA program, you will learn how to analyze and interpret data related to current healthcare and business trends and offer insight into predicting future trends to enhance the overall efficiency of a medical setting's operations. The ability to analyze and interpret data is also beneficial in planning, managing, and creating a balance between the clinical and business side of patient care.

2. Online RN to MSN/MBA programs prepare you with the ability to demonstrate strong leadership.

With a master's degree in nursing, you will have the knowledge and clinical skills needed to lead nursing teams capable of providing high-quality patient care. You can couple that experience with the knowledge of business management the dual MSN/MBA program offers to be a strong leader in healthcare management. Your strong leadership skills make it possible for you to practice strategic planning and implement practices for employee development which fuel motivation, which are a few important characteristics of an effective leader.

3. The ability to integrate business and healthcare knowledge:

In an RN to MSN/MBA online program, you will develop the ability to combine what you learn about business with the knowledge and skills you develop and hone related to nursing. As you cultivate this skill, you can positively impact patient and organizational outcomes.

4. You Will Learn Effective Communication:

Effective communication can make or break you in healthcare and business. Effective communication involves much more than having a conversation with someone. You will learn to articulate your thoughts effectively in online RN to MSN/MBA programs. Your effective communication will help promote collaboration from everyone involved in decision-making, make patients and peers feel valued, and promote positive outcomes for your clients and the organization where you work.

5. Confident Decision-Making:

One of the top skills you’ll acquire in RN to MSN/MBA online programs is the ability to confidently make decisions. Not only will you analyze and interpret data, as mentioned above, but you will also use your knowledge, skills, and nursing and business experiences to make good decisions with confidence. The decisions you make can result in securing the finances you need to improve the clinical care environment, which benefits clients, staff, and your organization/facility.



4 MAIN ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS


Deciding to earn a graduate degree is a major academic and professional milestone. When you decide to earn a dual degree, like the ones in online RN to MSN/MBA programs, it is important to consider the pros and cons. Here, let us look at the four major advantages of earning a dual MSN/MBA through an online RN to MSN/MBA program.

1. Your Marketability Doubles!

One of the great things about online RN to MSN/MBA programs is that you earn two graduate degrees simultaneously, increasing your marketability significantly. Healthcare employers prefer master's-prepared nurses for management positions. When you add an advanced business degree to the mix, it increases your chances of finding a good job in healthcare administration.

2. Online RN to MSN/MBA Programs Lead to Excellent Income-Earning Potential.

The average annual salary for a registered nurse with an associate degree is $74,120. RNs with a Master of Science in Nursing earn an average of $114,430. However, when you pursue a dual degree like an MSN/MBA, the average annual income jumps to $138,895. The more experience you gain, the higher your earning potential, which means earning a dual MSN/MBA can be advantageous financially.

3. You can earn two master’s degrees in much less time.

Another excellent advantage of online RN to MSN/MBA programs is that you can earn two graduate degrees in the time it may typically take to earn only one degree. For example, a typical RN to MSN can take two to four years to complete. Earning a Master of Business Administration degree can take the same amount of time, which means if you earn the degrees at different times, you could spend six to eight years in school. By choosing an online RN to MSN/MBA dual degree program, you could earn both degrees in two to three years.

4. You can choose the type of job you want.

The fantastic thing about online RN to MSN/MBA programs is you graduate with two distinct degrees. You may choose to work in a business-related position in healthcare administration, utilizing both degrees at once. However, having two degrees gives you the flexibility to work in either role. For example, you can work in a business role absent nursing responsibilities, or vice versa. The flexibility and options that come with earning a dual MSN/MBA degree is a true advantage.



2 MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS


As you plan which path to follow to earn your degree, be fair to yourself and consider not only the advantages but the disadvantages, as well. Here are two main disadvantages of RN to MSN/MBA online programs to consider.

1. Learning content for two distinct degrees concurrently can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Both master's nursing programs and master's business programs have a rigorous curriculum. When you combine the two in a dual degree program, it can feel overwhelming. While it is possible to pursue online RN to MSN/MBA programs and succeed, you must remain dedicated to your studies, keeping up with assignments and other obligations.

2. Admission to dual degree programs, like RN to MSN/MBA online programs, is very competitive.

Getting into a graduate program is usually more challenging than getting admitted to undergraduate programs, and the competition for dual degree programs is no exception. In fact, because working professionals prefer online learning, admission to RN to MSN/MBA programs online may be even more competitive. Remember, if this is something you genuinely want, do not settle until you find the right program and get admitted. Apply to more than one school, meet all the requirements, and follow up until you get the "Yes," you want!



WHO ACCREDITS RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS?


Finding the best online RN to MSN/MBA programs is easier when you know what to look for and what questions to ask. The most crucial factor to consider as you choose a program is accreditation. In your quest to find the perfect program, look for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission Collegiate Nursing Education.

S.NO.Accrediting Agency
1Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
2Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)




WHEN DO RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS START?


Start dates for college programs vary from one school to another. The number of available faculty and demand for the program often determine how many start dates each school offers. While some colleges and universities may offer only one start date each year, others offer three or more. For example, the following are the start dates for our article's featured RN to MSN/MBA online programs.

Thomas University admits students to its online RN to MSN/MBA program for start dates in the fall and spring semesters.

Spring Arbor University offers start dates for its RN to MSN/MBA program four times each year in the spring, summer, and fall semesters and an interim start date in the winter.



HOW MANY CREDITS ARE THERE IN RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS?


The curriculum for online RN to MSN/MBA programs usually consists of 50 to 75 credits. However, the credits you need to graduate with the dual degree could vary. Most schools perform a GAP analysis to determine which of your previously earned college credits can be transferred and how many additional credits you need to earn the RN to MSN/MBA degree. The following are examples of the credits needed to graduate from the programs featured in this article.

The online RN to MSN/MBA program at Thomas University requires students to complete 54 credits. The curriculum includes 30 MSN-level credits and 24 credits from the MBA component.

At Spring Arbor University, RN to MSN/MBA online program students complete 63 credits. The curriculum includes six credit hours earned through two bridge courses.



HOW LONG ARE RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS?


You can complete the RN to MSN/MBA online program at Thomas University in three years of full-time study. Part-time students typically complete the program in four years.

The online RN to MSN/MBA program at Spring Arbor University can be completed in three to four years, depending on whether you choose part-time or full-time study.



HOW MUCH DO RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS COST?


RN to MSN/MBA online programs typically cost between $30,000 and $70,000. However, your total cost may vary, depending on how many transferable credits you have and how long it takes you to complete the program. Because some schools charge tuition annually or by semester, the longer you take to complete the program, the more it costs. You must also factor in the cost of books, supplies, uniforms for clinicals, and travel to and from clinical sites.

The following are examples of the cost of the programs offered at Thomas University and Spring Arbor University. Keep in mind these costs are estimates based on the total required credits and reflect the cost of tuition only.

At Thomas University, students pay tuition based on a per-credit rate. The RN to MSN courses cost $570 per credit. MBA classes are $725 per credit. With 30 MSN-level credits and 24 MBA credits, tuition for the program is approximately $34,500.

Spring Arbor University’s tuition rate is calculated at $752 per credit hour. Therefore, tuition for the 63-credit program averages $47,376.



WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL AID, SCHOLARSHIPS, AND TUITION WAIVERS ARE OFFERED BY ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS?


One of the most significant concerns would-be students express when deciding whether to go back to college is how to fund their education. Because federal grants are usually only awarded to undergraduate students, you must find other resources if you need assistance to pay for your education. You can consider work-study programs, employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement programs, and private loans. Additionally, most colleges and universities offer scholarships and grant opportunities. The following are examples of some financial aid opportunities for the best RN to MSN/MBA online programs featured in this article.

At Thomas University, there are several options for financial assistance to help pay for your degree. The university offers several scholarships, including the Whitehurst, Ministry Group Leader, and Magnolia Alumni scholarships. Military service men and women, their spouses, veterans, and Department of Defense civilians also receive special tuition discounts. Additionally, Thomas University has several corporate partnerships with government, public, and private organizations that offer education training program benefits to their employees.

Spring Arbor University offers a variety of scholarships and grant opportunities. The school offers departmentally funded scholarships, transfer student scholarships, and honors scholarships. A few examples of financial aid at the university include the Free Methodist Ministerial/Missionary Scholarship, the E.P. Hart Honors Program Scholarship, and the Multicultural Leadership Scholarship. The Free Methodist Church Matching Grant, Endowed and Annual Funded Scholarships, and Student Statesmanship Institute Cobb Scholarship are other options for financial assistance.



WHAT IS THE MINIMUM GPA REQUIRED TO GET INTO ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS?


One of the criteria for admission to online RN to MSN/MBA programs is to meet a minimum grade point average. Some schools require applicants to have a minimum cumulative GPA for all completed college coursework. Others require an average based on the most recent degree program or a certain number of recent credits earned. For example, the following are the minimum GPAs required to get into the online RN to MSN/MBA programs featured in this article.

The minimum grade point average needed for admission to the online RN to MSN/MBA program at Thomas University is 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Students applying to the program at Spring Arbor University must have a 3.0 grade point average on the 60 most recent academic credits earned to be considered for admission.



WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS?


Admission requirements for online RN to MSN/MBA programs are determined by the school based on several factors, including state and federal guidelines, and may vary from school to school. The following are the admission criteria for the two best online RN to MSN/MBA programs featured in this article.

Candidates seeking admission to the Thomas University online RN to MSN/MBA program must have an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing earned from an accredited nursing school and have a current, unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse. Applicants must submit an application for admission, official transcripts from all post-secondary schools, and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all previous coursework. Additionally, you must provide a current resume or curriculum vitae, a Statement of Purpose, and three letters of recommendation.

To be considered for admission to the Spring Arbor University RN to MSN/MBA online program, you must have an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited nursing program and an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in the U.S. You must submit transcripts from any college or university where you earned credit and have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent 60 academic credits earned.

Additionally, your application packet must include two letters of recommendation (professional and/or academic) and a two-page Goal Statement explaining why you want to pursue a dual MSN/MBA degree. Although it is not required, six months of working as a registered nurse is preferred.



WHAT KIND OF COURSES WILL YOU TAKE IN ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS?


RN to MSN/MBA online programs combine in-depth graduate-level nursing and business management concepts to create a rich curriculum. These programs include advanced clinical, professional development, and analytical course content to help you grasp an understanding and develop skills necessary to practice in the dual role of Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration. The following are a few examples of the classes you will take at our two featured schools.

At Thomas University, RN to MSN/MBA students complete nursing classes, including Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics, Pathophysiology & Health Assessment, Global Perspectives on Population-Based Health, and Advanced Theoretical Foundations. Business classes for this program include Financial Management, Organizational Behavior, and Current Issues in Strategic Management.

The Spring Arbor University RN to MSN/MBA online program curriculum includes Advanced Pathophysiology, Statistics for Behavioral Sciences, and Organizational & Systems Management classes. The business component of the program features classes such as Statistics for Business Managers, Accounting for Managers, and International Business Concepts.



WHAT KIND OF PRACTICAL TRAINING WILL YOU UNDERGO IN ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS?


All nursing programs have a clinical or practical training component. Master's in Business Administration programs often have internships or field training experiences, as well. Therefore, assuming you will participate in clinical practicum and field training in online RN to MSN/MBA programs is only natural. The following are examples of the field training and clinical experiences required at our featured schools.

Students enrolled in the Thomas University RN to MSN/MBA program complete 600 clinical practicum hours to satisfy the MSN component of the dual degree program. Additionally, you will participate in a business internship. The internship offers real-world opportunities for you to work with business leaders at one of Thomas University's numerous partner agencies.

At Spring Arbor University, the online RN to MSN/MBA program includes an MSN residency, through which all students complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours. You will complete a Living Case Study: Final Thesis as part of practical training for the MBA degree. For the case study, you will identify a business-related problem that needs to be solved, propose and implement a solution, measure the outcomes, and then defend your study in a final written report.




WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS IN THE NATION?


(The following are the 2 Best Online RN to MSN/MBA Programs in the nation for the year 2023.)


1. Thomas University - Thomasville, GA


2. Spring Arbor University - Spring Arbor, MI



VIEW OUR RANKING METHODOLOGY




WHERE DO GRADUATES OF ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS MOSTLY WORK?


Online RN to MSN/MBA programs prepare students for executive roles in healthcare. As such, there are several settings where you could work after earning this dual degree. Here are a few examples of places you may work with an online RN to MSN/MBA degree.

1. Hospitals:

One of the most common settings where you’ll find graduates of online RN to MSN/MBA programs working in hospitals. In this setting, you may create organizational systems for hospital departments, establish the roles and responsibilities of staff, and manage regulatory and financial issues related to the organization's business.

2. Insurance Companies:

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to hire nurses, and having a dual degree in nursing and business makes you a great candidate. Graduates of RN to MSN/MBA online programs working for insurance companies review patient claims and work to find cost-effective ways to provide care. If you work for an insurance company after you earn your dual MSN/MBA degree, you may advise insurance companies about their policies and patient claims and assist with designing benefits packages to ensure clients receive adequate coverage while protecting the company's profit.

3. Academia:

Graduates of online RN to MSN/MBA programs often teach in college and university programs. Your knowledge of both nursing and business makes you a perfect candidate to become a college instructor. After completing one of these programs, one of the great things about working in academia is that you can choose to teach nursing, business, or both.



3 BEST JOBS FOR GRADUATES OF ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAMS


Graduates of RN to MSN/MBA online programs can choose from various in-demand jobs. The three best jobs for graduates of these programs and examples of what the roles involve include the following.

1. Medical & Health Services Manager:

In this role, graduates of RN to MSN/MBA online programs ensure the facility is up-to-date and remains in compliance with state and federal laws, manage organizational finances such as accounts payable and receivable, monitor and prepare budgets to ensure budgetary limits are followed, and establish goals and objectives for departments within the facility/organization.

2. Nursing Home Administrator:

The nursing home or long-term care facility administrator oversees the daily operations of nursing homes. In this job, you will manage administrative and clinical staff, ensuring the staff-to-client ratio meets appropriate guidelines, meet with clients and their families, prepare facility budgets and monitor spending, and hire new employees.

3. Case Management Director:

As a case management director, you will develop and implement plans to improve patient care quality and improve patient and organizational outcomes. The case management director coordinates departmental organization and oversees RN case managers as they collaborate with patients, families, primary care providers, and other healthcare providers to develop patient care plans. Additionally, in this role, you will work with upper-level management to develop budgets associated with the functioning of the case management department to ensure proper spending.



WHAT STARTING SALARY CAN NEW GRADUATES OF THIS PROGRAM EXPECT?


The starting salary for new graduates of RN to MSN/MBA online programs is $93,510 annually. This pay equals $44.96 per hour, $1,798 weekly, or $7,790 monthly.

Hourly$44.96
Weekly$1,798
Monthly$7,790
Annual$93,510
(Source: Glassdoor.com)



WHAT AVERAGE SALARY CAN GRADUATES OF RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS EXPECT?


Graduates of online RN to MSN/MBA programs earn an average of $138,895 annually. This is equivalent to $66.78 per hour, $2,671 monthly, or $11,570 monthly.

Hourly$66.78
Weekly$2,671
Monthly$11,570
Annual$138,895
(Source: Glassdoor.com)



10-YEAR JOB OUTLOOK FOR GRADUATES OF RN TO MSN/MBA ONLINE PROGRAMS


The job outlook for RN to MSN/MBA online programs graduates is quite favorable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts graduates of these programs will see an increase in jobs of 45.67% between 2021 and 2031.

2021-31
+45.68%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)



IS THE COST OF AN ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAM WORTH THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)?


As you choose which academic or career path to choose, it is important to consider the cost of earning a degree versus your earning potential, known as the Return on Investment. Many online RN to MSN/MBA programs cost $30,000 to $70,000. The average annual income for program graduates is $138,895, indicating the return on investment is well worth it.



BONUS! 5 KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONLINE RN TO MSN/MBA PROGRAM


Once you decide which path you wish to follow to earn a degree, you need to consider some important factors to find the right program. Below are five key factors to consider when choosing the right RN to MSN/MBA online programs.

1. How long will it take you to complete the program?

If you are a registered nurse considering online RN to MSN/MBA programs, chances are you have already spent at least two years in college. Earning a dual MSN/MBA degree can take two to four more years of school. Working nurses or prospective students with personal and professional obligations must consider how long a program takes to complete and what measures can help create a healthy school/work/life balance.

2. Is the program accredited?

When you research college programs and begin to narrow your search, be sure to verify accreditation. Accreditation ensures the education you pay for meets quality standards. Although you may find unaccredited programs that seem appealing because of cost or shorter study times, keep in mind that employers prefer to hire candidates who are graduates of accredited degree programs.

3. How many credits can you transfer from your previous degree program?

When you apply to online RN to MSN/MBA programs, you must submit transcripts from all post-secondary schools you have attended. Ensure you include all completed coursework so it can be considered for transfer credit. Some schools limit the number of transfer credits you may apply toward a new degree, but it is worth asking. The more credits you transfer, the fewer you need to complete the program, which can save you time and money.

4. Are campus visits required?

One of the perks of online learning is that you have the freedom to study when and where you want. However, some online RN to MSN/MBA programs require students to come to campus occasionally. As you search for the right program, be sure to ask whether there are mandatory campus visits. This is especially important if you hope to attend a school that is away from your home area, as you may need to prepare for travel.

5. What type of field practice or clinical experience is involved?

Online RN to MSN/MBA programs typically include both nursing clinical hours and business-related internships or field practice experiences. If you plan to continue working, you must consider the time involved in meeting these requirements and whether there is flexibility in your work schedule to meet them.



MY FINAL THOUGHTS


Choosing a college and career path is one of the most important decisions you will make. When you pursue a dual degree option, it requires careful consideration to make sure you choose the program best suited to your long-term personal and professional goals. In this article, we discussed information about dual MSN/MBA programs and answered the question, “What are the best online RN to MSN/MBA programs?” If you want a career that combines nursing and business, the 2 best online RN to MSN/MBA programs for 2023 featured in this article are excellent options for getting started.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. What Is The Best Online RN to MSN/MBA Program In The Nation?

The best online RN to MSN/MBA program in the nation can be found at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.

Thomas University - Thomasville, GA


2. Are Campus Visits Required For Online RN to MSN/MBA Programs?

Some online RN to MSN/MBA programs may require campus visits for things like new student orientation, lab intensives, or testing. On the other hand, many programs require no campus visits.


3. What Is The Minimum GPA To Get Into RN to MSN/MBA Online Programs?

For most RN to MSN/MBA online programs, the minimum GPA for acceptance is 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.


4. What Is The Typical Cost-Per-Credit For RN to MSN/MBA Online Programs?

The cost per credit for online RN to MSN/MBA programs ranges between $500 and $750.


5. Can I Work Part-Time And Complete This Program?

You can work part-time and complete RN to MSN/MBA online programs.


6. Can I Work Full-Time And Complete This Program?

Yes, working full-time and completing an online RN to MSN/MBA program is possible. However, it takes careful planning to balance your work and school schedules. Consult with your employer and academic advisor to work out a scheduling option that allows you to meet work and school demands without feeling overwhelmed.


7. How Much Do New Graduates Of This Program Make?

New graduates of online RN to MSN/MBA programs earn an average of $93,510 yearly.

$93,510


8. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Make Per Hour?

On average, RN to MSN/MBA online program graduates earn $66.78 per hour.

$66.78


9. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of This Program Per Month?

Graduates of online RN to MSN/MBA programs earn approximately $11,570 monthly.

$11,570


10. On An Average, How Much Can Graduates Of RN to MSN/MBA Online Programs Make Per Year?

The average annual salary of RN to MSN/MBA online programs graduates is $138,895.

$138,895


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.