A strong nursing job market has shown strong signs of further strengthening in the last two years, according to many national nursing recruiters. A recent survey of 145 healthcare facilities revealed that 25% of hospitals had a vacancy rate of 10% or higher in 2015 for nursing jobs. This was a 100% increase from 2012.
Looking longer term, the increase in job openings for many advanced practice nurses is poised to explode by more than 30% by 2024. There is no doubt that the nursing field will have excellent job growth for many years to come.
If you want to take full advantage of these opportunities in nursing, one possibility is to earn a dual graduate degree in nursing as well as another field. This wise educational move will give you a very unique skillset that you can use to gain maximum advantage in the competitive healthcare field.
Top dual degree nursing options to consider are:
When you earn a master’s degree in nursing, you open the door to very high paying advanced nursing practice registered nursing roles:
- Nurse practitioner
- Certified nurse midwife
- Certified nurse anesthetist
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Nurse educator
- Nurse administrator
With this dual degree program, you may also earn your Master of Business Administration at the same time. This type of nursing/business graduate degree will offer you both advanced business management skills and excellent clinical nursing and leadership abilities. This type of degree program is an ideal fit if you envision yourself as a nursing administrator, chief nursing officer or nursing business consultant.
For example, the online Grand Canyon University offers this MSN/MBA dual degree program, which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
You will learn the following skills in this broad, rigorous program:
- Financial principles such as planning, analysis and asset evaluation
- Marketing management, planning and business strategy, management strategy
- Nurses’ roles in health care, advance clinical training, nursing leadership
- Health care systems analysis and training – policy, delivery options, cost, quality and access
For admission, you must have an active RN license with a BSN, and should have a GPA of at least 2.8 or higher from your nursing program.
At Kent State University, there also is an excellent online MSN/MBA program where these classes are required:
- Financial Accounting
- Professional Development I
- Managerial Finance
- Law and Ethics
- Business Strategy
- Organizational Analysis
- Marketing Management
- Advanced Nursing Informatics
- Nursing and Health Care Management Practicum
- Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare Management
- Operations, Service and Supply Chain Management
If you have a dual interest in clinical nursing and public health, a dual MSN/MPH degree program could be a good match for you. This dual degree program prepares NPs to work in the development, implementation and evaluation of public health programs and policies, especially child health and at risk population health. Earning a Master of
At the University of Alabama-Birmingham, graduate students may choose to concentrate on:
- Women’s health nurse practitioner
- Family nurse practitioner
- Pediatric nurse practitioner
Your required coursework in this MSN/MPH program:
- Public Health Systems and Population-Based Health Programs
- Fundamentals of Environmental Health
- Introduction to Epidemiology
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Health Economics
- Management Concepts in Public Health
To be admitted, students must apply separately to both programs. Requirements for nursing are:
- BSN degree from accredited university
- Possess an active RN license
- Undergraduate GPA or 3.0
- 1000 combined score on GRE
- Copy of transcripts
If you are an experienced nurse who wants to expand his clinical nursing skills as well as in the delivery, administration and management of healthcare, consider a Master of Science in Nursing paired with a Master of Health Administration.
This innovative program, such as at the University of Phoenix, combines an advanced nursing curriculum with the advanced business acumen that you need to make the optimal decisions in healthcare administration.
Coursework in this dual degree nursing program are as follows:
- Graduate Studies in Nursing
- Managing in Today’s Health Care Organizations
- Health Law and Ethics
- Health Information Systems
- Measuring Performance Standards
- Concepts of Population Health
- Foundations of Gerontology
- Nursing Leadership
- Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice
For current nurses with an active RN license, this program will take approximately 140 weeks to complete.
To qualify for admission, you need the following:
- Undergraduate degree in nursing
- Active RN license
- GPA of 2.5 or higher
- Personal statement
- Updated resume
For nurses who aspire to work in public institutions, such as federal, state and local government, as well as some non-profit organizations, you may wish to consider a Master of Science in Nursing combined with a Master of Public Administration.
The public administration aspect of this program focuses on the best management of public resources, finances and accounting, organizational analysis, statistics and program evaluation.
One dual degree program to consider in this space is the MPA-MS in Nursing program at Binghamton University in New York. This program will prepare you for many nurse administrator roles in hospitals, as well as health care facilities and community health agencies.
The program ensures that students are able to advance their clinical nursing skills but also their knowledge and skills for effective public management.
For students who wish to combine a legal career with nursing, the JD/MSN program may be the best choice. A good choice is the program offered by Capital University. It is fully accredited by the ABA as well as the Commission on College Nursing Education (CCNE).
By choosing a dual degree program, students will complete both advanced degrees with fewer credit hours taken. Most part-time students in the program can finish it in 5.5 years.
If you attend this program full time, you can earn both degrees in slightly more than four years.
Overall, obtaining a dual degree in combination with a master’s degree in nursing will open many amazing educational and career doors for you. Please review the information on this graduate education website to learn about the best dual degree programs available in the US.