Learn About Joint Master’s Degrees in Nursing

At the master’s degree level, a joint nursing degree allows you to acquire complementary skills, knowledge and perspective from two related disciplines. In addition to learning advanced nursing theory and practice (the MSN), you will gain other advanced skills that will help you meet your nursing career goals. Joint master’s degree nursing degree programs allow you to complete two master’s degrees in less time than it would take to earn both degrees separately. Program length ranges from 18 months to three years for full-time students.

Here is an overview of the joint master’s degrees in nursing that are available.

Joint MSN / MPH

This joint nursing degree program combines a master’s in nursing (MSN) degree with a master’s degree in public health.

Who it’s for: The MSN/MPH degree is designed for nurses who wish to pursue a leadership role in public health nursing.

What you’ll learn: Courses in this type of joint nursing degree program will ensure a thorough understanding of the health system, biostatistics, and epidemiology, as well as public health nursing theory, ethics and policy. Essentially you will be taught how to improve the delivery of nursing services on a broad scale, with a focus on public health administration and policy.

What you’ll be trained to do: With an MSN/MPH degree, you could direct a public or community health agency, or an occupational health program for a company or corporation. You could oversee clinical research in a public health setting. You could also work as a case manager for specific populations or an advanced nurse practitioner in a school, occupational or public health organization.

Joint MSN / MBA

This joint master’s nursing degree program combines a master’s in nursing with a master’s in business administration.

Who it’s for: Sometimes called the Nurse Executive program, the MSN/MBA degree is designed to prepare nurses for administrative leadership roles, such as executive management positions in health care organizations.

What you’ll learn:  Courses in the MSN portion of the program will refine your nursing knowledge and skills, while MBA courses will give you a comprehensive understanding of practical business matters such as finance, management, accounting, and labor relations.

What you’ll be trained to do: With an MSN/MBA degree, you could be running a whole hospital someday!

Joint MSN / MHA

This joint nursing degree program combines a master’s degree in nursing with a master’s degree in health administration.

Who it’s for: The MSN/MHA offers some of the benefits of each of the joint nursing degree programs described above, but is in many ways a broader program. You will be prepared to choose from a wide range of administrative and managerial roles in the health care system. The focus is on blending nursing theory and advanced practice concepts with the skills necessary to lead effectively in any type of health care organization or educational setting.

What you’ll learn: Courses address finances, economics, ethics, policy, quality improvement, marketing and strategic planning, as well as concepts related to public health, long term care and health care informatics.

What you’ll be trained to do: With an MSN/MHA degree, you can define your role in the health care system and motivate successful health care teams.

Sources: University of Iowa; Johns Hopkins University; UniGuru.com.

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