Many nurses have broken through the glass ceiling into executive roles, and many more who have attained medical and business credentials are now poised to follow. These professionals are in a position to take on new responsibilities, possessing both bedside and leadership training. They have a passion for patient care, an awareness of flawed systems and an appreciation for how leadership decisions affect working conditions for medical providers and outcomes for patients. Their diverse experiences provide them with credibility among their medical and administrative colleagues. This gives them significant advantages in cross-disciplinary collaboration, problem-solving and negotiations.
There is little question that new, more varied perspectives are needed atop healthcare organizations. The industry is innovating and re-envisioning old ways of delivering care. Patient demographics, big data and new technologies including the cloud, AI and robotics are driving change. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic is adding yet another catalyst for nurses to aspire to leadership roles where they can drive needed reforms.
Employers in healthcare have never been so open to leadership candidates from a variety of training backgrounds. Nurses with a BSN or MSN who earn an MBA can position themselves as strong candidates for emerging leadership challenges.
Nurses With Business Training: The Interface of Clinical and Business Innovation
Unleashing Nurse-Led Innovation, a study by the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation, identified the following attributes as most valuable for nurse innovators: knowledge of the clinical innovation/technology interface, design-thinking for process change, and clinical acumen. These leaders cite issues including caring for a growing aging population, chronic care management, opioid addiction and mental health as critical areas where systemic transformation is needed to improve care.
Healthcare Delivery and Leadership Succession Planning Are Driving Changes
In a recent study reported by HIMSS Media, 80% of nurses rated their clinical work environments as less than excellent, and nearly 30% gave their hospitals unfavorable grades for infection prevention. More than 30% were shown to be suffering from high burnout. Clearly, the voice of the nurse and clinical worker must be better represented in corporate boardrooms for these conditions to improve.
Almost 50% of the respondents to the American Hospital Association's 2019 National Health Care Governance Survey Report said their organization did not have a formal CEO succession plan. This is a strong clue that succession plans flowing from the C-suite down through the executive ranks may be inadequate in many organizations. Given that a surge in leadership transitions are underway as Baby Boomers retire, hospitals and health systems should be reviewing unpreparedness data and starting to actively identify
The COVID-19 Pandemic: An Emerging Catalyst for Change
Incidentally, the COVID-19 pandemic is now a potential catalyst for hiring healthcare leaders with balanced expertise in medicine and business. Healthcare organizations of all kinds – from hospitals and nursing homes to pharmaceutical companies and bio research firms – are grappling with medical and business objectives coming into conflict.
Should COVID-19 patients be admitted to nursing homes that may have the physical resources to quarantine and treat these patients, but are running out of money from a spate of virus-related deaths? Should hospitals aggressively bill COVID-19 patients who have lost their incomes? How much should a research lab or pharmaceutical company invest in R&D for therapeutics and vaccines for the virus, when competition is so much greater in this arena than in many others? These are questions that fall to experts with medical and business credentials.
Your Future With an MBA in Healthcare Administration
Earning an MBA with an Emphasis in Healthcare Administration online from the University of Northern Colorado can be your first step in getting on your leadership team's radar for future executive development.
The program provides training in business management fundamentals, solution-driven problem-solving skills, global enterprise management essentials and principles of ethical leadership.
The emphasis courses offer a grounding in the history and evolution of healthcare systems, practical knowledge of healthcare finance, and overviews of industry-focused topics like technology trends and strategic management.
Open the Door to Leadership Roles
Graduates of UNC's online MBA program focused on healthcare administration can pursue a variety of leadership roles:
Director of Nursing (DON): This position maintains standards for the nursing program in a hospital or other patient-care setting. It advises administrators, department heads and medical staff; develops organizational structure and performance standards; and recommends establishment or revision of policies.
Pharmaceutical Brand Manager: This role monitors and evaluates the competitive environment to identify opportunities for developing and marketing new drugs. This position also helps to mitigate threats to the existing product portfolio and development pipeline.
Chief Nursing Officer/Executive (CNO/CNE): By developing and implementing policies, initiatives and objectives, the CNO/CNE ensures that patients receive the highest quality of care. Reporting to top management, the position oversees and reviews departmental operations to ensure compliance with regulations and established standards.
Healthcare Consultant: These professionals work to maximize the organization and efficiency of healthcare-related companies. Large companies hire consultants on a full-time basis to continually find ways to improve their infrastructure. Smaller companies recruit them as needed to find efficiency enhancements.
Chief Informatics Officer: This role enables an organization to become more strategic about EHR (Electronic Health Records) implementation and health informatics. Managing telehealth and clinical intelligence, as well as predictive analytics initiatives, often falls to this role.
So much is at stake in innovating the way America's healthcare system works. Regardless of which career option you ultimately pursue with an MBA in Healthcare Administration, you will likely find yourself at the epicenter of a revolution in healthcare.
Learn more about UNC's online MBA program with an Emphasis in Healthcare Administration.
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