9 Best Online MBA Degree Programs for Nurses

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - July 5, 2018
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Nursing is an excellent, growing career, but many nursing education programs at the bachelor’s level do not prepare nurses for anything beyond standard, nursing clinical education. Many nursing students and professionals do not know the many ways they can continue their education and earn a higher status and salary.

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Some nursing professionals may eventually earn a Master of Science of Nursing to become a nurse practitioner or nurse educator. But nurses who combine their clinical skills with business and management acumen by earning an MBA may find themselves in great demand for high paying positions in healthcare administration and nursing management. An MBA can help a nurse to understand vital business management principles, and helps them to come up with advanced business solutions to complex healthcare problems.

Some of the possible job titles you can get with an MBA as a nursing professional are:

  • Chief nursing officer
  • Chief financial officer
  • Healthcare administrator
  • Healthcare executive
  • Chief operating officer
  • Chief executive officer

If combining nursing and business administration in an MBA sounds tantalizing, you may want to consider the following MBA programs for nurses. Most of the programs available are dual degree programs resulting in an MBA and an MSN or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

#1 Johns Hopkins University

This highly regarded private university offers a dual Doctor of Nursing Practice and MBA through its School of Nursing and the Carey Business School. The four year program will put the experienced nurse in highly qualified company alongside healthcare and nursing leaders who are setting the course for the future of healthcare. With this highly valued dual degree, you will possess the knowledge, leadership abilities and wisdom to be a change leader in your medical facility or system.

This DNP executive track program is made for the experienced nurse with an MSN who wants to hone their nursing and business skills even more. Graduates of the JHU program will be ready to create and lead all new models of healthcare delivery for communities across the nation and world.

The MBA program will focus on real world business skills and fundamentals that are seen through a lens of ethics and integrity. Students and graduates come to this program from many industries, and strive to find advanced business solutions that support the bottom line and enhance patient care.

Required courses in this highly competitive dual degree program are:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Marketing Management
  • Advanced Nursing Health Policy
  • Decision Models
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Economics for Decision Making
  • DNP Practicum
  • Project Implementation

As you would expect, the DNP program at JHU is fully accredited by the CCNE, while the MBA program is accredited by the AACSB.

#2 University of Texas-Tyler

This is an online MSN/MBA program that will prepare you to have a positive impact on the business environment for the medical facility in which you work, and to increase the quality and efficiency of patient care. Students in this three year, full time, online graduate program will develop a good foundation for potential doctoral studies, and also will have the skills to succeed as a nursing or healthcare executive.

Benefits of this dual, master’s program include:

  • Complete most of the program online with minimal campus visits. This program has been designed for working nursing professionals.
  • Gain a truly broad point of view on critical business issues that affect medical facilities. You will gain a professional edge with advanced business management skills and will enhance your value to your organization.
  • Earn a highly valued and prestigious academic credential that is highly prized by healthcare facilities and systems across the United States.
  • Learn from expert MBA and nursing faculty who are published authors in their respective fields.
  • Enjoy personal, online mentoring by working one on one with expert business and nursing faculty, on both clinical and business projects
  • Work closely with professors who are well regarded experts in business and medical fields.

Required courses in this program include:

  • Legal, Regulatory and Financial Management
  • Leadership in the Healthcare Environment
  • Nursing Administration and Delivery of Care
  • Accounting for Management Control
  • Advanced Financial Management

The MSN program is accredited by the CCNE, while the MBA program is accredited by the AACSB.

#3 Jacksonville University

This is a joint degree program that can be completed entirely online and results in an MSN and MBA degree. This is an innovative and dynamic degree program that is intended for nurses who have an interest in executive nursing and healthcare management careers.

Students are required to be admitted to both the MBA and MSN programs. It is required to complete a total of 37 credits in the MBA program and 18 credits in the MSN program for a total of 55 credits. Required courses include:

  • Leading Organizations
  • Leadership Development
  • Competing Through Innovation and Information Technology
  • Nursing Theory and Research
  • Nursing Leadership and Advanced Roles
  • Organization, Delivery and Policy in Healthcare
  • Essentials of Accounting
  • Essentials of Economics
  • Legal and Ethical Environment of Business
  • Strategic HR Management

Jacksonville University’s business school is accredited by the AACSB, while the MSN program is accredited by the CCNE.

#4 Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers a fully online MBA and MSN in Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems. It is designed to prepare the experienced nurse who has earned a nursing bachelor’s degree. You will develop cross functional business management abilities and competencies in nursing leadership. Students who have been enrolled in this dual MBA MSN program will take business courses that will help them to develop business management skills that are useful for rising to the top of healthcare organizations.

Students study leadership application and theory; accounting, finance, quantitative methods, management and marketing, managerial accounting, managerial finance and operations management and ethics in healthcare.

Required courses in both programs include these:

  • Leadership and Organizations
  • Managerial Finance
  • Strategic Management
  • Healthcare Research Analysis and Utilization
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Evidence Based Practice Project

These programs can be completed entirely online, or you can take courses on the Phoenix campus in the evenings. The business program is accredited by the ACBSP, and the nursing program is accredited by the CCNE.

#5 Benedictine University

This accredited university offers a dual MSN and MBA fully online. Most students can complete both degrees in three years without visiting campus. This program has been designed for nursing professionals who want a complete understanding of advanced nursing practice, as well as the business management skills to solve major healthcare system problems in finance, accounting, operations, marketing and management.

You will develop the following skills in this program:

  • Hone competence in integrating nursing and related sciences to design, analyze and implement outcomes in nursing care
  • Use your business leadership skills and decision making skills to ensure the best quality and safe care delivery
  • Apply nursing research outcomes in a practice setting and implement best business and nursing practices across diverse healthcare environments
  • Identify and analyze critical elements of healthcare system financial statements
  • Develop skills in cost accounting, and measuring and improving productivity and performance

Many students choose this online degree program because it offers the chance to earn two master’s degrees in less time and with fewer courses. Some estimates are that this program can save you up to $14,000 and 10 months of time. The master’s in nursing program is accredited by the CCNE and the entire university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Experienced nurses who want to expand both their clinical nursing and business skills to scale the career ladder can truly benefit by graduating from one of the dual degree programs listed above.

#6 Liberty University

This Virginia university offers a 100% dual Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration. It is designed for nursing professionals who want to apply elite business practices to the nursing and healthcare fields.

With this dual degree, you will learn to balance healthcare costs, healthcare economic factors, regulations in healthcare and business and vital ethical issues to ensure the best use of medical resources. Also, you will learn how to be more successful in your healthcare organization, more efficiently manager personnel and operations, and ensure patient care and quality.

The MSN portion of the program includes vital medical research and writing training that you need to stay current with healthcare industry improvements. You also will learn important practical skills and techniques to serve as an effective nursing administrator.

The MBA portion will offer you critical executive leadership and management tools, as well as important business training in legal issues, organizational design and structure, issues in HR management, and more.

Many accomplished professionals choose this dual MSN/MBA program because it is 100% online, and there are no on campus requirements. Other benefits of this program are:

  • The dual degree program can be completed online, full time, in approximately 3.5 to 4 years. This is at least a year faster than if you took each program separately.
  • The university is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • Offers a diverse selection of leadership analysis, management skills and executive leadership development that will equip you for various healthcare business and operations challenges.

#7 Spring Arbor University

This is a fully online, MSN/MBA program that will provide you with the ability to oversee healthcare and clinical operations, expand patient services and establish procedures and policies that will ensure optimum and efficient patient care. This program features four concentrations:

  • Healthcare administration
  • Human resource development
  • Management
  • Organizational consulting

Required courses in this four year program include:

  • Organizational and Systems Leadership
  • Health Policy
  • Strategic Planning and Management

The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE.

#8 California University of Pennsylvania

This is a 100% dual MBA and MSN program that can be completed by some students in as little as 2.5 years. This master’s degree in nursing leadership and administration combined with an MBA will allow the working nursing professional to gain a broad point of view on the vital business issues that are important in modern medical settings.

This program helps nursing leaders to develop advanced skills in business, leadership and to thrive more and soar higher in the modern healthcare environment. Past graduates of this program are currently working at the following organizations:

  • Allegheny Health Network Hospitals
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hospitals
  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Magee Womens Hospital
  • West Virginia University
  • Veterans Health Administration Hospitals

In the MSN portion of the program, students are required to undergo a nursing administration practicum. Students spend 150 hours under the guidance of faculty to devise a nursing administration quality improvement project. Many students can do this project in their current workplace.

Courses in this dual degree program include Financial Management in Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations; Information Systems for Nurses in Healthcare Organizations; Corporate Finance; and Nursing Organization and Leadership Theory.

The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#9 Lasalle University

This is an in person dual degree program that prepares the experienced nurse for highly paid leadership positions in healthcare systems in various types of nursing and healthcare practice environments. The focus of the curriculum is one nursing, management and business. It stresses the efficient and effective delivery of healthcare services across the lifespan.

This program takes approximately three years and requires 250 clinical hours in two nursing courses. There is also more field work required in several MBA courses.

Required courses for this dual degree program are:

  • Research for Evidence-Based Practice I and II
  • Advanced Nursing Roles for Healthcare
  • Advanced Nursing Practice for Population Based Care
  • Applied Economic Analysis
  • Effective and Efficient Management of Operations
  • Financial Markets
  • Nursing Management Administration
  • Field Study in Nursing

This university’s business school is accredited by the AACSB, while MSN program is accredited by the CCNE.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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