LU's Masters of Science in Nursing is Web-Based, Prepares Next-Gen Health Systems Managers
Wanted: Business Savvy, Experienced RNs
Loyola University in New Orleans has developed a unique and solitary online degree program that is intended to target a specific professional demographic: experienced nurses. The world is losing nurses to burnout and retirement faster than healthcare can replace them, so it is in the best interest of teaching institutions to realize their potential in the e-learning sector. Loyola is founded on Jesuit principles-teach for the whole self, urge students to exercise global vision. These tenets provide the impetus for the development of the online Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The degree delivers the foundation curriculum typical of contemporary graduate nursing courses, and then hones in on the Health Care Systems Management specialization.
Health Systems Management nurses are involved in various levels of healthcare leadership, including utilization review coordinators and supervisors to high-level CEOs. Yes, experienced and motivated nurses are breaking into executive positions.
Requirements for Loyola's MSN Degree
Applicants for the LU MSN in Health Care Systems Management must have prior BSN degrees with at least 2.8 GPAs. Also, candidates must prove valid RN licenses. An essay must accompany each application and provide a cogent argument in support of the applicant's career and educational goals in terms of health care management.
The program is administered via an online curriculum management system, but students must remain highly motivated to meet assignment and course deadlines. Within these deadlines there is plenty of leeway for self-pacing and self-scheduling in respect to work and family schedules.
The MSN in Health Care Systems Management is 36-credit hours in length-which takes about two years to completion. The curriculum is designed in two parts, beginning with core curriculum and building to "HCSM Major" curriculum. Core curriculum includes courses generally offered in MSN degrees, such as: ethics for advanced nurses, healthcare organizational structures, and evidence-based practice and research. This set of courses lays conceptual groundwork which is intended to alter the perspective of staff RNs-that of support personnel-to that of graduate nurses-as leaders and decision-makers. The major courses then focus on various aspects of nursing management and organizational leadership: human resources within the healthcare organization, management of managed care systems, accounting, finance, and budgeting for nurse leaders, and evaluation and modification of healthcare systems and processes, among others.
Not long ago mid- to upper-level management and leadership roles were held by healthcare professionals trained in administration and business, not nurses. But a shift in decision-makers is happening and a decidedly multidisciplinary leadership model is being put into place. Nurses in jobs such as Case Management and Utilization Review are situated to integrate patient care paradigms and cost-effective healthcare measures-these are the types of skills that those hiring nursing leaders are searching for.
Graduates of Loyola's HCSM degree are prepared to find challenging jobs in many different facets of healthcare. Hospitals need large numbers of graduate level nurses savvy enough to take on roles as critical thinkers and problem solvers, either on a small or large scale. Outside the four walls of the traditional hospital system, organizations such as managed care, health insurance, even pharmaceutical companies, may all advertise for nurses with degrees in healthcare management.
Nurses vying for upper-level executive positions may seek the nursing PhD and even a professional certificate in nursing entrepreneurship, an innovative program offered by an increasing number of online nursing programs.
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