SWOSU’s new pro­gram equips nurses with busi­ness skills

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - BUSINESS - BY MICHAELA MARX WHEAT­LEY BrandIn­sight Editor This ar­ti­cle is spon­sored by SWOSU.

It is no se­cret that nurses jug­gle a mul­ti­tude of tasks ev­ery day. Now, a dual Mas­ter of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing (MSN) and Mas­ter of Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion (MBA) de­gree of­fered at South­west­ern Ok­la­homa State Univer­sity in Weather­ford aims to equip nurses with busi­ness skills of­ten ex­pected from them as they ad­vance their ca­reers.

The SWOSU School of Nurs­ing and the Everett Dob­son School of Busi­ness and Tech­nol­ogy are work­ing in part­ner­ship on this new on­line pro­gram.

“The de­mand for nurse ex­ec­u­tives and ad­min­is­tra­tors with a busi­ness back­ground has never been higher,” said Dr. Marcy Tan­ner, as­so­ciate dean of the SWOSU School of Nurs­ing.

Tan­ner said the pro­gram was con­ceived be­cause she was ap­proached by sev­eral nurse lead­ers with re­quests for such train­ing.

Bring­ing the busi­ness as­pect to nurs­ing pre­pares grad­u­ates bet­ter for their fu­ture ca­reers.

“There are many com­pet­i­tive roles for nurse ad­min­is­tra­tors that would ben­e­fit from hir­ing a nurse with both ad­vanced prepa­ra­tion as a nurse and as a busi­ness man­ager,” Tan­ner said. “Many nurses are asked to take on these lead­er­ship roles with­out the ad­di­tional knowl­edge that a busi­ness de­gree can of­fer.”

SWOSU’s dual on­line pro­gram gives nurses the train­ing and skills they would oth­er­wise have to pick up on their own as they progress through­out their ca­reers. Nurses are of­ten asked to help man­age as­pects of the busi­ness, su­per­vise em­ploy­ees or man­age de­part­ments, with­out for­mal ed­u­ca­tion or train­ing in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Many nurses want to pur­sue an ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tion, in­side health care or even out­side, but with­out the needed busi­ness back­ground, mov­ing into those po­si­tions can be dif­fi­cult,” ex­plained Lisa Friesen, di­rec­tor of Grad­u­ate Pro­grams at the SWOSU School of Busi­ness and Tech­nol­ogy. “Earn­ing an MBA will open the door to many dif­fer­ent ca­reer choices.”

Tan­ner added that grad­u­ates from this pro­gram re­ceive ex­ten­sive ed­u­ca­tion in con­tin­u­ous qual­ity im­prove­ment, mar­ket­ing and ad­min­is­tra­tive func­tions such as bud­get­ing, personnel man­age­ment and lead­er­ship.

Im­prov­ing pa­tient care

Hav­ing nurses who are trained in these ar­eas will also ben­e­fit pa­tient care as nurses bring their knowl­edge to prac­tices and hos­pi­tals.

“The con­tin­u­ous qual­ity im­prove­ment role is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for im­prov­ing pa­tient care,” Tan­ner said. “The nurs­ing pro­gram pre­pares grad­u­ates to take on ad­vanced lead­er­ship roles for the ben­e­fit of the health consumer, com­mu­nity and the pro­fes­sion of nurs­ing.”

It al­lows these health care pro­fes­sion­als to see the “big­ger pic­ture.”

“I would say that for nurses, it would prompt them to be­gin think­ing of health care in a dif­fer­ent light,” Friesen added. “Be­gin think­ing of the busi­ness de­ci­sions that are made in an or­ga­ni­za­tion on a daily ba­sis, not just a health care fa­cil­ity.”

The col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the busi­ness and nurs­ing pro­grams is an ex­ten­sion of two suc­cess­ful pro­grams. SWOSU’s nurs­ing pro­gram is highly re­garded for its prac­tice­ori­ented ap­proach and high nurs­ing exam pass rate. Its busi­ness pro­grams also have gar­nered a rep­u­ta­tion as high-qual­ity pro­grams that pre­pare grad­u­ates for lead­er­ship roles in any in­dus­try.

More­over, of­fer­ing a dual health care/busi­ness de­gree is not new at SWOSU.

“It is be­com­ing a more com­mon prac­tice at uni­ver­si­ties,” Friesen said. “For ex­am­ple, SWOSU also of­fers a Pharm.D./MBA pro­gram. This pro­gram is great for stu­dents who are want­ing to own a phar­macy or who want to go into the busi­ness sec­tor, say work­ing for a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany. By grad­u­at­ing with a dual de­gree, stu­dents are able to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from oth­ers.”

Be­cause SWOSU’s pro­gram is of­fered on­line, it is ac­ces­si­ble to nurses ev­ery­where.

“We are ex­cited to of­fer this pro­gram to nurses across Ok­la­homa and the na­tion,” Friesen said. “We be­lieve it is a way to open doors in the ad­min­is­tra­tive side of health care for nurses, who wish to stay in the health care sec­tor in an ad­min­is­tra­tive po­si­tion.”

The new MSN/MBA is an on­line, ac­cel­er­ated pro­gram con­sist­ing of cour­ses of­fered in an eight-week for­mat. SWOSU is cur­rently ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.swosu.edu, or call Tan­ner at 580-7743261 or Friesen at 580774-6025.

[PHOTO PRO­VIDED]

Stu­dent Tyra Aska, from left, SWOSU Everett Dob­son School of Busi­ness & Tech­nol­ogy Grad­u­ate Pro­gram Di­rec­tor Lisa Friesen; stu­dent Hai­ley Tucker; SWOSU School of Nurs­ing & Al­lied Health As­so­ciate Dean Dr. Marcy Tan­ner; and stu­dent Hay­den Priddy are ex­cited about the new pos­si­bil­i­ties that come with the new dual de­gree pro­gram.

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