SWOSU’s new program equips nurses with business skills
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.
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.