Choosing the right path for your career is a personal decision to be made from the experiences you like – and perhaps don’t like – within your current job.

And if you have a BSN, there are several options to move your career forward with an advanced degree.

If you are wondering which master’s degree is right for you, consider the options below to identify your interests and select the right program.


1. Master of Science in Nursing – MSN

This program teaches nurses to combine the latest in medical theory, research, and evidence-based medicine to improve patient care. Specializations allow students to focus on diabetes nursing, nurse education, or leadership and administration.

Right for you? An MSN is a relatively smooth transition that positions you to be a leader in your current workplace, such as nurse manager or wellness program director. In addition, you can move into an educator role within a nursing school program or a clinical training program.


2. Master of Public Health – MPH

Increase the influence of agencies involved in public health by learning management techniques, promoting ethical health care practices, and finding solutions for public health issues such as childhood obesity.

Right for you? A desire to become a civic or community leader is a must. Public health nurses are tasked with educating the community on health and wellness, and careers often go beyond providing patient care within a health care setting.


3. Master of Business Administration – MBA

The multidisciplinary MBA teaches students administrative skills to oversee finances, accounting, marketing, and general management of an organization. There are many specializations available, such as health care management, which can offer coursework geared toward those who have already chosen an industry.

Right for you? An MBA will create the skill set you need to manage the business of a health care organization.


Interested in demonstrating your expertise in a specialty area? Consider one of these three nursing certifications.


4. Master of Science in Human Services – MS

Learn to manage the coordination of departments and individuals in public safety, health care, and administration to positively address challenges such as job stability, housing, and health benefits for clients.

Right for you? A step away from working directly with patients, you are working to solve societal issues such as hunger and poverty.


5. Master of Health Administration – MHA

Students learn to be a leader or administrator of health care organizations so they can manage staff, research equipment purchases, and/or develop the practice capabilities of a clinical department.

Right for you? This degree is a good choice if you want to pursue a leadership role, such as a chief nursing officer or nursing director within a clinic or hospital. An MSN can get you to these positions as well, but an MHA is a broader look at administration that will be less clinical focused and more business focused.


6. Master of Public Administration – MPA

Learn about current policies and practices of being an administrator of various public services. Study ethical standards, advanced communication skills, and how to develop solutions to public policy issues.

Right for you? This career focuses on correcting issues that may exist within health services, such as poor budgeting. Nurses can step away from client care and become leaders to address shortcomings in health care settings and/or policies.


7. MPA in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Become an adept nonprofit leader with problem-solving techniques, communication skills, and multicultural knowledge. Nonprofits need passionate and capable administrators who understand the interconnectedness of government, business, and nonprofits in the field of health care and beyond.

Right for you? Earning an MPA in nonprofit management positions you to run your own organization or be a leader within an existing nonprofit organization.


If your ultimate goal is to earn a doctorate, then consider the BSN-to-Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Earning this degree positions you to lead system-wide health care improvements, advocate for health care policy, and change operational nursing procedures.

Learn more about Capella University’s online master’s programs.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs.

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