The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness of the extreme importance of healthcare professionals and the dedication they bring to their jobs. We could not have made it through this dark time without them. It is not just those on the front lines who have kept the health care machine running, however. Behind them have been the decision makers, the policy drivers, the equipment procurers, the quality controllers, the budget creators, the department managers ,and many more who have led on the administrative side to ensure the hospitals and clinics stay in operation and run efficiently.
If you are in health care as a registered nurse, radiologic technologist, respiratory therapist, or other professional, you are the perfect candidate to consider a career in health care management. Why? Because you already have a working knowledge of the health care system, the needs of patients, the ins and outs of providing care, and education credits that are transferrable. By being on the inside of health care delivery, your knowledge and experience will give you a significant advantage when making a job transition into health care administration. The clinical track of Ottawa University’s accelerated, online Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Management helps current health care professionals learn what it takes to keep their institutions operating efficiently and fiscally, so they can continue helping people live better, healthier lives.
So, what are some benefits of earning an accelerated clinical degree in health care administration?
High Industry Demand
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that between 2019 and 2029, there will be a 32% increase in the demand for health services managers, or 133,200 new jobs. That is a significantly faster job growth rate than other professions. An aging baby boomer population, longer life expectancy, and constant advancements in the availability and complexity of health care all contribute to the demand for more health care managers in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
The BLS also states that a bachelor’s degree is required for entry level health care management positions, which makes earning a degree in health care administration a smart career move.
In May of 2019, the average annual salary for health care administrators was $100,980, according to the BLS. More specifically, average salaries by industry were outlined as follows:
- Government - $111,520
- Hospitals: state, local, and private - $110,430
- Outpatient care centers - $95,320
- Offices of physicians - $91,600
- Nursing and residential care facilities - $86,820
While these salaries may not be the expectation of entry level managers, the potential for promotions and wage increases is significant, especially as graduate level education is acquired. For health care management careers that require an advanced degree, professionals can earn Ottawa University’s Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Population Health or the Master of Arts in Leadership to boost their credentials for securing roles with greater responsibility, pay and benefits.
Another great benefit of earning a clinical degree in health care administration is the varied job opportunities that it opens up. For example, graduates can pursue career options in settings such as hospitals, residential care facilities, nursing homes, home health agencies, ambulatory services, and group medical practices. Other occupations requiring knowledge of both health care and management are insurance underwriters and social and community health services managers.
Within these settings, the job options are myriad. In a nursing home, for example, administrators might manage staff, admissions, finances, and care of the building. Clinical managers, on the other hand, might oversee a specific department, such as nursing, surgery, or physical therapy. They can set and carry out policies, goals, and procedures for their departments, as well as develop reports and budgets.
Other health care managers might ensure the facility is compliant with all laws and regulations; recruit, train, and supervise staff; create work schedules; represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards; keep and organize records; and communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads. Upper-level health care administrators will likely manage the overall operations of one or more health care facilities, while physician practice managers will lead a health care organization’s business strategy.
Transfer of Clinical Training Hours
Ottawa University’s accelerated, online health care management program prepares students for these varied administration roles by promoting an understanding of complex, evolving and integrated health care and reimbursement systems. Students analyze perspectives, methods and values associated with the delivery and financing of health services. They learn to evaluate client needs, fiscal constraints, management practices, ethical principles, public policies, and promotional strategies of the health care institution.
As an added bonus, the clinical track of the program caters to professionals with an associate degree in a clinical field or 30 credit hours in professional clinical training. Those who currently have a registry or license (for example, a radiologist, occupational therapist or registered nurse) can transfer in a minimum of 30 hours of clinical/laboratory coursework and then complete the necessary core courses to earn the degree. Ottawa’s degree in health care administration also offers several concentrations for those wishing to tailor their management focus:
Appealing Work Schedule
A benefit that appeals to some is the fact that most full-time medical and health services managers are able to maintain a more standard work schedule of 40 hours per week. If the facilities they manage are open 24/7, they may need to be available during evenings and weekends to handle any unforeseen issues or emergencies, and if they manage any satellite facilities, some travel may be required. Overall, however, the work schedule of a health care administrator is more uniform and manageable than the long shifts of many health care workers.
Career Advancement Opportunities
An entry level position in health care management is just the beginning. As you gain experience or pursue graduate level education, you will have more and more opportunities for career advancement.
Levels of management can begin with a team lead position where you oversee small projects and groups of people. Usually, an associate degree is required. The next step up is the role of manager, where you might have responsibility for entire projects, departments or a larger staff. A bachelor’s degree is necessary for these positions. If you already have work experience as a medical professional, pursuing a role as a department manager is one way you can advance your healthcare career after earning an accelerated online degree in health care administration.
At the top of the management sequence is the health care executive, with responsibility for an entire facility, multiple departments, or multiple facilities. A master’s degree is the standard for executive level positions, which is why our Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Management is highly sought after.
Get Career Healthy
An ever-expanding health care system is here to stay, and the demand for health care managers will only continue to increase. If you’re serious about having a healthy, robust career in health care administration, it’s time to capitalize on your training and experience to job transition to the next level. Begin your journey into health care management today with the best, fastest, most affordable online university in Kansas City, Phoenix, Milwaukee and surrounding areas.