Becoming a nurse does not mean one is limited to the bedside care of patients. Many nurses are drawn to the systematic, organizational, and business side of healthcare. Some hope to promote and facilitate change from a higher level and from a business-minded standpoint. When nurses take on advanced-level roles in leadership positions, they bring a unique patient-centered focus to healthcare delivery that benefits patients as well as the organization. The Master's in Healthcare Administration (MHA) is one such route that nurses can take.

Which Online MHA Program is Right for Me?

When nurses decide to return to school for a higher degree, they may be unsure where to start. Some have been out of academia for many years. The following are points that should be considered when selecting an MHA program:

Is the Program Accredited?

This is one of the most important considerations nurses should examine when selecting a school. The MHA program should be accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) or the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Not only does proper accreditation ensure that national education standards are met for the MHA program, it ensures the nurse will not face issues with licensure after graduation.

What Is the Program Format?

Nowadays, more and more master's degree programs are offered online as well as on-campus. In nursing, most nurses who return to school are already currently working. Having the option to enroll in an online program allows for flexibility for working nurses. On the other hand, some prefer the face-to-face instruction and peer support that comes with on-campus learning. Whichever format the nurse prefers, there are plenty of options available.

What Courses Will I Take?

Unlike a dual MSN/MHA program, nurses are not required to take the standard advanced-practice nursing courses such as advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and advanced health assessment. Rather, the focus is on mainly general leadership concepts, financial and executive management, and healthcare policy. Students are encouraged to take a look at a few schools to see if the curriculum in an MHA program will meet their educational goals.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost to enroll in an MHA program depends on several factors. The location, reputation of the school, delivery format, and the residency of the student are all factors when it comes to expenses. Students should look at the school and program overall-not just which school is the least expensive. Additionally, students should plan on additional costs such as parking, supplies, and technology. Fortunately, most schools are very transparent when it comes to describing the cost of an MHA program of their websites. Again, students should research each school to find out which one meets not only their academic needs, but financial needs as well.

Online MHA Programs

Seasoned nurses may not have had the luxury of online learning when they attended nursing school. Fortunately, online courses are becoming more and more popular, especially with graduate-level programs. Colleges and universities recognize that grad students are likely needing to continue to work or may have families they need to take care of, which makes online learning more and more popular.

Other benefits of an online MHA program include:

Flexible Schedule

One of the main perks of online learning is the flexibility of the program. Nurses work all different shifts, so they may need to review content and work on assignments in their downtime- which may mean in the middle of the night, evenings, weekends, and holidays. Additionally, students learn at their own pace which results in a greater chance of success. Students can also choose to take one or as many classes as they can to set the pace of their program.


While graduate programs are notoriously pricey, those opting for online graduate school may have a benefit over those opting for a traditional classroom-based program. One of the reasons for the lower overall cost is that there is no expense for parking or for the gas used to commute. Additionally, some schools don't charge out-of-state tuition for students enrolled in online programs.

Program Length

Enrolling in an online program means that students have the option to learn at their own pace. While some schools do set time limits for students to complete the program (i.e., six years), students can still spend more time on content and concepts that they need to master rather than being expected to master them at the same pace as the rest of the class. On the flip side, students can accelerate their pace by taking more classes and getting the work done faster.


The accessibility of online programs is another significant selling point when selecting an online MHA program. Students can log on whenever they can or need to. They can communicate with both instructors and peers at any time. This is extremely beneficial for busy, working nurses. Also, the content is always available anywhere and anytime.

Ever consider a Dual MSN/MHA program?

MHA Program Curriculum

Unlike other graduate programs nurses may choose, the MHA degree is not nursing-focused. Rather, it is more focused on healthcare systems and principles of leadership and management. While specific course topics may vary between schools, most MHA programs include courses in:

  • Leadership and management in healthcare
  • Informatics
  • Quality and Safety
  • Healthcare policy
  • Ethics and legal issues in healthcare
  • Financial management
  • Organizations and systems management

In addition to the above concepts, students must complete a capstone project as a graduation requirement. This ensures they can apply what they have learned in healthcare administration to tackle real-world issues in healthcare.

MHA Specializations

Within the Master's in Healthcare Administration program, students can choose a specialization depending on what they wish to focus on. Choosing a specialization within the program can help students acquire niche knowledge and skills to assist them in honing in on specific areas of care. The following are several popular MHA specializations available to students.

MHA – Gerontology

The Master's in Healthcare Administration – Gerontology specialization educates students in organizational structure, healthcare policy and analysis, and management within the gerontology field caring for aging adults. This program is well suited for students who wish to hold leadership roles within healthcare – particularly those who seek management roles within long-term care. Common coursework often includes:

  • Physiology and Psychology of Aging
  • Legal Aspects in Health
  • The Management of Senior Community Programs
  • Foundations of Careers in Long-Term Care

New York's Long Island University, for example, offers a 42-credit MHA – Gerontology program.

MHA – Leadership

Those pursuing director-level roles within healthcare may wish to pursue an MHA with a Leadership specialization (sometimes referred to as Leadership and Organizational Development). This broad concentration gives students the managerial skills to lead a wide variety of healthcare organizations. Those interested in coaching, team-leading, and professional development within the healthcare realm may find this an advantageous specialty within the MHA framework. Courses may include:

  • Strategic Healthcare Planning
  • Healthcare Operations Management
  • Marketing in Healthcare
  • Health Administration Change Leadership

Capella University is one school that offers an MHA Leadership concentration.

MHA – Population Health

The MHA with a specialization in Population Health, or Population Health Management, focuses on the complex healthcare needs of diverse populations. Factors such as culture, education, and employment can all affect population-based medicine. Understanding these factors can improve and enhance patient care. The MHA – Population Health degree can help administrators identify gaps in care and create more customized programs for the populations they serve. Coursework often includes:

  • Community Health
  • Managerial Epidemiology
  • Health Promotion

Duquesne University offers an online Master of Health Administration with a Population Health concentration.

MHA – Informatics

Those with an interest in secure and accurate healthcare data to ensure quality patient care may choose to enroll in an MHA with an Informatics specialization. This program teaches students to design and implement technology to support healthcare organizations. It emphasizes IT applications in the evaluation of administrative systems, to include financial and clinical healthcare systems. The curriculum may include courses in:

  • Computer-Based Patient Records
  • Health Information Management Systems
  • Leadership, Management, and Meaningful Use of Health Care Technology

Philadelphia-based Saint Joseph's University is home to an online MHA with an Informatics concentration.

MHA – Global Health

The MHA with a Global Health specialization is geared toward students interested in international healthcare delivery. The program's curriculum seeks to give students a broader understanding of global health issues and cross-cultural communication to inform local healthcare systems. This type of program often involves international travel to get a deeper sense of international healthcare in action. Aside from studying abroad, students will learn concepts in:

  • Global Health Management
  • Alternative Systems of Healthcare Delivery
  • European Health Systems

The University of Scranton, located in Pennsylvania, offers an online MHA with a Global Health specialization.

How Much Does an MHA Program Cost?

The cost to complete an MHA program depends on the school, program, and even location. When researching the cost of MHA program, it's imperative to include additional fees such as university fees, supplies, the cost to commute (if applicable), and technology needs. Most schools are transparent with costs and fees associated with the program, so thorough research and planning is essential. Additionally, most schools offer some type of financial aid or scholarships which help offset the cost.

As an example of cost, the University of Cincinnati's MHA online program is $732 per credit (for residents). The website also lists a complete breakdown of fees and estimates the total cost of the MHA program for residents as $7,309 per semester.

What Are Some Career Options for a Nurse With an MHA?

Nurses who hold a master's degree in healthcare administration have many career options, primarily in leadership and management. Examples of career options include:

Healthcare Administration Organizations & Helpful Resources

List of Colleges Offering Online MHA Programs

Browse through our state-by-state list of Online Master's in Healthcare Administration programs below to find the perfect MHA program today!

Select Your State:


SchoolContact Information
A.T. Still University- Arizona Campus
5850 E. Still Circle
Mesa, AZ 85206
(480) 219-6000
399 South Malpais Lane
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-1934
Grand Canyon University
3300 W Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(602) 639-7500
Northcentral University
8667 E Hartford Dr Ste 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(866) 776-0331
University of Phoenix
4035 S Riverpoint Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(844) 937-8679


SchoolContact Information
University Of Arkansas- Sam M. Walton College
220 North McIlroy Avenue #301
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-5949
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
5210 Grand Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649
(479) 788-7000


SchoolContact Information
Ashford University
8620 Spectrum Center Blvd
San Diego, CA 92123
(866) 711-1700
California Coast University
925 N Spurgeon St
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(888) 228-8648
California State University-East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd
Hayward, CA 94542
(510) 885-3000
Concordia University-Irvine
1530 Concordia West
Irvine, CA 92612-3203
(949) 854-8002
West Coast University Online
590 North Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(866) 508-2684


SchoolContact Information
1385 S Colorado Blvd., 5th Floor
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 300-8740
Colorado Christian University
8787 West Alameda Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80226
(303) 963-3000
Colorado State University-Global Campus
7800 E Orchard Rd #200
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
(800) 920-6723
Regis University
3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(303) 458-4126
University of Northern Colorado
501 20th St
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890


SchoolContact Information
Wilmington University
320 Dupont Hwy
New Castle, DE 19720
(877) 967-5464


SchoolContact Information
Adventist University of Health Sciences
671 Winyah Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 303-7742
Barry University
11300 NE 2nd Ave
Miami Shores, FL 33161
(305) 899-3000
Belhaven University- Orlando
801 N Magnolia Ave #301
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 804-1424
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th St
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-2000
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300
Saint Leo University
33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200
The University of West Florida
11000 University Pkwy
Pensacola, FL 32514
(850) 474-2000


SchoolContact Information
Valdosta State University
1500 N Patterson St
Valdosta, GA 31698
(229) 333-5800


SchoolContact Information
Benedictine University
5700 College Rd
Lisle, IL 60532-0900
(630) 829-6000
Loyola University of Chicago
1032 W Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 274-3000


SchoolContact Information
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
1 St Mary of Woods Coll
Saint Mary of the Woods, IN 47876-1099
(812) 535-5151
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd
Evansville, IN 47712
(812) 464-8600


SchoolContact Information
Briar Cliff University
3303 Rebecca St
Sioux City, IA 51104
(712) 279-5321
Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center
3200 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA 50312
(515) 271-1400


SchoolContact Information
Newman University
3100 McCormick St
Wichita, KS 67213
(316) 942-4291
Wichita State University
1845 N. Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0124
(316) 978-3456


SchoolContact Information
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111


SchoolContact Information
Louisiana State University-Shreveport
1 University Pl
Shreveport, LA 71115
(318) 797-5000


SchoolContact Information
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
278 Whites Bridge Rd
Standish, ME 04084-5236
(207) 892-6766


SchoolContact Information
University of Maryland-University College
3501 University Blvd East
Adelphi, MD 20783-8010
(301) 985-7000


SchoolContact Information
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 2467
(617) 552-3900
Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115-5898
(617) 521-2000


SchoolContact Information
Central Michigan University
106 Warriner Hall
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
(989) 774-4000
Ferris State University
1201 S State St
Big Rapids, MI 49307-2251
(231) 591-2000
Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main St
Spring Arbor, MI 49283-9799
(517) 750-1200
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5200
(269) 387-1000


SchoolContact Information
Minnesota State University Moorhead
1104 Seventh Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56563
(800) 593-7246
Walden University
100 S Washington Ave #900
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(866) 492-5336


SchoolContact Information
Belhaven University
1500 Peachtree St
Jackson, MS 39202
(601) 968-5940
University of Mississippi

University, MS 38677
(662) 915-7211


SchoolContact Information
A T Still University of Health Sciences
800 W Jefferson
Kirksville, MO 63501
(660) 626-2121
Columbia College
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391
Maryville University of Saint Louis
650 Maryville University Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63141-7299
(800) 627-9855


SchoolContact Information
Montana State University-Billings
1500 University Drive
Billings, MT 59101-0298
(406) 657-2011
University of Providence
1301 20th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405
(800) 856-9544


SchoolContact Information
Clarkson College
S 42nd St & Emile St
Omaha, NE 68198
(402) 552-3100
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
720 North 87th Street
Omaha, NE 68114-2852
(402) 354-7000


SchoolContact Information
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV 89154
(702) 895-3011

New Hampshire

SchoolContact Information
New England College
98 Bridge St
Henniker, NH 3242
(603) 428-2211
Rivier University
420 South Main St
Nashua, NH 3060
(603) 888-1311
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

New Mexico

SchoolContact Information
University of the Southwest
6610 North Lovington Hwy
Hobbs, NM 88240
(575) 392-6561

New York

SchoolContact Information
New York University
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY 10012-1091
(212) 998-1212
Rochester Institute of Technology
1 Lomb Memorial Dr
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
(585) 475-2411
The Sage Colleges
65 1st Street
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 244-2000
Utica College
1600 Burrstone Rd
Utica, NY 13502-4892
(315) 792-3111

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Queens University of Charlotte
1900 Selwyn Ave
Charlotte, NC 28274-0001
(704) 337-2200
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
103 South Bldg Cb 9100
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211

North Dakota

SchoolContact Information
Rasmussen College - Fargo
4012 19th Ave S
Fargo, ND 58103
(800) 817-0009
University of Mary
7500 University Dr
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701) 255-7500


SchoolContact Information
Franklin University
201 S Grant Ave
Columbus, OH 43215-5399
(614) 797-4700
Mercy College of Ohio
2221 Madison Avenue
Toledo, OH 43604-1132
(419) 251-1313
University of Cincinnati
2624 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0063
(513) 556-6000
Urbana University
579 College Way
Urbana, OH 43078-2091
(937) 772-9200


SchoolContact Information
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 895-2000
Duquesne University
600 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
(412) 396-6000
Gwynedd Mercy University
1325 Sumneytown Pike
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901
(215) 646-7300
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
1858 W Grandview Blvd
Erie, PA 16509
(814) 866-6641
Rosemont College
1400 Montgomery Ave
Rosemont, PA 19010-1699
(610) 527-0200

South Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Limestone College
1115 College Drive
Gaffney, SC 29340-3799
(864) 489-7151


SchoolContact Information
Austin Peay State University
601 College St
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7011


SchoolContact Information
Concordia University-Texas
11400 Concordia University Dr.
Austin, TX 78726
(512) 313-3000
LeTourneau University
2100 S Mobberly Ave
Longview, TX 75602
(903) 233-3000
Midwestern State University
3410 Taft Blvd
Wichita Falls, TX 76308-2099
(940) 397-4000
Texas A & M University
212 Adriance Lab Road
College Station, TX 77843-8371
(979) 436-9443
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
(806) 743-1000
Trinity University
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
(210) 999-7011
University of North Texas
410 S. Avenue C
Denton, TX 76201
(940) 565-2488


SchoolContact Information
Champlain College
163 S Willard St
Burlington, VT 5401
(802) 860-2700


SchoolContact Information
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
101 Elm Avenue SE
Roanoke, VA 24013
(888) 985-8483
Mary Baldwin University
318 Prospect Street
Staunton, VA 24401
(540) 887-7000

Washington, DC

SchoolContact Information
George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-1000


SchoolContact Information
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2200 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413
(414) 229-1122


SchoolContact Information
University of Wyoming
1000 E University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071
(307) 766-1121

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.