Healthcare Administration

Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA)

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Home » Programs » Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration (MHA)

Build Industry-Current Credentials for a Healthy Career in Management

The healthcare industry is massive and complex, requiring managers with specialized knowledge and skills to solve problems and develop innovations related to the access, cost, and quality of healthcare.

National University’s Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) offers a career-focused curriculum designed to prepare you for an important role in a burgeoning industry. You’ll develop the conceptual and analytical skills you’ll need to understand and manage challenges faced by today’s healthcare organizations.

What sets NU’s MHA degree apart from other programs is our partnership with San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL), the leading professional membership society for all current and future healthcare leaders in San Diego and Imperial Counties. As you study and learn, you’ll have access to an international network of more than 30,000 healthcare executives and a means by which to pursue unique career advancement opportunities.

The Master of Healthcare Administration program has received candidacy status from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME), the national organization that grants accreditation to graduate degree programs. The acceptance of the MHA program into CAHME Candidacy demonstrates the School of Health Professions’ commitment to continuous quality improvement through a focus on attaining CAHME accreditation.

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The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.

Candidate status is an indication that a program in healthcare management has voluntarily committed to participate in a plan of self-improvement and is actively progressing toward the status of accreditation. Candidate status is not accredited status and does not guarantee eventual accredited status.

Course Details

Program Requirements

  • 14 courses; 63 quarter units

US healthcare system overview, including terminology, components of healthcare delivery systems, financing, personnel, regulation, delivery and consumers. Consideration of the effects of public policy on services.

PrerequisiteHCA 600

Focuses on the development of public policy concerning medical care and public health and the relationship between public decisions and the market place. Using contemporary policy issues as case studies, examines the role science, ideology, culture, and history play in influencing the structure of and changes to a nation’s health system.

An introduction to the use of statistical analysis in public health. Provides an understanding of the basic methods and underlying concepts of statistics that are used in public health decision-making. Among topics explored are descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, hypothesis testing and non-parametric statistics.

PrerequisiteCOH 602

Healthcare organization theories and structure, including analyses of managerial functions, relationships, and operations for service delivery. Development of effective service delivery systems. Appreciation of external influences including community, financial institutions, socioeconomic environment, and regulatory agencies. Examination of professional roles, responsibilities, and accountability. Understanding of organizational mission, goals, objectives and priorities.

Information Systems (4.50)

PrerequisiteANA 630

Effective data and information technology utilization to improve performance in healthcare organizations: including information systems, databases and analytical tools to structure, analyze and present information; legal and ethical issues affecting management of healthcare information.

PrerequisiteHCA 600 and HCA 620

Theoretical and practical frameworks to facilitate the continuous improvement of quality in healthcare organizations. Includes data collection, data planning and evaluation. Introduces multiple approaches, including strategy and outcome measurement. Team development, analytical statistics, and process knowledge are central themes, along with culture transformation.

PrerequisiteCOH 602, or ANA 630

The study of determinants and distribution of disease and disability in human populations. Empirical analysis of population data related to morbidity and mortality. Investigation of disease outbreaks, risk factors, health outcomes and causal relationships. Critical evaluation of public health literature and study design.

Application of healthcare economics to decisions regarding the amount, organization, and distribution of healthcare services. Examine the structure, organization, activities, functions, and problems of healthcare from an economic perspective. Emphasis on management problems and policy issues in healthcare with regard to allocation of scarce resources.

Study of healthcare organization, training, motivation and direction of employees while maintaining high level productivity and morale. Includes selection, compensation, financial incentives, work standards, and leadership principles in healthcare organization.

Legal, regulatory, and ethical dimensions of healthcare examined. Development and application of laws and regulations analyzed. Interpretation of uses of policy, law, and regulation changes and needs. Analysis of statutes and court decisions affecting healthcare. Ethical dimensions of healthcare organizations, their personnel and professionals considered.

PrerequisiteCOH 611

Strategic planning for healthcare organizations based on the analyses of secondary quantitative and qualitative data about technological, social, political, regulatory, and competitive aspects of the healthcare market. Marketing principles and tools for the development of a healthcare organization marketing plan.

PrerequisiteHCA 628

Application of healthcare accounting and finance theories to decisions in healthcare environments. Emphasis on management problems and policy issues regarding allocation of resources, payments systems, capital investments and budgeting.

Fundamentals of research methods and statistical analysis of public health data. Includes principles of research investigation, research design, sampling, measurements, and the use of descriptive and inferential statistics for data analysis and hypothesis testing. Focuses on health survey design, sampling methodologies, questionnaire construction and administration, interviewing, and coding procedures.

PrerequisiteHCA 624

Concepts of leadership related to current healthcare organizations. Communications – including public relations – team building, negotiation, and conflict resolution considered. Strategic aspects such as vision, viewpoint, and mission included. Managing uncertainty emphasized.

PrerequisiteHCA 600; COH 602; HCA 610; HCA 620; HCA 622; COH 606; HCA 624; HCA 626; HCA 628; HCA 630; HCA 660; HCA 663; COH 611; HCA 670 and permission by instructor

Minimum of 120 hours of structured work experience in a healthcare organization under the direct supervision of one or more experienced healthcare managers. Grading is S or U only.

PrerequisiteHCA 691 or permission by instructor.

Three-month capstone project focused on a relevant problem in healthcare administration theory or practice. Planning and completion of either a data-based research project or a scholarly and creative activity related to healthcare administration.

*ANA prerequisite is NOT required for students in the MS in Healthcare Administration

Degree and Course Requirements

To receive an MHA degree, students must complete at least 72 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 13.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution, as it applies to this degree and provided the units were not used in earning another advanced degree. Refer to the section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding application and evaluation.

There are a number of things that distinguish National University’s Master of Healthcare Administration degree from those offered at other schools. For one thing, NU has partnered with the San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leaders (SOHL), the leading professional membership society for all current and future healthcare leaders in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

SOHL’s mission is to advance its members’ professional excellence and thereby advance the healthcare industry. Because of this partnership, NU students and graduates in our MHA program gain access to an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives and a means by which to pursue unique career advancement opportunities.

As a student in our Master of Healthcare Administration program, you’ll be supported by a team of mentors and NU advisors throughout your studies. You’ll also learn from our highly experienced faculty who have either a terminal degree in healthcare administration or significant practical experience managing and leading in a variety of health administration settings.

You’ll increase your chances for professional growth and job placement through carefully planned internships and a capstone experience, plus gain practical experience in project management, teamwork, and leadership. If you are looking for career advancement from middle to upper-middle management, or to transition into healthcare administration from other professions, NU’s Master of Healthcare Administration can put you in position to explore and pursue many options and opportunities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow by 32 percent by 2030. That’s much faster than the average for other occupations, and it means you’re in the right place at the right time if you possess the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue myriad career possibilities in healthcare management.

For example, employers in today’s job market are seeking professionals with a Master of Healthcare Administration degree to fill positions in a broad range of work settings, including:

  • Managed healthcare facilities
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care operations
  • Federal, state, and local departments of health
  • Academic institutions
  • And many more

A few of the job titles pursuing candidates with MHA credentials include:

  • Chief Nursing Officers
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Program Managers
  • Practice Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Directors of Operations
  • Health Systems Specialists

SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: April 13, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

National University’s Master of Healthcare Administration degree program focuses on preparing you with the knowledge and skills to manage today’s healthcare organizations and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges. Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll understand how to:

  • Implement care and processes for better outcomes with evidence-based best practices in the full scope of healthcare operations and delivery
  • Engage communities and multilevel partners in working together to improve modifiable determinants of health and health outcomes to achieve optimal population health
  • Assess the business, demographic, ethnocultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that improve the long-term success and viability of the organization
  • And many other skills sought by today’s healthcare employers

These are important skill sets that come with the potential for significant compensation. In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $104,280.

With your MHA degree, you’ll likely be able to pursue career opportunities across a broad spectrum of industries. Emsi Labor Analyst data suggests healthcare management professionals are currently in demand by employers in:

  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Finance and insurance
  • Education services
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services
  • Public administration

SOURCE: Emsi Labor Analyst- Report. Emsi research company homepage at https://www.economicmodeling.com/company/ (Report viewed: April 13, 2022. DISCLAIMER: The data provided is for Informational purposes only. Emsi data and analysis utilizes government sources to provide insights on industries, demographics, employers, in-demand skills, and more to align academic programs with labor market opportunities. Cited projections may not reflect local or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Current and prospective students should use this data with other available economic data to inform their educational decisions.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and apply decision-making technology to evaluate information and to discover evidence-based solutions that are reliable.
  • Communicate effectively in all forms of expression to relate facts, simplify complexity, customize, and create persuasive arguments for the target audience to improve organizational function and/or to transform organizational vision for all stakeholders.
  • Use and analyze corporate financial management concepts (e.g., rate of return, net present value, and cash flow analyses); analyze trends in population, disease, and utilization data; understand principles of insurance rating, actuarial risk, and shared risk to make decisions.
  • Assess the business, demographic, ethnocultural, political, and regulatory implications of decisions and develop strategies that improve the long-term success and viability of the organization.
  • Evaluate political, economic, social, technological, workforce, legal, ethical and regulatory factors that impact systems, organizations, communities and individuals at multiple levels along the health care continuum.
  • Implement care and processes for better outcomes with the attendant evidence-based best practices in the full scope of healthcare operations and delivery.
  • Demonstrate leadership excellence through abilities and behaviors, which include establishing a vision and motivating and supporting others to work towards that shared vision and related goals.
  • Evaluate alternative organizing structures and use organization structure to design performance improvement strategies.
  • Apply evidence-based approaches to engage communities and multilevel partners in working together to improve modifiable determinants of health and health outcomes to achieve optimal population health.
  • Employ organizational integrity by examining organizational behavior for honesty and fair dealing with all constituencies, including employees and community stakeholders
  • Exercise professional behaviors consistent with self-awareness, accountability, continuous learning, and ethical and social responsibility for the greater good.

Student Outcomes

Information on National University’s Master of Healthcare Administration student outcomes may be found on the program’s CAHME Program Profile website.

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To speak with our admissions team, call (855) 355-6288 or request information and an advisor will contact you shortly. If you’re ready to apply, simply start your application today.

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MHA Faculty

Linda J Mast, PhD, FACMPE

Professor
MHA, DHA

Emaillmast@ncu.edu

Phone number: (928) 582-1074

Education

PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2000
Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Areas of Concentration: Healthcare Administration; Curriculum & Instruction

MBA, Western New England College, Springfield, Massachusetts,
1984, Health Care Administration

BSN, University of Maryland-Baltimore, 1978,
Nursing

Areas of Expertise

  • Competency-based education
  • Problem-based Learning
  • Leadership
  • Population health management
  • Health Policy

Background

Dr. Linda Mast is an Army Veteran and has been a long-time member of AUPHA and a passionate advocate for equity in access to higher education in the health care administration professions. She has served in leadership roles at several universities including Associate Dean for the School of Health Sciences at Northcentral University and the Robert Morris University-Chicago School of Business. Dr. Mast’s significant executive healthcare administration experience including positions with academic medical centers, hospitals, and as Chief Compliance Officer for the University of Chicago gives her the opportunity to incorporate real world examples in her approach to developing curriculum. She has contributed to several new programs and curriculum development in both traditional face to face and online delivery.  Innovation in curriculum design for adult learners is one of her passions, and she has served as PI for funded research on self-directed learning and competency- based learning from both a faculty development perspective and the student experience. Dr. Mast is a member of JHAE Editorial Board, former chair of Online Program Directors Forum, and co-author with Stephen Gambescia of the pivotal AUPHA funded white paper in 2013 titled “Assessing Online Education and Accreditation in Healthcare Management” that served as the impetus for advancing conversations to ensure the eligibility of online programs to be accredited.  Dr. Mast is a member of AzMGMA Student Membership Committee, a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives, and a Veteran of the Army Nurse Corps. She serves her community on the Yavapai College Foundation Board and as a member of the Frontier Rotary Club.

Current Research Focus

  • Competency-based learning (Serves as PI for funded project)
  • Interprofessional Collaboration

Honors and Awards

  • National University Dissertation Chair of the Year, 2023
  • Northcentral University Research Excellence 2022
  • Rosalind Franklin University Researcher of the Year 2014
  • Robert Morris University-Chicago Teaching Fellow 2009
Rodney K McCurdy, PhD

Professor and DHA Academic Program Director

Emailrmccurdy@nu.edu

Phone number: 707.454.6848

Education

PhD Health Services and Policy Analysis, University of California, Berkeley

Master of Health Administration (MHA), Baylor University

BS Business Administration, University of Maryland

Areas of Expertise

  • Organizational behavior in healthcare
  • Macro-organizational theory
  • Social Network Analysis of Organizations

Background

Dr. McCurdy oversees the curriculum and research efforts of doctoral students in health administration addressing organizational and managerial challenges to improve health system performance.  He has over 25 years of direct healthcare management experience including leadership positions at both the organizational and delivery system levels. He has extensive experience working with clinical professionals and leading multidisciplinary teams. Dr. McCurdy has over 15 years experience in higher education and research. He was a staff fellow with the Center for Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, US Department of Health and Human Services from 2016-2019. His work incorporated organizational behavior, performance measurement, and performance improvement methods to facilitate a climate for value in healthcare organizations. Dr. McCurdy is a retired US Air Force officer (Major).

Current Research Focus

  • Complex adaptive systems in healthcare
  • Organizational resilience
  • Implementation science
Joann Harper

Emailjharper@nu.edu

Education

University of San Diego – PhD–Leadership, Healthcare Science and Nursing

Areas of Expertise

  • Healthcare Administration
  • Program development and implementation within industry and academic institutions
  • Compliance and Privacy

Background

Career represents progressive roles in leadership, compliance, project management, quality, and consulting, with faculty positions over the last decade. Skills: team facilitation, coaching, strategic planning, operations, and project implementation/management. Experience is applicable to public- and privately-sponsored constituents, integrated health systems, health plans and academic centers and institutions.

Current Research Focus

  • Professionalism and Interprofessional Education
  • Early Onset Colorectal Cancer

Honors and Awards

Recipient of the National University Presidential Scholars Award: Interprofessional Education and Practice.

License Certificates

  • 2017-01-01, Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance
  • 2016-01-01, Certified in Healthcare Compliance
  • 2016-01-01, TeamSTEPPS(R) Master Trainer Certification
  • 2011-01-01, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
  • 1994-01-01, Certified Case Manager
  • 1990-01-01, Associate Risk Management
  • 1986-01-01, American Board QA & UR Certificate
  • DNV: NIAHO/ ISO 9001 Certifications: CMS/COP
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Mobile Intensive Care Nurse
  • Critical Care Registered Nurse

Publications

  • Harper, J. (2019). IPEC’s core competency 2 roles and responsibilities: What more do we need to implement these?  Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 9(7): 46-55.
  • Harper, J. (2018). Interprofessional communication: How do we do it?  Journal of Nursing Education and Practice9(4): 48-58.
  • Harper, J. (2018). Getting underneath IPEC competencies: Core competency 4: Teams and Teamwork. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 9(3), 56-69. 
  • Harper, J. (2015). Hospitalization for acute diabetic complications: are we aware? International Journal of Health Sciences & Research, 5(6), 613-623.
  • Harper, J. (2016). Closing the Gap: Innovative Approaches to integrating TeamSTEPPS and IPEC Competencies to promote Interprofessional Education and Practice. Conference presented at the American Hospital Association, Washington DC, USA.
  • Harper, J. (2015). Hospitalization for acute diabetic complications: Are we aware? Conference presented at the International Conf: American Society of Business and Behavioral Science, Venice, Italy.
  • Harper, J. (2014). Hospitalization for Acute Diabetic Complications: Are We Aware? Conference presented at the National University Fall Faculty Scholarship Conference, La Jolla, CA.
  • Harper, J. and Robinson, J.B. (2022). Teaching from a distance: Challenges in classroom management to promote professionalism. Journal of Business and Educational Leadership, 12(1), 35-56.
Lockford Jones

Academic Program Director
Master of Healthcare Administration

Emailljones2@nu.edu

Phone Number: (858) 309-3483

Education

Univ of Alabama, Birmingham – PHD – Administration/Health Services

Publications

  • Jones, L. (2017). Healthcare Administration Leadership in Academia: Driving patient-centered care. Conference presented at the Planetree International Conference on Patient-Centered Care, Baltimore, MD.
  • Jones, L. (2015). Building Core Competencies for Inter-professional collaboration. Lecture presented at the National University Spring Sympsoium, Mission Valley, CA.
  • Jones, L. (2014). Wellness, Employers, Employees, and the ACA. Conference presented at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s Health Literacy Conference, Irvine, CA.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Earning your Master’s in Healthcare Administration from NU can be an excellent way to prepare for a leadership role in a variety of healthcare settings. Not only will your industry-current skills be in demand, but salaries for MHA graduates can also be very appealing. In May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the median annual wage for medical and health services managers was $104,280.

An MBA is a globally recognized management degree that usually positions graduates for management roles in the corporate world. An MHA degree focuses more on providing you with a specialized skill set relevant to the needs of healthcare facilities and related organizations seeking hospital administrators and healthcare managers who understand the current challenges of the health sector.

Both specializations have similarities, but the roles and responsibilities differ. While professionals with either degree will likely work in similar environments, healthcare managers’ roles tend to focus more on overseeing the big picture needs of a healthcare organization. Conversely, healthcare administrators are generally needed for the day-to-day operations and staffing.

Aside from the attractive salaries commanded by healthcare administrators, the job outlook for professionals with an MHA is extremely robust. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow by 32 percent by 2030. That’s much faster than the average for other occupations, and it means you should have ample opportunities to establish and advance your career.

Healthcare administration can be an ideal choice for those who want to play an important role in the industry but have no desire to be a medical professional or a direct care provider. Instead, these highly skilled professionals are charged with directing the operations of a healthcare organization, rather than dealing directly with patients.

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