What You Should Know About This Degree
Health services is a broad field that encompasses many leadership, administrative and support roles in the healthcare field. However, most jobs do not involve direct patient contact. If you are interested in advanced roles that involve working with patients, you may want to consider a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or nurse practitioner degree.
Hands-on experience is highly valued in the health sciences. Therefore, many programs have some in-person requirements, even if the bulk of their coursework is delivered online. Experiential learning components can include internships, practicums, or labs. Review the program’s curriculum before applying to confirm that you have the flexibility to accommodate these in-person elements.
Licenses or certifications are not required for most jobs within healthcare administration or management, although there are a number of voluntary credentials professionals can obtain from organizations like the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) or the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). These credentials demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the profession, and can make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
One exception is nursing home administrators. All states require individuals working in nursing homes to have a state-issued license. Find out if your program complies with your state’s licensing requirements.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Health Services programs:
- How are online courses delivered? Distance learning programs are usually delivered via synchronous or asynchronous classes. Students attend synchronous classes remotely at set times throughout the term. Asynchronous classes do not have set meeting times. Instead, students can access their lessons and assignments at any time. Decide which type of delivery method works best for you based on your schedule before selecting a program.
- Am I eligible for this program? Some master’s in health services programs require students to have an educational or professional background in healthcare or a related field. When researching programs, be sure to review their eligibility requirements, to confirm that meet the minimum qualifications for admission.
This is also a good time to gather your application materials. Make note of application deadlines, so you can submit your materials in a timely manner. This will help your admissions process go as smoothly as possible.
Financing your graduate degree is another important consideration. Research funding options including student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and grants. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any kind of tuition assistance benefits.