Are There Any Dual DNP/MBA Nursing Programs in the USA?

The common misconception is that nursing is only related to the role of caregiver providing bedside care, and collaborating with physicians in treatments.

However, the nursing field includes more roles and tasks. 

The nursing profession includes a variety of specialties and career opportunities.

Additionally, the nursing field has excellent career options for those people who want to position them in administrative or leadership roles. 

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree in nursing and there is no higher degree a nurse can obtain in the nursing field.

However, the nurse can earn higher degrees in other fields to expand practice and role. 

In all fields, programs that are designed to provide two degrees are called dual degree programs.

Commonly, nurses who seek higher roles and education can choose to pair their DNP degree with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Nurses who complete dual DNP/MBA programs can work on higher positions and be in charge of creating policies, leadership positions in all healthcare organizations.

Additionally, nurses are trained to identify the issues and needs of a specific population and improve the polices to elevate the practice.

How to Choose a Suitable DNP/MBA Program?

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing your educational program.

Campus Vs. Online Program

The first thing to determine is whether you want campus or online program.

Working nurses are usually those who want to obtain a higher degree.

Due to their professional and family responsibilities, working nurses may struggle to find the appropriate program.

Online programs are convenient because they are flexible and cost less, but campus programs have plenty of benefits as well.

In-person classes offer the chance for students to interact with instructors and peers, which means a lot to the students. 

Also, many students prefer this way of learning, but the choice is individual and depends on personal preferences. 

Additionally, some nurses learn best by in-person, didactic instruction. The choice is highly individualized.


Next, you should ensure that the dual DNP/MBA program has appropriate accreditation.

Some programs are accredited through the local institution, but only nationally accredited programs meet all educational standards in nursing. 

Also, these programs offer the best job opportunities after completion.

In the USA, two national institutions maintain the program accreditation process.

Those are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).


Next, you should research to find out which topics the DNP/MBA course covers.

Learning about the curriculum will ensure how comprehensive the program is and whether that is the educational track you want to take. 

Your previous education, BSN or MSN will determine what general education courses you have to take and if there are also some advanced-nursing courses.

You might be asked to complete courses in accounting, marketing, or finance as well.


Nurses who want to start their higher degree educational programs should consider the costs as well.

Programs can be very expensive, and not only the tuition but additional costs for supplies, technology, and required fees. 

The costs of dual programs vary from state to state and from school to school.

Therefore, before you apply for any program, you should research the tuition, the fees the additional costs and possibilities for scholarship, grants, and other types of financial aid available for the nursing students. 

Reasons to Choose Online DNP/MBA Programs

Working nurses with a busy schedule often choose online managerial and administrative programs in the nursing field.

Let’s go briefly through several advantages of online DNP/MBA programs.


The online course is an excellent way for nurses to improve their degree level. 

Nurses don’t work the traditional nine-to-five shifts and can work evenings, weekends, and holidays. 

The shifts are unpredictable and nurses can work any time of the week, day, and year, therefore, online programs are excellent solutions.

During the online program, a nurse can study and complete learning modules at the time she wants and make it fit with the rest of their schedule. 

Finishing the studies at their own pace is very convenient for nurses, and more nurses who choose online programs during their work, successfully finish it.


Very often online DNP/MBA programs cost less than traditional, on-campus programs.

Also, many schools have a flat rate, which all out-of-state students appreciate.

When you choose an online program, there are no costs for commuting, parking, etc.

There are also scholarship and students loan available for online programs.


Easy of access and convenience is another great reason why you should pick an online program over a traditional one.

If you have a computer and internet access, you can complete your degree working from anywhere in the world.

You can log in on holidays, evenings, nights, etc.

Access your learning materials whenever you can and want from anywhere in the world. 

Online programs are great for individuals from rural communities to start working on their career goals, without the immediate need to relocate.


As mentioned before, online programs are designed for individuals learning at their pace.

It means that, if you fully commit to the program, you could potentially finish the program sooner. 

Students interested in a slower pace should know that there are deadlines that schools set on how much longer a person can study.

In some schools, it is around six years.

Therefore, before you start your program, make sure to research all opportunities. 


The curriculum for a dual program is different across the schools.

The most common duration for the full-time program is nine semesters, including the summer session.

Also, programs have clinical hour requirements, around 1000 hours, and a capstone project.

The curriculum consists of a general education program for graduate nurses and business administration courses.

Core courses might be different across the schools, but you can expect to study Healthcare policy, Marketing, Communication, Bussiness management, etc. 

Nurses who haven’t completed an MSN degree, have to complete the advance-practice nursing courses, but only if the program accepts BSN-prepared nurses.

Dual DNP/MBA Courses

The list of courses and classes may vary, but the majority of dual DNP/MBA programs have a combination of advanced nursing courses and business courses.

For example, if you choose a DNP/MBA program at John Hopkins University, you can expect to have courses such as Business law

Translating evidence into practice, Project development, Business Leadership, Analysis and evaluation of individual and population health data, Clinical data management.

There are also courses such as Statistical analysis, Business communication, Accounting & financial reporting, Economics for decision making.

Courses related to health policy and management are Advanced nursing health policy, Marketing management, Operations Management, General business electives, Leadership in organizations.

Finance related courses include Decision models, The firm and macroeconomy, Investments, Corporate finance.

Additionally, nurses have to complete Problem identification, Information systems, and Nursing inquiry courses.

All DNP/MBA programs have practicum hours requirement and a DNP project.

Some programs require their students to complete a residency program as well.

The Costs of DNP/MBA Programs

Schools have different tuition for the dual DNP/MBA programs.

Also, some schools charge differently for courses, and MBA courses can be slightly more expensive than DNP-related courses. 

Let’s take John Hopkins University for example, and see the approximate price of studying.

If you choose a dual DNP/MBA program on this Univerisity, expect to pay $1,772 per credit hour.

Next, you should prepare to pay for parking, other university fees, supplies, and additional tuition, if you are an out-of-state program.

Before you decide which program to complete, you can research each school’s tuition and fees, but also opportunities for financial aid and scholarships.

Career Opportunities for Nurses with DNP/MBA Degree

Nurses who complete a dual DNP/MBA programs, usually continue their career at leadership positions.

For example, they can work on the position of director of nursing, healthcare or nurse administrator, or nurse executive/CEO. 

Also, consulting is a very common field for them.

Nurse with a dual degree usually are involved in the policymaking process, identification of patient care needs, they evaluate performance, identify risk, and come up with procedures to improve the operation.

These nurses develop changes in the organization to adjust the practice with the latest evidence-based results, which can lead to better patient care outcomes.

Dual DNP/MBA Programs across the States

As mentioned before, the state of Maryland has a dual DNP/MBA program at Johns Hopkins University suitable for the on-campus students and as an online program.

A similar program, available on-campus, and as an online program, you can find Bethel University in Minnesota.

Pennsylvania has two DNP/MBA tracks at DeSales University. 

Those are offered online and as Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Leadership with MBA and Doctor of Nursing Practice in Clinical Leadership with MBA.

Lastly, you can hybrid program at Union University in Tennesse.

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