Online MHA Programs That Do Not Require Professional Experience

Although many master’s degree programs require applicants to have at least two years of qualifying professional experience, this is not always the case. Some schools have waived the professional work experience requirement for students wishing to obtain an online master of healthcare administration (MHA). Perhaps this is because healthcare administration is an in-demand career. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 20 percent increase in job openings for medical and health services managers between 2016 and 2026, much higher than the expected average among all U.S. occupations in the same timeframe.

Many pursue a degree in healthcare administration because they want to work on the business and administrative side of healthcare management. Their interest is not necessarily in direct patient care, but rather in helping to create policies that improve healthcare delivery for an entire population. A person with the title of healthcare administrator may run a hospital or clinic, manage a group practice for multiple healthcare providers, or manage a single department within a healthcare setting.

Some of the specific duties of a healthcare administrator might include communicating with healthcare professionals regarding policies and patient progress, scheduling employees, managing finances, and other types of recordkeeping. However, the position of a healthcare administrator is one of many posts that MHA graduates can pursue. In addition to a general track, many schools offer specialties within their MHA programs. Examples include health informatics, acute care, nursing home administration, data management, population management, and senior services. It is a promising field for those who want to advance their career in healthcare administration as well as those pursuing this line of work for the first time.

This guide explores several respectable online MHA programs that do not require previous work experience as well as three renowned professors who teach these programs.

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Professors to Know in Online MHA Programs

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    Darla Branda - Southern New Hampshire University

    Darla Branda is the faculty lead of SNHU's health information management program. In this role, she works as a health information educator, program administrator, curriculum designer and developer, and evaluation and assessment coordinator. Branda has been a registered health information administrator since 1991. She has two bachelor degrees, one in healthcare management from Park College, the other in medical record administration from Saint Louis University. She also has a master’s degree in higher education from Saint Louis University. Before accepting her current role, Branda taught at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. In this position, she coordinated instruction and curriculum for online laboratory classes.

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    Mary Ann Hart - Regis College

    Mary Ann Hart is the program director of Regis College's MHA program. She has worked in the nursing profession for more than four decades, and she was instrumental in developing the graduate MHA program at Regis College in 2009. She is principal of Hart Government Relations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she designs and directs government policies related to non-profit health and human services organizations. Hart earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from Simmons College, her master’s in nursing education from the University of Rhode Island, and a certificate of advanced graduate study as a family nurse practitioner from Regis College. Currently, Hart is taking the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at Regis College, the highest degree a person can earn in the field of nursing. Hart has several publications to her name; the most recent one is called "Accountable Care Organizations: The Future of Care Delivery," which was published in the American Journal of Nursing.

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    Sheila Mitchell-Green - Saint Joseph’s University

    Sheila Mitchell-Green is an adjunct professor in Saint Joseph's MHA program as well as the performance improvement project manager at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has several years of experience in healthcare IT at hospitals across the country as well as at large companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. Over her nearly 25 years in the healthcare administration industry, she created and implemented multiple customer-focused solutions using project management tools. Mitchell-Green obtained her master’s degree in healthcare administration and management from Saint Joseph’s University and her bachelor's degree in business administration and management from North Carolina Central University.

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