McKendree’s Nursing Graduate Program Offers Two New Tracks

Dual MSN-MBA, Palliative Care Programs Begin Online This Fall

McKendree University announces two new graduate programs in nursing: a dual MSN-MBA degree, and a track in palliative care nursing. Both programs will begin this fall and all course work will be offered online.

“These programs take our nursing graduate program in a new direction with three distinct tracks: administrator, educator and palliative care, along with the new dual MSN-MBA degree,” said Dr. Richelle Rennegarbe, chair of the nursing division and associate professor of nursing.

The dual MSN-MBA combines nursing and business curricula to prepare nurses for leadership roles in the health care profession.

“The MSN-MBA is for nurse-managers and administrators who want a business focus—those who want to be chief nurse executives, nursing directors or supervisors,” Rennegarbe explained. “This program meets the needs of both the nurses and the institutions. Most hospitals want a business focus but having only an MBA restricts you in nursing. This opens up new opportunities for nurses, and provides them the skills and the language to be at the table with a strong voice. We feel it meets a niche that has been needed in our area.”

“As health care changes, properly trained nurses will be able to fill a wide range of managerial positions in various settings. Learning about optimal decision making, financing issues, management control, marketing and strategic planning will enhance the skills of professional nurses,” said Dr. Frank Spreng, director of the MBA program. “New opportunities will be available to nurses with managerial knowledge to start their own businesses. The combination of nursing and business skills will lead to solutions for a wide range of medical and community related problems.”

The program requires 60 total credit hours of study—30 each for the MSN and MBA. Students pursue one degree at a time, in either order. A full-time student can complete the MSN and MBA in ten semesters. Classes also may be taken part-time. Courses include informatics, fiscal management, fundamentals of management, organizational behavior, and a practicum with a chief financial officer.

Advisors from the School of Nursing and the School of Business will work together to ensure students’ success, said Rennegarbe.

The MSN degree track in palliative care nursing addresses the health care needs of persons seriously or terminally ill.

Palliative care is holistic, explained Dr. Kay Mueggenburg, associate professor of nursing, who is certified in palliative care nursing. “Palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals. The focus is the relief of suffering as described by the patient and the family. In palliative care, the patient and family identify the goals of their care and work with the team to accomplish them.”

“We are cutting-edge by offering this degree,” Rennegarbe noted. “It is entirely online to meet the needs of the working nurse yet our program is relationship-based. Students will do practicums across settings including acute and long-term care, hospice and home care.”

A total of 37 credit hours may be completed in five semesters by a full-time student.

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