Are There Online Nursing Administration Programs That Do Not Require the GRE?
A nurse who pursues a Nursing Administration degree has plentiful opportunities for advancement, promotions and meaningful work in the field of nursing.
Nurse administrators are the people within a medical facility who keep the nursing process running smoothly. This is a role that requires strong leadership skills and management skills, along with nursing experience.
Healthcare administrators run hospitals, non-profit organizations, clinics and entire hospital networks.
Six Colleges with Online Programs That Do Not Require the GRE
- Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
- Southern New Hampshire University
- University of Delaware
- Concordia University Saint Paul
- University of Saint Mary
- Tufts University
After working in the nursing field, some nurses will choose to pursue administrative roles. This often looks like overseeing the nursing staff, supporting hospital administrators, directing patient care, implementing safety policies, managing complex budgets, implementing strategic human resource management and scheduling staff.
Typically, nurse administrators do less hands-on patient care, as their time is spent managing the nurses who provide that care directly to patients.
How to Qualify for a Nurse Administrator Role
An advanced position like a nurse practitioner is not always enough to qualify someone for healthcare administration roles. A nurse practitioner or RN who earns a graduate degree in health administration from a national university or regional university opens the door to new opportunities.
There are a few different paths that a nurse or nurse practitioner can take to nurse administration. Most hiring managers at hospitals and medical practices prefer hiring a nurse administrator with a nurse administration certification. Holding a master’s degree in nursing is an excellent first step toward moving into an administrative role.
Even if someone is already a nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner or RN, there is always room for continued advancement. That is especially true for nurses interested in looking at online MHA programs that will equip them for a career in healthcare administration.
The career path to becoming a nurse administrator can involve multiple degrees. This overview provides information about nurses’ degrees, including entry-level associate, advanced nurse practitioner, and terminal Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.
Associate Degree in Nursing
An associate degree in Nursing (ADN) is the minimum requirement for becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). This degree typically takes two years of full-time coursework and is frequently offered at community colleges.
After completing the coursework required for the degree, a nursing student becomes eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Passing the NCLEX-RN allows the student to be eligible for an RN license from the state where they plan to work.
The main benefit of an ADN is the ability to get into the field quickly with less money spent on tuition. The drawback, however, is that this degree only qualifies nurses for the lower-level nursing jobs on the market. If applicants work in a competitive job market, the ADN will not open nearly as many doors as a bachelor’s.
Additionally, ADN holders are not likely to be hired into leadership positions, including nurse administrator roles. A bachelor’s degree is a much better option if your goal is to become a nurse practitioner, including a family nurse practitioner.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is another path toward RN certification.
This traditional, four-year degree trains aspiring nurses to provide high-quality clinical care in various healthcare settings. At the end of the degree, students take the NCLEX-RN and become eligible for licensing from the state.
Later, they can go to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner or healthcare administrator.
The most significant benefit of a BSN is that you will be a more desirable job candidate when you enter the market. RNs who hold a BSN are also more likely to be promoted internally when opportunities arise.
Earning a Bachelor’s degree is unlikely to qualify you for health administration roles. Still, it can put you on the right path to your next degree program. Many nurses who finish their undergraduate degrees choose to work for a few years and then apply to a master’s program.
You cannot be a nurse practitioner with a BSN, but it’s an excellent first step.
Master of Science in Nursing
The advanced degree for RNs is the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). The coursework can be completed in 18 months to three years. This is the degree you need to have if you want to be a nurse practitioner.
Earning your MSN creates far more professional opportunities than stopping at a BSN. MSN holders are eligible for nursing administration jobs and nursing or healthcare informatics careers. An RN who gets an MSN may also choose to complete a graduate Nurse Practitioner (NP) program to work as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, or Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.
Being a nurse practitioner is a rewarding advanced nursing position. Getting hired as a nurse practitioner means practicing more advanced medicine and working with less direct supervision.
However, sometimes a nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner may realize that they want to pursue something other than hands-on, patient-facing care.
An MS in nursing may also provide a path to health systems management and becoming a nurse practitioner.
The next step after an MSN degree may be a Master of Health Administration. This next degree appeals to an RN or nurse practitioner who wants to move out of direct patient care and into nurse management roles. The option of an MHA shows that an MSN is not the only degree that prepares a nurse or nurse practitioner to become a healthcare administrator.
Master of Health Administration
The Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree is not limited to RNs, yet RNs are excellent MHA candidates. Those with a nurse practitioner credential may also pursue an MHA. They use their firsthand knowledge of nursing and healthcare to inform their administrative duties.
A health administration program qualifies a nurse or nurse practitioner to serve as a leader in their networks and systems. MHA graduates are responsible for implementing healthcare policy and management strategies in their healthcare organizations.
Finding online MHA programs without a GRE requirement is a great next step for any nurse or nurse practitioner who wants to assume a leadership role within their organization.
An MHA prepares a healthcare manager or advanced nurse practitioner to successfully:
- Analyze healthcare delivery within the network or healthcare organization
- Assess outcomes and healthcare strategies for providing high-quality patient care
- Understand the complex legal reality of healthcare in the U.S., including constantly changing laws and court decisions
- Oversee management of electronic health records
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The highest level of education that a nurse can receive is the doctor of nursing practice (DNP). This terminal degree is the equivalent of a doctoral degree in any other field of study. A nurse practitioner who completes their DNP has many career path options.
It typically takes 2-3 years of full-time coursework and clinical hours to earn a DNP. Because it can be challenging to study full-time while also working as a nurse or nurse practitioner, many DNP candidates pursue their degrees part-time.
Having a DNP qualifies nurses to work as hospital executives, nursing faculty at a university or healthcare administrators.
Advice for Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Prospective nurses should consider a bachelor’s degree from a national or regional nursing university as their first educational goal. It is the stepping stone to passing the NCLEX-RN and becoming certified as a Registered Nurse.
Nursing programs at state universities, private universities and other accredited institutions are competitive. They have high admissions requirements and require a labor-intensive admissions process.
However, they are also an excellent option for students who are just out of high school, as well as health care professionals who are transitioning to a new career.
Collegiate nursing education is about becoming an excellent caregiver and professional nurse. Whether looking at in-person or online programs, you want to find a regionally accredited institution that will prepare you for a meaningful career in health services.
When applying to a nursing program, choose one with high admissions standards, excellent faculty, high rates of graduation, strong post-degree placement statistics and high NCLEX-RN pass rates.
Online Nursing Programs
Many universities offer online nursing programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. When an accredited institution offers them, online programs are a good educational choice. Someone who graduates from an online program is equally as prepared as an in-person university program graduate.
Benefits of Online Programs
Benefits of an online nursing bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program include:
- Access to programs outside of your geographic location
- Self-paced learning
- High-quality courses
- Lower cost
For anyone who already works in nursing, online programs typically offer a clinical experience tied to your current employment. For example, a nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner should be able to continue in their nurse practitioner role while pursuing their online degree.
Students interested in an online program for their Bachelor’s degree or graduate program should look for an affordable program with high admissions requirements, high graduation rates, exceptional faculty and a strong history of graduating healthcare leaders.
Online Graduate Degree Programs in Nursing
Like an online bachelor’s degree program, an online graduate degree program offers flexibility and affordability.
Online MHA programs, online informatics programs, and online health administration programs are all great options for RNs who want to pursue healthcare administration roles.
An online Master of Science in Nursing or Health Administration program provides students with the opportunities they need to learn about things like healthcare leadership, health systems management, healthcare financial management, and advancing careers within the healthcare industry.
Students may also focus on global health, health informatics, healthcare ethics and how to provide exceptional, patient-first care.
Many online MHA programs no longer have a GRE requirement.
What is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
Some graduate schools require students to submit standardized test scores as part of their application process. The GRE is a standardized test designed to measure verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing and critical thinking.
GRE test scores are measured as follows:
- Analytical writing: a scale of 0.0 to 6.0
- Verbal reasoning: a scale of 130 to 170
- Quantitative reasoning: a scale of 130 to 170
That said, not all schools have a GRE requirement. Others require it but are willing to grant a GRE waiver in some circumstances.
Alternatives to GRE Scores
If a school does not require GRE scores, they likely have some other admissions standards to demonstrate your academic strengths. For example, you may need to provide a transcript proving that you had a high cumulative undergraduate GPA or a personal statement demonstrating a strong academic history.
6 MHA Programs That Do Not Require the GRE
Applying to MHA programs does not mean that you have to take the GRE for admission. Instead of submitting GRE scores, these regionally accredited institutions utilize alternative admissions requirements.
When applying to online MHA programs, you should consider the program’s cost, the quality of the faculty and the institution’s reputation.
George Washington University: Online Master of Health Administration
George Washington University is located in Washington, D.C, but its online MHA program is open to applicants from around the U.S, as well as international students.
The MHA@GW program focuses on providing high-quality graduate education to working healthcare professionals. Instead of having to relocate to Washington, D.C, online master of health students do all of their work remotely.
This has been an online MHA program since 2014. Full-time students can complete the program within two years, although many students enroll on a part-time basis while they work their full-time healthcare jobs.
In addition to online MHA coursework, students participate in in-person immersion experiences. These can happen in D.C. at major national and global health organizations or around the world.
The coursework of this online program is covered through a series of eight 10-week learning modules. Additionally, students participate in four immersion experiences: two 40-hour immersions and two 20-hour immersions. These are held virtually from the campus in Washington, D.C. and from prestigious global health organizations.
At the end of the program, students will present an action plan that they have developed based on a real-world health system problem. The final immersion experience involves presenting this plan to receive feedback from both classmates and real-world healthcare leaders.
The Master of Health Administration degree is healthcare leadership-focused. The program aims to develop exceptional leaders who can excel in health administration roles, including business administration, healthcare ethics, human relations, healthcare financial management, and health law.
U.S. News and World Report rank the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University at Number 11 in its list of the country’s best graduate schools offering public health degrees. MHA@GW’s accreditation comes from the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
Highly trained healthcare administrators should set health policies. Earning an MHA from George Washington equips you to become one of the leaders in the field of healthcare administration.
MHA@GW does not require the GRE for admission. Instead, a 3.0 GPA or higher will demonstrate strong academic potential.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota: Master of Arts in Health & Human Services Administration
St. Mary’s University of Minnesota offers another entirely online program. The Master’s in Health and Human Services degree prepares healthcare leaders for meaningful administrative careers.
The 100% online program is accredited by the Minnesota Board of Executives for Long-Term Services and Support (MN BELTSS). It requires 36 hours of health management coursework.
Graduates find themselves working in the following settings:
- Behavioral health agencies
- Home health agencies
- Long-term care facilities
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Public health organizations
- Human services agencies
- Non-profit organizations
Courses at St. Mary’s
These are the courses students will complete while earning their Master of Health and Human Services degree:
- Health Informatics and Application
- Human Resources in the Health and Human Services Sector
- Financial Practices in the Health and Human Services Sector
- Advanced Research, Writing and Communication
- Finance for Health Services Administrators
- Health and Human Service Systems
- Aging, Illness, and the Continuum of Care
- Advanced Health Policy and Ethics
- Health and Human Services Administration
- Health Sector Quality and Performance Improvement
- Strategic Health and Human Services Leadership
In addition to the core courses, students may complete graduate certificate programs while enrolled. These include a Healthcare Administration Certificate, Individual and Team Leadership Certificate and Organization and Change Leadership Certificate.
When going into healthcare administration, having one or more certificates qualifies you for higher paying and more prestigious positions within the healthcare industry.
Students who take full-time coursework can finish their degree in two years. Part-time students can finish at their own pace. At $700 per credit, the coursework for the degree costs $25,200. Keep in mind that universities also charge matriculation fees, technology fees and other miscellaneous fees. Financial aid is available, and financial aid counselors can be reached by calling 877-308-9954.
An optional add-on to the degree is a four-credit practicum that provides students with the necessary training to apply for the Minnesota Nursing Home Administrator license.
A MAHHSA degree is open to candidates who already hold an RN license and other healthcare professionals. The great thing about online programs like this one is that they allow students to take their classes and do their work on their own schedule.
While the program does have specific due dates that the instructors set, there are no synchronous classes that you must attend. As long as students abide by the due dates, they can do their work when they have the time.
To apply, prospective students will need to submit the following:
- A completed application
- A $25 non-refundable application fee (some exceptions apply)
- An official transcript from the university that issued their bachelor’s degree
- A personal statement that describes the applicant’s background, training, experience, and career goals
- Two letters of reference
- A current resume
There is no GRE requirement for the MAHHSA program, partly because many graduate schools recognize that the GRE is not an ideal indicator of academic success. Applicants do not need a 3.0 GPA, but the university transcripts should demonstrate high academic performance.
If there are gaps in an applicant’s resume or transcript, they can address those concerns in the written personal statement.
Students can continue to work at their healthcare organizations while they complete their degrees. Upon graduation, they can apply for promotions (and salary raises) within their existing organization or positions in other healthcare administration businesses and organizations.
University of Delaware: Master of Business Administration with a Healthcare Concentration
Pursuing an MBA may not seem like the most obvious career path for people with an RN license, but there are several great reasons to consider an MBA program with a healthcare concentration like the one offered at the University of Delaware.
The school recognizes that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare sector within the United States is projected to continue to grow.
The healthcare management concentration of the MBA program prepares students to join the ranks of the growing healthcare field. With a focus on leadership development, faculty teach their classes in a way that prepares health administration professionals to steward both non-profits and healthcare businesses to financial success.
Core courses are taught by the business faculty of the Lerner College and the health administration faculty of the University of Delaware’s College of Health Sciences.
Coursework at the University of Delaware
This program is 100% online. Students take three required courses and six electives. The required courses are:
- HLTH 844: Population Health informatics
- HOSP 815: E-Service Management in Healthcare
- HOSP 640: Patient Experience and Engagement
Like other online programs, the University of Delaware has moved away from requiring graduate record examinations (the GRE). Instead, applicants will demonstrate their likelihood of academic success through their other application materials.
These application materials are:
- An online application submitted through the University’s application portal
- $75 application fee
- Bachelor’s degree transcripts from an accredited institution
- A personal statement that addresses each of the required prompts
- A detailed and current resume (this is where students with an RN license will document their nursing credentials)
- Two letters of recommendation
- A GRE waiver form if you choose not to submit your standardized test scores (this program does not require GRE scores)
Additionally, applicants are expected to demonstrate that they have five or more years of experience in the workforce or as a volunteer, intern, or student. A nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, or RN will likely find this qualification easy to meet.
Funding Options and Tuition Costs
Tuition for this program costs $950 per credit, plus required fees. Financial aid is available to students who maintain a 3.0 GPA. Highly qualified students are eligible for graduate scholarships that may cover up to 25% of tuition for two years.
An additional funding opportunity is available in the form of graduate assistantships. Graduate Assistants (GAs) receive a stipend and a tuition scholarship in exchange for assisting the faculty during their enrollment.
Both graduate assistantships and scholarships are awarded based on the student’s application materials. There is no need to submit an additional application.
The final method of funding is through a graduate internship. The Lerner College’s highest performing students can be rewarded with an $11,000 stipend each term and a 50% tuition scholarship. This internship involves working 20 hours a week for a sponsoring employer.
Concordia University-Saint Paul: MBA in Health Care Management
Concordia University in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is another university that offers a business degree with a concentration in healthcare administration. A student with an RN license who wants to move out of patient-facing care will find that an MBA offers new opportunities in healthcare administration.
Specifically, the online MBA in Health Care Management at CSP offers students the opportunity to advance their healthcare careers by combining business training and healthcare administration knowledge.
Required courses cover the following topics:
- Global economics
- Management decision analysis
- Healthcare informatics
- Human resource management
- Healthcare ethics
- Healthcare strategic leadership
The program is comprised of 39 credits that can be divided between six semesters. Students with transfer credits will be able to finish the program faster. At $625 per credit hour, the program’s projected cost is $24,375 before university and program fees, book costs and other supplies.
CSP does not charge an application fee. Because there is no GRE requirement, applicants do not need to worry about taking their graduate record examinations.
To apply, fill out an application online and submit transcripts demonstrating a 3.0 GPA (out of a 4.0 scale). Additionally, applicants must submit a 400-1000 word personal statement that meets the following requirements:
- Includes a narrative (beginning, middle, and end)
- Completely original, without any plagiarism or outside sources
- Professional (lacks spelling and grammar errors)
- Addresses employment history
- Describes the applicant’s professional and personal goals
- Includes a relevant personal (or professional) experience that will lead to success in the MBA program
Graduates of the CSP’s healthcare administration are currently working in management roles (administrative services, clinical, health care human resources), director roles (hospice directors, nursing home directors), entrepreneurship positions, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare informatics and policy analysis roles.
Healthcare leadership roles are lucrative and rewarding. An online MBA in health care management can serve as a health administration program that prepares students for new opportunities.
University of Saint Mary: MBA in Health Care Management
The University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, offers an MBA in Health Care Management that helps those with an RN license and those without train for leadership positions in healthcare administration.
The perspective of the faculty at USM is that healthcare businesses need highly qualified and expertly trained business leaders. Online programs in health care management provide that training.
The online MBA HCM concentration is made up of 33 credits. Students take eight courses from the business core and three courses from healthcare administration:
- Health Care Informatics and Technologies
- Leadership and Business Operations in Health Care
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care
The faculty at USM believe in integrity, practical application of course work, hands-on training and the ability of online programs to provide the same quality of instruction as in-person programs.
Students have access to networking opportunities and hands-on internships.
GRE scores are not required to apply to graduate programs at the University of Saint Mary. Other programs require a 3.0 GPA, but USM allows students with a 2.7 GPA out of a 4.0 scale to apply.
Applicants must submit official undergraduate transcripts, an academic honesty agreement, a current resume and an online application.
Tufts University: Online Master of Science in Health Informatics & Analytics
An alternative to an online MHA is an MS in Health Informatics & Analytics. This degree is ideal for individuals who want to focus on the strategic management of digital medical records, healthcare statistics, data management and healthcare data analysis.
Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, has an outstanding reputation for training healthcare managers, analysts and data scientists. Health information systems are an essential part of the growing healthcare field.
Students in the program come from various backgrounds, including nurse practitioners, RNs and information technology professionals.
Tufts identifies the following outcomes for its MS in Health Informatics & Analytics graduates:
- Understand and create mechanisms for health information data collection, secure storage, analysis and reporting
- Utilize acquired knowledge to solve complex data-based problems through statistical analysis
- Use R/R Studio and Python to create functional predictive tools
- Design and create visual representations of complicated data realities
- Use data governance principles to protect the integrity and confidentiality of healthcare data
- Maintain strong ethical standards through leadership, collaboration and communication
Prospective students must submit an online application and application fee, official undergraduate transcripts, a professional resume, a statement of purpose, answers to two out of three writing prompts and three letters of recommendation.
There is no GRE requirement for this program, but applicants may submit GRE scores if they wish.
Southern New Hampshire University: Master of Healthcare Administration Online
Southern New Hampshire University offers programs that are 100% online, including the Master of Healthcare Administration. Online MHA programs are gaining popularity as healthcare professionals seek new opportunities in healthcare administration and leadership.
There is no GRE requirement to apply to SNHU’s online MHA program.
As an online MHA student, you will learn:
- Interpersonal skills
- Collaborative best practices
- Cultural competencies
- Organizational development
- Human resources management
- Market analysis
- Data analysis
- Strategic planning
- Operations management
Online MHA Costs & Timelines
The online MHA costs $726 per credit and requires 36 total credits. Students may also transfer up to 12 graduate credits, which reduces the total enrollment cost.
Most students can finish the program in 15 months, but healthcare professionals can take the classes at their own pace. Part-time students are welcome. There are five terms in the SNHU school year, each lasting ten weeks.
Applicants must submit an online application, transcript release form, and graduate attestation form. There is no application fee or GRE requirement for the online MHA program.
Students do not need to have a 3.0 GPA to apply. A 2.7 GPA is acceptable; some students may be conditionally accepted with a 2.0 GPA.
Courses for the online MHA include:
- Healthcare Informatics
- Healthcare Administration Capstone
- Global Health and Diversity
- Marketing, Communications Strategies and Outreach
- Healthcare Quality and Improvement
- Health Policy and Law
- Economic Principles of Healthcare
- Healthcare Finance and Reimbursement
- Program Design, Planning and Evaluation
- Strategic Human Resource Management
- Leading/Managing Not-for-Profit Orgs
University of Cincinnati Online: Master of Health Administration
The online MHA from the University of Cincinnati trains its students in the strategic management of health care organizations.
Like other online MHA programs, UC uses alternative admissions requirements to the GRE. Applicants must submit official transcripts from their undergraduate program, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, two letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, proven work experience, and an application fee of $65 for domestic students and $70 for international applicants.
UC’s online MHA offers students hands-on learning opportunities and collaborative coursework. They prioritize competency-driven curricula and believe in adapting to the constant health care changes.
This healthcare administration degree includes 40 credits. Two of these credits are intro-level courses, nine are core classes, and one is a two-part capstone.
Graduate certificate options include:
- Health Care Administration
- Health Care Finance
- Health Care Operations
- Health Care Policy & Regulation
Knowing Your Options for Healthcare Administration Degrees Without a GRE Requirement
More and more online MHA programs and other advanced healthcare administration degrees have begun to forgo the submission of GRE scores. While some programs still have a GRE requirement, finding and choosing programs without one is not difficult.
Pursuing a healthcare administration career already requires extensive study and work. Why not bypass the GRE by choosing online MHA programs that use other metrics for admissions?
Healthcare administration is an exciting and growing field. Any RN, nurse practitioner, health science professional or healthcare business manager may choose an online program that meets their needs and goals.