Written by Sarah Shelley | Content Development Specialist

Healthcare administration is a unique avenue to make a difference in the lives of patients, their families, and medical teams – all without the need of a medical degree.

University of the Cumberlands is now offering an online Master of Science in Healthcare Administration (MSHA) degree, with classes beginning summer 2024. The degree program focuses on the business side of the healthcare industry, equipping graduates to become medical and health services leaders who can ensure the efficient and effective delivery of patient care services. The curriculum offers a practice-enabled online learning model that emphasizes the conceptual, analytical, and real-world experiences needed to manage contemporary healthcare organizations. To learn more about Cumberlands’ new online MSHA degree, visit www.ucumberlands.edu/academics

Dr. Trey Jarboe, provost at Cumberlands, said, “To put it simply, there is and always will be a pressing need for medical workers such as nurses, physician assistants, surgeons, and so forth. Simultaneously, there is a high need for qualified healthcare administrators to keep healthcare organizations running smoothly. We already offer nursing programs, physician assistant programs, and more at Cumberlands, and this new healthcare administration master’s program is a way for us to continue strengthening healthcare in Appalachia and across the nation through quality and accessible education.”

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all aspects of America’s healthcare delivery system, highlighting the frailties within. As a result, knowledgeable and capable healthcare professionals have become a more crucial need than ever nationwide. In fact, the need is likely to grow; as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected in 2023, medical and health services manager employment will increase 28 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than all other occupations.

Cumberlands’ online health administration master’s degree program will give students opportunities to demonstrate advanced knowledge of present-day healthcare theories and practices, gain hands-on experience and application-based skills, develop stronger interpersonal and communication skills, apply ethical reasoning within a medical business context, and conduct rigorous research.

Jarboe added, “Empowerment begins with education. Healthcare education is critical to bridging the gaps in all realms of healthcare and ensuring transformative and life-saving medical services are available in all regions. Not only do programs like this MSHA degree benefit the graduates who earn it, but they impact the communities where these equipped professionals live and work. This program is ultimately about providing an opportunity to prepare graduates to help the most people possible through healthcare administration.”

With nearly $128,000 being the average salary for healthcare managers in the U.S. and Kentucky currently having fewer than 11,000 medical and health services managers employed statewide (2022, BLS.gov), a position in the field can be lucrative as well as beneficial to the general population.

University of the Cumberlands’ Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner program was recently ranked among the best and most affordable online programs of its kind in America by NurseJournal.org. Earlier this academic year, both PA (physician assistant) programs at Cumberlands had a 100 percent pass rate for their national certification exams, and PA students from the Florence campus placed 3rd at the AAPA National Medical Challenge Bowl. The new DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) program at Cumberlands, named after Connie Hauser, DPT, a pioneer of physical therapy throughout Kentucky, conducted its first white coat ceremony in February 2024. 

Cumberlands is continually expanding its opportunities for students to obtain quality and affordable health science education. Learn more at www.ucumberlands.edu/academics