Real World Applications of your Online MHA Curriculum

Today’s healthcare careers are fast paced and always evolving. To keep moving forward and building their knowledge and skills, many healthcare professionals find a graduate degree beneficial. For those professionals who want to continue to work while building that knowledge, an online program like NYU Wagner’s Online Master of Health Administration degree can be the right fit, allowing them not only to continue their career while they study, but to use their career experience in courses and solve real-world challenges with the theories and skills they are learning in class. 

“NYU Wagner's Online MHA program is really focused on practical skills you can use once you're outside of the classroom,” says current student Daniel John, a Care Coordinator at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “It's helped me push my career forward.” At NYU Wagner, students work during the program, and find that what they are learning in courses is often directly related to the challenges and opportunities they face at work. The Online MHA program has a special curriculum that is designed to be immediately applicable to students’ working lives.  Here’s how:

Oriented to the Healthcare Industry

Built specifically for healthcare professionals and taught by faculty with deep ties to the field, the Online MHA is an intensive program with a primary focus on the US healthcare system. Though the curriculum’s courses cover topics that can be found in other programs, like managing organizations, accounting and economics, human resources, and entrepreneurship, all of these topics are considered through the lens of healthcare. This means that every topic is immediately recognizable and applicable to the students who are already working in that arena. 

Dennis Liu, a Physician’s Assistant at Montefiore Medical Center and Patient Safety Specialist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, says it was this intense focus that made the program the right fit for him. “A master’s degree in Health Administration is really focused on the healthcare industry. Every class, everything in the curriculum is really tailored to the industry itself,” he says. “This is my life, this is my training, and I don’t plan on ever leaving the industry, so I need something that is really relevant to the work I do. I knew the MHA would provide me the best tools to succeed in the industry.”

Provides New Context for Fundamental Skills

The Online MHA program also helps students to place themselves and their work in a wider constellation of the healthcare industry, as they learn about aspects of the field that they haven’t had the chance to work on yet. 

Current student Ingrid Martinez-Valerio, a Grossing Assistant at NYU Langone Medical Center, says she’s had the opportunity to apply new learning to her work, even in areas that might normally be outside of her purview. “In certain courses I've sought out more information from my manager, so that I could have a real-life understanding of how it translates to my department,” she says. “That was the case for my accounting class and statistics class. Where my general duties really don't have very much direct interaction with that kind of work, I've been able to sit in meetings with my manager and see that side of things.”

Focused on Practical Frameworks

Because the NYU Wagner’s Online MHA is for working professionals, courses are built to be applicable and practical, which is what sets us apart from other programs. One area that this especially shines through is during the two-and-a-half-day in-person immersion that students participate in during their second term. The immersion course, Skill-Building for Healthcare Managers is designed to be immediately put to use, as it involves a real-world simulation, a completely personalized 360° leadership assessment, and a section on career development. 

“The coursework that we had for Immersion was really close to home,” says Martinez-Valerio. “This was tailored to each person and their actual career path.” 

The immersion section of the program helps prepare students for the rest of the program, but also contains lessons that can be brought back to work immediately upon return.

A Curriculum Customized for Learning

Taught over seven terms, NYU Wagner’s Online MHA curriculum builds upon itself over the course of the students’ time in the program, utilizing knowledge and skills that the students obtained in previous terms. This allows students to keep those skills sharp and allows for rigorous growth throughout the program. 

The program’s culminating activity is a multi-day, group-based virtual, interactive Advanced Simulation in Healthcare Management where students take all of the skills they have gained and apply them to a dynamic real-world setting. Leveraging innovative technology to simulate the complex challenges healthcare leaders face, students will continue using those skills in the real world at work.

In a rapidly changing field like healthcare, industry-specific knowledge is vital for success, but even more important is the ability to think critically, analyze information quickly, and make the right decisions without hesitation. With the Online MHA degree program, students are able to do all of this. 

Through healthcare industry-specific education, MHA students build the knowledge that would otherwise take years of experience and independent study to form. And, by experiencing an NYU on-campus immersion and participating in various simulations, students also hone their wider critical-thinking skills to become the well-rounded leaders healthcare needs today and in the future.

Current student Rutika Naik, a Physical Therapist at the Riverside Premier Healing and Rehabilitation Center, cites one specific example of how her MHA courses have fed into her work as a physical therapist and vice-versa. “One of the biggest things that I've been able to apply from school to work, and then apply from work back to school is performance-driven payment model scenarios,” she says. “This fall, there will be huge changes for Medicare payments. This is a hot topic right now, and it has been discussed in most of my classes. As a result, at work, it’s been very easy for me to understand what these changes are, why they are happening, and what we can do to make the quality of care—and the quality of life—better for patients.”



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