Hospital managers are an integral part of running a hospital effectively and sustainably to ensure all patients and employees are safe and properly taken care of. They prioritize financial and operational success by monitoring quality of care, staff performance and satisfaction, and related infrastructure. A hybrid between a business and healthcare professional, this role is highly sought after. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the demand for medical and health services managers, including hospital managers, to grow a striking 28% between 2021 and 2031.
The past two years have shown that having resilient, responsible leaders at hospitals can save lives, protect our front-line workers, and ultimately keep our healthcare system running smoothly and safely. An advanced degree such as a Healthcare Master of Business Administration can help prepare the hospital managers of the future.
What Does a Hospital Manager Do?
Hospital managers work at many different levels. Some focus on specific clinical specialties or hospital departments, while others run entire facilities. The expectations for these professionals vary from department to hospital size, but generally speaking, hospital managers oversee and implement employee schedules, department budgets and best care practices.
Hospital managers should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as they hire and manage staff members and implement processes to help departments reach their goals. They should have a background in patient care and hospital compliance to ensure consistent, quality care in the most organized and effective fashion possible. Their leadership is essential in chaotic, unexpected situations.
They must think on their feet and keep team members focused with consistent guidance, structure and optimization. A day in the life of a hospital manager could include overseeing fundraising efforts, attending board meetings, reviewing budgets, onboarding new employees and leading strategy sessions for improving patient care. Any two days are rarely the same with the ever-changing variables at the hospital level.
How to Become a Hospital Manager
Although no single path leads to a hospital manager position, professionals aspiring to attain this role should pursue the right combination of education, experience and professional knowledge.
Hospital managers should have an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as nursing, health information systems, or healthcare or business administration. This is where candidates build the foundational knowledge to prepare them for work on the administrative side of healthcare. Most hospitals prefer candidates to have an advanced education, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in healthcare, or a Healthcare MBA.
Building upon applied experience, combined with receiving an advanced degree, not only broadens a professional’s knowledge and expertise but also sets them apart from other candidates in their job search. Within most graduate programs, students are encouraged to continue to work in their current healthcare roles or gain hands-on experience through new opportunities. This kind of integrated education builds students’ confidence as they apply lessons from their coursework.
Many students enroll in MBA programs while pursuing careers. In fact, some graduate schools require professional experience for admission. George Washington University’s Healthcare MBA, for example, prefers applicants to have three years in the healthcare field.
Hospital managers begin their careers in an array of fields, from pharmacy and nursing to science and administration. Some are experienced admins seeking executive-level roles as hospital CEOs and public health representatives or educators. Others are continuing their own education and building on years of expertise as lawyers, doctors, or academics.
Whatever their area of specialization, the more experience a professional has, the better prepared they’ll be to take the next step. Furthermore, by enrolling in a program that allows them to work while pursuing their MBA, students can immediately apply their coursework in their current roles.
Additional Certifications for Hospital Managers
With a foundation of advanced knowledge and hands-on experience, graduates have more opportunities to further establish themselves as qualified healthcare professionals fit for a hospital manager role.
The most popular certification for hospital managers is the Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM). Earning this credential requires taking a four-hour multiple-choice exam covering everything from medical office accounting to data security and disaster planning. Having the CPPM credential enables professionals to demonstrate their level of expertise to employers while also ensuring they’re up to date regarding current best practices, policies and practice requirements.
What Is the Salary and Career Outlook of a Hospital Manager?
As of May 2021, the median annual salary for medical and health services managers working in hospitals, including hospital managers, was $119,450, according to the BLS. With an uptick in retirements and career changes, facilities across the country need hospital managers, and data shows this trend won’t be slowing down. With this, pursuing an MBA in healthcare is a sound educational choice that can provide a stable career path for healthcare workers looking to move forward in their careers.
Become a Leader in Healthcare Administration
Creating a safe and effective work environment for hospital team members is one of the most important elements of a hospital manager’s job, alongside promoting patient care and improving outcomes. Beyond the stable career outlook and healthy salary, hospital managers can have incredibly rewarding jobs as their processes and management skills contribute to saving lives.
The online Healthcare MBA at George Washington University provides a next step for aspiring healthcare workers to grow in their careers and move on to make a lasting impact. World-class experts lead courses such as Business Essentials for Dynamic Markets and Operations Management, and students can choose from seven optional certificates in topics ranging from regulatory affairs to integrated medicine. GW prepares future hospital managers to succeed as the next leaders of healthcare administration. Elevate your experience with expert knowledge through a Healthcare MBA.