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Transitioning from sub-acute to acute care

Last post 02-14-2013, 10:24 AM by RCheli. 2 replies.
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  •  02-02-2013, 2:28 PM 9829

    Transitioning from sub-acute to acute care

    I have contemplated going back to school for a Master's in Healthcare Administration or even a Health Services Administration Specialist Degree from GWU (not sure it is even a marketable degree) but several people have told me that an MBA is sufficient and others have suggested going back for a degree in healthcare.  As an Administrator of a Skilled Nursing Facility with an MBA is it possible to break into hospital administration without going back to school?  I look at several websites and it states that companies are looking for MHA's or MBA's so I'm guessing I could make an easy transition into acute care.  Can some hospital executives offer some advice to me in regards to breaking into acute care and the necessary steps to do so.  I do plan on pursuing the FACHE credential because I would like to be board certified in healthcare management but I'm wondering why so many people think the transition from sub-acute is difficult and what steps I need to take in order to make the transition.
  •  02-05-2013, 12:07 AM 9832 in reply to 9829

    Re: Transitioning from sub-acute to acute care

    Dear Ronald,

    Your Member Directory profile reveals you have solid academic degrees in operations management and business administration.  You also have experience in long term care facilities in the not-for-profit and for-profit contexts.  One would predict you have developed a strong set of competencies to equip you to transition into some aspect of hospital administration from the sub-acute realm with little or no additional academic preparation.  What is key is the term “some aspect.”  In your market area, for example, Sibley Hospital has a connection to a long-term care operation.  Presumably, you could enter into a similar general/acute care  hospital level system working in the sub-acute subsidiary.  Or, you might take on leadership of, or within, a comprehensive senior services product line for a hospital or hospital system.  From such a role, you might be able to grow by assuming leadership of additional product lines.  If your ultimate objective is a C-suite level position with a general hospital or hospital system the challenge would be much greater. Talented as you may be, your competition for higher rungs on the general management leadership ladder will consist of executives who are already on the hospital  management executive track whose earlier positions will have included directly relevant experience and accomplishments.  If you are remarkably entrepreneurial and you have successes to demonstrate that (there is a gap in your experience from graduation to your role in the facility in Georgia that might demonstrate such competence) you might rise on the strength of entrepreneurial contributions you can make.  Perhaps the best way to make a transition to a general management hospital administration track would be entering through acceptance into a hospital system’s executive development program.  HCA has, for example, a COO development program.  Another avenue would be to compete for and  succeed in landing a postgraduate administrative fellowship.  Those are highly competitive  and you may not resemble the typical successful candidate, but the challenges in hospital operations are mounting so there may be a somewhat remote chance of prevailing.  Getting another master’s degree would not likely make your competitive challenges much easier, if at all.  You might marginally improve your knowledge of the hospital and healthcare field, but you would not be altering the competitors you’d be up against.  If C-suite is not the goal, you might get a master’s that makes you a functional specialist, e.g., fiancé, IT, HR, and enable you to do a career makeover with perhaps a start as more than at the entry level.

  •  02-14-2013, 10:24 AM 9836 in reply to 9832

    Re: Transitioning from sub-acute to acute care

    Thanks for the response and great feedback.  I've gotten into Georgetown and GWU and even the program directors were curious why I wanted to apply.  I would like a C-Suite position down the road and I'm wondering if my background is strong enough to get into a transitional care unit in a hospital or possibly even an LTACH.  I will look into HCA and apply.  I am also pursuing my FACHE and was wondering if that would benefit me?  Thank you.
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