Wyoming’s unique healthcare landscape creates a number of challenges for citizens of this northwestern state and the healthcare professionals responsible for their care.
According to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, all regions of Wyoming have experienced population growth over the past decade, particularly in the state’s northeast and southwest regions. In fact, these two regions grew at a faster pace than the balance of the state, thanks to the gas field exploration and development industry. The swift population growth resulting from Wyoming’s boom and bust economy has resulted in a strained healthcare workforce.
In addition, Wyoming’s population and workforce are aging, further exacerbating the healthcare workforce shortage afflicting the state. Now, more than ever, Wyoming needs health administration professionals who can address these shortages and ensure high-quality, efficient patient care.
Bachelors and Masters Degrees for Health Administration Careers in Wyoming
Health administration employers in Wyoming demand professionals who have achieved a level of education needed to serve as leaders in complex healthcare environments. While some positions require those with bachelor’s degree, many of today’s employers demand graduate-prepared health administrators.
Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration
Bachelor’s degrees in health administration, often designed as either Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Health Administration (BHA) degrees, allow students to become skilled, effective managers in health administration.
Coursework of these programs addresses current management issues and challenges facing professionals in the healthcare field. Graduates of bachelor’s degrees in health administration are prepared for entry- to mid-level management roles in physician offices, hospices, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and health insurance companies, just to name a few.
The core curriculum of these degree programs include study in:
- Marketing healthcare services
- Managerial finance
- Legal issues in healthcare
- Quality management in healthcare
- Business ethics and legal issues
Master’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration
The master’s degree in health administration has become the standard degree for professionals in healthcare administration, in Wyoming and throughout the U.S. Institutions offer this graduate-level degree program through a wide array of schools and colleges, including:
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
- Master of Public Health (MPH)
- Master of Science (MS)
- Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
- Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Further, institutions often offer these programs in a number of formats to appeal to students with different backgrounds and professional goals. Residential, executive, part-time, and online programs are now commonplace options for master’s degrees in health administration.
Although the foundation of a master’s degree in health administration differs based on the school or college that houses it, the core curriculum of these programs tends to be quite similar, with topics of study including:
- Healthcare finance
- Healthcare economics
- Strategic management
- Public health concepts
- Governance, health law, and ethics
- Comparative strategic analysis
Candidates interested in pursuing a master’s degree in health administration must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Most institutions accept students possessing a variety of undergraduate majors, such as health administration, finance, accounting, business management, psychology, sociology, public health, and human resources.
Many students also come from the healthcare sector. For example, many nurses choose to pursue health administration master’s degrees to achieve senior-level nursing administrative positions.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, candidates for master’s degrees in health administration must often possess:
- Minimum undergraduate GPA
- Minimum GRE score
- Admissions essays
- Letters of recommendation
- Resume and professional experience (executive programs)
Healthcare Administration Jobs in Wyoming
Recent job posts (November 2015) for administration positions in Wyoming’s healthcare industry, although for illustrative purposes only, reflect the many types of jobs available to those possessing a degree in health administration:
Chief Executive Officer, regional hospital, Evanston
Plans and directs all aspects of the organization’s policies, objectives, and initiatives; responsible for the short- and long-term profitability and growth of the company; must possess a bachelor’s degree and at least 15 years of experience in the field
Executive Director of Fiscal Operations, medical group, Cheyenne
Responsible for the overall financial performance of the organization, including strategic financial planning, operational forecasting, fiscal improvement, physician productivity and compensation, and internal control and regulatory compliance; bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or healthcare administration and at least five years of experience in fiscal and operations management required
Chief Operating Officer, community hospital, Torrington
Responsible for producing desired results associated with service excellence, quality clinical outcomes, and financial integrity for designated operations; requires a master’s degree in healthcare administration, as well as five or more years of administrative leadership experience in an integrated healthcare environment
Chief Financial Officer, regional hospital, Evanston
Participates in the financial and functional decision-making processes necessary for achieving the hospital’s mission; responsible for the overall financial operations of the facility, including budgetary, accounting, tax, audits, and other financial planning activities; bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance required, master’s degree preferred
Resources for Wyoming Professionals in Health Administration
Graduates of health administration programs in Wyoming often find that the state’s largest hospitals and healthcare systems are excellent sources of health administration jobs:
- Campbell County Memorial Hospital, Gillette
- Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Cheyenne
- Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cheyenne
- Community Hospital, Torrington
- Crook County Medical Services District, Sundance
- Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital, Casper
- Evanston Regional Hospital, Evanston
Further, health administration professionals who participate in—and become members of—Wyoming’s healthcare associations may enjoy networking with others in the industry and staying abreast of the latest advances in Wyoming’s healthcare sector:
- Wyoming Health Care Association
- Wyoming Hospital Association
- Wyoming Public Health Association
- Wyoming Primary Care Association
- Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers