Indiana Wesleyan University has recruited 11 students in the first cohort for a three-year online program which will award students both a Master of Science and Nursing (MSN) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). This is the first dual degree program IWU will offer.“The dual degree is a program for nurses [who] are interested in mid- to upper-management positions,” says Dr. Debra Drake, associate professor in the IWU Graduate School of Nursing. “It will have a strong emphasis on finances as well as leadership in the health-care setting.” An MSN/MBA recipient could become a hospital chief nursing officer, department director or unit manager, Drake said. The degree will include graduate-level courses in finance, economics and accounting; organizational behavior, nursing management and health care finance; and nursing theory, health care policy and ethics, among others.Drake said that the “main driver” that helped IWU decide to offer the program was hearing from representatives of the health care community in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio who agreed that hospitals in the region needed more broadly educated nurse administrators.“They need the nursing piece of it, but they also need the strong financial piece,” Drake said.According to Drake, many hospitals are looking to achieve “magnet” status—a form of accreditation offered to hospitals with excellent support for nursing practice. “One of the requirements of magnets is that nurses have advanced degrees in nursing,” Drake said. “This will be an excellent degree for them.”The inaugural MSN/MBA cohort is expected to graduate in December 2014. A new cohort is scheduled to begin March 2012.