Graduate Education

Graduate Education

Operations Management: Do You Have What it Takes?

Overseeing the operations of any business is a career in which the right business-minded individual can truly succeed. An operations manager is tasked with ensuring that operations are both efficient and effective. However, this requires not only understanding a business’s overall goals and objectives, but using that information to run the business successfully. At its core, the skills needed for a successful career in operations include the ability to think analytically, communicate effectively, and execute efficiently.

Today’s business structure differs greatly from past standards and modern companies are focused on pinpointing the most effective operational practices to leverage against the competition. IKEA, a global business that provides low-cost, functional home furnishing products, is a prime example of an organization that has developed a plan to increase the effectiveness of their operating procedures, thereby attracting customers and increasing revenue. Through a variety of methods, IKEA has become a leader in best business practices including controlling the value chain to set them apart from the competition.

Establishing an effective operations process involves strategy development with some trial and error, but skilled operations leaders can shape efficient and effective business processes by employing a few important traits.

1. An Operations Manager is Realistic

A strong operations leader understands that employees are a valuable resource and can effectively communicate with operations staff. That not only means delivering the hard facts and providing thoughtful and constructive feedback, but listening to empowered employees who are part of the same team.

Results showed from a 2007 study “The Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Leader-Member Exchange in Different Cultures” 1showed that teams with strong and trusting leadership positively impacted team members’ individual and collective performances. As an example, if an operations leader realizes that production is slowing down, costing the company revenue, communicating directly with employees might be a better approach. Effective organizational leaders can impress upon employees the need to improve and explain the reasoning behind the request. If a goal cannot be reached, employees are empowered to share with management the necessary information for developing alternative, achievable plans.

2. An Operations Manager Looks for Efficiency

An effective operations manager is defined as the master and commander of managing the input and output of resources. These professionals optimize processes to decrease the cost of goods per unit, making it possible to sell at a lower cost and leaving a margin just high enough to remain agile in competitive business environments. Processes executed in this fashion are typically able to reward the hard work of the teams involved in production. What is the secret weapon? Efficiency.

Today’s efficiency models date back to the 1950’s when Toyota shifted to a “just-in-time (JIT)” model, focusing purely on production costs, product quality and delivery, and worker involvement to minimize excess time and overall costs. This model became the foundation for today’s more commonly used efficiency model, lean manufacturing. Production from a system pushing out products in batches is taken to a flowing system that systematically produces single units as needed, at an optimum cost.

An operations manager need to make sure focus remains on the organizational objective, rather than the narrow focus of different department and division goals. In order to accomplish this, operations leaders must implement areas of flexibility into all stages of operations and facilitate cross-functional communication, enabling adaptability between teams and departments.

3. An Operations Manager Focuses on Quality

In today’s marketplace, the focus on quality has progressed to ensuring value at the source. Rather than use a supplier that has a rejection rate of 5% with provided parts, an effective operations leader might go with a supplier who charges slightly more but has a lower rejection rate to ensure the products lifespan and consumer satisfaction.

When operations leaders pay greater attention to quality, it helps to inspire their employees to strive to meet leaders’ expectations. Anyone who has studied the way Steve Jobs operated at Apple understands how his demand for perfection drove his people to do everything possible to meet those demands. It was well-known that Jobs took tremendous pride in the equipment and devices that his company developed. By setting high standards for himself and everyone around him, Jobs was able to take Apple from a company once in decline, to the most valuable company in the world in 2012 at $623.5 billion – exceeding the previous record of $618.9 billion set by Microsoft on Dec. 30, 1999.

Not only does focusing on quality help operations leaders maintain productive teams by fostering pride in a product or service, but it can also drive down costs thereby helping an organization gain an advantage over the competition. For example, investing in quality improvement ultimately drives down internal and external failure costs. This increase in profit provides an organization with the flexibility needed to meet the price reductions of its competitors, keeping it on par or even ahead of the competition.

4. Operations Leaders are Effective at Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management plays a vital role in the success of a company. Operations leaders within an organization are working to design and execute supply chain strategies that maximize productivity, minimize risk and effectively respond to fluctuations in demand. Supply chain management encompasses the shaping of supply and demand along with the optimal design of products themselves, creating a wide range of responsibilities. Operations leaders have begun to treat their supply chain networks—consisting of logistics providers and contract manufacturers—as partners, in order to align goals and effectively orchestrate collaboration across these groups.

As an operations leader, having effective approaches to supply chain management requires knowledge of manufacturing, warehousing, logistics and transportation as well as customer service. Products need to be delivered to consumers in timely, cost-effective ways that also meet demands—in other words, the right products, in the right place, at the right time!

5. Operations Leaders Do Not Manage; They Lead.

It is only when goals are not met that leaders delve further into operations to determine where problem areas might lie. For leaders that feel the need to maintain a close eye on certain operations, setting up periodic meetings with various managers and department heads allows for close monitoring without manifesting an overt presence among staff.

Strong operations leaders work to make sure that staff is encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities by providing the tools necessary to make tasks seamless. Maintaining healthy and motivated teams is more than just applying strategies and project management tools to create an optimum output result; it involves thoughtful leadership and management of each level of involved human capital.

One of the hardest parts of being a great operations leader is identifying when a team member is struggling to meet performance goals and addressing sensitive issues. Employees who aren’t performing only reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of their co-employees, and identifying possible solutions as a remedy is the difference between building trust in leadership and building fear for one’s position in tactical positions. Operations leaders need to make sure their management team keeps them informed of individuals who are excelling and individuals who are falling behind. The ultimate goal should be consistency – encouraging top performers to perform at their peak, and finding ways to bring underperformers up to standards.

The online MBA with specialization in Operations Management from The University of Scranton is designed to provide a rich educational experience, along with the analytical and problem-solving skills needed to apply in multi-layer organizations.

Learn more about the program here!

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1 Yu Xiaomin; Wu Yang; Shan Wei “The Relationship between Transformational Leadership and Leader-Member Exchange in Different Culture: A Meta-Analysis”, Wireless Communications, Networking and Mobile Computing (WiCOM), 2011 7th International Conference on, On page(s): 1 – 5

Health Administration Career Guide

The field of healthcare administration is ideal for individuals who are interested in obtaining leadership positions within hospitals, clinics, and other large healthcare facilities. With a career in this field, you will have the opportunity to influence important decisions in healthcare while simultaneously enjoying the intrinsic benefits that come with helping people who are sick or injured.

Hospital Administration Job Basics

As a general overview, there is some fundamental information that is beneficial to learn about a position in hospital administration.

Hospital Administrator Job Description

·        Hospital administrators are responsible for coordinating health and medical services within a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or large clinic. Typical responsibilities for hospital administrators include: Developing research programs Overseeing  the assessment of record keeping related to the facility’s services

·        Representing the facility at board meetings

·        Securing funding and managing the facility’s finances

·        Ensuring that all employees remain up-to-date on regulations and relevant laws

·        Verifying that continuing education of staff meets standards and regulations

Education Requirements

To become a medical administrator, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree; however, to have the greatest possible chance of obtaining employment, it’s best to work toward a Master of Health Administration, Public Administration, or Business Administration. These types of graduate programs provide students with advanced skills in staff leadership, budget development, and business strategy that employers look for when hiring top executives. Completing a two-year master’s program can be the decision that puts challenging and rewarding health administration jobs within reach.

Work Environment

Hospital administrators typically work full-time schedules. Because many of the facilities that employ these medical administrators are open 24 hours a day, hospital administrators are often required to work weekends and overnight. Professionals in this field spend part of the day on their feet, as well as sitting at a desk. During the average day, a hospital administrator will complete paperwork, converse with peers and subordinates, and spend time engaged in planning or decision-making activities.

Salary

PayScale reports that as of July 2015, the typical healthcare administrator salary was approximately $97,000; however, the expected healthcare administration salary may vary based on several factors, including location, experience and the nature of the position. For example, the lowest earners in this field made  approximately $48,000, while the highest earners made more than $177,000 during the same year.

Job Outlook

The BLS reports that the outlook for professionals entering the field of hospital administration is positive. In fact, professionals can expect to see a 23% increase in job openings in this field from 2012 to 2022. This rate is much higher than the national average for all occupations, which is only 11%.

Licensure and Certification

Licensure is rarely required for hospital administrators; it is typically restricted to long-term care providers and to those working in assisted living settings. While the process varies by state, licensure procurement involves:

·        Proof of degree (at minimum, a bachelors is required)

·        Training program completion

·        Completion of a licensure examination

Meanwhile, certification and professional memberships are optional for hospital administrators, but it may enhance your resume and make it easier to find a job. Certifications are required by some hiring entities to ensure that an employee meets a certain level of professional expectation. Certifications must be renewed often, typically on an annual basis.

If you would like to improve your credentials, you can apply for membership with the American College of Healthcare Executives. This organization also offers board certification for ACHE members who meet certain requirements. Requirements for certification include a minimum amount of field experience, a master’s degree, and a passing score on the Board of Governors Examination in Healthcare Management.

Finding a Job in Hospital Administration

After completing graduate school and obtaining your masters degree, it’s time to look for a job. Fortunately, because openings in this field are increasing more rapidly than in most other fields, hospital administrators are in high demand. Below are some resources you can use to find the best possible job in hospital administration:

Professor Connections

Within your masters program, you will find that faculty members are active, experienced, industry professionals. Not only is their real-world experience evident in their pedagogy, their experience is reflected in their ability to provide you with professional recommendations. They can both guide your entry into the workforce as well as facilitate it.

Mentoring Services

While similar to working with professors, mentoring is more one-on-one and typically involves a special professor / pupil relationship in which the professor takes a hands-on-approach in directing the student’s path. If you have a mentor (this might be a favorite professor or even someone within the university’s administrative structure), then you should feel comfortable asking this person for guidance on the types of positions best suited for your abilities, where to find them, resume review, letters of recommendation, etc. as needed.

Professional Associations

There are several prominent healthcare administration organizations. A few of the most notable include:

·        Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP)

·        American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)

·        Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)

It is advised that you start affiliating with an organization while you are in school. Not only are professional organizations valid resources for recent research and professional connections within your area of expertise, they are also sources where job opportunities are regularly posted and updated.

Peer Networking

During your studies, you will likely form relationships with fellow students, some of whom will graduate and who will find employment before you. Peers can give you an idea of what the job market looks like, as well as make recommendations. Further, while you may not live in the same community as a colleague who might favorably recommend you for a position, you can consult your peers regarding their experience entering the workforce. They can advise you on the application and interview process and be a reference source for your application packet if need be.

Local Media

Local newspapers and news websites, including hospital or healthcare organizations’ websites, are additional resources that can assist you in finding available job opportunities in your area.

Job Search Engines

Search engines are useful for helping you find what’s out there. Sites like CareerBuilder.com, Simplyhired.com, Monster.com, Indeed.com, and LinkedIn are useful for casting your net when trying to find employment given that many respectable employers list job opportunities on sites such as these.

American College of Healthcare Executives

The ACHE maintains an online database of job openings in the field of healthcare administration. You can also post your resume on this website to attract potential employers. Both of these services are available at no cost to ACHE members.

Hospital Administration is a meaningful, fulfilling role in the healthcare spectrum. Given that patient populations are expected to rise over the next several years, there is a greater need than ever for qualified, compassionate hospital administrators to run these critical care organizations.

Students pursuing careers in hospital administration have many resources at their disposal for both procuring work but also for advancing professionally. So, if you have the inclination toward healthcare and are looking to advance in terms of position and expertise, then an advanced degree focused on hospital administration is for you.

Click here to learn more about the Health Administration program at The University of Scranton.

Health Informatics: A Lucrative Job Market

The Health Informatics Job Market: Lucrative and Robust

Health informatics is a robust, and growing, field at the nexus of healthcare and technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs in the field is projected to grow twice as quickly as overall employment through 2022, rising 22 percent.1 Demand, however, varies across the U.S.

States With the Most-Vibrant Health Informatics Job Growth

Job markets where demand for health informatics professionals is expanding quickly can be found in regions throughout the U.S., according to data from job market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies. Here’s a look at the areas with the most-vibrant job growth.

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and the District of Columbia have high concentrations of healthcare information technology companies that have contributed to strong job growth. Massachusetts has launched a private-public initiative to strengthen its reputation as a hub for healthcare IT innovation.2

Midwest.

In Michigan, Illinois and Missouri, institutions are engaged in cutting-edge research in informatics, while at the same time, job demand also is high in more-rural states, like South Dakota, which are innovating in areas such as telemedicine.

South.

Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia are the states that stand out in the South. Two examples of strong informatics activity in the region: Georgia is creating a statewide incubator,3  while Louisiana has established a network of more than 100 hospitals that share information on healthcare quality and population health measures.4

West.

A focus on informatics and health IT in California’s Silicon Valley is being echoed by innovative efforts to integrate healthcare data in Oregon5 and Arizona,6 two states with high job demand.

Salaries Are Far Above Average

Salaries in the health informatics field are excellent. The average salary for health informatics professionals nationwide is $88,000, according to Indeed.7 Some jobs, such as the medical coders required to comply with the new ICD-10 standards (with average salaries of up to $50,000), do not require advanced degrees. But the most-lucrative careers require specialized skills that come from a combination of clinical experience and specialized training in technology and business practices. The best-paying jobs include:

  • Health Data Standards Leads, average salary $156,000
  • Informatics Specialists, average salary $104,000
  • Nursing Informaticists, average salary $100,717
  • Clinical Informatics Managers, average salary $92,819
  • Senior Healthcare Informatics Analysts, average salary between $90,000 and $140,000
  • Clinical Analysts, average salary $68,823
  • Clinical Informatics Specialists, average salary $68,707
  • Health Informatics Specialists, average salary between $61,050 and $123,000

The Skills You Need

A Burning Glass analysis of job listings for the health informatics careers that require advanced degrees indicates that a broad range of high-level skills are in high demand, and these skills are generally obtained only with a graduate-level degree. Health informatics professionals should have some combination of these skills under their belt:

  • Data analysis
  • Business administration
  • Project management
  • Data management
  • Information systems
  • Business intelligence
  • Management consulting

Employers in the health informatics field also are looking for individuals who are good communicators, researchers and problem solvers.

The University of Scranton: At the Cutting Edge

The University of Scranton’s Master of Science in Health Informatics program is at the cutting edge of this emerging field. The program’s faculty includes top-tier professionals whose firsthand experience in solving complex healthcare problems can help you become the health informatics expert your organization needs.

To learn more about the Health Informatics program at The University of Scranton, click here.

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Awesome Rankings for MAcc program!

The University of Scranton online master’s in accountancy program (MAcc) ranked No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 (twice) and No. 7 in five separate 2019 “Best Online Programs in Accounting” lists.

Best Colleges ranked the University’s program No. 1 in the nation in its ranking of the “Top 25 Programs for a Master’s in Accounting Online for 2019.” The list by Best Colleges, an independent college information website, equally weighted information on a school’s admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate and the percent of students enrolled in online classes, to determine its ranking.

Best College Reviews, an online college review journal, ranked Scranton No. 3 in the nation in its list of the “40 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Accounting.” Best College Reviews ranked the schools according to points awarded for “relevant accounting courses that apply well in the accounting job market (1-5 point range), awards or other noted recognition in the field (1-4 point range), faculty expertise with terminal degrees in the field (1-4 points), flexibility of degree track (1-3 points), quality of online interface and resources (1-3 points) and an additional point was awarded for features of particular distinction.”

Master’s Program Guide ranked Scranton No. 4 list of the “50 Best Online Master of Accounting Degrees.” The methodology used by the online college information source first looked at top programs recognized in sources such as U.S. News and World Report, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The publication then ranked the schools based on affordability (25 percent), accreditation and commendation (25 percent), student satisfaction and support services (25 percent) and online accessibility (25 percent).

Accounting Degree Review ranked Scranton No. 4 in the nation in its list of the “Top 50 Online Master’s Degrees in Accounting.” According to the online information source for prospective accounting and finance students, the 2019 ranking is based on publicly available information regarding reputation, prestige, student satisfaction, affordability and value.

College Choice ranked Scranton No. 7 in its “Best Online Master’s in Accounting” list. The ranking by online college search source only included accredited institutions. The University’s Kania School of Management holds accreditation by the rigorous standards of AACSB International.  Schools were then ranked based on quality factors (20 percent), such as graduation rate and faculty credentials; reputation (20 percent), based on the school’s ranking in US News, Financial Times and other sources; affordability (20 percent), based on net price calculation and average student loan size; value (20 percent) based on a return on investment (ROI) score; and satisfaction (20 percent), based on retention and reviews logged on Rate My Professor, Niche and other online sources.

In addition, Online Schools Center, an online college information source, listed Scranton among the “Top 15 Online Master’s of Management Accounting.” Schools were not ranked in the listing of just the top online accounting programs in the nation. The list was determined based on program criteria (50 percent), such as the percentage of the program that can be completed online and retention rates; ancillary services (30 percent), such as career services and post-graduate career placement; and school criteria (20 percent), such as accreditation and other recognition.

Scranton offers online master’s degrees in accountancy, finance, health administration, health informatics and human resources, as well as online MBA degrees in general business, accounting, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, human resources, international business and operations management; and a dual MBA/MHA degree, in addition to graduate certificates. For technology, recruitment and marketing support, the University partners with Wiley for the online programs.

Click here to learn more about the MAcc programs at The University of Scranton!

 

New Master of Science in Nursing Program!

We are proud to announce a new MSN program, which wil begin in Fall 2019:

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus in Executive Nurse Leadership!

Nurse executives require sound clinical knowledge and administrative skills to function effectively as leaders within today’s integrated healthcare delivery systems. The executive nurse leadership track in our MSN program  is offered in conjunction with the Department of Health Administration and Human Resources.  This track prepares nurse executives to be leaders in the increasingly complex and rapidly changing healthcare climate.  The curriculum emphasizes content in organizational and financial management perspectives, as well as the knowledge and skills to exert a leadership role in health care and contribute to the art and science of nursing.

The executive nurse leadership track is a 30-credit Master of Science in Nursing degree program for baccalaureate-prepared nurses. Students are admitted in the fall or spring semester.  The program can be completed in 2 years  and is offered in a hybrid format, with some courses on line and some on campus.

Course of Study (30 credits)

Semester I : Fall ( 8 credits)

NURS  541:  Family Health Promotion

HAD 501: Health Care Financial Management I

HAD 504: Human Resource Management

 

Semester II: Spring (6 credits)

NURS 591: Issues in Advanced Practice Nursing

NURS 597: Systems Leadership in Advanced Practice Nursing

 

Semester III: Fall (9 credits) 

NURS 593: Research Methodology

HAD 508: Leadership in Health Care Organizations

Nursing Elective

 

Semester IV: Spring (7 credits)

NURS 598: Executive Nurse Leadership Practicum

Nursing Elective

Free Elective

 

Don’t forget about our other Nursing graduate programs, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), MSN, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN, and Nurse Anesthesia, MSN. 

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