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Anissa Guzman, PhD, NPD-BC, CNS, CNE

Executive Healthcare MBA

Healthcare MBA Helps Guzman Navigate Budgeting

Anissa Guzman recognized a need in her role as director of professional practice at Tucson Medical Center in Arizona: the ability to navigate the financial aspects of healthcare and how clinical education impacts the bottom line. She knew Creighton’s Executive Healthcare MBA program could help.

Anissa Guzman worked as a nurse and an assistant professor before moving into professional development programming within a healthcare system. She was confident in her expertise in the clinical domains, but she says she recognized a gap in her education and experience: the financial side of healthcare.

“Clinical education is one of the first places considered for downsizing or elimination when budgets become complicated,” she notes. She wanted to be able to understand and make the business case for clinical education. She says, “I wanted to learn the language of my executive teams, so I could help them understand how important this work is and how it ultimately impacts patient safety, experience and outcomes.” For her, Creighton’s EMBA was the answer.

Choosing Her Healthcare MBA Program

Guzman lived in Omaha, Nebraska, where Creighton is based, before moving to Tucson and formed personal and professional connections to the University during her time there. After considering other MBA programs, she ultimately chose Creighton’s Executive Healthcare MBA because of the University’s reputation and because of the program’s specific focus on healthcare.

She admits to having some apprehension about entering an MBA program with little experience in business. Now that she’s in it, she says every class has been accessible and, “Everything has been extremely applicable and translatable to the work that I’m doing. It’s been really worth it.” In fact, her classes have already helped her find success at work.

During a 60-day assessment at a new job, she identified gaps in training and was able to demonstrate the connection between patient outcomes and employee onboarding and retention. She did it so successfully that she eventually secured significant funding within the institution’s budget for educational programming.

Additionally, she applied for a grant through her hospital’s foundation and was ultimately awarded $130,000 to support nursing and environmental services personnel. She says, “I don’t think I would have been confident enough to make that come to fruition prior to the program.”

What Surprised Her about the MBA in Healthcare Administration

As a lifelong learner, Guzman knew she would enjoy the educational aspect of the MBA program, but she says she was surprised by just how much she loved it. That’s due in large part to her cohort and Creighton’s faculty. Of her fellow students, she notes, “We have a camaraderie I didn’t expect.”

The faculty have backgrounds ranging from finance to marketing to human resources, and there are even CEOs teaching courses within the program. She says, “Seeing how their brains work has been so enlightening and refreshing. It’s a great opportunity to see the world through different eyes. To get outside the world of nursing.”

Worth the Effort

Going back to school during a pandemic has not been without its challenges, but Guzman says it’s been worth it. “I waited a really long time to start the program because of self-doubt. I felt like a business degree would be challenging for me because I’m so focused on nursing. Having started the program, I would tell others that if they have the desire to do it, they should not put it off. They should just take the leap and do it.”

Her final piece of advice to other students as a former professor and lifelong learner? “Start with a clear understanding of why you’re in the program, and then make sure your project and topics are building toward that. Create a pathway toward your end goal.” That’s how you’ll stay engaged and ultimately end up with an education that matters to you.


Ready to expand your expertise and prepare for your next role? Explore Creighton University’s Executive Healthcare MBA and Executive Fellowship programs.