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Nursing Administration Certification and Certificate Programs

Get information on post-graduate certificate programs for nurse executives. Learn about prerequisites, the curriculum and popular career options for graduates.

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Essential Information

A post-graduate certificate program in nursing administration is available for those who have earned a Master of Science in Nursing. This certificate program has been created for nurses who are already working at a management level and wish to advance their skills and job growth opportunities.

Nurses who work in nursing administration are given the title of nurse executive. A nurse executive has a lead role in choosing, coordinating, implementing and monitoring standards of care in the facility in which he or she works. This role also handles all aspects of staff management, patient care, quality control and facility research.

The program is usually designed for students to take classes part-time and finish in less than one year. The plan of study provides nurses with advanced knowledge of nursing administrative principles and organizational strategies. Courses cover management topics such as human resources, finance, information systems and strategic planning.

Educational Prerequisites

Students enrolling in a graduate certificate program should hold at least a Master of Science in Nursing. A current license to practice nursing, college transcripts and letters of recommendation are also required for application.

Program Coursework

Following is an example of the general types of topics included in a post-graduate nursing administration certificate program.

  • Finances
  • Information systems
  • Economics
  • Human resources management
  • Strategic planning

Popular Career Options

The career choices available for those with a certificate in nursing administration are positions with high-level administrative responsibility. Following are just a few of those job choices.

  • Nurse Manager
  • Case Manager
  • Quality Improvement Coordinator
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Program Administrator

Continuing Education

According to the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a person who works in nursing administration is now called a nurse executive. The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and is the largest and most distinguished organization offering nursing credentials. The organization now offers nurse executive certification entitled the Nurse Executive - Board Certified (NE-BC) and the Nurse Executive Advanced - Board Certified (NEA-BC).

In order to sit for this exam, the student must hold an active registered nursing license and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or higher. He or she must also hold an administrative-level job in a facility or be a faculty member in a graduate program for nursing administration. Continuing education credits must also be met within the few years prior to completing the exam for certification.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Certification Center offers Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) credentials. The examination for this certification covers economics, marketing, staffing issues, management systems, ethics, legal aspects and other topics. To be eligible for this examination, students must hold an active registered nurse license and at least a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, along with experience in an executive nursing position.

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