Experience as a registered nurse, a nursing license, and a master's degree in nursing administration are all required to become a nursing administrator. Nurse administrators typically provide less direct patient care, instead overseeing the nurses in their unit or floor and ensuring all duties and responsibilities are fulfilled each shift. A degree in nursing administration helps prepare them to manage staff in a healthcare environment.
Nurses who would like to have a more active role in patient care might find nursing administration an ideal choice. In addition to nursing skills, a nurse administrator must be knowledgeable about management and organizational practices as applied to the nursing profession.
|Required Education||Master's degree in nursing administration|
|Other Requirements||State licensure as a registered nurse|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||16% (for all registered nurses)*|
|Median Annual Salary (2016)||$80,541 (for nurse administrators)**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Nurse administrators direct and plan the activities of other nurses within hospitals, large clinics and other medical facilities. Their responsibilities vary according to position and might include basic supervision of staff, organizational evaluation or large-scale policy planning. Nurse administrators must be able to handle high levels of stress and should have excellent interpersonal skills.
Career Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for all registered nurses should be excellent in the coming years, with anticipated employment growth of 16% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Salaries for nurse administrators vary by experience, but PayScale.com reported a median of $80,541 per year, as of October 2016.
To qualify for a degree program in nursing administration, individuals typically must have a bachelor's degree in nursing and state licensure as a registered nurse (RN). Nursing administration programs typically lead to a master's degree.
The curriculum might include classes in administrative practices in health care, nursing research, financial management, human resource skills and theoretical foundations of nursing. Students also are likely to complete a thesis or comprehensive examination and participate in residencies and/or internships.
Nurse administrators can choose to obtain certification to enhance employment options and demonstrate knowledge and competence in the field. Nurse administrators can obtain certifications from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE).
ANCC offers the Nurse Executive (NE-BC) and the Nurse Executive, Advanced (NEA-BC) credentials. AONE offers the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) certifications.
Nursing administrators are highly trained professionals with at least a master's degree in nursing administration and professional experience working as a nurse. While nursing administrator certification is optional, nursing administrators must retain their state nursing license to work.