How to Become a Health Services Coordinator

Research the requirements to become a health services coordinator. Learn about the job duties, and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a health services coordinator. View article »

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  • 0:00 Health Services Coordinators
  • 1:02 Obtain a Bachelor's Degree
  • 1:54 Become Licensed
  • 2:18 Gain Experience
  • 3:06 Pursue a Graduate Degree

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Video Transcript

Health Services Coordinator Career Info

Degree Level Bachelor's or master's degree
Degree Fields Nursing, public health, health education, health administration
Experience 2-5 years of experience
Licensure and Certification Some employers require a state licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) license
Key Skills Customer-service, time-management, communication, critical thinking, leadership and human resource skills; accounting proficiency; use of database, document management, categorization, medical, and scientific software
Salary $94,500 (2015 median salary for medical and health services managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job postings (January 2013), O*Net OnLine, (July 2015)

Health services coordinators oversee health services programs within a variety of settings, including schools, municipal agencies, and hospitals. Many of these professionals have experience working as healthcare providers, such as in nursing positions. Those working in facilities that are open around the clock may be required to work evenings, weekends, or overnight. They may also remain on call in the case of emergency situations.

Health services coordinators should have relevant education and training, but they should also have some key skills. These include:

  • Customer service skills
  • Time-management skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Proficiency with accounting and database software
  • Proficiency with medical and scientific software

Medical and health services managers in general earned an annual median salary of $94,500 in 2015, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

Also according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health services coordinators usually need a bachelor's degree. A common degree held by health services coordinators is a nursing degree. Some positions require a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, although a bachelor's degree in public health or a similar field might be acceptable. In some cases, an associate's degree is sufficient as long as the applicant is an RN or LPN and has applicable experience.

Nursing degree programs instruct students on the core principles of healthcare practices, such as research, drug administration, and patient care, using in-class and clinical instruction. Public health degree programs also focus on healthcare-related issues, such as nutrition, aging, fitness, and women's health issues. Public health programs also place heavy emphasis on communication, administration, and program planning.

Become Licensed

Many health services coordinator positions require that you be a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Becoming an RN requires taking and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), as well as fulfilling any additional requirements that are mandated by the state. Licensed practical nurses must pass the NCLEX-PN exam.

Gain Experience

Employers often require health services coordinators to have some experience in the healthcare industry. Nursing graduates can obtain work experience through clinical experiences in hospitals and clinics. RNs might choose to specialize in a specific area of healthcare services, such as women's, children's, or senior health. Experience in a specific field of healthcare can be gained through working in specific hospital departments, such as pediatrics or physical therapy.

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in public health can obtain experience through opportunities within not-for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, or medical centers. Depending on the position, graduates might be asked to perform research and administrative duties, as well as attend seminars, forums, and meetings on public health.

Pursue a Graduate Degree

Obtaining a graduate degree can lead to career advancement for health services coordinators. This degree may be in disciplines like business administration, public health, public administration, health services, or social work, depending on the particular position.

Graduate degree programs in nursing typically cover advanced concepts, processes, research, and administrative studies. Some colleges offer a combined Master of Science in Nursing/Master of Public Health degree program, along with other dual-degree programs and specific tracks. Public health graduate programs focus on topics that can include biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health administration. Typically, these graduate programs include a practicum aspect.

Health services coordinators, or health services managers, typically need at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as nursing or public health before they can get started in the field. Experience or a graduate degree can then lead to job advancement.

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