With a master's degree in nursing administration it is possible to pursue a career as a nursing service administrator or health information manager. In addition to a master's degree in nursing a state license may be required to pursue these professions.
A master's degree program in nursing administration expands career paths for healthcare professionals. Pursuing higher degrees in nursing administration can lead to job titles such as health information manager, nursing service administrator, medical and health services manager, or nursing care facility administrator. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a graduate degree is the standard for such jobs.
|Career||Nursing Service Administrator||Health Information Manager|
|Education Requirements||Master's degree||Master's degree|
|Licensure/Certifications||State licensure required||Optional certifications available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||17% for all medical and health service managers||17% for all medical and health service managers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$78,580 for medical and health service managers employed by nursing and residential care facilities||$94,500 for all medical and health service managers|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A master's degree in nursing administration opens the door to many management-track careers in the medical and health services industry. Such administrators plan, direct, and coordinate myriad services, including management of an entire facility or specializing in protection of patient information.
Health Information Manager
According to the BLS, these professionals maintain patient records and assure that they are secure. In 2009, healthcare regulations passed down by the federal government mandated that healthcare institutions switch to keeping electronic records. These regulations also necessitate improved security, and health information managers must be certain that only those with the proper authorization can access medical records. Health information managers must stay up-to-date on new legislation and the operation of new software and computer systems to ensure the accuracy and security of patient data.
Nursing Service or Care Facility Administrator
One specific example of such a professional is a nursing home administrator. Salary.com describes nursing home administrators as managerial staff tasked with overseeing all aspects of a care facility. All activities that occur within the nursing home or other care facility are directed by the nursing home administrator. This career requires creativity and decision-making skills.
Other Medical and Health Services Managers
The BLS states that some healthcare professionals may opt to specialize in an area of expertise and manage a relevant department. These professionals are called clinical managers and have job titles such as director of physical therapy. Often they obtain these jobs after acquiring years of experience in their areas of expertise, which helps them perform job duties such as setting policies and implementing new strategies for patient care. They may also be tasked with jobs such as the evaluation of departmental employees and the development of budgets and performance reports.
The BLS predicts that job growth for medical and health services managers will grow at a faster-than-average pace of 17% between 2014 and 2024. In May, 2015, the median annual salary for all medical and health services managers was $94,500. Those working in hospitals earned an annual median salary of $102,060 while those employed by nursing and residential care facilities earned a median salary of $78,540 per year.
Nursing service administrators and health information managers are highly trained professionals who may oversee a team of nurses or manage the operations of a nursing home. The BLS predicts a 17% increase in jobs in these fields from 2014-2024, which means that the job prospects will be good for those who complete their master's degree. In addition, it may be necessary to obtain a state nursing license.