Nursing Administration Video: Career Options in Nursing Healthcare Administration

Nursing Administration Video: Career Options in Nursing Healthcare Administration Transcript

Are you an experienced registered nurse who is looking forward to the challenges of an administration position? Or maybe you're interested in becoming a nurse and want to reach the top of the profession? A nursing administrator oversees a team of nurses, in addition to other administrative health care responsibilities. Most nursing administrators work in a hospital, but other positions are possible, including that of a nursing home administrator. A master's degree in nursing is required, along with several years experience as a registered nurse.


Nursing administrators also known as nurse managers are responsible for the actions of the registered nurses under their supervision. A nursing administrator makes sure that patients are treated quickly and efficiently without sacrificing quality of care. Other administrative responsibilities are common, including acting as a liaison between nurses and other health care professionals. In addition to leadership skills and experience as a registered nurse, a master's degree in nursing is required for most positions in nursing administration.

Job Duties and Skills

The healthcare industry needs talented and skilled managers just like any other business. Nurses, because they often work in teams, require an administrator to coordinate their work. These administrators perform a variety of functions to help maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their nursing staff.

Nurse managers create a schedule for their nurses to prevent periods of overstaffing and understaffing. Maintaining positive morale is essential, so the nurse manager works to accommodate their needs whenever possible. This may entail anything from reporting complaints to upper-level hospital staff to aiding in negotiations for new contracts and job benefits. The most successful nurse managers spend just as much time listening to their nurses as they do instructing them.

Most hospitals keep meticulous records of patient care statistics, including errors in treatment, patient waiting times and other quality control metrics. It is often the responsibility of the nurse manager to condense this data to be reviewed by hospital and health care analysts.

The amount of paperwork required can be staggering. Nurse managers sign timecards for their nurses. They fill out insurance and billing forms. All incidents of malpractice, even accidental, must be fully documented. New supply requisition forms must be submitted to the hospital's purchasing department. Test results are collected and placed in a patient's chart for physician review. A strong attention to detail is needed in order to make sure that no duty is overlooked.

Often nurse managers continue to treat patients even as their administrative duties increase. Nurse managers must work well under pressure and tight deadlines. They are constantly bombarded with demands from nurses, doctors, hospital administrators and patients. The nurse administrators who succeed are those who are able to maintain a level head and prioritize tasks and see each duty through to its completion.

Training Required

All nursing administration professionals begin their careers as registered nurses. After establishing themselves as a skilled and dependable RN, potential nursing administrators return to the classroom to complete a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Many colleges and universities offering this degree allow students to concentrate their studies in the area of nursing administration. This concentration generally includes coursework on health care finance, nursing research, human resources, health care legislation, management, leadership and other topics necessary for successful nursing administrators.

A master's degree in nursing plus five or more years experience as a registered nurse are generally adequate for most positions. However, some higher profile employers encourage nursing administrators to earn a doctoral degree.

Career Options

Nursing adminstrators can be seen working in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private clinics and other smaller health care facilities.

Opportunities for career advancement are excellent. As administrative experience grows, a nurse manager may find themselves coordinating larger teams of nurses and even other health care professionals, including lab and medical technologists. Larger hospitals have one or more nurse managers who report to the chief of staff or a board of directors.

Nurses who prefer administrative duties can also find positions with health insurance providers, patient advocacy groups or government agencies. In these positions, nursing administrators can use their experience to institute changes in policy, improve patient-doctor relations and make other improvements to the health care system.


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