How to Become a Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators are professionals who are involved in formulating policies, making decisions and performing administration jobs in various healthcare settings. Their most important duties also involve the making of work schedules of staff nurses under their supervision and deciding which duties to assign to staff nurses. Furthermore, nurse administrators perform supervision work to ensure that work is done properly. Also, they are in charge of managing the budget, doing inventories of supplies and keeping the medical records.

Aside from these duties, nurse administrators create plans as to how policies in the health care setting are to be improved and, in the long run, implementing these changes. This is to make sure that the healthcare institution if providing for the highest quality of care to their patients.

Are you cut out to be a nurse administrator?

The basic skills of knowing how to deliver care for patients is a basic quality that any aspiring nurse needs to have. In order to be successful in the career, an aspiring nurse must first and foremost be passionate about giving aid to others. He or she must also be patient and compassionate. Furthermore, the basic values of perseverance and dedication coupled with the ability to deal with pressure will play a big part in being a successful nurse.

Choosing a career as a nurse administration generally means that a person is prepared to work in hospital settings and in healthcare centers. Mostly, the duties and responsibilities that will be assigned to nurse administrators in these kinds of settings will be to perform administrative jobs which include decision making in various aspects like finance and policymaking. A nurse administrator is also given the duty to implement these policies.

In a healthcare facility, a nurse administrator makes sure that the facility runs smoothly and that the staff is performing their duties properly. He or she is in charge of distributing equal amounts of work to the staff through the development of a good working schedule. A nurse administrator also performs supervision duties to ensure that the nurses in the facility perform their work in the proper schedule.

Being engaged in a profession that mostly supervises people, nurse administrators must have good leadership skills. As a leader in the facility, he or she must communicate well to the staff and develop social and interpersonal skills. He or she must also be attentive to details because the duty of a nurse administrator involves policy and decision making. As much as possible, they must have stability when it comes to their emotions because they deal directly with people who need their strength and support.

Educational requirements to be a nurse administrator

The basic requirement for all nursing careers including being a nurse administrator is to have a nursing degree that is registered although there are some that are already holders of diplomas before they start a career in nursing. Once a nurse is registered, he or she can now start working as a staff nurse and after getting the needed years of experience, they get promoted to managerial positions.

In order to prepare and train registered nurses to hold supervisory and managerial positions, some institutions offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing administration. With the recent reports of the Department of Labor however, it is more advisable to get a master’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree because the profession now requires nurses who are holders of an advanced degree.

Once a nurse earns a master’s degree in nursing administration, he or she is then qualified to train registered nurses in advanced areas such a nursing theory, concepts in practice including the non-clinical or the administrative areas involved in healthcare. It is through this training that registered nurses get to learn vital subjects like the following:

  • Health Services Economics
  • Health Services Financial Management
  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • Health Services Marketing
  • Nursing Leadership

For those whose time to go to school is limited, another option is available as there are many schools that offer a degree that can be earned online. Through this, those who do not have enough time to physically go to school can simply learn in their own home, create their own schedules and study based on the schedule that suits them best.

Opportunities for Employment

There are many employment opportunities for nurse administrators. They can opt to work in hospital settings, in institutions that offer home healthcare, in facilities specializing in nursing care, in doctor’s clinics and even in government and non-government organizations and agencies. The Department of Labor reports that once a nurse manager enters the level of being an assistant manager in the unit, they have the opportunities to be promoted as head nurses and, in the long run, hold more important positions such as being an assistant director, the director, the vice-president and even the nursing chief.

Nurse administrators are also compensated well. This compensation depends mostly on the extent of the nurse’s experience and where he or she is practicing. The average salary that an entry-level nurse administrator receives is around $80,000 to $110,000 annually.

Career Growth

According to reports by the Department of Labor, registered nurses and those serving as managers in healthcare services can expect significant and quick career growth. Therefore, the career of being a nurse administrator, being related to healthcare can also enjoy good career growth.

By the year 2018, the employment of registered nurses is expected to experience a growth of 22%.On the other hand, managers in health services are expected to undergo a career growth of 16%.

The industry of health care is continuously expanding thus, there is now a higher demand for administrators with strong experiences to sustain this growth.

Main Responsibilities

The general responsibilities of nurse administrators mostly revolve around decision making regarding financial aspects of the healthcare setting within which they work. Managing finances is important as this generally keeps the institution running. Furthermore, as administrators, they are expected to develop and implement policies.

In a hospital setting, the work of nurse administrators is generally the same as they are in charge of administrative work. They supervise staff nurses and assign them their duties. They are also in charge of developing a good working schedule and ensuring that this schedule is followed properly.

Furthermore, to ensure that everything is in order, nurse administrators are also in charge of continuously developing policies that improve the services of the institution he or she is working for. Once the policies are approved, nurse administrators are also expected to implement them properly.