How to Become a Nurse Administrator

How to Become a Nurse Administrator

Nursing is an essential and complex part of the medical field that encompasses a variety of policies and procedures. Specially trained professionals are required to perform administrative tasks and supervise nursing staff to ensure the efficiency and effective function of healthcare facilities. This is the job of nurse administrators.

What does a nurse administrator do?

Nurse administrators are registered nurses that manage and coordinate the activities of nursing staff, assist with the development and implementation of policies, and act as members of administrative teams in healthcare facilities. They develop work schedules and budgets, assign many different tasks to nurses, set up training, and observe nurses to make sure patients are receiving proper care. They manage resources and maintain inventories of medical supplies to make sure all patients receive high-quality care. They also review and maintain medical records and fill out insurance and billing forms. Nurse administrators often act as liaisons between nurses and other healthcare professionals. They provide support to nursing staff and address questions and concerns.

What kind of training does a nurse administrator need?

Nurse administrators must have at least at master degree in nursing or nursing administration and a current registered nurse license. Registered nurses become licensed by passing that National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Most employers prefer applicants with sufficient clinical nursing experience. Nurse administrators typically complete courses in healthcare finance, healthcare legislation, human resources, nursing research, leadership, and management. Many nurse administrators gain the Certified Nurse Administrator designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Nursing administrators must complete continuing education to maintain their licenses and certifications and keep up to date on advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a nurse administrator?

Employment of all registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 23% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing and aging population and increased need for administrative nursing services will drive job growth of nurse administrators.

Job prospects should be great especially for nurse administrators with advanced education and extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace nurse administrators that retire, transfer, or leave the profession for other reasons.

How much do nurse administrators make?

As of December 2009, the average annual salary for nurse administrators is $49,000; average annual nurse administrator salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a nurse administrator is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in performing administrative nursing duties. Nurse administrators must have a solid understanding of nursing practices as well as policies and procedures of their healthcare facility. Patience, perseverance, self-discipline, good problem solving, and good leadership skills are essential characteristics. Nurse administrators must have excellent communication and ability to interact with a variety of nursing staff and other healthcare professionals. They must be able to work under stress and pressure and meet strict deadlines.

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