The pivotal role of nurses in modern society is undeniable.
Often considered the most trusted profession of all, nurses touch those from nearly every walk of life. In addition to the vital care they provide to those in need, they add a much-needed “human touch” to the healthcare industry at large. With the emphasis on care being so pronounced in their profession, it makes sense that many nurses strive to expand on how they can make a difference. As such, a transition to nurse administration presents itself as a logical next step for many within the nursing field.
Nurse Administrator Responsibilities
Nurse administrators – also referred to as nurse managers – occupy a senior, managerial role. Using their advanced knowledge of the nursing world, help set the values, mission and standards of a healthcare facility. In this role, they monitor and update patient care practices to meet current professional standards, and if not in compliance, they devise improvements. They also ensure the facility is in adherence to HIPPA regulations and other legal requirements.
In addition, nurse administrators often take on administrative tasks, which can include maintaining a staff, creating a schedule and coordinating with other senior staff in budget planning. These nurses often serve as a role model to junior nurses and provide guidance in administering care to patients.
As a senior position that oversees the duties of other nurses, nurse administrators must have strong leadership qualities. They should be able to relate to and direct subordinates with diverse personalities. They must have a knack for clear communication and be able to interpret directives from higher in the chain-of-command and relay these to staff. Additionally, they should feel comfortable making critical decisions and delegating tasks as needed.
Perhaps most importantly, nurse administrators should be able to adapt. Beyond having to wear multiple hats in their role, the world of healthcare is constantly evolving. New technology is being introduced to both aspects of this job; patient records are being stored digitally through a coded system, and there are near-constant developments in the tech used in healthcare treatment. A willingness to embrace change, learn new skills and maintain a positive outlook under all circumstances is key to success.
Becoming a Nurse Administrator
Many employers require nurse administrator candidates to have some work experience in either an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other healthcare facility. In addition to work experience, they typically need at least a bachelor’s degree. Candidates typically have a degree in:
- Health administration
- Health management
- Public health administration
- Business administration
Though a bachelor’s degree is acceptable, a master’s degree is common and often preferred by employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the employment rate of health service managers will increase 20 percent by 2026, which will likely cause the competition for this position to increase. Those wishing to gain a competitive edge should consider earning a master’s degree.
For current nurses wanting to advance into this position, an online master’s in nursing management and leadership is an excellent option. D’Youville College’s CCNE-accredited online program successfully prepares students for the evolving world of healthcare on a schedule that’s convenient for them.