Female nurse administrator sitting at a desk

How to Become a Nurse Administrator

The Challenging and Rewarding World of Nursing Administration.

Female nurse administrator sitting at a desk

Nurse Administrators play a key role in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Not only do they help ensure the success of a facility, but they also have a great impact on the quality of patient care. Nurse Administrators hold both their employers and other nurses accountable in the workplace. Essentially, they have transformed silent hierarchies into open, collaborative environments.

The demand for these professionals has been steadily increasing in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue. The competitive compensation and opportunity to create real change in the workplace make Nursing Administration a fulfilling career option for those in the profession. While some pursue nursing to work with patients, others enjoy the managerial and leadership aspects within a hospital or other healthcare settings. Nursing Administrators represent the second category.

This blog post covers the duties, skills, and educational requirements for becoming a Nurse Administrator. We’ll also go over salary information and a sunny job outlook. Learn how to become a Registered Nurse and explore the best hospital nursing jobs to see if this career path is right for you.

Nurse Administrator: Definition

What is a Nurse Administrator?

Nurse Administrators thrive when it comes to hospital management and seeing the bigger picture. These individuals are usually Registered Nurses who fill collaborative roles in leadership. They work with a number of other professionals, such as hospital administrators and CEOs. Some of their primary tasks revolve around staffing, scheduling, and making organizational decisions. Nurse Administrators promote efficient healthcare delivery and maintain regulatory compliance.

Nurse Administrator: Job Description

What Does a Nurse Administrator Do?

Nurse Administrators often focus on the business side of nursing and healthcare. Their responsibilities often include hiring, budgeting, and scheduling nurses for a healthcare system. In addition, they help foster communication between doctors and executives to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard.

Nurse Administrator: Duties and Responsibilities

Below are just some of the day-to-day responsibilities of a Nurse Administrator:

  • Creating reports that determine how each nurse contributed to the overall nursing team.
  • Hiring nurses (or letting them go) as necessary to maintain a cohesive, efficient team.
  • Executing policies to ensure basic upkeep of the facility.
  • Solving conflicts between healthcare staff, patients, or other nurses.
  • Providing patients with urgent care whenever necessary.
  • Training medical staff and nurses on new policies or procedures.
  • Directing and leading meetings for nurses.
  • Creating work schedules for each nurse on their team.
  • Joining other staff members for meetings with senior healthcare colleagues.
  • Collaborating with nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Diverse group of medical professionals in a conference room

Nurse Administrator: Skills

Nurse Administrators must maintain a diverse set of skills and qualities to thrive in their unique roles. Here’s a look at some of these key attributes:

  • Adaptability and Flexibility: While it may seem obvious, all nurses must be adaptable and resilient. Nurse Administrators must also apply strategic thinking so they can manage complex healthcare environments.
  • Strong Communication Skills: Effective communication with nurses, other Nursing Administrators, patients, and healthcare professionals is crucial to ensure patient safety as well as optimal care. In addition, Nurse Administrators benefit from public speaking—they will often need to address groups of medical professionals.
  • Tech Savviness: Proficiency with healthcare technologies is essential for efficiently managing healthcare professionals. These pieces of medical technology typically include computers, phones, tablets, and online platforms.
  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Nurse Administrators can help patients and nurses overcome various issues with quick thinking and sound decision-making. Strong critical thinking skills enable them to assess and address these kinds of challenges.
  • Organization and Time Management: For Nurse Administrators to effectively manage a nursing team, they can draw from organization and time-management skills to perform tasks like scheduling, reporting, and collaborating with others. Don’t forget to motivate your nurses, too!
  • Effective Leadership: It probably goes without saying, but Nurse Administrators must be able to successfully lead a nursing team. They should know each nurse’s strengths and weaknesses, helping them find success while also staffing the team with nurses who work well together.
  • Financial Management: Nurse Administrators should have a good head for numbers and be able to help manage the finances of a healthcare organization.
  • Clinical Knowledge: In order to educate nurses on new policies, it’s important that Nurse Administrations possess clinical knowledge and experience. Think about it like this: Wouldn’t you want your manager to have firsthand experience in your field?

Nurse Administrator: Work Environment

Where Do Nurse Administrators Work?

While Nurse Administrators tend to work in hospitals, they may also oversee a network of hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, long-term rehabilitation centers, healthcare consulting firms, and several other medical facilities. There are various career opportunities for Nurse Administrators, such as roles in nursing leadership, healthcare management, and administration.

Two medical professionals in a conference room

Nurse Administrator Education & Certification

How to Become a Nurse Administrator

Aspiring Nurse Administrators can expect to commit at least six years to their professional development. First, you must become an RN, ideally with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. After graduation, you will need to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain your nursing license. Keep in mind that advanced degrees like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) will make you a more desirable candidate.

These educational periods are followed by several years of training in the field. Did you know that many detectives start as beat cops? In a similar vein, you must gain experience as an RN before you advance to a managerial role. Doing so will give you a better understanding of the job and needs of your future staff.

There are also continuing education requirements for Nurse Administrators. Every now and then, you will need to complete additional courses to maintain your license. The same goes for certifications like the Nurse Executive Certification (NE-BC®) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). You can learn more about the eligibility requirements for this certification here.

Nurse Administrator Salary

How Much Do Nurse Administrators Make?

Although the BLS doesn’t report salary data specifically for Nurse Administrators, we can reference data for Registered Nurses (RNs) to provide a general understanding of the average salaries. In 2022, the average annual wage for Registered Nurses was approximately $89,000 per year.

Salaries for Nurse Administrators can vary significantly based on the employer, experience, and location. Areas with a higher cost of living or in-demand healthcare facilities may offer higher pay to attract nurses. Experience also plays a crucial role in determining a Nurse Administrator’s pay.

Nurse Administrator: Job Outlook

What Is the Job Outlook for Nurse Administrators?

Although the BLS doesn’t report job outlook data for Nurse Administrators, we can refer to the projected job growth for Registered Nurses (RNs) to provide insights into the growing demand for Nurse Administrators. The BLS anticipates a 6% growth in employment for RNs from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. This is driven by an increased emphasis on preventive care and growing rates of chronic conditions among the aging population.

The aging population in the United States is contributing to a higher demand for healthcare services. As more individuals require medical care, the need for healthcare professionals continues to rise. Rural and underserved areas often face healthcare staff shortages. Seasonal fluctuations and unexpected events like the COVID-19 pandemic require a surge in healthcare staffing.

Medical professional wearing a white coat and stethoscope

Your Journey into Nursing Starts Here

In summary, this article sheds light on the pioneering career path of a Nurse Administrator. This profession is in high demand due to factors like an aging population and the nursing shortage crisis. Nurse Administrators lead nursing teams and ensure quality patient care. They will always fill a vital role in healthcare, which means that there will always be a level of job security.

Prospective Nurse Administrators are encouraged to pursue the necessary education, gain experience, and seek opportunities for professional growth. If you follow this path, you can find a rewarding career that makes a positive impact on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

Interested in nursing education? Unitek College offers tailored programs to help you transition into the healthcare field and become a nurse in a shorter duration. Start by checking out the LVN to BSN Advanced Placement Option for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Our programs and pathways are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful nursing career.

Join us today!