Nursing administration is a leadership role in any healthcare setting. Nurse administrators monitor and regulate the day-to-day activities like writing reports, scheduling timetables, managing budgets, and more in their organization. They ensure the provision of top-quality patient care at their facility by strategically managing the staff, patients, and healthcare providers through the implementation of valuable policies.
Do not confuse nurse administrators with nurse managers as nurse managers have a long-term vision and manage the human and financial resources of their facility, while nurse administrators are more focused on ensuring the smooth running of the day-to-day functions of their facility.
In order to become a nurse administrator, you require professional education and years of experience. Moreover, you must pass a licensure exam to start your practice as a nurse administrator. They are in huge demand in the US because of the increase in the aging population, which has prompted the establishment of several healthcare facilities, and those facilities require competent administrators for efficient management.
Choosing a career can be a huge task, and you should carefully consider all your options before deciding on a career path. In this article, we will ask some questions, the answers to which will help you decide if you should pursue an MSN Nursing Administration program online or if it is the right career path for you.
1. Are you willing to pursue higher education?
Becoming a nurse administrator requires years of professional education, practical experience, various certifications, and licensures. You must have knowledge about the educational pathway required to become a nurse administrator before pursuing this career.
First, you should complete a four-year bachelor of science in nursing from an accredited college. After that, you should gain a year or more of work experience then complete your master of science in nursing administration degree, which can take two to four years to complete. Lastly, some certifications are recommended to increase your marketability, but they are not mandatory.
Overall, it can take six to eight years and 2 to 4 years if you have already completed your BSN degree to become a nurse administrator. Pursuing higher education while you continue working as a nurse can be difficult. Therefore, for the convenience of students, several universities offer part-time and online degree options.
In short, you should consider the time commitment and years of studies required to become a nurse administrator before pursuing this career pathway.
2. What can you do as a nurse administrator?
Your role as a nurse administrator can involve a variety of duties, and you may have to deal with new challenges every day. You may occasionally interact with patients but, your primary duty is managing a team of nurses. The scope of your duties can differ based on the place of your employment like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, public health offices, and more. However, typical job roles are similar and can include;
- Addressing patient complaints
- Recruiting, training, and firing of nursing staff
- Scheduling shifts to ensure the availability of nurses 24/7
- Ensuring accurate record-keeping
- Attending managerial meetings
- Writing reports to seniors on staff performance
- Planning staff meetings to get feedback
- Ensuring the upkeep of the facility
- Overseeing projects
Competent nurse administrators perform their duties efficiently. If you see yourself easily performing all these roles on a daily basis, then a career in nursing administration can be an ideal option for you.
3. What is the career outlook for a nurse administrator?
Nurse administrators are in demand in the US, making it a promising career pathway. Moreover, getting an advanced degree in nursing can also increase your job prospects, earning potential, and chances of career advancement.
According to the US Bureau of labor statistics, the employment of nurse administrators is expected to grow 32 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than other occupations. Moreover, 51,800 job openings are projected each year over the decade.
Therefore, if you are planning to pursue a career in nursing administration, it is a stable and well-paid career pathway. Hence when searching for jobs upon graduation, you won’t face any difficulties and will have plenty of job opportunities.
4. How much can it cost?
Another crucial question to ask is about the cost of the whole journey. It is vital to think beforehand about how much your degrees and certificates are going to cost you. The total cost can include tuition fees and other expenses like transport, food, books, and more.
The average cost of pursuing a master of science in nursing administration is $35,000 to $70,000, while some schools may even charge $100,000. However, there are various options to fund your degree other than personally financing it. You may apply for need-based or merit-based scholarships and government grants. Moreover, some colleges also offer a fee waiver for fellowship or apprenticeship students.
You should carefully assess your financial situation and should have a clear idea about how you will finance your degree before enrolling to avoid any stresses later on.
5. Do you have the required skillset to lead and handle people?
Nursing administration is a people’s job. It requires a lot of human interaction on a daily basis. You would have to deal with your staff, patients, seniors, and outsiders. Conflict can naturally occur when you work with so many people. Therefore, nurse administrators should have diplomatic and collaborative skills to lead people effectively.
They should be able to handle stress and should be able to resolve conflicts among staff or between staff and patients. Strong leadership skills and compassion is required to become an effective nurse administrator.
Carefully assess your skills and consider if you have the essential skills required to become a nurse administrator before choosing it as your career.
The Wrap Up
Nurse administrators have the vital duty of smoothly running a healthcare facility, performing a number of duties on a daily basis. Several nurses pursue a career in nursing leadership after completing their initial education and training. However, it is not the right career for everyone. Therefore, in this article, we asked some questions that you must ask yourself before choosing nursing administration as your career.
Ask yourself if you are willing to pursue further education as you may have to complete a master’s program and some certifications. Go through the job roles of a nurse administrator to fully understand what you would be expected to do during your job. Consider the career outlook of nurse administrators as well. Moreover, it is also essential to consider the total monetary cost of becoming a nurse administrator. Lastly, analyze your skillset and see if you are fit to become a nurse administrator.
Hopefully, answering the questions in this article will help you make an informed decision.