In today's fast-paced changing healthcare industry, many nurses are deciding to become a nurse administrator to advance their role at the bedside for more supervisory duties. Nurse administrators are typically the senior nurses in medical facilities who are responsible for overseeing assigned staff nurses to ensure compliance with all regulations and policies for the best possible patient care. On a typical day, nurse administrators can be found creating staff schedules, leading treatment plans, hiring nursing personnel, training new employees, making certain all patient charts are completed, and collaborating with doctors in their unit, according to Nurse Together. If you are interested in entering a top ten highest-paying nursing specialty, below is a complete step-by-step guide on how you can reach your goal of becoming a nurse administrator.
Earn an Accredited Nursing Degree
Nurse administrators will need to have at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited institution to build the solid foundation for professional nursing practice. Whether you enroll in a traditional BSN, bridge RN-to-BSN program, or an accelerated second degree program, the degree will blend the fundamentals of nursing theory with actual hands-on clinical practice for developing essential knowledge of medical procedures. Although it is not currently required, it is strongly recommended that nurse administrators also receive an accredited Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a concentration in nursing administration to expand career opportunities into advanced nursing practice roles.
Gain Nursing Experience as an RN
After graduation, you will need to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to receive the state licensure to legally practice. On you are properly registered, it is critical that you start building your resume with nursing experience as a staff nurse at a hospital, physician's office, community health organization, mental health clinic, or any other healthcare setting that interests you. With added experience, take advantage of any opportunities to move into administrative positions like assistant unit manager, head nurse, or assistant director. Most employers will require that nurse administrators have a minimum of five years of experience in nursing and at least one year of management-level work in supervising other nurses.
Apply for Certification in Nursing Administration
Finally, the last step towards successfully becoming a nurse administrator is to receive proper certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Most nurse administrators make the decision to receive the Nurse Executive-Board Certified (NE-BC) credential, which is designed to display competent knowledge and skills in managing the daily operations of nursing units to potential employers. In order to receive the credential, you will be required to fulfill all eligibility requirements and receive a passing score on a competency-based examination. You will be required to apply for the computer-based test with the ANCC and complete the 3.5-hour exam during a 90-day window at a convenient local location. Since the credential is valid for just five years, you will also need to renew certification with continuing education regularly.
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Nurse administrators are often referred to as the directors of nurses because they are granted overall responsibility for directing nursing patient care by establishing administrative procedures, promoting the development of nursing staff, budgeting, maintaining practice guidelines, communicating with other health units, scheduling staff members, and analyzing nursing treatment. When you follow this guide to become a nurse administrator, you will be well-equipped for working as a highly trained pivotal leader in managing excellent patient care.