By: Teri M. Chenot, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor at Jacksonville University School of Nursing
Healthcare is rapidly changing and is in a state of complexity. As a nurse administrator you will be at the forefront of the nursing leadership team that will need to address a daily myriad of issues such as regulatory, quality/safety, financial, and community challenges. There are several roles that one can choose in the nursing administration career track such as a charge nurse, nurse manager, director, vice president of patient services, or chief nurse executive. This decision is based on your personal, educational, and/or career goals. It is recommended that nurse administrators obtain an MSN in Nursing Administration which will provide them with the necessary educational courses such as leadership, finance, quality/safety, technology, and research to promote success at that level in the organization. In addition, certifications as a nurse executive are beneficial to pursue as well as involvement in professional nursing organizations such as the American Nurses Association and/or the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
A nurse administrator should be able to multi-task, work long hours, be innovative, a good communicator, and a team player. A daily agenda will include meetings, preparing/presenting reports and data, analyzing/decision-making on the budget, addressing operational issues such as possible nursing staff shortages, regulatory/compliance issues, attendance at committee and board meetings, and collaboration with the medical and academic partnerships in the community. The savvy nurse administrator will also be involved with fund-raising for innovative projects such as staff evidence-based research projects and the promotion of staff educational enhancements.
There are many advantages of a career in nursing administration. You will have the opportunity to leave a legacy in the nursing profession in which you can define. It is rewarding to know that you have made a positive impact on the health outcomes of the patients in your organization as well as a positive impact on the professional development of your nursing staff. Your contributions can be even as far-reaching as at the national and international level of nursing with your involvement in professional nursing organizations and research which demonstrates your commitment to the profession of nursing.