If you are thinking of advancing your nursing career then taking nursing leadership roles is a great option. You can discover the profession of a nurse administrator and learn more on how you could become one. Sometimes, nurse administrators are also known as nurse managers, nurse executives, clinical nurse managers, and nurse directors.
Nurse administrators perform different duties as compared to the RNs. They offer strategic direction and planning, manage everyday operations for nursing departments, and implement steps for advancing the healthcare facilities.
Nurse administrators have an important role to play in the development of nursing in Canada. They use their clinical expertise for making decisions about finance, operations, healthcare procedures, and offering high-quality healthcare services to patients.
In this blog, we will try to understand who a nurse administrator is and how you could become one?
Who is a Nurse Administrator?
Nursing administration is a field of nursing that includes a wide range of executive-level nursing tasks. A nurse administrator is responsible for managing staff in a series of medical departments or hospitals while completing administrative tasks such as performance reviews, attending meetings, developing training procedures, and much more.
A nurse administrator typically reports to a hospital CEO and is responsible for overseeing nurse managers. More often than not, a nurse administrator’s job role is managerial in nature with almost no direct patient interaction.
In the fast-paced and evolving healthcare industry, many jobs are available for nurse administrators. There is a need for senior nurses in medical facilities to oversee assigned staff nurses, ensuring compliance with regulations and policies.
Responsibilities of a Nurse Administrator:
Nurse administrators offer leadership for nursing departments in hospitals, private practices, long term care facilities, private practices, and more. Other than this, nurse administrators also attract their knowledge and experience from the clinical practice.
The nurse administrators also work in office settings and their duties span all through strategic leadership and operational management. The strategic leadership duties of nurse administrators commonly include:
- Setting budgets,
- Defining policies & procedures,
- Working with boards for setting performance goals.
Since nurse administrators are key for the development of nursing in Canada, their job is important.
Nurse administrators are also responsible for recruiting, hiring, and arranging professional development for nursing staff. They set work schedules, conduct performance reviews of nurses and take disciplinary action whenever needed. In addition, nurse administrators are also responsible for coordinating with the medical staff and representing their nursing departments in meetings with hospitals or other healthcare executives.
Becoming a Nurse Administrator:
Nurse administrators are registered nurses which mean that they have successfully completed a postgraduate nursing program already. The nurse administrators can effectively manage staff and have high-level responsibilities. For this reason, they must have extensive experience in nursing along with an impeccable record of leadership and management skills.
Let us have a look at the five steps needed to become a nurse administrator.
- Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: The primary and the most important step to becoming a nurse administrator are to get an accredited nursing degree. Nursing programs mostly include coursework such as Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Microbiology, Statistics, Anatomy, etc.
Although some employers allow those who have a nursing diploma to become nurse administrators, working in advanced positions such as administrative nurses usually requires at least gaining a bachelor’s degree.
- Becoming a Registered Nurse: After the nursing students complete their nursing courses in Canada, they will need to pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses called the NCLEX-RN.
This exam can be taken after completing nursing courses in Canada and proving your eligibility to take the exam.
- Completing a Master’s Degree or Certificate Programs: Most employers prefer nursing administrators who have successfully completed a postgraduate nursing program with a speciality in nursing administration. The graduates of the nursing administration program must have the knowledge and skills needed in business administration along with clinical experience and voluntary certification.
Many institutions in Canada offer graduate certificates in nursing administration for nurses who already have a bachelor’s degree. This is extremely valuable in case an individual is not able to completely commit to a full academic curriculum.
- Work Experience: After acquiring the required qualification and skills, nurse administrators should get the required work experience.
Work settings such as clinics, healthcare institutions, and hospitals also offer on the job training and internship opportunities to registered nurses in the administration and management roles.
- Certifications: Some nursing organizations offer certifications for nurse executives. The applicants should be registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree and they must have administrative nurse training along with relevant work experience.
Professional nurse certification is entirely voluntary and it demonstrates a nurse’s proficiency in leadership along with offering job opportunities.
Typical Work Settings for a Nurse Administrator:
Nurse administrators are often employed at hospitals to work at executive level posts. This means that they do not have a patient-facing role. Some nurse administrators oversee hospitals within a system so they may also spend some of their time traveling from one hospital to another.
Nurse administrators can be commonly found in larger medical facilities. Additionally, nurses who want to work for more regular hours are interested in an office-based work setting that may be suited for a nurse administrator role as well.
Future Growth Aspects for a Nurse Administrator:
Nurse administrators earn an average salary of around $86,483/year. This salary depends on location, experience, credentials, and many other factors. With the ever-growing demand for nursing professionals, the job outlook for nurse administrators looks promising.
Skilled and advanced nursing professionals will always be needed for managerial and supervisory roles. The aspirational nurses who wish to grow in their careers can look for jobs for nurses that are hiring for the post of nurse administrators. This will lead to higher pay and increased responsibility.
Nurse administrators are also known as the director of nurses because they are granted the responsibility for directing nursing patient care with administrative procedures. They promote the development of nursing staff and are also responsible for the development of nursing in Canada.
If you want to move away from the clinical setting while gaining a leadership position in nursing then becoming a nurse administrator is an excellent option. Following the guide mentioned above will allow you to be well equipped for offering excellent patient care.