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Administrative Nurses: Career Information About Becoming an Admin Nurse

Learn about a career as an administrative nurse. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.

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Job Description

Administrative nurses have medical, administrative, business and managerial duties. The title refers to registered or practical nurses who have the experience and skills not only to serve the medical needs of their patients, but also to work in a managerial role. Typically, they work to oversee other nurses and to complete administrative duties, such as evaluating and implementing nursing policy, meeting regulatory and compliance requirements, coordinating with staff and ensuring standards of care are met. Administrative nurses often work in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Educational Requirements

Administrative nurses almost universally have worked previously as registered nurses (RNs). To become an RN, three paths are available: one can complete a nursing diploma program from an approved educational institution, earn an associate's degree in nursing or earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. Post-baccalaureate degree programs in related medical fields can be advantageous to those desiring to become administrative nurses more quickly. For positions in administrative nursing, health care facilities are increasingly looking for candidates who have a master's degree in a field like health services administration, public health or business administration. Once an individual has worked as an RN for some time, he or she may be considered for supervisory roles, which can lead to a position as a clinical administrative nurse.

Licensing Requirements

All RNs are required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which is the needed exam to become licensed as a registered nurse. Additional requirements may be in place to earn state licensure as a nurse, depending on the region.

Required Skills

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that administrative nurses must have the following skills:

  • Must be able to absorb large amounts of information
  • Good decision-making abilities
  • Function well as a team
  • Communicate effectively
  • Emotional stability, compassion and patience
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills

Employment and Salary Outlook

While the BLS doesn't offer specific information for administrative nurses, the employment outlook for the wider field of medical and health services management was good; the BLS projected that employment in this field would grow 22% from 2010-2020 . According to the BLS, the median annual salary in May 2012 for medical and health service managers was $88,580.

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