Nursing Administration Training Programs and Courses

Those working in nursing administration are responsible for directing a health institution's nursing staff. Nursing administrators work in hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Completion of a graduate degree program and nursing experience will prepare individuals for a career in nursing administration.

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Training Requirements and Recommendations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a master's degree is essentially required for those who wish to become nursing administrators (www.bls.gov). Smaller medical centers or clinics, however, may accept a 4-year degree in nursing combined with experience in the field.

Those seeking to become nursing administrators can gain on-the-job experience by serving as a supervisory registered nurse before pursuing their master's degrees and beginning a career in nursing administration.

Formal Education

A degree from an accredited college or university is typically required for one to enter the field of nursing administration. Degree programs in nursing administration are offered at the graduate level. Those who wish to enter a master's degree program should hold at least a bachelor's degree in nursing and be working in the field.

Master's Degrees

A program resulting in a Master of Science in Nursing Administration is open to nurses who wish to advance to an administrative position. The curriculum for this type of master's degree program focuses on management, leadership, research and health care policy. Program coursework might include organizational theory, health care management, financial management, health care ethics, administrative decision-making and health care planning.

Some programs combine a Master of Science in Nursing with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Required courses might include accounting, managerial accounting, business finance, financial management and marketing management. Other courses will address healthcare management, nursing management development, managerial economics, nursing operations and organizational theory.

Job Experience

Some employers prefer that candidates are licensed registered nurses (RNs) with 3-5 years' experience in the health care field. According to the BLS, registered nurses with supervisory experience and an advanced degree are best qualified to become nursing administrators. In some cases, experience in the same type of facility in which one is seeking to serve as a nursing administrator is preferred.

Licenses and Certifications

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the Nurse Executive, Advanced certification (www.nursecredentialing.org). One must meet certain educational requirements and complete 30 hours of nursing administration continuing education to qualify for this exam.

The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) offers two certifications for nursing administrators (www.aone.org). One can choose the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) or the Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) credential. The latter credential is offered through the AONE's partnership with the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN), (www.aacn.org).

Workshops and Seminars

Seminars in nursing administration and management are offered as part of the curriculum in some master's degree programs. The ANCC and AONE provide workshops, seminars and other continuing education opportunities. Some organizations provide nursing management and nursing administration annual conferences. These conferences supply networking opportunities, advisory panels and breakout sessions.

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