Clinical education is an important part of any healthcare degree program, and many aspiring nurse administrators wonder if they have to complete clinical hours for a Master’s in Nursing Administration. Almost every healthcare-related program requires some sort of practical education to enable the student to obtain hands-on training in a real work environment. The only difference is in the type of practical training. They might be clinical education, rotations, internships or practicums. Students pursuing a Master’s in Nursing Administration typically must complete clinical hours at some point in their education.
What is a Nursing Administrator?
A nursing administrator is a trained and experienced RN who has advanced to a position where he or she is in charge of an entire nursing staff. A nurse administrator’s duties include hiring and training nurses; overseeing the nursing staff; creating policies and ensuring patients are receiving the very best nursing care. A nurse administrator spends most of the workday in an office but may also see patients and oversee the clinical aspects of patient care.
Requirements for Master’s in Nursing Administration
To be eligible to become a nurse administrator, an individual must have at least a bachelor’s degree and a current license as a registered nurse (RN). Most candidates choose to pursue the Bachelor’s in Nursing degree, obtain some experience working as an RN and then seek a Master’s in Nursing Administration degree.
The four-year bachelor’s in nursing program includes general education courses, core courses and nursing-based courses, such as nursing informatics, medical terminology, nursing research, nursing leadership and community nursing. Additionally, the student is required to put in a certain number of hours of clinical rotations working in various departments in a hospital. Upon completing, the student takes the NCLEX-RN exam to obtain licensure.
At this point, the individual typically works as an RN to gain work experience, which is vital for those pursuing careers as nursing administrators. After obtaining some work experience, the candidate enrolls in the master’s degree program. The graduate degree curriculum might include nursing courses like nursing advanced nursing leadership, health laws, healthcare ethics and transitional care. Business-related courses, like healthcare budgeting, management theory, management theory and nursing administration theory, are also part of the nursing administration master’s degree.
Are Clinical Hours are Required?
Earning a Master’s in Nursing Administration is the ideal choice for someone interested in working as a nursing administrator in a hospital or similar medical facility. It’s a huge responsibility and a career that requires an individual be adequately trained. This requires the completion of clinical education at some point in the program.
Although the student completed clinical hours while earning a bachelor’s degree, those hours are more nursing-related and designed to give students hands-on training as a nurse. A student in a nursing administration master’s degree program will need to complete more clinical hours, but these hours are typically in the nurse administrator capacity, so the student can gain supervised experience working with a licensed nurse administrator.
Career Outlook for Nursing Administrators
Nursing administrators, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics groups in the category of medical and health services managers, are very much in demand and expected to see positive job growth. They’re expected to see a job growth of 20% between 2016 and 2026, which will result in about 72,100 new jobs created. Graduates of the Master’s in Nursing Administration who have completed clinical hours and gained experience typically find the best career opportunities.